Monday, April 21, 2014

April 1978

Back in 1978, the Bee Gees were all over the radio with hits like Night Fever and Stayin Alive. At the same time, strong man Bill Nuckells (Mr. California) graced the first issue of Honcho magazine (April of 1978). The Mr. California competition has offered an opportunity to admire many good looking men.
Gene Jantzen (below) was a bodybuilder who came in 2nd at Mr. California AUU in 1941:
And Cliff Byers may have came in 2nd place (in the 1947 Mr. California AAU contest) but he will always be #1 with his fans! Not only didn't hairy Cliff shave his treasure trail or chest, but there  seemed to be a second "competition" happening in his tight posing trunks as his junk wrestled the for available space. It's reported that Mr. Byers was also a fitness writer for many magazines for the era.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Egg Hunt!

What could possibly be going on in these photos?  Maybe in exchange for finding a guy's pair of hairy eggs, these hunters also have to put his weenie in their mouth and suck!   But watch out!  These eggs are probably chock-full of man-cream, so if you keep sucking like that, the chances are pretty darn good that you'll get a BIG mouthful surprise!
Mărțișor is an ancient Romanian Spring celebration (having even deeper roots going further back in time) which celebrated the end of Winter.  The event was tied to fertility (the female) and fertilization (the male) as a means of life and continuity.  And as if they needed a special holiday for this purpose, it was considered useful to identify females who had reached puberty over the winter months as males participated in a series of sporting competitions and social events to strut their feathers and show off their, well, cockiness. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

1947: Tough as a Marine

Back in 1947, Popular Mechanics had a mostly-male audience and that meant they attracted ads that would also appeal to men, including men who were interested in muscles, beef cake, and "tools" of another nature. 

This "Tough as a Marine" ad (above) actually has quite a bit of history behind it.  George Fiusdale Jowett (pictured) was a strongman/ bodybuilder/self-promoter.   By the time the ad was included in the April 1947 Popular Mechanics, George had already established a very successful mail order business, for which he wrote and sold this and many other booklets with titles like "How to Mold a Mighty Wrist",and "How to Mold Mighty Arms".  One booklet, "Molding Mighty Muscles", which sold for 25 cents, sold 25 million copies!  He was also one of the early pioneers to use the "he-man doesn't get sand kicked in his face" type of advertising, promoting that weak guys who are tired of getting bullied could become strong through the secrets he was willing to share (for money of course).  These ads promoted self-esteem as much as muscles (and they least in selling his booklets).

Born in  Bradford, Yorkshire, England, at 19 George went to Canada as a young man, where for 11 years (with the exception of 3 years in the Canadian Expeditionary Forces during WWI) he worked as a blacksmith.   By the late 1930's, George had five corporations and offices in Australia, New Zealand, parts of Europe, Britain, and the Far East.  His students included Hollywood actor Tom Mix, the Weider brothers, and Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan). It's reported that Weissmuller was so impressed with the Seat of Health device that he endorsed it free of charge.  The story goes that George was muscular  enough but not thought to be "movie star" material himself.
Mr. America Alan Stephan took out a full-page ad (below) in the same magazine:
Alan signed up for the navy and after the war he was discharged on April 2, 1946, exactly two months before he would win the very first bodybuilding contest he entered: the 1946 AAU Mr. America. Several weeks later, he joined weightlifter Frank Kay and photographer Al Urban (already featured in this VGMH series) on television for Bob Wright's show, Human Interest in the News, which would mark the first time that posing plus lifting had been featured on American television. Blonde and very buff, Alan became sexy beef cake gold long before the 1950's wave of magazines. 

Magazines were important communication tools and provided information and entertainment.  And if getting mail-order muscles wasn't your thing, how about a scooter!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

'Man Hunting' Season

If you are of a certain age then perhaps you recall the gay-themed cable television series Queer As Folk. If you watched Queer As Folk, then this brief description may sound familiar: "A New York city writer and his friends traverse the gay world, exploring their ever-evolving sexuality, relationships, and what it means to be a true friend" only it's actually describing a more modern series from 2012 with another generation of men discovering life.

Hunting Season is a comedy series for today's smart-phone-absorbed youth, based on the blog of Alex, a single gay 20-something man living in Manhattan.   He documents himself and his friends by anonymously writing about his social life. The cast includes Ben Baur (Alex), Marc Sinoway, Jake Manabat, Jack Ferver, Tyler French, and Walker Hare.

The story was inspired and largely based on the popular blog The Great Cock Hunt and the novel of the same name. The series is in serial short-format webisodes, each lasting between 8 and 12 minutes.  It was first broadcast in September 2012 with three episodes. Two editions were made and the censored edition was broadcast on Logo TV free of charge.  The uncensored edition was broadcast as a paid-for download.  In 2013, a project was launched to fund the production of a
second season of Hunting Season.