If you’re anything like us me, your first, greatest concern when you wake up every afternoon is “will something very unpleasant happen to my genitals?” Then we move on to career, finances, family, meaning of life and all that. We like to think celebrities are often the same way. If there’s anything that unites the poor to middle class with the rich and famous (and to a celebrity, a middle class person and a person living in a cardboard box are essentially the same) it’s our universal fear of trauma to our naughty bits. So in the hope of ending the vague social stratification that puts celebrities over us to some small degree, we present these stories.
10. Magician and TV Show Host Penn Jillette
As he described on his radio show on January 3, 2007, around 1980, Penn Jillette was breaking up with a girlfriend. As soon as they had broken up and she flew away, he felt a strong need to reunite with her, but she was staying with one of her gal pals who hated him at the time, so he flew out to spend the night with them. That night Jillette took a shower, and upon finishing, found that there were no towels in the bathroom. There was a blow dryer handy, so he experimented with using the blow dryer on his whole body. He claimed it worked very well until someone tried to come into the bathroom and startled him. When that happened, he was holding up his penis so that he could use the blow dryer on the underside and the end of his penis fell into blow dryer wires. Hen then heard what he described as a sizzle that sounded like hamburger on a grill. He broke up with his girlfriend the next day.
9. Stephen King
When he was about six years old, Stephen was out with his brother Dave and a friend. Stephen had to go to the bathroom, but his companions would not wait for him to go to the bathroom back home, so they recommended he simply go off into the woods, suggesting he wipe with leaves. Stephen did so with poison ivy. As he describes,“(his) penis was spared, but (his) testicles turned into stoplights.”
Curiously, he mentions this horrible testicular happenstance in his book On Writing, which is half a book of writing instruction and half a memoir of how he became the writer he is today. So any of you aspiring writers who want to be bestsellers like him… well, it worked for him, didn’t it?
8. Jaye Davidson
Jaye Davidson, in his screen debut, played the transvestite lover of a British soldier in The Crying Game. By far the movie’s most famous moment is one where the protagonist, played by Stephen Rea, is shown that Davidson is indeed actually a man. But as director Neil Jordan says on the commentary track for the film (at about the same point as the scene begins) he had neglected to tell Davidson that this scene would be in the movie or ask him if he would be willing to do it until the day of shooting. That’s a lot of pressure to put on new performer on the day, and if you’ve seen the scene, you’ll notice a bit of performance anxiety.
7. Willem Defoe
A star of films from Finding Nemo to Spiderman, Willem Dafoe felt the need to work on Danish artsy film, Antichrist by director Lars Von Trier. In the movie, he and his wife go out into an abandoned cabin in a scary, messed up wood, and the whole thing degenerates into oddly sexualized violence. At one point, he takes a log to his crotch, and his penis is fully visible.
For the movie, Dafoe was perfectly ready to show his penis, but Von Trier turned him down. As Von Trier put it, his penis was too large and “confusing.” Whether this was a translation issue or a joke, Dafoe would later describe with annoyance how his penis had upstaged the film project which he seemed to believe could be a substantive experience, what with its violence, rains of acorns, and CGI fox creature that says “Chaos Reigns!” Those are all honest to good elements of the movie. He didn’t acknowledge the real victim of this story, the man whose credit for Antichrist is “had smaller penis than Willem Dafoe.”
6. William Shatner
Remember Koko the Gorilla? The gorilla famous for being taught sign language and for adopting a kitten? Well, she should have been famous for the following. One day in the 1988, William Shatner came to visit her. As he would describe in his autobiography, Koko grabbed his crotch. When he asked what to do about this, Shatner was told Koko wanted him “in her bed.” Someone we know for certain who didn’t want this was a male gorilla who began banging against the neighboring wall. By all evidence, Shatner was only saved one of the most entertaining of deaths by Koko becoming bored and letting him go. If only more females were so considerate.
5. Napoleon Bonaparte
After Napoleon’s 1821 death on St. Helena in the Southern Atlantic, and in keeping with the weird trend of the time, parts of him were taken for collection. Or, rather, stolen and taken by contemporary priest, and from there they eventually found their way to New Jersey, including his penis. Notoriously, his organ suspended in a jar was said to be so shriveled that it looked more like a length of shoe lace.
4. Grigori Rasputin
Something similar happened to Grigori Rasputin. The rumor was his penis was amputated and put in a jar (allegedly in this case by his assassins,) but it differs quite a bit in the sense that his penis was claimed by historians, descendants, and an eager media to be the eleven whopping inches. Claims refuting it range from dismissing it as a sea cucumber to the preserved part of some animal. Which leads to the question: should Rasputin be flattered and/or should the animal?
3. Neil Patrick Harris
During a Q & A session, Harris felt the need to go to the urinal for one of the more obvious reasons. He had left his microphone on, and thus a large contingent of people was privy to him feeling the need to talk to his member. Specifically, he said “Wake up!” To all people who might feel the need to be recorded and broadcast for any future occurrence, do not talk to your penis for at least a period of two days before or after. It degrades you, it degrades your penis, and it degrades us when we write articles about it.
2. Penn Jillette (Again)
A little less fun than his story of the burning blow dryer, but still one that needs to be told. NEEDS to be told. In the late 1980’s, Penn and Teller performed a bit for NBC where they made tens of thousands of bees appear from assorted props inside a contained environment (the logic being bees kill more people than tigers or any dangerous animals Siegfried and Roy ever made appear). Penn estimated that in one filmed take, he was stung a dozen times. That same night, when he removed his underpants, Penn saw that the skin of his scrotum had swelled and split, and that his underpants had bonded with the coagulated blood. So next time you get REALLY impressed by a magician, bear in mind this might well be the sort of thing it will lead you to.
1. Julia Sweeney
There simply had to be a female in here somewhere, so let’s finish off with the story of Julia Sweeney. Around the time she starred in film It’s Pat! (which is primarily notable for staying on the bottom 100 at imdb.com after all these years) this former Saturday Night Live star had surgery performed for her ovarian cancer. Afterwards, she was told to expect her now inactive ovary to start sort of “wandering” about her body. Probably it was trying to escape after the results for the It’s Pat! test screenings came in.
Now as interesting as Penn Jillette’s various genital injuries were or as iconic as William Shatner’s encounter with Koko was, it did not feature their bits and pieces becoming motile and moving about to different parts of their bodies. No matter how bad the reviews for Davidson’s penis reveal were in The Crying Game, he never had to worry about his testicle showing up behind his liver (which has happened with Sweeney’s ovary.) While Napoleon’s and Rasputin’s penises might have traveled about and have been on display for large audiences, they were not as adventurous or self-driven as that ovary. So all you other celebrities with interesting stories for your baby-makers, step it up a bit!
By Dustin Koski