Circumcision in Popular Culture
Circumcision is sometimes used in popular culture as a means of comedy relief when discussing a potentially embarrassing subject. Circumcision and the Jewish Bris ceremony have been shown on several programs in this way. Below you will find some examples of circumcision in movies, television, radio and other items reflecting popular culture.
The “Ike’s Wee Wee” episode of South Park educated many boys who were routinely circumcised at birth and were unaware of their own infant circumcision, thinking themselves to have been born with a bare glans. It served as an impetus to open a dialog between parents and children, as well as between peers (both male and female). Not only did the show promote a discussion of circumcision, but also of religious beliefs and their importance as a determinant of social issues.
A CIRCLIST member writes: “My own son, 13 years old, commented that he agreed with the dad on South Park when he said "We’re just going to snip it. It makes your penis look bigger". Of course, by the end of the program all of the boys on South Park are wanting to schedule their own bris. My son reports several conversations with friends about this episode. All but one of his friends were circumcised at birth, and were unaware of it. My son knows of his circumcision and was able to help ‘'clarify’ the matter for the others. The only uncircumcised boy said he felt like Cartman (a character on the show) who wished he was having a bris of his own.”
Listen to these South Park sound clips!
|What’s a Bris, Dad? - Kyle learns about ritual circumcision from his dad.
||Circumcision - The boys learn about circumcision and they begin scheduling their own.
||The Bris - Ike is finally circumcised while the boys and family look on with pride.
Advertising by Mohelim
Today’s award for cutting-edge advertising goes to a pair of New York mohelim who advertise their circumcision services on refrigerator magnets. According to New York magazine, Rabbi Yehoshua Krohn’s magnets display a dove, a yarmulke-wearing infant and the number for his toll-free Bris Line - (800) BABY-BOY. Another magnetized mohel, David Kedmi, says of his refrigerator trinkets: “You never know where they’ll end up. Even if people think they may not need the number when they take it, they never know if it might come in handy!”
“Europa, Europa” - Prosthesis used to make German actor look circumcised
In the USA the movie is called “Europa, Europa” but it is also known in Europe by the alternative title "Hitlerjunge Salomon". Co-written and directed by Agnieszka Holland, it was scripted in the 1980s, filmed in 1990 and in 1992 it won the Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Language Film. It was also nominated for an Oscar. It features the young German actor Marco Hofschneider who portrays a Polish Jewish boy named Salomon Perel.
Circumcision is a central theme in the movie, showing the young boy’s bris as a new born, the Nazi occupation of Poland, his separation from his family and finally him being taken in by a German military unit. The commanding officer sends the boy back to Germany to live, where he is enrolled in a posh school for Hitler Youth. All through this, the boy is constantly terrified that someone will see him naked and discover he’s circumcised and Jewish, not an Aryan hero of the Fatherland. At this school he even tries to tie the remains of his long-severed foreskin forward over his glans, with rather disastrous results.
In an interview, Hofschneider said the part was originally cast with his elder brother in the role but that production was delayed and by the time filming began his brother was too old. He said that he was surprised to get the role because he is not circumcised and that in the film he wore a prosthesis of a circumcised penis in order to make him appear circumcised. Apparently the production team had to experiment with a number of these prosthetic devices before they found one which would be satisfactory.
This is a German movie, remarkable for its frank approach both to the events of World War 2 and to circumcision. Here are some video captures from the film, which - despite its vintage - remains widely available for purchase on DVD with the original German soundtrack subtitled in English. Click on the images to enlarge, then use your browser’s Back button to return to this page.
Meet the Fockers
In Meet the Fockers
there’s a part where the prospective in-laws meet and they are showing off their photo album to the bride and her parents. This includes one picture where the groom-to-be is being circumcised. They discuss styles and even have his dried foreskin, which is fumbled and lands in the soup. The groom-to-be is not pleased.
“Hitan” - The circumcision of a Turkish boy living in Germany
The film collates opinions about and experiences of circumcision amongst Muslim immigrants living in Germany. The sound track is in the German language. The circumcision of a Turkish boy of about 12 is filmed in some detail, including showing that a number of his relatives attended the part-medical, part ceremonial procedure.
The documentary is still available on DVD at http://www.jugend-freizeit.de/borderline/v_39.php
, where you will also find a short video clip.
Married With Children : Episode 812 : Just A Little Off The Top
Doctor: “There is some good news. He is alive.”
Peg: “How alive? Can he walk? Can he talk? Will he ever be able to work again?”
Doctor: “He’s a shoe salesman, Mrs. Bundy. We could replace his brain with a sock full of popcorn and he’d still be able to work.”
Al: (to Kelly) “A word of warning. Anyone who says 'What’s up?' goes down. It wasn’t funny when the doctor asked it. It wasn’t funny when the nurse asked it. And it certainly wasn’t funny when your mother asked it.”
Peg: “Then again...I’ve been asking for years.”
Kelly: “So how’s your...ah, back?”
Al: “Fine. Not that they did anything to it. For some odd reason, I feel less concerned about it. Peg, would you have any idea why I’d feel less concerned about it?”
Kelly: “I do. I do.”
Kelly: “Because you’re in so much pain from the circumcision.”
Al: “Correct. And while we’re on that subject. Does anyone know why such a wacky thing happened to daddy in the first place?”
Kelly: “Because mommy made you go to the hospital.”
Al: “Close, sweetheart. Mommy married daddy first then made him go to the hospital.”
Al: “Did you know that daddy’s nurse was a fat woman who used to come into the shoe store? I say 'used to' because her patronage fell off because one day she asked for something to make her feet look smaller and I said 'Try your ass.' She remembered and we laughed. The she picked up a catheter the size of a boa constrictor.”
[Al has a flowery dressing gown on and the kids look at him]
Kelly: “Exactly how much did they cut off?”
“The Perfumed Nightmare” - (Original Title: Mababangong bangungot)
Click to enlarge these additional imges from the film:
The film commences with an overview of life in a rural village in the Philippines as it was in the 1960s and early 1970s. The village circumcision ceremony is recorded in graphic detail, showing the local style of a dorsal slit. One of the boys, seduced by VOA radio broadcasts in general and accounts of the US space program in particular, becomes determined to emigrate. The latter part of the film follows the ups and downs of that ‘Perfumed Nightmare’.
The Ally McBeal TV Show
In an episode of Ally McBeal the girls are in a sculpting class with a nude male model. The teacher asks the model to put his robe on, and called in the next model. One of the girls asks the first model to stay “because I have not circumcised him yet” (laughter is heard). The second model disrobed and the rest of the show dealt with his large size and his circumcision status. TV is coming of age!
Absolutely Fabulous - UK Edition
The girls go skiing. One says to the other “Have you seen any movie stars?” “None” comes the reply from Patsy. “How about any crown heads?” asks Adina, referring to royalty. “It’s hard to tell with thick snow pants on” Patsy replies, obviously referring to the outline of a flared, circumcised glans. (Audience laughs) As you may know, Patsy is a bit of a slut and is always thinking of sex.
Later in the show, they are searching for a church for Adina’s daughter’s wedding. After looking at several churches, the mother says to her daughter “I really liked that last one. It was very pretty, don’t you think?” The daughter replies “Mom, it was a Jewish Synagogue”. “Really?” Adina says... “What’s wrong with that? Isn’t he circumcised?” The line is not followed up with anything relevant to circumcision and apparently this last bit was removed from the broadcast version in the USA.
The Learning Channel
The Learning Channel (called "TLC" on American Cable TV) is part of a group of educational TV channels that also includes The Discovery Channel. Some of its output finds its way to broadcast TV channels in other continents. Its output has in the past included a weekly show called “Trauma - Life in the E.R.” depicting real life hospital Emergency Room activity. An episode entitled “Birth and Delivery” showed ten or so babies born, by coincidence none of whom were girls.
Since there were so many boys, would circumcision be brought up? The grandmother of the first boy on the show appeared very Jewish and the commentary revealed that she had escaped the Holocaust.
After an advertising break, the presenter said that boy’s family was about to engage in a 3,000 year old tradition, the baby’s father telling the reporter about the bris and the mohel and how he trusted this gentlemen totally. Then the fact that the boy was going to be circumcised during this ceremony was disclosed and the actual circumcision was filmed -- just the few seconds (literally) when the mohel slid the scalpel along the foreskin, followed by the exposure of the glans and the removal of residual mucosal tissue. The next sequence showed the new baby wrapped in his blanket, being passed around, apparently not in any pain, sleeping it off and the relatives all rejoicing.
“Halfaouine: Boy of the Terraces” - A ground-breaking insight into Muslim Arab culture
This truly taboo-breaking film chronicles a 12-year-old boy’s sexual awakening in Muslim Tunisia. Small for his age, Noura has always accompanied his mother to the ladies’ Turkish baths. But now he’s not so young and his eyes wander to the half-naked women who ignite his imagination. Too old to spend much time with the women who have pampered him for years, he’s still too young for the company of men. When released, Halfaouine was celebrated for the way it broke new ground in Arab cinema. But with its earthy sensuality, compassion and humor, Halfaouine also became one of the most exquisitely told coming-of-age tales of recent years. It includes a circumcision ceremony, despite which the video/DVD was passed by censors in many countries including the USA. This film gives the viewer an insight into an Arabic community that most Westerners will never experience in person.
Rugrats (Cartoon) Movie
One of our correspondents writes:
“Today my teen son returned from taking his younger brother (5 years old) to the Rugrats Movie. He tells me that the movie contains a scene early on where a young (presumably female) baby says to another in the hospital nursery "They cut my cord", looking at her bellybutton. The boy in the next bassinet looks down his diaper and says "You should see what they cut off me!". Tonight the guys in our family talked about circumcision and why it’s good for boys and is done routinely in the USA and many other countries.”
Jokes from various sources
A handsome young lad went into the hospital for some minor surgery and the day after the procedure a friend stopped by to see how the guy was doing. His friend was amazed at the number of nurses who entered the room at short intervals with refreshments, offers to fluff his pillows, make the bed, give back rubs, etc.
“Why all the attention?” the friend asked, “You look fine to me.”
“I know!” grinned the patient. “But the nurses kind of formed a little fan club when they all heard that my circumcision required twenty-seven stitches.”
A teacher noticed that a little boy at the back of her class was squirming around, scratching his crotch and not paying attention. She went to the back to find out what was going on. He was quite embarrassed and whispered that he had just recently been circumcised and he was quite itchy. The teacher told him to go down to the Principal’s office. He was to telephone the boy’s mother and ask her what he should do about it. He did as instructed and returned to his class. Suddenly, there was a commotion at the back of the room. Again she went to investigate, only to find him sitting at his desk with his weenie hanging out. “I thought I told you to call your mom!” she said. “I did,” came the reply, “and she told me that if I could stick it out till noon, she’d come and pick me up from school.”
Circumcision Brings Longer Life!
A French Canadian doctor, Dr. Télord, has produced a new study which contradicts one made previously by his English Canadian alter-ego Dr. Taylor. Dr. Télord’s study was conducted on a large representative sample of one dead male body aged 87. The conclusions are outstanding:
Circumcision brings about many health benefits including better cardiovascular system, generally lower body fat levels, stronger right arm muscles, better body heat control all of which bring about a longer life. All this on top of the localised health benefits associated with reduced problems of the genito-urinary tract.
Men who are not circumcised get far fewer health benefits because daily masturbation does not last long enough to exercise the cardiovascular system and does not require the right arm muscles to work hard to pull the skin up.
Circumcised males generally have longer-lasting masturbation sessions which end up being more intense from the point of view of the cardiovascular system. This gives the heart better exercise and gets the body into a much higher metabolic rate, generating much heat which result in the sweat glands kicking into action to help regulate the body’s heat. This is helped by greater muscle activity in the right arm which must use much more force to move the tight skin of the penis. (The uncircumcised need not use any force to slide the skin up and down).
Because the orgasm peaks at a slower pace, the body stays at an extremely high metabolic rate for a longer period. In racing terms, the uncircumcised simply takes a quick step to orgasm whereas the circumcised male runs a 100m sprint with slowly increasing speed during the process until culmination at the finish line. So while the actual moment of culmination may be the same between circumcised and uncircumcised, the circumcised male will have achieved greater workout of his whole body in the process.
Because the circumcised male must be able to maintain higher metabolic rate for a longer period in order to reach his daily orgasm, this bring about much greater and more sustained health benefits.
Furthermore, this higher metabolic rate also exercises the lungs to a greater extend than in the uncircumcised.
The greater cardiovascular workout also burns off excess fat and because this is generally done after dinner, before going to sleep, this helps reduce sugar levels during sleep and thus it either reduces transformation of sugars into fat and/or it helps convert fat into sugars. As a result, circumcised males tend to have less body fat levels than their uncircumcised counterparts.
Another aspect which helps maintain higher metabolic rate is the contact of the bare glans against underwear during daytime. This substantially increases the number of times that the male thinks about sex throughout the day. As a result of constantly increased sexual awareness and thoughts, the male tends to maintain higher metabolic rate compared to his uncircumcised counterpart who may not be thinking about sex as often, especially since during the day all he can look forwards to is the awful smell of his penis whenever he draws back the foreskin in order to urinate.
Because the circumcised male knows instinctively that his penis is always ready to be shown to a potential partner without any fears of bad smells or bad looks, this higher confidence level also brings about increased sexual thoughts resulting in increased metabolic rate.
Dr. Télord has also concluded from his extensive study that one reason the circumcised penis tends to look larger when flaccid is the fact that the circumcised male thinks about sex more often during the day. The resulting frequent erections tend to maintain the penis in a larger state and, over time, this becomes its normal flaccid size.
The cardiovascular benefits are undeniable, says Dr. Télord. He also suggests to people who haven’t yet realised that this message is not for real that their urologist may have excised their sense of humour instead of or along with their prepuce.
US Troop Perplexed by British Foreskins - by J.R. Hunt
(Originally published on the website http://www.bobfromaccounting.com)
BASRA, Iraq —
In the battlefield, they consider themselves brothers. They’ve fought together. Slept in foxholes together. They come from different parts of the world but they’ve shared a common bond for more than 200 years. American G.I.s and British soldiers have formed a cameraderie in the deserts of Iraq not seen in more than a half century. But when they were recently forced to shower together, American forces noticed some big differences with their British counterparts, differences that at first threatened that unique friendship. The following conversation varied slightly as it played itself out repeatedly in makeshift showers all over the Persian Gulf.
“Hey bro, your penis looks kind of weird!”
“Aye mate, that’s called a foreskin.”
“A foreskin. I’m uncircumcised. It’s rather common in Europe.”
“Dude, you should get that fixed.”
The questions soon turned to teasing, to which the Brits were unaccustomed. Word got around the barracks that the British troops were "different".
“Bloody right we were pissed off with all the pointing and name-calling,” said Capt. Simon Brody, a member of the UK’s Army Air Corps. “We tried to find common ground with a game of football, but when we were organized by 'shirts and skins', we were really horribly ostracised by the Yanks.”
When British troops realised that Iraqis and other Muslim men are also circumcised, they came to the conclusion they had, perhaps, the only foreskins in the entire Gulf region.
“We suddenly became self-conscious”, explained one British commander who asked to remain anonymous. “It became impossible for our men to fight with those things flapping around in the wind. We felt so ugly. It was as if the entire world was not paying attention to our brave soldiers and just focusing on our bits and pieces. It was awful.”
As a gesture of goodwill, U.S Army medics and Jewish Chaplains will now offer free 'battlefield circumcisions' to British soldiers on a volunteer basis. It is one more way to show the bond between Americans and British could not be broken.
“We’re truly excited about our new Americanised penises,” Lee said. “It’s fucking brilliant.”
Lost in the mists of time.... Can you help?
If you know of a copy of the following, or anything else that might be of interest to readers of this page, please notify CIRCLIST:
At one time a parody on the Franklin Mint existed online, featuring a 'historic foreskin collection':
The URL was "http://dave.tv/MediaPlayer.aspx?contentItemId=89284".
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