A patient has a (surgical) foreskin restoration. A
interested and rings to ask the patient's parents why he was
circumcised*. The patient's father hangs up on him.
The hospital is approached by a local TV station
that wants to
air a series of one-minute medical information segments in their
local news program, once per week. Dr. Victor Erlich (Ed Begley
Jr.) is chosen for the job, and everyone wonders what he will
choose for the topic of his first segment, but it's a secret
right up to the minute of the live broadcast. Everyone at the
TV studio (and everyone back at the hospital who are watching
it live) are shocked and appalled to see that the bumbling
Erlich has chosen circumcision as his topic. Erlich himself
seems to be the only one who is oblivious to the fact that it
is terribly inappropriate.
Victor presents the standard arguments, that
not painful, it promotes
good hygiene, but some
don't like it (he doesn't say why). He comments that some people
believe that having a boy's penis look
like his fathers'
helps promote male bonding between them, or words to that effect. He
wraps up his speech by saying if you choose not to have your baby boy
circumcised you should pay extra
attention to cleanliness so he doesn't get a "teeny weenie infection."
The stunned newscasters take a moment to collect
and then go on with the broadcast. The people back at the hospital
think only a buffoon like Victor Erlich would choose
such a distasteful subject for television at an hour when people
are eating dinner.
The TV station decides to cancel any future
Victor doesn't understand why, commenting that he
thinks he did
a really good job.
between the UK and US versions is striking: the UK doctor asks a father
why his baby son was circumcised, the US doctor tells parents why they
should be. All the focus is on the taste of talking about it at
mealtime, none on the baby's feelings or rights.
Detective drama set in Manchester: Season 4, Ep 4,
first broadcast October 1, 2014
The team are discussing how to identify a suspect
in a recent murder. At 39'39"
Detective Chief Inspector Gill Murray
(Amelia Bullmore): Other than that, all we have by way of a photograph
- [hangs up picture] the bloke she was with on the
night she was killed, sent her a selfie of his meat and two veg. ...
Detective Constable Rachel Bailey
(Suranne Jones): ... what say we ask James to
give us a picture? Of his penis. ... that one in that picture is
clearly circumcised, and not a huge proportion of men are. So, if we
got James to give us a picture, we could tell at a glance if it was a
DCI Gill Murray: ...unless
there's something very distinctive about it, one's very much
like another I'm afraid. It's a bit like an ear impression, they're not
Underlining that genitally cut men are now rare in
January 2, 2003, Season 2: Episode 11 - My Sex
summary: Carla is flattered when Mr. and Mrs. Marrick (Don Tiffany and
Stacy Barnhisel) ask her opinion on having their newborn son
circumcised. Even though doctors and nurses aren't supposed to offer
their own opinions, or give more than a general answer about anything,
Carla advocates for not doing the procedure. When word gets back to Dr.
Kelso, he tries to convince the parents that they should have it done.
Nurse Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes) and Dr
John "J.D." Dorian (Zach Braff) are in a hospital room with a (bearded,
overweight) father, mother, and newborn baby boy.
Nurse Carla: He's beautiful.
Father: I was wondering about
Dr. Dorian: Well, you're a
little old, ah, but I do have a roommate who's a surgeon, he owes me a
favor, I could -
Nurse Carla: They're talking
about their son, Bambi.
Dr. Dorian: Oh, well, now, see,
that we're set up for.
Mother: Actually, we wanted to
know how you felt about it, Carla.
Nurse Carla: Me?
Dr. Dorian (voice over):
Don't get me wrong, Carla loves her patients. But she also loves how
much they love her.
Nurse Carla: To be honest, I'm
not a big fan. I mean, I've always wondered what the kid would say if
it were up to him.
You wanna do what now? I just got
Nurse Carla: There are really no medical advantages to
I told you. And you wanted to slice into his
to pluck his fruit …
I'm not talking about medical. I'm talking about personal.
Dr. Dorian (voice over):
That's just great.
Chief of medicine, Dr. Bob Kelso (Ken
Jenkins), is meeting
with the new parents in their room. Dr. Dorian is observing from the
Well, you've always said you felt
Dr. Kelso, my wife simply won't listen to reason.
Dr. Kelso: Mr. Merrick, even if
your son isn't
circumcised, he will still look like you. 'Course, he'll have to put on
a couple hundred pounds. I'm kidding. You're a dashing man. Just
dashing. Have you modeled?
Dr. Dorian leaves the doorway and confers
with Nurse Carla.
Nurse Carla: Are they still
going at it?
Dr. Dorian: Nah, Kelso calmed
them down. I think we're okay.
Nurse Carla: We're not okay.
Dr. Dorian: What are you
talking about? (Notices Dr. Kelso glowering over his shoulder.)
Dr. Kelso: Does this name tag
say "Chief of Medicine"?
Dr. Dorian:Ah, yes, sir.
Dr. Kelso: Funny, because that
couple back there thought
it said, "Hi, I'm Bob, ask me about your baby's Johnson". Dammit, in my
hospital, we do not go out on a limb with our opinions.
Nurse Carla: So, what, if a
patient has questions in your hospital you just ignore them?
Dr. Kelso: Look, stay away from
definite answers. Leave
yourself some wiggle room. Say things like "We'll do what we can," or
"We'll get back to you on that," or "Hell, I don't know."
Dr. Dorian: Couldn't think of a
third one, sir?
Dr. Kelso: That was
the third one. (aside) Assface.
(The topic of
circumcision does not recur in the 30-minute episode. It is unclear
whether baby is circumcised. While it is good to see the lack of
medical benefits spelt out and "to
look like me"
justly ridiculed, and wonderful to hear the baby given a point of view,
the mother's only reasons for leaving the baby intact are emotive.)
Dr. Perry Cox (John C McGinley) and his wife have
a son, under
a year, and in one of their boistrous conversations, they are
fighting because he feels she has more say over their son than he has.
says "You're going to have to be the one to tell him why Daddy's
wee-wee doesn't have a turtleneck like his."
His wife tells him to get over it.
is told he has phimosis
- "a hardening of the foreskin. As part of your
treatment, you'll be asked to masturbate five times a week."
Phimosis is not a hardening of the foreskin. They
seem to be confusing it with Balanitis
Xerotica Obliterans (BXO), for which the treatment certainly
does not involve cutting down on masturbation....
In surgery: Laverne asks, "I thought this patient
Chris Turk (Donald Faison) confirms that he is.
Laverne explains that he is "uncircumcised".
Turk pulls a face. [This is both unprofessional and unlikely - even in
the US, a doctor will have encountered plenty of intact penises]
Dr. Todd "The Todd" Quinlan (Robert Maschio) comes in and says that
his appendicitis patient doesn't have an appendix. This means that the
patients have been swapped.
Todd sees the patient's penis and shouts, "Whoa! What is going on
implying he knows the patient is Jewish and assumes all Jews are
We are back to "Circumcision is Jewish" and "The
foreskin is disgusting"
Season 5, Episode 69, (1992-3) The Bris
Seinfeld is invited to be the godfather to Myra
and Stan's baby.
Elaine: ... So, anyway,
what exactly is involved in being a Godparent?
Jerry: (A LA DON
CORLEONE) Elaine, don't ever ask me about my
business!.... (SHEEPISH) "Godfather."
Myra: Nothing really.
Stan: The most important
thing is to help with the bris.
scriptwriters are confusing the godfather with the sendak.]
Kramer: Well, so was
sacrificing virgins to appease the gods, but we don't do that anymore.
Jerry: Well, maybe we
Elaine: Have you ever
Jerry: You mean that
fact that the penis has to be mentioned so indirectly helps
circumcision to be perpetuated.]
Jerry: No.. you?
Jerry: What'd you think?
HER HEAD) No...
Jerry: Not good?
Elaine: No, had no face,
no personality, very dull.
It was like a Martian.
But hey, that's me.
the outcry if she described black skin or frizzy hair in such terms!]
Crazy Kramer (Michael Richards) believes genetic
engineers are creating "pigmen" in the hospital. [This serves to undermine
everything sensible he says against circumcision.]
...could you do me a favor, could you tape the rest of the pigmen and
the women who love them discussion and I'll listen to it next time I'm
here. I've got to find a Mohel. [Viewed
objectively, which is more outlandish?]
Kramer: You should call
this off, Elaine. It's a barbaric ritual.
Elaine: Perhaps one day
when the pigmen roam free it will be stopped. Until then, off with
their heads. [- suggesting
she has very little idea what is actually involved.]
George: But Kramer, isn't
it a question of hygiene?
Kramer: Oh, that's a
myth. Besides, you know, it makes sex
George: Yeah. So how does
that help me?
George) Hey George, have you ever seen one?
George: Yeah, my roommate
Jerry: So what'd you
George: I got used to it.
At the Bris:
ANGLE ON: KRAMER AND MYRA. SHE IS
Kramer: We're not talking
about a manicure here. Don't
believe them when they tell you it doesn't hurt. It hurts bad. It hurts
really bad. Imagine, this will be his first memory. Of someone yanking
the hat off his little man. I know you love your baby, but what kind of
perverts would stand idly by while a stranger rips the cover off his
9-iron and then serve a catered lunch?
MYRA RUNS AWAY, SOBBING
Kramer (cont'd): She'll
HE SLINKS AWAY. ELAINE ANGRILY CONFRONTS
Elaine: What's wrong with
Kramer : Me?
What's wrong with you?! How can you let this go on?
Elaine: Hey have you ever
seen one of those?
Elaine: Well I have and
believe me it's no picnic.
Kramer: Oh, how bad could
GATHERING) Alright. Has anybody here ever seen one?
... As an ‘intact’ Canadian, I was
shocked to learn that
circumcision is the norm in the US. Remember that Seinfeld episode
where they are discussing circumcision? I didn’t get the jokes when I
was younger. Someone on the show asks, ‘So, have you ever seen one
that… wasn’t…?’ And I used to be like, ‘Umm… what does he mean, have
you ever seen one that “wasn’t”? I’ve never seen one that was!’
Chuck Ross November
5, 2009 at 4:26 pm
as a huge fan of the show, I remember feeling bad when I watched
that episode. The kicker was Elaine’s wrinkled nose and terse,
disapproving head-shake. I felt weird that I was uncirc when I became
sexually active and such. I figured they’d never seen one before, and
most of them hadn’t. I’m over the angst now though.
The Mohel arrives. He proves to be nervous,
neurotic, and shaky:
when Elaine leaves a wineglass at the edge of a table he lectures her
about the danger of it falling, breaking and people later getting cut,
going on to his hands and knees before the guests to demonstrate what
DASHES INTO THE BEDROOM AND RELUCTANTLY BRINGS OUT THE BABY. BEFORE HE
HANDS IT OVER, HE HAS SECOND THOUGHTS. HE GRIPS THE BABY TIGHTLY.
Kramer: I can't let you
EVERYONE MOVES TOWARD HIM.
Kramer.: I can't let you
PEOPLE GRAB HIM, TRYING TO PRY THE
BABY AWAY FROM HIM. THERE IS A STRUGGLE.
ALL: (AD LIB) Let go of
the baby! Kramer!
Kramer: No! No! I won't!
THEY FINALLY YANK THE BABY AWAY
FROM THE DISTRAUGHT KRAMER.
[As performed, Kramer does one of his legs-up falls and lets go of the
baby, the father catches it and passes it to Seinfeld]
The Mohel is ignorant of the religious basis of
circumcision and no
prayers are shown. He regrets not having been a butcher like his
brother. ("And, cows have no families. You make a mistake with a cow,
you move on with your life...") He cuts Seinfeld's finger during the
bris. Both accuse the other of flinching. Baby
On the way to hospital Seinfeld (as if unaware of his own circumcision)
complains: "Stitches? I've never had stitches. I'll be deformed. I
can't live with that. It goes against my whole personality. It's not
Elaine: How's the baby?
Stan: The baby's fine.
There's nothing wrong with the baby.
Myra: The circumcision
Mohel: Thank god the
flincher didn't harm the baby. [The
irony of this remark is apparently unintentional.]
Stan and Myra make Kramer godfather for his
"How can you let this go on?"
In his closing stand-up routine, Seinfeld says
"For every job,
there's someone willing to do it. He elaborates with reference to
doctors specialising in unpopular parts of the anatomy.
A top Israeli rabbi was injured in a circumcision
Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliashiv, leader of the powerful
Lithuanian religious movement, served as
godfather at a Jerusalem brit Wednesday but suffered a deep cut to his
hand, apparently when the
The 97-year-old sage received stitches and was
declared well. The baby was
News of the accident had stirred anxiety throughout
the fervently Orthodox community at Elisahiv's
Participants at the brit agreed not to publish the
mohel's name for fear of harming his business.
He was widely assumed to have been nervous because of the eminent
Season 3, episode 38 (1991-1992) The Letter.
Elaine skips a bris in order to watch a baseball
Elaine: I could've been
at my boss' son's bris right now.
George: (amused) You're
supposed to do that?
Elaine: (shrugs) Yeah.
(beat) What makes you think anyone would want to go to a circumcision?
George: I'd rather go to
Matt (Barry Watson), 21, eldest of the
seven children of Eric Camden (Stephen Collins), a Protestant minister
and his wife Annie (Catherine Hicks), has secretly married a Jewish
girl, Sarah Glass (Sarah Madison), whose father is a Rabbi (Richard
Lewis). Matt's whole family, includng the youngest, Ruthie (Mackenzie
Rosman), wise beyond her years and funny, goes to his "fiancée" Sarah's
parents' house for a Sabbath dinner to get acquainted. There they
discuss Jewish practices.
Ruthie: What is it with this
circumcision thing? (Everyone gags on their food; there are
snickers all around the table.)
Rabbi: Annie, it's OK. It's
always a good time for knowledge. By the way,
Ruthie, you should know that circumcision isn't
only done by the Jews. But for Jews,
it's called a bris, and it came from a covenant - a promise - that
Abraham made with God to show that he and his descendents would
continue to honour Him through Judaism.
Ruthie (with a
disgusted look): I just wondered what made Him think of that
- circumcision?! (The Rabbi smiles and
laughs but says nothing. End of scene.)
incredulity is well-founded because the Rabbi's explanation explains
nothing. He fails to mention that not only do others than Jews
circumcise, but most USAmerican boy babies are circumcised, and not all Jewish boy babies are.
Matt announces he's considering conversion for
Ruthie (to Matt):
So, does this mean you're going to have to get
circumcised? (Much sputtering at the table again)
Matt: Ruthie, I - my - it's
none of your business!
Old Dog, New Tricks (with the running theme, can
men be changed?) [In New Zealand, it was broadcast as "Old
Dogs, New Dicks"]
Charlotte goes to bed with Mike for the first
C: Oh! You're... It's... M: Uncircumcised. Is that okay? C: No! Sure... Of course it is.
Narrator: It was not okay. The only
uncut version of anything Charlotte had ever seen was the original Gone
With The Wind.
C (to friends): There
was so much skin. It was like a Shar-Pei!
a Shar-Pei and (right, to the same scale) a foreskin.
The same comparison is used in Nip/Tuck
F1: You've never seen an
uncircumcised one? C: I'm from Connecticut! F2: Reminder; you're dating the guy, not
the penis. C: Aesthetics are important to me. F1: It's not what it looks like, it's
what they can do with it. C: Well, I don't need one that can make
its own carrying case! F3: Personally, I love an
uncircumcised dick. It's like a Tootsie-Pop: hard on the outside, with
a delicious surprise inside.*
(94KB .wav file) C: I don't like surprises. I like it all
out there where I can see it. F4: Same here. I'm sorry, it is not
normal. F2: Well, actually it is, something like 85 percent of men
aren't circumcised.* C: Great!
Now they're taking over the world! F2: Honey, it's a penis, not Godzilla.
(116KB .wav file) F3: Hey, if 85 percent aren't
circumcised, that means, I've only slept with 15 percent of the
population, tops. F2: Why, you're practically a virgin. C: You know, he's a nice WASPy guy; what
went wrong? F1: Well, maybe his parents were hippies
and just didn't believe in it. C: I am so
circumcising my kids. F1: I think you can pay people to do
that now. C: I don't ever want to know there's a
woman out there calling my son a Shar-Pei. F3: All I'm saying is uncut men are the
best.... F1: They try harder. F3: ...I should know. I've slept with
five of them. C: Out of how many? F2: Infinity?
M: What happened last night,
you're not the first woman to react that way, I've gotten that most of
my life. C: Really? M: Yeah. And I've decided to do
something about it. I've been uncomfortable for too long, so - I'm
[Gypsy violins start] C: Can you do that? M: Well, yeah, I mean, it hurts, and it
takes a long time to
heal, but - but I'm willing to do that, I want to feel good about
making love. C: But that is so - sweet.
circumcised. It was extremely painful ("On a scale of one
to five, I'd give it a 72.") and is again when he gets an erection.
Narrator: A week later,
Charlotte finally got her chance to break in her new merchandise.
[Zipper] C: [Gasps] M: What do you think? C: It's perfect. (In fact it would still be swollen
and bruised.) Narrator: It was like her birthday and
Christmas rolled into one. M: You realise this makes me a virgin? C: I'll be gentle.
Later, when Charlotte starts to make plans for
M: I don't think I'm ready for
this to be, y'know,
like a big thing. ... I just feel like I can't be tied down. There's a
whole new me happening, I feel like I should get out there and share it. C: You wanna share your penis? M: Well... yeah! I mean I feel like I
owe it to myself to take the doggie out for a walk around the block,
y'know? Narrator: Charlotte never saw Mike
again. She realised you could
take the Shar-Pei out of the penis, but you could never take the dog
out of the man.
The above sequence conveys a variety of
The woman who prefers intact men is the slut.
Intact men are only good lovers because they
(know they are inferior and therefore) try harder.
Charlotte is going to circumcise any sons to
conform to the
prejucides of hypothetical future women, on the assumption that they
will all think as she does.
Mike's "feeling good about making love" depends
on him fitting others' expectations.
What the man might prefer, how missing part of his
affect his sex life - or hers - are not addressed. It is not clear how
far the scriptwriters' tongues were in their cheeks when they wrote of
intact men not being "normal", or "what went wrong" when Mike's parents
left him intact, but that might go over the heads of most of the
Sure, it's only a comedy - but would a TV sitcom
men discussing the modifying of women's anatomy in the same terms ("to
break in his new merchandise"), or white people decrying the aesthetics
of black skin or kinky hair, ever reach the screen?
A correspondent has gone to the trouble of editing
the script and changing the sexes, coming up with lines like:
C: Oh! You're… It's…
M: Not infibulated. Is that okay?
C (to friends):
It was so loose. It was like jello!
F1: You've never .... an uncut one?
C: I'm from Sudan!
F3: Personally, I like natural
vaginas. Their labia are like doors to a hidden world.
C: I don't like surprises. I like it all
out there where I can see it.
F4: Same here. I'm sorry, it is not
C: You know, she seems like a
good submissive girl; what went wrong?
F1: Well, maybe her parents were
Americanized and just didn't believe in it.
C: I am so infibulating my girls.
M: What happened last night,
you're not the first man to react that way, I've gotten that most of my
M: Yeah. And I've decided to do
something about it. I've been uncomfortable for too long, so - I'm
[ceremonial music starts]
Significantly less than 85 percent of men in the world are intact,
since 16 percent are Muslim.)
A full moon is shown rising at 2am (they always
rise at sundown.).
In another episode, they hold a bris for the baby
Charlotte York and her Jewish husband, but there is no serious
discussion. (According to Orthodoxy, if she is not Jewish, nor is the
Season 2, episode 12: "Fiona Interrupted".
In the previous episode Sheila and her new
boyfriend Jody kidnapped
her grandson from the hospital before her daughter Karen could give him
up for adoption. (Karen tried to sell him.)
In this episode, Sheila and Jody are changing the
baby's diaper. Jody
is trying to remove the hospital idenitity bracelet from the baby's
Sheila: You're an angel. A
blessing. My little Kung Pow blessing.
Jody: Hmm. Gotta figure out how to get
this security thing off.
Sheila: What a big, beautiful,
panda-Pooh Bear boy you are. (gasps)
Oh, look. He's still got his little dingy-ding skin. Should we get him
Jody: Hell, no. Let that extra derma
ride. [Jody has appeared naked in an earlier episode and is
(Later, they discuss what to name
Jody (holding a knife to remove
the ankle bracelet): Hm... it's pretty
tight. I don't want to slip and cut his leg off.
Sheila: Well, you could clip his ankle
bracelet and his foreskin at the same time.
Baby is not
circumcised, but the message is "circumcision is trivial".
Same season, a later
Veronica is adamant she will not circumcise any
Fiona tells her "You have to. It's so dirty."
Kevin says there is nothing wrong with being circumcised.
Veronica emails Fiona a bunch of details about complications etc, and
it is implied that Fiona changes her mind and circumcises.
Season 3, episode 30, production code 5012-03-304.
'Streaks and Tips'
Vic has a bet with the decoy squad, the loser to
streak through the office. Someone asks him if he is cut or uncut. He
wins the bet, so we don't find out.
might be irrelevant, unless we are coming from the position that "the
foreskin is disgusting" and onlookers ought not to be exposed to one.
Over a series of episodes, a patient presents for
restoration (only surgery is considered) and turns out to be a wimp and
a no-hoper. A young man (played by Martin Henderson), influenced by
him, briefly considers restoration, but is tricked into changing his
mind, by a doctor who - abandoning his ethics completely and lying
through his teeth - proposes to perform it immediately without
anaesthetic using huge and comic instruments, a rare descent of the
show into farce. Circumcision is criticised, but restorers more so.
The Simple Life
Season 2: Road
Trip. A "reality" series in which two pampered airheads, Paris Hilton
and Nicole Ritchie, forsake their wealth and accept internships on the
US east coast.
At the dinner table with the Cash Family:
Eldest son: What's the funniest
thing you guys ever seen on the road?
Paris: The nudist beach - it's
Nicole: Yeah, and some of the
guys were uncircumcised, and it was fuckin' disgusting.
Paris: OK, Nicole, that was too
much information. (Both girls laugh, the Cash family is silent.)
Season 3, Episode 6, "Like Father, Like Clown"
First broadcast October 24, 1991
Krusty the Clown (voiced by Dan Castellaneta)
(finally) fulfills a
promise to have dinner with the Simpsons, during which he reveals his
Jewish heritage, and his estrangement from his father, who expected him
to follow in his footsteps by becoming a Rabbi. Seeing how distraught
he is, Bart and Lisa set out to reconcile Krusty with his father.
They confront Rabbi Krustofsky while he is
circumcision. Krustofsky makes a comment like, "I'm still not
convinced, and this is hardly the time or place to discuss it!"
- presumably only
because it is delicate and solemn, not because it would be ironical for
a man to discuss his relationship with his own son while cutting a
baby's genitals on behalf of the baby's father.
Episode 1506 EABF01 SI-1501, "Today I am A Clown"
first broadcast December 7, 2003
Krusty the Clown (voiced by Dan Castellaneta)
finds he is
missing from the Jewish Walk of Fame and learns it is because he never
had a Bar Mitzvah, so he reunites with his father (a rabbi) and sets
about having a belated one.
In a pre-Bar Mitzvah interview, asked if he was
circumcised, Krusty replies, "Yeah, and then some."
Later, on his TV show, Krusty says, "I'm going to
traditions the way our people have done for centuries - through
animation". He shows an "Itchy & Scratchy" cartoon (a regular
feature of his shows, consisting entirely of outrageous gratuitous
violence, at which Bart and Lisa Simpson always laugh uproariously).
Title (in psuedo-Hebrew lettering while Klezmer
[Image of Scratchy the cat in a yamulka holding a scalpel chasing Itchy
Itchy as a baby lies on a table in front of
Scratchy, in a room with a Menorah, while several Jewish mice watch.
Scratchy: Baruch Ata Adonai,
Eloheinu Melech Ha'Olom
(Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe.)
(Creator -) [the beginning of a generic blessing, as over food etc.]
(He holds up a flashing scalpel).
Itchy reacts, then jumps up on Scratchy's head and
pulls out his
eyes. Scratchy swings the scalpel and cuts off his own ears. Itchy
jumps down on Scratchy's nose, and Scratchy cuts that off. Itchy
escapes by jumping on Scratchy's right shoulder and Scratchy cuts off
his own right arm (with his left hand). Scratchy then successively (and
very quickly) cuts through his own chest, thighs, calves, tail and tie,
finally cutting off his left arm, and collapses in a heap. Itchy picks
the heap up and puts it through a mincer. The eyes come out blinking.
Itchy forms the mincemat on to a tube, pokes it
into a fire
and blows it into a goblet (with eyes that still blink). He wraps it in
a napkin, steps on it and shouts "Mazel Tov!" (A reference to the
ceremonial breaking of a glass at a Jewish wedding. "Mazel Tov"
[literally "good luck"] corresponds to "Congratulations!") The other
The whole cartoon lasts 30 seconds. Itchy is not circumcised.
Krusty: That's what I believe
fantasy might apply equally to any man's view of his circumcision. The
message must be among the most Intactivist ever screened on US
It's not mentioned again. Santa's Little Helper
proves such a hit at
the nursing home that they leave him overnight and presumably don't
take him to the v e t, but it's not clear what, if anything, happens to
Bart. (This is an exceptionally cruel episode, even of The
with references to hanging, suicide, repeated shooting with nailguns,
knocking out with a mallet, and a prolonged sequence of Homer getting
electroshock for giving wrong answers to Dr Hibbert's trick questions.)
This is a big
letdown after the promise of Krusty's exposé. The best that can be
extracted from this is a weak linkage between circumcision and castration. Apart from that,
it seems to be saying that circumcision is trivial.
Bart is kicked out of Springfield Primary School and Homer and
Marge send him to a Catholic school. Bart is about to take his first
communion. Marge, Rev. Lovejoy and Ned Flanders confer.
Ned: Once they seal the deal,
there's no turning back. It's like the Jews with their (makes
"scissors" gesture with two fingers) snippety-snip.
As usual, circumcision is presented as purely
ignorance (or ignoring) of gentile circumcision is doubly odd in the
light of the earlier episode.
of how males come to be "cut" or "uncut" at the heart of the joke is
parallel to the implicit assumption of many adults in circumcising
societies that "men are either circumcised or not" as if it were a
given, a variant present at birth.
(The word "dude" has come a long way from its
dude /du:d, dju:d/ n. & v. slang (orig. US).L19. [Prob. f. G
dial. = fool (cf. LG dudenkop stupid head’).]
A n. 1 A fastidious, aesthetic person; a dandy, a fop. [Almost
"a pansy"] slang. L19.
2 A holiday-maker in the western US, esp. one who holidays on a ranch;
a tenderfoot. L19.
Oxford English Dictionary
to Homer, by way of "admirable man", L20, it means "male".])
Six Feet Under
Older brother Nate and girlfriend Brenda are going
to a (woman) Rabbi for pre-marriage counseling.
Younger brother David: Are you
thinking of converting? Nate: Why not? I'm already circumcised.
ground-breaking show grants that having to get circumcised would be a
hardship. It avoids the twin pitfalls of "Only Jews are circumcised"
and "All men are circumcised" (but not "All
Jews are circumcised"),
but for the sake of a gratuitous reference to circumcision (it can't be
news to David), it falls into the trap of presenting a conversion of
convenience as unproblematic.
Drama series following a group of teenagers in
Bristol, South West
England, through the two years of secondary school. Plot lines explore
issues such as dysfunctional families, eating disorders, adolescent
sexuality, substance abuse and death.
Rich (Alexander Arnold) approaches "the Angel of
Death" (Scarlett Sabet) in the school library:
Richard: Hello. (Silence.)
I'm Richard Hardbeck. How are you? (Silence. She slams her
Um, OK, so ... What sort of music are you into? (Silence.)
What do you like to do for fun? (Silence.)
Listen, do you - do you wanna come out for a drink with me?
(Loud music starts. He turns away, then turns back.)
Richard: No, actually, why not?
Angel: Why not?
Angel: Because I'm too pretty
for you. Because you're
weird-looking. Because I can smell your pants from here. But mostly -
because I would rather rim the shit-smeared arsehole of a dead horse
with AIDS than even consider the possibility of touching your wiry,
gangrenous, vile, inadequate, half-circumcised, horrifically smelly,
pubescent dick! OK?
the (British) context, "circumcised" would have been bad, and
"half-circumcised" implies "even worse".
Season 7, Episode 4 "Pure" (First aired on
Cassie Ainsworth, accompanied by her co-worker,
Jakob, visits her father Marcus and
her younger brother, Reuben in their home in Wales.
Cassie, Jakob and Reuben sit around the table as Marcus prepares a
meal. He places
some sausages (presumably pork) onto Jakob's plate.
I don't think I can eat these. It's the, uh, Jewish thing. Reuben: Did they cut your willy off? Jakob: No, just a...tiny little bit. Reuben: I'm not Jewish, am I, Dad? Marcus: No! You're six!
The effect of circumcision is minimised (as it
doubtless was to Jakob). The non sequitur is unexplained.
Episode 204: Ike's Wee-Wee, first broadcast May
Ike, adopted, is to be belatedly circumcised
because "All Jewish kids have circumstitions",
which horrifies the other kids: their reaction
(38 KB .wav file - here is the text)
is appropriate, and they smuggle him away to Canada. They substitute a
dummy, which ... convinces his parents he is dead. The kids take pity
on them and they go to Nebraska and find him.
He is told, "We're just going to snip it. It'll
make it look
bigger." Because he is Canadian, the mohel produces a pair of snippers
in the form of a maple leaf.
A stranger appears who says he never misses a
bris. Ike is circumcised.
He says "Ouch", gets up as if nothing had happened, and all the others
want to be circumcised.
parents are not Jewish, he is not Jewish and need not be circumcised.
This episode was reportedly written by one producer to comfort the
other when his son was being circumcised.
The word "circumstition"
coined by the author of these pages in 1996 or 7, and had a permanent
presence on the WWW some time after October 1998, but the "South Park"
scriptwriters probably coined it independently - an idea whose time had
webpages describe this as the funniest South Park episode, and
generally stress the other plot (about the school counsellor being
Heffernan's South Park page summarises the episode without
ever mentioning that the circumcision takes place.
1205, "Eek! A Penis!" First broadcast, April 9, 2008
Mrs. Garrison (formerly Mr. Garrison) regrets her
sex change operation and wants to return to being
a man. She sees on the news that scientists are able to grow a human
ear onto the back of a
mouse. Using all of her money and some of her male DNA, the
scientists are able to
grow a new penis for Garrison on to a mouse. It is
shown throughout as already
(If this is because Mr Garrison had been circumcised as a baby, it
would be an example of Larmarkism, the discredited theory that acquired
characteristics can be inherited.)
Reality show set in Charleston. Season 4, Episode ?
"From Here to Paternity" First broadcast June 6, 2016
Thomas Ravenel ("T-Rav"), whose relationship with Kathryn Dannis was
she became pregnant, announces that his son, St Julien Rembert Ravenel,
will be left
intact. His friend Shep Rose thinks the boy will be teased in high
school gym classes.
With the rate around 55% and falling, St Julien
will be far from alone in the gym. He's more likely to be teased for
science fiction series. Series 8, episode 809, "Sacrifices"
Teal’c (Christopher Judge), a Jaffa (former slave
race), is talking to his son Rya’c (Neil Denis) after
Kar’yn, Master Bra’tac, Rya’c
TEAL’C: You have chosen the
location for your shim’owa very well.
RYA’C: Master Bra’tac said this
is where you took my mother.
TEAL’C (smiling): Indeed.
Rya’c. (Rya’c turns and faces him.) I can think of
no better mate for you than Kar’yn, and I am certain your mother would
have felt the same.
RYA’C: Thank you. (He
puts his hand on Teal’c’s shoulder. Teal’c reciprocates, then they hug.)
TEAL’C (once they have
broken the embrace): Before your departure, there is a matter
that bears discussion.
RYA’C: Father, I am aware of
the ways between a man and a woman.
TEAL’C: Good. Then you are
prepared for the Rite of Or’nok. (Rya’c looks horrified.)
RYA’C: Surely it is not still
TEAL’C (looking very
serious): On the first eve of shim’owa. My advice is that the
knife be as sharp as possible.
RYA’C (staring at him
in dread): Perhaps Kar’yn is right. Not all of the old
traditions are worth holding on to.
(Teal’c looks at his son seriously for a
moment, then his face breaks into a grin.)
(They start to walk down the corridor
RYA’C: What of you and Ishta?
TEAL’C: What of us?
RYA’C: Well, your relationship
would be much easier if you’d both admit you are in love. For us all.
TEAL’C: Perhaps one day – when
I am as wise as you are.
infer that the Rite of Or’nok is circumcision of the groom, perhaps
perfomed by the bride. Teal’c's final comment implies he never liked
doing it, and is glad Rya’c is giving it up. Rya’c
is not circumcised - or Or’nokised.
Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris) has been giving a baby
boy to take care of for health class. After one sleepness night of
watching the baby, she abandons it on a local playground so that she
can hang out with her friends. Teachers Chuck Noblet (Stephen Colbert)
and Geoffrey Jellineck (Paul Dinello) find the baby and report Jerri to
the principal. The following day, Principal Blackman (Greg Hollimon)
and Coach Wolf (Sarah Thyre) tell Jerri that she is deep trouble for
what she has done.
Jerri: Why? It's still alive
and has a full head of hair. Principal: Jerri, that's not the point.
Jerri: Is this because I circumcised it?
The baby is given back to Jerri so that she may
complete the assignment, but she tries to sell him on the black market.
After pinning the attempted crime on her new class partner Tammi
Littlenut (Maria Thayer), she returns the baby to Coach Wolf. Principal
Blackman tells Jerri that she must be "exceptionally unfit for
Since it is not
conceivable that she circumcised the baby, either the show's makers
have no idea how serious circumcision is (medically as well as
ethically), or she does, and is making a joke so stupid it is ignored.
Parents from a Middle Eastern country bring their
daughter in to Rittenhouse Hospital to have her circumcised, saying
"She'll be a social outcast", "She'll never find a husband", etc. if it
The girl doesn't want it done, and the two
doctors, Dr Dana
Stowe (a Harvard-educated surgeon directing research studies, played by
Janine Turner) and Dr Luisa Delgado (a major character, played by Rosa
Blasi), do their best to talk the family out of it, saying how it's an
outrage, mutilation, dangerous, etc.
The parents leave the hospital without checking
out, apparently planning to have it done clandestinely in the US or
The two doctors discuss the matter:
Dr Stowe: You know, there's
really not much difference between this and what we do to little boys
in the U.S. [or words to that effect]
Turner (Dr Stowe)
Dr Delgado: Well, I had Marc
[her teenage son] circumcised, but I didn't cut his whole penis off.
Dr Stowe said, as if anything short of cutting his whole penis off was
acceptable. As usual, the implication is that if (and it's a big "if") FGM is always worse than
MGM, then MGM must be all right.
In one of the side stories, parents of a newborn
argue over whether
or not they should circumcise their son. The mother wants to but the
father says no. The receptionist, Lana, breaks the deadlock, telling
them it's not how it looks, it's what a man does with it.
Implying that appearance is the only consideration
Ten Secrets and Spoilers From the Creator
By Josef Adalian
... ABC's off-kilter family comedy starring
Jane Levy and Jeremy
Sisto as New York City expatriates attempting to survive in the land of
SUVs and big box stores. ... we checked in with creator and showrunner
Emily Kapnek ...
Fred (Chris Parnell) has a
Not all penises, mind you. He's afraid of
only. This fun fact will be revealed in an upcoming episode in which
Dallas (Cheryl Hines) introduces Fred to a new friend of hers. "It
sends Fred into a cold sweat when he hears [the new pal] is all
natural," Kapnek says. "Why does it bother him? I'm not sure." Also, if
you're wondering just why the married Dallas would know the condition
of another man's member, all we can say is that it relates to a major
(and yet very logical) plot twist coming up early next year. (Tonight's
episode offers a clue.)
That apparently refers to this scene:
Fred and another woman are playing croquet. Dallas
comes onto the green arm-in-arm with a tall blond man, saying,
Dallas: Hi Fred, this is
[Sven]. He's from Iceland. He's uncircumcised!
(Fred drops his mallet, but Sven has
already reached out and
grasped his hand. Fred withdraws it as if unclean. His friend produces
a spraycan of foam that she sprays on his hand, and he rubs his hands
Voice over: Having the wrong
partner can really put you off your game.
This is so gratuitous it may perhaps be a
Sitcom about a
fictional TV show of the same name produced at 30 Rockerfeller Plaza,
New York. Season 2, Episode 206, first aired November 15, 2007
Kenneth (Jack McBrayer): "We
Parcell's are neither wealthy nor circumcised but we are proud."
circumcision is associated with wealth but only exceptionally with
pride. ("Circumcised" could also be a metonym for "Jewish".)
Episode 63 (or 401 - 4th series, 1st episode)
"prelude to a bris"
extraordinary title suggests a gentle piece of music - and gives away
(Written and directed by Richard Kramer)
first broadcast September 25, 1990
With a black screen we hear gentile Hope Steadman
giving birth to Leo. At home, her Jewish husband Michael (Ken Olin)
tells her they must decide about a bris.
Michael's mother, Barbara (Barbara Barrie), comes
to visit and
unexpectedly brings her new lover, Ben Teitleman (Alan King). Michael
doesn't get on with Ben.
Everyone pesters Michael about the bris, giving
him advice on what kind of mohel
to get. They all go to a science museum and have little conversations
while walking through a model of a heart. The men and women then
separately discuss circumcision, the men while jogging, the women in
Michael tries to talk to Hope about whether they
should have a
bris or not, and she finally expresses doubt that they should have one
at all, since Michael's religion doesn't seem to mean much to him.
A rabbi (Philip Sterling) visits Michael, who
out that Ben sent him, but manages to stay civil while ushering him
Hope and Barbara talk about the pros and cons,
which leads to
Hope sniffling a little, wondering if the circumcision will hurt Leo,
asking what the meaning of the ceremony would be for them and the baby.
Michael tells Ben bluntly that it was out of line
to send a rabbi without asking first.
Michael and Hope argue bitterly about Ben's role,
Michael is uncomfortable with his own Jewishness. Hope asks what the
ceremony would mean for all of them.
Michael wonders what makes someone a real Jew. Ben
that he is one anyway, practicing or not, and he must decide whether he
will "break the chain." [Notice
that these two ideas are contradictory.]
Michael imagines Leo approaching his thirteenth birthday - Leo (Joshua
Smith) is neither interested in his family's past or in having a bar
Hope tells Michael that she's worked it out for
herself (unlike him) and that she wants their son to be a "part of
something." [...by having
part of something taken from him...] They decide
to go ahead with the bris.
At the bris, Gary has been selected (as sendak) to
child and seems nervous about it. Ben shows up suddenly and Michael
makes a quick switch, asking Ben to hold Leo instead.
The parents' discussion is almost entirely about their
feelings, and apart from a brief reference to the pain, involves Leo
Till Death Us Do Part (UK)
BBC comedy (1965 - 1975) Alf Garnett (Warren
Mitchell) is racist, sexist and anti-Semitic, skewering those
Alf Garnett: It's yer Jews,
i'n'it ... getting their tribal mutilations on the N[ational ]H[ealth
His daughter Rita (Una Stubbs)
(laughs disdainfully): It's not mutilation.
Mitchell said in an interview he had his son
circumcised only to please his (Jewish) father.
Sitcom (based on the above) about a long-married
couple [he's a goof, she's a nag, very similar to Married
with Children] (with newlyweds next door) Season 3,
Circumdecision (Episode 6, 10/8/08) (To
view, click on TV Shows (at left), 'Til Death,
Kenny (J.B.Smoove) freaks out after losing his
swim trunks at a
water park and his new girlfriend notices he isn't circumcised. When he
decides to go under the knife, Joy (Joely Fisher) is impressed by his
efforts to please a girl he hardly knows and badgers Eddie (Brad
Garrett) to accompany her to six weeks of musicals in the park. Eddie
loathes musicals and bets on them with Joy that Kenny will not go
through with it. He takes Kenny to a bris so he can see what
circumcision looks like. The baby's screams turn Eddie against the
idea. His ex-wife Tina says she wanted him to be circumcised for years,
but when he rings her, she dumps him. He eventually decides to be
circumcised (reason not given) and Eddie forces him to go to the
musicals with them, where Eddie refuses to co-operate with a singer
performing "If I were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof.
The show has a total of 19
negative references to the foreskin and positive or trivialising
references to circumcision, but only 5 of the
Kenny: She saw something
that didn't quite work for her.
I'm not circumcised!
Eddie: That's funny, most
guys have to apologise after sex, you have to apologise before.
Eddie: I'm cute as a
button down there.
Joy: Just because Kenny
is going to pimp his ride...
Kenny's friend 2: I saw a
[intact] man at the gym once. I almost passed out.
Kenny's friend 3: Leave Kenny
alone. It's not that gross. [A
very weak defence]
Kenny's friend 2: Why are
you getting' all defensive? We're just tryin' - Ohh (they all
Kenny's friend 3: That's
right [I'm intact]. And the women love it.
Kenny: [After I'm
circumcised] I'm going to nude beaches, make love with the lights on,
I'm gonna get a pair of jeans with a zipper. [Like
a circumcised penis never gets caught in a zipper...]
Kenny's other friend: No,
I don't have to sit down to pee. [The
unheard - and preposterous - jibe implies effeminacy.]
Eddie (to rabbi): I need
you to stall the pss pss. [Not
even a euphemism]
Kenny (at Bris):
This is the most beautiful thing I have ever been part of. I wanna go
(Baby screams) Kenny:
Oh hell, no!
Kenny: The picnic is off
because there's no circumcision. Nobody's doin' nothin' nice for nobody.
Kenny: You shoulda seen
what they did to little Ziff! He was just a baby!
Tina (Eddie's ex-wife):
I've been askin' him for years to take his junk to the tailors'.
Joy: He chickened out.
Hmph! Well that's too bad. Because that, and somethin' in his wallet
beside stamps and condoms, might get him a second chance at this.
Joy: If you get a little
- procedure done there's a certain lady who might be interested in
gettin' with yuh, sexually.
Joy: Tina would give you
another shot if you did this thing.
Kenny: I'm doing this for
a sweet little girl who loves me for what I am - well, for 99% of what
You're the reason I'm here. You're going to suffer right along with me.
An' let me tell you, this is going to hurt only slightly less than what
you're getting done on Monday.
The effect of this kind of steady drizzle of
anti-intact propaganda on a young intact man can only be imagined.
Truth Be Told
Friday night NBC sitcom, Oct. 30, 2015
A clown at a 6 year old’s birthday party has a
Shocked, the parents hustle their children away. A Jewish father
(wearing a yarmulke) says, “It’s okay kids, he’s circumcised.” (laughter)
Subtext: cutting makes adult genitals less obscene.
A mirror example is in Augusten Burroughs' book "Sellevision"
UK documentary. "Born in the USSR"
A Kazakh Muslim man tells how he caused an uproar
in his village when he kicked his circumciser in the face, because he
didn't want it and he knew it would hurt.
What he does not tell is how he was then presumably
held down by several men and circumcised by force.
And A Half Men
Episode 9.18, The War Against Gingivitis
After several references in the episode to oral
Lindsey: Evelyn, Alan tells me
you do a lot of traveling
Evelyn: Yes, I love
it; the classical architecture, the exotic cuisine, the
uncircumcised men. (pause) Although, one could make
a case that falls under exotic cuisine.
It is also progress that US TV sitcoms let it be
known that not all men are circumcised.
2 Broke Girls
Series 3, Episode 13 first broadcast December 16, 2013 "And the French
Official summary: After Caroline [Channing, played by Beth Behrs] has
an incredible make-out session with Max's pastry school teacher, Chef
Nicholas (recurring guest star GILLES MARINI), Caroline finds out
something that makes her wish it never happened.
Caroline gropes Nicholas and is relieved to find
he's not "wearing a floppy beret".
A prejudice against foreskins and the men with them is normal. Gilles
Marini is in fact intact.
Mark Lilly (voice: Matt Oberg) is a young man in
the Department of
Integration in an alternate New York. He works with former wizard
Leonard Powers (voice: Randy Pearlstein). They encounter the xenophobic
Frank Grimes (voice: Larry Murphy) in a corridor.
Grimes (pushing Mark
against a wall): Ya know what makes me sick? ... What makes
me sick is him, (making a "gay" gesture with his fingers)
getting all gay with the immigrants.
Mark: What did they ever do to
Grimes (indicating his
ring finger): You see that? (Taking the false finger
off with a "Pop!" like a cork) No, you don't. Lost it in a
Restilian riot. (Pulling up his trouser leg to reveal a large
bite from his knee) No kneecap. Thanks very much Mr Werewolf.
(Unzipping his fly [revealing darkness]) My foreskin
was bitten off by a creature - (he reaches in: cut to shocked
expressions of his onlookers) and I don't even know what it
It is a plus that losing his foreskin is listed
Season 1, Episode 12 "Truth or Dare", first
broadcast 29 January 2002
American college student Marshall Nesbitt (Timm
Sharp) and his
British roommate Lloyd Haythe (Charlie Hunnam) compete in a game of
Truth-or-Dare with friends Lizzie and Rachel.
Marshall exits his room holding a ruler and announces his penis size.
The scene cuts to Lloyd:
Lloyd: Six and a half. No
mohel, no mohel.
Marshall takes back the ruler and heads
back to his room.
Marshall: Give me five minutes. Five
minutes. (Lizzie and Rachel giggle.)
Implying circumcision shortens the penis, but
"Only Jews circumcise."
Nice-guy Brett and his new girlfriend Shay are ready to go all the way.
But when things start heating up and Shay pulls down his boxers, she
realizes he's uncircumcised. Dismayed, Shay takes off, leaving Brett
heartbroken. He's determined to win her back and will do
anything…including going under the knife. Will he really go through
with it? And is Shay worth self-mutilation?
And what about that sexy co-ed, who loves her men au naturel?
Shay tells her boyfriend Brett (Wole Parks) she
wants him to be circumcised.
At first he agrees, to please her. Her friends and
his all tell him
not to do it. The girls tell Shay not to make him, because they can't
be sure they will like it. Annie (Rachelle Lafevbre) shows Brett what
circumcision is like using a banana. She says she had never seen "one"
before and asks if she can see his. He shows her - in the interest of
science, of course - and she is very impressed, saying how beautiful it
She then wants to touch it, and they have sex -
again, purely for science...
Brett's roommate tells him not to do it and asks
what if he finds
out that sex isn't any good circumcised. He replies that he'll do it
for Shay anyway. The roommate says she will just find something else
she doesn't like. Brett agrees that's a risk, and they cook up a plan
to test the theory.
In the next episode, Brett is in bed with the
covers drawn up to his
waist. Shay is beside him on top of the covers. She says, "You did it.
You got circumcised?" He tells her he did, but it was no big deal,
because now with lasers they can just "beam the foreskin off". She
falls for it, and is happy he had done it for her.
When Brett reaches for a condom, Shay sees a mole
on his back and
says he has to get that removed before she will have sex with him.
He says, "The problem is not my foreskin..." She
me." She just told him to get circumcised in an effort to get out of
the relationship. Brett says no matter what he did it wouldn't be
enough for her.
Brett starts dating Annie.
This is progress. No-one
gets circumcised - and the summary uses the m-word!
The Venture Brothers
summary: Hank [Christopher McCulloch] and Dean [Michael Sinterniklaas]
Venture, with their father Doctor [Thaddius] Venture [James Urbaniak]
and faithful bodyguard Brock Samson, go on wild adventures facing
megalomaniacs, zombies, and suspicious ninjas, all for the glory of
adventure. Or something like that.
Hank and Dean Venture are relatively identical twins, only born
six minutes apart, who live for the thrill of adventure. Their dated
vocabulary and high-pitched voices are intentionally annoying,
especially to their father ...
summary: The Venture brothers ... are ... teenaged idiots who think,
act and talk like it's the sixties (though it takes place in the
present). ... Dr. Venture ... [really can't] stand them.
Dean: Hank! I had my pubes
shaved. I'm gonna put them under the pillow for the tooth fairy!
Hank: Did the doctor see that creepy dog
dork of yours?
Dr. Venture: Hank, don't brag to your
brother about your circumcision
Another gratuitous swipe at the intact penis and
the men who have one, apparently just intended to gross the audience
Episode 8: Ice Station - Impossible!
Dr Venture (trudging
through snow, complaining about the cold): Oh great - I think
my foreskin just broke off.
Season 3, Episode: 6, "Dr. Quymn, Medicine Woman"
First Aired: July 6, 2008
In the Amazon, the Ventures meet Dr. Tara
Quymn, with her
identical twin daughters, Nancy and Drew. She takes them to the village
of a tribe that has been attacked by a creature called a "
wereodile". Hank becomes
infatuated with Nancy and Drew, but they become infatuated
Dean, and try to seduce him, to no avail. Hank inadvertantly helps
defeat the wereodile and is "rewarded" by the natives with a warrior
circumcision that makes him ill. Realizing that Dean is still intact,
Nancy and Drew are immediately disgusted by him.
In the first
season, Hank was circumcised, but his clone, activated in Season 2, was
intact up until this episode. The writers just can't seem to find
enough opportunities to say "the foreskin is disgusting".
First broadcast 16 March 2012. Official summary: The painter Mario
Minniti (David Tennant) has travelled to Naples to seek out his old
friend and former mentor Caravaggio. But on arrival, the great painter
is nowhere to be found. In a bid to track him down, Mario retraces
Caravaggio's last known movements. His search reveals a life lived
dangerously. By Stephen Wakelam
In the church of Santa Maria della Sanita, Minniti
learns there is a picture of Jesus' circumcision by Caravaggio:
And when eight days were accomplished
for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was
so named of the angel, before he was conceived in the womb.
Sr Pierra: It's here, the side
chapel. It will be moved here into the main body of the church, finally.
A ladder, and a couple of boxes to stand on.
Sr Pierra: The way he painted,
things - figures - seem to emerge.
Dark ground and a cluster of shapes. One figure at the top, more or
less complete. An old man, hands raised. (to Sr Pierra)
Sr Pierra: Yes.
The Virgin at the centre was a pink
base, no more than the rough shape, with an oval of pale ground,
waiting for the Christ child. Another figure, a few rapid brush
strokes, browns and greys, was leaning in. An eye. Half a face, in
profile, near centre of the canvas. (to Sr Pierra)
Who's the one- the, the eye, leaning in to the child - the High Priest?
Sr Pierra: He inclined to his
being a rabbi, a mohel
with scalpel or knife? "The Executioner", he called him. What he
understood was the theology of the picture. The first of the wounds our
Lord suffered. There would be blood, under the knife. We agreed that it
would be explicit.
Minniti: He would enjoy that.
Sr Pierra: "The Nativity with
the Knife", he called it.
Minniti learns that Caravaggio has been
killed on the way to Rome, and goes back to the church:
The Circumcision. It was hard to see
him making much of the subject. A nativity with a knife. The knife,
glinting, would be at the dead centre of the canvas, the focus. A
week-old Christ child, unsuspecting of the pain, and blood under the
knife, a sort of small-scale execution, and the executioner, the rabbi,
that eye, half a face.
Minitti learns from Caravaggio's former
(Francesco Boneri) that Caravaggio had been blinded in one eye by three
attackers, two holding him down while one slashed his face. Cecco says
his heart was no longer in the painting.
Minitti: A Circumcision....
Cecco: He'd got plans for it.
Minitti: He wasn't working from
Cecco: Nope. From his mind's
eye. Memory. His hands were
shaking. Look, what do you notice about the eye? The rabbi, the one
who's doing the circumcision? The executioner, he called it.
Minniti: Looks as if he'd
started with the eye and was working outwards.
It was completed in 1612 by Giovan Vincenzo Forli
and a commentator
says "it is impossible to discern Caravaggio's original intentions" but
it is entirely plausible from the way he painted intact males - and if
he portrayed the mohel as blind - that Caravaggio deplored
Waking the Dead
Forensic drama, BBC1 TV (Series 7, Pieta, Part 1)
A young war crime victim may have been a Muslim.
pathologist Dr Eve Lockhart (Tara FitzGerald) says he could not be,
because he was not circumcised.
Peter Boyd (Trevor Eve) is told that Muslim boys
when they are 8 years old - as soon as they can read the Qu'ran. He
responds that it would hardly be an incentive to learn.
Eve replies, "On the contrary, it's an important
passage from boyhood into manhood."
The age actually varies regionally. Both of the
last two statements could be true, but Eve's non sequitur
discounts Boyd's realistic appreciation of the pain involved.
Dave Gold (Michael Rapaport) is discussing with a
male co-worker that his wife Hillary (Anita Barone),
wants to have a fourth child. The co-worker suggests he have a
vasectomy, which he refers to as "snip-snip".
Dave ...I'm Jewish. One
'snip-snip' down there was enough for a lifetime. (Canned
Implying that all
(and only) Jews are circumcised, but at least suggesting that genital
operations are in general undesirable. The word 'circumcision' is,
Thirteen-year-old Mike Gold (Dean Collins) wants
to have a bar
mitzvah, and in preparing for it, becomes ultra-Jewish, including
learning Hebrew even though it's "a new age synagogue and the rabbi
says God doesn’t care what language you do it in." The rabbi says, "The
three most important days in a man's life are his bris, his bar
mitzvah and his marriage..." The parents point out that he didn't have
a bris but was instead circumcised in hospital. Dave says
something like "Yeah... we don't want 'm walking around with a turtle
The rabbi says the only way for him to have a bar
mitzvah is to have a 'ceremonial bris' [hatifat dam berit]
first, in which his penis is pricked to draw some blood. Mike changes
his mind about having a bar mitzvah.
... suggesting that if he had had any choice, he
would have refused to be circumcised too.
the programmes writers are confused: Mike's mother Vicky is a
practising Catholic, so if Dave is Orthodox, Mike is not Jewish. If, on
the other hand they are Reform, Mike is not obliged to undergo hatifat
Brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans play brothers
Shawn and Marlon Williams
Marlon is suing his older brother Shawn. Shawn is
Shawn: And when you were
born, who came to the hospital and gave you
their favorite blanket?
Marlon: I don't know. I was
only a day old and still in pain from
circumcision is automatic. Though it emphasises the pain, it also
trivialises it by making it the focus of a joke.
Adult soap opera. Series 5, Episode 8, A
Distinctive Horn, first broadcast 27 July 2009
A baby is born to Nancy Botwin (Mary Louise
Parker) and Esteban
Reyes (Demián Bichir), a Mexican politician, who refuses to have his
name on the birth certificate. So she turns to her Jewish
brother-in-law Andy (Justin Kirk), to put his name instead. He agrees,
but while changing the baby, he says,
Andy: Woah! Bun's still on
Nancy: Oh right. I'll take care
of that. Next checkup.
Andy: No no no no. A bris, with a mohel and a rabbi,
bagels and whitefish. Those are my demands.
Andy: That's right, because I'm
the papa. (Klezma music starts and continues into the next
scene.) I'm the papa. Tradition.
Cut to Andy still holding the baby, but
now at the bris. A glimpse of the operation.
Silas (Hunter Parrish): Who are
all those people?
Shane (Alexander Gould): The
Rabbi brought them. Apparently you need ten Jews to watch him lose his
dickhead or it's not official.
is circumcised He cries fretfully but does not shriek.
Rabbi: That's it. Mazel Tov!
Let's name the baby.
The supper. The rabbi sits by the boys.
Silas: Nice work rabbi.
Rabbi: Why thank you. I've been
at it a long time
Shane: What d'you practise on?
Shane: It's a barbaric ritual.
It's a sign of a covenant, between our people and God.
Shane: It decreases pleasure.
Rabbi: Paid for my summer
house. Excuse me. (He makes his escape.)
In a sub-plot, Silas' drug-dealing colleague Doug
agrees to let entrepreneur Dean slam Doug's dick [sic]
in a desk drawer in return for some marijuana, saying "If I'm hard, it
won't be so bad." At the crucial moment we cut to a shop next door and
see the people's reactions to his screams. The parallels between the
two themes is not noted.
Note the assumption that baby must
be circumcised. Shane's comments are a sign of the times.
PAST AND PRESENTS
written by Tracy Poust & Jon Kinnally
first broadcast October 4, 2001
Karen (Megan Mullally) buys Grace (Debra
Nathan (guest star Woody Harrelson) a motorcycle. Grace is ashamed of
her own small present.
GRACE: Uh, well, that's just -
that's just really -
that's part one of my present, and wait till you see part two. You're
just gonna- You're gonna- Aah! Um, not - not today. It's a Jewish
thing. You know how we like
to stretch out the gifts.
NATHAN: Oh, you Jews are great
- except for that circumcision thing.
Grace laughs nervously and the scene ends.
As if only Jews are circumcised - but it is
progress that Nathan doesn't like it.
A mysterious sickness strikes a remote village. It
turns out that
the local GP refused to circumcise any babies. Scully is skeptical but
Mulder organises a mass circumcision. The plague vanishes. The citizens
rejoice and Mulder is invited to the next village to be Master of
Ceremonies at another mass circumcision, where nothing goes wrong and
nobody feels any pain.
One of the boys (probably one of the bullies,
Martin Munz or Jimbo
Jones) is circumcised and comes back boasting about it. The other
bullies sneer at anyone who is not. Bart wants to be "circle-sized"
too. Homer defends Bart's wish, saying "A boy should look like his
father." Marge imagines Bart looking like Homer (on the couch drinking
Duff, burping), growls "Rrrrrrrrrr." Homer says, "If it's good enough
for them, it's good enough for my son. It's not as
if they're going to cut part off his pee-pee
or something." Bart repeats this remark to Lisa. Lisa whispers in his
ear, "Well, actually, Bart...." Bart screams "Noooooo!" with tongue
waggling. Bart is not circumcised.
weekly fan-written Simpsons scripts posted on the Internet. I can't
read them - I will be accused later on down the line of having stolen
somebody's idea. But I love the idea of it."
- Matt Groening in "Wired"
This month, [Larry]
Doyle, the proud father of a newborn son, Benjamin, discusses perhaps
the most important issue he has faced as a dad.
"The big question,
I suppose, is did we circumcise the child?" says Doyle, who writes for
The Simpsons and is a former editor at New York and Spy.
did, and it looked like it hurt a lot. But after they brought him back,
my son looked me in the eyes and said, 'Thank you, Daddy.' I don't know
if that means anything."
- Esquire, June 1999
Yes, Larry, it means you're a dickhead.
treat circumcision negatively in an
episode broadcast on December 7, 2003, then somewhat
trivially in an episode
broadcast in May 2005. Doyle is no longer mentioned as a writer for The
3. Another wish:
After drinking Slurm (the most addictive soft
drink in the
Universe), Leela overcomes her usual repugnance and goes to bed with
Fry. But she suddenly leaps out of bed, calling him a freak. He
consults Dr Zoidberg who finds (luckily the wall chart his consults
happens to be for male humans) that part of his penis is missing.
Consulting a very dusty book (Fry has to show him how to open it), he
discovers that circumcision ended in the year 2008. Fry is devastated,
but Bender offers to retore his foreskin by stretching. Fry declines
but is so touched by the offer that he forgets his woes.
"The Cyber House Rules": a real episode
Leela goes to a
reunion of her Orphanarium, where she was teased for having only one
eye and had a crush on handsome, bland Adlai. She is still teased, but
Adlai is now a doctor who specialises in facial surgery. Bender adopts
12 of the orphans for the sake of their stipends, including one who has
an ear on her forehead. Fry especially is adamant that Leela should
stay as she is, but Adlai implants a (non-functional) second eye in
Leela, making her happy to be like everyone else. She and Adlai decide
to adopt the little girl, who is being teased as Leela was:
ADLAI: Oh well, if you really want that one, I
can give her an operation to make her acceptable.
LEELA: She doesn't need an operation! She's fine the way she is!
ADLAI: Oh, and I suppose you were all right the way you
LEELA: Damn right I was!
And she demands that Adlai remove her own extra eye.