Treatment of Circumcision on TV

N - R

(Introduction : A - M : S - Z : game and talk shows)



The Nanny

Episode 1.3: "My Fair Nanny" (first broadcast November 17, 1993 script)

Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) has a party for Maggie and her friends.

Maggie ( to Fran): This is the worst party I've ever been to. (She runs off)

Fran (to Niles the butler): She obviously missed my cousin Ira's bris.

To all intents and purposes, for Fran, the bris is the party.

Episode 3.11: The Unkindest Gift aka The Unkindest Cut. Broadcast November 27 1995

Nanny Fran is trying to encourage 13-year-old Brighton's interest in video-making and hires him to tape her cousin's bris. (That is, the party. One summary of this episode refers to her "throwing a bris".)

Typical gag: in his ignorance, he films the brisket. He is told "that's the mohel who did you." The baby is circumcised. Brighton passes out at the crucial moment...

...missing it but creating a "humorous" tape, which wins the family a trip to LA.

This show says perhaps the least of any about what is actually happening, because "everybody knows" circumcision itself is trivial.

Christmas Episode (1993)

Niles is complaining to Fran about Christmas, and Fran says how easy Jewish holidays are.

Niles: Is it too late to convert?
Fran: Never! We'll get you a Bar Mitzvah and of course a circumcision.
Niles: Suddenly I'm filled with the Christmas spirit.

Assuming that only Jews are circumcised, and acknowledging that adult circumcision is painful.

Episode 4.17: "Samson, He Denied Her" (First broadcast February 19, 1997)

Vincenzo (Luigi Amodeo) is in court accusing his housekeeper of cutting off his hair, but onlookers think he is talking about his penis. Fran is in the jury.

Fran (6:39): And that's why they don't allow female mohels.

They do; they're called mohalot.

New Girl Sitcom about a young woman sharing an apartment with three men.

Schmidt, a flashy businessman and male stripper (Max Greenfield) thinks he is a gift to women.

Schmidt: Nick! I came up with the best name for an uncircumcised penis. Bishop in a turtleneck!

Perhaps we are to laugh at him, not with him: one commentator calls this "a contribution to the douchebag jar".

Schmidt finishes his shower and realizes his bath towel is missing from the hook. To get to his bedroom he must cross the living room with just a hand towel in front of his crotch. Jess (Zooey Deschanel) is seated in his path, knitting with 2 friends. Walking backward for modesty, Schmidt stumbles and falls, dropping the hand towel. He stands with his hands over his crotch as the women joke:

Sadie: See? He's a natural blond.

CeCe: "What shape is that supposed to be shaved into?

Jess: Think he's trying to force perspective.
(Schmidt raises his hands, standing defiantly stark naked.)
Jess: You are Jewish!

Yet again the fallacy that "Only Jews are circumcised." Are they entered in a lamest joke competition?

Henry Danger Action comedy, Series 03 Episode 09 "Double Date Danger" first broadcast February 11, 2017
Henry Hart aka Kid Danger (Jace Norman): (amputating a finger) I'm not a rabbi, but mazel tov!

This at least indicates the seriousness of genital cutting.

Night and Day

(ITV, UK) Soap opera, initially broadcast both day and (with additional material) night.

(final episode) One of the principal young men, Sam Armstrong (Stuart Manning), has his towel pulled off him when he is leaving the shower and he is photographed. The photograph is given to his Jewish girlfriend. To keep her, he agrees to be circumcised.

He is next seen lying on an operating table under a Star of David. The mohel comments: "We don't see many your age in here."

Four years later, he is wearing a full beard and the dress of an Orthodox Rabbi.

More literally than usual, it is circumcision that has made a man Jewish.
Thanks to NORM-UK


(or "Nip-Tuck" or "NipTuck") FX Channel, July 22, 2003 didn't wait for its circumcision sequence. It began in episode 1.

Glamourous, caddish cosmetic surgeon Dr Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) and Matt McNamara (John Hensley III), son of Troy's ethical, impassive homely partner Dr Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) are about to go sailing in Troy's cruiser, the Boatox.

Christian: God, it is beautiful out here, huh?

John Hensley III (Matt McNamara)
John Hensley III (Matt McNamara)

Matt: Oh yeah, it's perfect weather for skipping school.

Christian: I want you back by third period, Matty. We agreed. Here. I wrote you a doctor's excuse.

Matt: Thanks. Hey listen. and thanks for the medical consultation stuff. Um, when can we schedule an operation?

Christian: Whoa, Whoa Whoa. Slow down. Like it or not we have to talk to your dad about this. You're under 18. He has to sign the consent form.

Matt: Yeah....he'll never go for it. He's such an asshole.

Christian (angrily): Hey! Don't you call your father that. You don't know how lucky you got it. Besides your dad is not an asshole. Robots can't be assholes. (They laugh)

Later. Sean and Christian are scrubbing up

Sean: See, my wife's perceptive.(laughing)

Christian: Well you're not. A lot goes on in your family you don't know much about. If my son was getting brutally razzed at school, I'd have picked up on his changed behavior.

Sean: (surprised) Matt's having trouble at school and he told you this?

Christian: He's torn up. I guess he was showering at gym and shit and some tough guys were laughing at him and calling him "Anteater".

Sean(confused) : "Anteater"?

Christian: Basically, he's self-concious about his dick and he wants a circumcision.

[In South Miami?]

Sean: He doesn't need a circumcision. That's a vanity operation.

Christian: We're in the vanity business, Sean, it's what we do. Appearance is everything to a kid. It's how you fit in. Snip, Snip. He feels better about himself. And you, sir, can make that happen. How cool is fatherhood?

Sean: I'm not doing anything to my son's penis or my wife's breasts. [She asked him] I don't want my family infected by what we do here.

Christian: And what is it that we do here, Sean, other than make people feel better about themselves?

Sean: What we do here is let people externalize the hate they feel about themselves. Which is why I want to hire a fulltime psychologist to screen people better.

Christian (sarcastically): Great, and let's do yoga in the lobby.

Sean: Since Botox went wide it's been like a factory in here. There's no discernment, no caution.

Christian: This is a business, Sean, a very good business that is on the verge of setting us up for life.

Sean: Well, maybe I don't want to be in this business anymore.

Later. The waiting room. Julia McNamara (Joely Richardson) is reading a magazine. Enter Christian

Christian (surprised): Julia!

Julia: Hi.

Christian: To what do we owe the pleasure?

Julia: Hey, oh, um, Sean's having a professional sitdown with Matt to talk to him about the......

Christian: So, I Heard. Tough stuff.

Julia: Seems Dr. Spock didn't write a chapter about, um.... [He did. He changed his mind.] Hey, Thanks for talking to him last week.

Christian (ironically): Everyone needs someone in their life who who'll listen, right?

Sean's office.

Sean: (to Matt) Tell me what you like about yourself?

Matt: Look, Dad, I'm grateful that you're treating me like an adult. But if we have to do this, can we skip the psycho mind-probe stuff?

Sean: Our mother and I have thought a lot about this topic. We didn't give you a circumcision because you were six weeks premature. Your little fighting body didn't need the stress of an operation.

Matt (shrugs): I could have handled it.

[As well as failing to address Matt's concerns, this conversation is full of non-sequiturs. As usual, the real reasons for leaving babies' penises alone - such as human rights and pleasure - are not mentioned.]

Sean: Matt, why did you go to Christian with your concerns instead of me?

Matt: Because he's cooler than you and he listens to me. I don't get that Father-knows-best bullshit from him. He treats me like a man.

Sean (nods): Matt, I'm going to make an appointment with a psychologist. I apologize we don't have one on the staff here. We should.

Matt: Whoa! What? Why?

Sean: You've never bowed to peer pressure before. I think something's going on.

Matt (upset): Look, I just want it, OK? I don't want guys talking trash about me and I know women don't like it when you're not cut. It's the smell or something....even though I keep it clean, so feel free to skip the hygiene lecture.

Sean: Matt, are you having sex with girls?

Matt: Not with girls, Dad. With Vanessa. Maybe you've over-heard me talking to Mom about her. You know she's beautiful, she's a varsity cheerleader. She can have any guy she wants. And she chose me.

Sean: So you have had sex?

Matt: It's getting there and I know she'll see it and hurl.

Sean: Matt, if this girl genuinely cares about you, she's not going to care about something trivial as extra skin. [Not extra. Standard equipment.]

Matt: Trivial?! This is my life! This is not trivial. Look, for once.......just give me something that I need.

July 29, 2003

Matt is sitting at the kitchen table doing homework. Enter Sean.

Sean (throwing a condom on the kitchen table.): Heads up.

Matt(picking it up, shocked but smiling): What's this?

Sean : It's a prophylactic, Matt.

Matt: Well, yeah. I know what it is, Dad. Why did you give it to me?

Sean: You're worried about your girl's reaction to your foreskin on the first time, right? Well, you responsibly slip this on when that time comes... she won't even know. Once you get your sea legs, you can be confident enough to initiate a conversation about what a foreskin is and how it really won't affect her pleasure. [No suggestion that it might actually give her more pleasure.]

Matt looks angry, frustrated and/or disappointed

Later. We see the lower halves of a man undressing a woman. Track up to reveal Matt and his girlfriend, Vanessa, kissing passionately. Cut to them in bed together.

Vanessa: Matt.

Matt: Mmm? Mmm?

Vanessa: I want to try it.

Matt: Oh... OK.

He gets out of bed

Vanessa: Where are you going?

Matt: Oh... uh... I was gonna get a condom.

Vanessa: I want to see it first.

Matt (smiling nervously ) OK... Yeah... sure.

He rolls on to his back looking uncomfortable. Vanessa moves out of shot to inspect him at length. When she surfaces he begins to kiss her but she doesn't respond.

Vanessa: It looks like a Shar-Pei. Are you part-Arab or something? [Virtually all Arab men, being Muslim, are circumcised. This presumably reveals the scriptwriters' ignorance rather than Vanessa's. It's been suggested she's referring to Arab horses ...]

A Shar-Pei   A foreskin
(left) a Shar-Pei and (right, to the same scale) a foreskin.
The same comparison is used in Sex and the City

Matt: Uh....no. (pause)

Matt: Does it turn you off that that I'm not - circumcised?

Vanessa (Avoiding eye contact.): No, not at all. (pause) Maybe we should just make out today. (She starts to kiss him on the mouth but Matt he does not respond.)

(Later . Matt and Christian are in a strip club)

Matt: Why won't you give me the circumcision? He doesn't even have to know.

Christian: Carving up your dick is a little more telltale than buying you a 6-pack on the sly, Matty.

(A waitress approaches)

Matt: Uh... Hi....I'll have a Dewar's straight up.

Christian: (Chuckles. ) He'll have a Coke. (He ogles the waitress) I'll have the Dewar's, sweetheart. Thank you

Christian: Besides, I'm of the opinion your father's right about this one. You don't need a circumcision.

Matt: Oh, fine. If you guys won't help me, I'll go to another surgeon.

Christian: Who'll operate without a signed parent consent form. Good luck. The problem isn't your dick, Matty. It's your confidence. You were timid and embarrassed. She saw that and that's what turned her off.

(Waitress returns with their drinks.)

Matt: Thanks. Um......why are we here?

Christian (Chuckling): Because we are gonna work on the confidence part. Yeah!

Matt (laughing): You're kidding me, right?

Christian: Au contraire, my little virginator. I've arranged for you to just get it out of the way. A little bang under your belt, I firmly believe you'll be able to bicycle over to Vanessa's place, grab that peachy ass and show her how it's done - with no fear.

Christian (facing Matt): Girls don't care if you have a 2 inch pecker, a hairy ass, or balls the size of cranberries. What they care about is that you know what you're doing.

Matt (chuckling and sighing): So which girl?

Christian(pointing over his shoulder at a woman who is waving and smiling at Matt.): Behind me. On the stairs . Her name is Avanti. Rumor has it she can suck the peel off an apple.

Matt: I feel entirely creep about paying someone to pretend they like me. No... Hey.... besides, man, I'm not gonna cheat on Vanessa . I love her. Haven't you ever had that?

Christian(thoughtfully): Once.

(Avanti walks over)

Avanti (to Matt): Hey, Papi.

Matt: Uh...Hey.

Avanti: Hey.

Matt: Ahem..... Um....yeah......Thank you (to Christian) but...um..no (to Avanti) no thank you.

Christian: Fair enough.(Sigh) Mmm, now if you'll excuse me. I'm gonna go upstairs and pay someone to pretend they like me.

(He takes Avanti by the hand and leads her upstairs, leaving Matt sitting alone)

(Later. Matt is sitting at a computer in in his bedroom. He types in "circumcision". ... He adds the words "how to" and hits "Search")

(Later. Matt and his mother Julia are in the kitchen)


Matt: Hey, Mom. Do you have any cuticle scissors?

Julia: Why do you need those?

Matt (holding up his hand): Why do you think? I have a hang nail.

Julia: Upstairs bathroom. Third drawer on the right.

(Later. Matt back at the computer)

Voice: "Hey, how's it going? You've logged onto Joey's Self-Circumcision Web Page. A guide for guys like me who have a foreskin problem and are too embarrassed to have the doctor do the duty. First things first, guys. Relax. A shaking hand means you could slip. I took a mild muscle relaxant."

(Matt pours himself a glass of wine)

Voice: "Other guys I know fared well on a glass of red wine. Be smooth and confident."

(Matt takes a big swallow. Later: he is pouring himself another glass, drinking it all, then another. He drinks from the bottle, finishing it. Matt reads and sharpens the cuticle scissors.)

Voice: "Your surgical tools have to be sharpened to razor-sharpness. When you do, the cuts are virtually painless and bleed very little. I didn't use ice or anything. There was no need."

(Cut to Matt staring at a picture of Vanessa. He begins to take off his shirt, then unzips his jeans, pulls them down a little and then pulls down his boxers a little. He reaches for the cuticle scissors.)

Voice: "For the first cut, grip the foreskin and pull it out. Cut in a circular motion, removing a thin quarter inch strip."

Matt looks shakily downward. We hear a single clipping sound. Matt flinches and closes his eyes. Slowly he raises his hand and his fingers are covered in blood. He slowly passes out hits the floor as the screen fades to black..

Broadcast August 5, 2003

Next morning. Julia is pacing around outside closed double doors.

Julia: What's going on, Matt? Are you OK?

Matt (on the other side, in the bathroom): Look, I'm gonna be fine, Mom. (to Sean, who is seated on the closed toilet lid) Right? I'm gonna be fine?

Sean: Take the ice pack off. Let me see.

Matt (resisting): Mm-mmmm

Sean: Matt, I changed your diaper hundreds of times. I've seen it. Come on.

After a long pause Matt removes the ice pack. At the crucial moment, the shot changes: though we repeately see the most gruesome plastic surgery in medical-school detail, we never see a live penis.

Sean (incredulous): You took a chunk out of your foreskin and lacerated the opening of your urethra. I can apply a slight pressure bandage. That will get you through the next couple of hours.

Matt: And then what?

Sean: And then later today you're coming into the office. And I'm gonna give you a proper circumcision

Matt: No shit?

Sean: On one condition: you start communicating with me! If there is something about your body you want changed, one of those nipple rings, whatever, we talk it out before you try self-mutilation. And if you have questions about sex, for instance, how to find and stimulate the clitoris, you come to me. I want to be involved in your life, Matt. Deal?

Matt (after a long pause): Deal.

Later. Sean, Julia and Matt are having breakfast. Matt reaches for an apple.

Sean: Aah! No food 12 hours before surgery.

Julia: Matt, you've never even had your tonsils out. Are you sure you want to do this?

Matt: Yes. It's important to me, Mom. And Dad agrees, so---

Sean: No, I don't agree. What you did has to be corrected by a professional. [This is not "correction". Salvage would be possible, though it is fine surgery.] I'm doing your circumcision out of medical necessity. Before we leave, you need to shave your genital region, Matt.

Julia: Carefully.

Matt: And the humiliations just keep coming, don't they. (Exit.)

Julia: I don't like this.

Sean: He'll be fine. I promise.

Later. Sean and Christian are scrubbing up. Later still, the operating theatre, Matt on the operating table. Sean looks worried.

Matt: Uncle Chris, what are you doing here?

Christian: You're the most important patient we've ever operated on, Matty. We're just taking extra precautions, that's all.

(Nurse) Liz: OK guys. Ready when you are.

Matt: I'm afraid.

Sean and Christian look at each other

Sean: You're gonna be fine, Matt. I wouldn't do this unless I could guarantee that.

Liz: I want you to count back from 10, OK?

Matt: 10, 9, ... ( and he's out. Matt is circumcised.)

Sean: All right. Let's do this. Clamp. Hemostat. Scalpel.

Christian hands Sean the scalpel. Sean begins to lower the scalpel but stops. His hand is trembling.

Christian: Let me do it. You're nervous. That's understandable.

Sean: I'm fine. I want to do this.

Christian: It's OK. We'll trade. You do Grubman's tummy tuck afterwards. I'll do Matt.

Slow motion. Sean passes the scalpel to Christian. Instead of seeing anything of Christian doing the circumcision, to a Strauss waltz, we see ghoulish detail of the tummy tuck, with emphasis on the forklike retractors and a large gob of fat being dropped in a bowl.

Later. Vanessa and Matt are on Matt's bed

Vanessa: Did it hurt?

Matt: You were worth it

They both chuckle, looking into each other's eyes.

Matt: The stitches come out next week. We can do it anytime after that.

As they move together, Sean bursts into the room

Sean: Matt, have you urinated yet today? (He starts when he sees Vanessa.

Vanessa (laughing): Buzzkill. Later.

Matt and Sean in the bathroom

Matt: Why do you want to see this?

Sean: I had to suture your urinarius, and I want to make sure there's no blood in the urine. That would be a sign of internal hemorrhaging. And I want to be here to support you.

Matt (puzzled): Why do I need that?

Sean: The first time you pee after an operation of this nature, It's going to feel like you're pissing fire, Matt. Just press down on my hand and scream if you want. Nobody's going to judge you.

Matt: I- I don't need to hold your hand, Dad. And, uh, can you give me some privacy?

Sean: Oh.

Matt tries to urinate

Sean: Vanessa's a little hard body, Matt. Looks like you're dating a future prom queen. Congratulations.


Matt: I can't dance.

Sean: OK, well let's come back in an hour then.

Matt: No, I, uh I mean I really can't dance. You're right about the prom thing. She's already asked me to go. And I don't.....don't know how to dance.

Sean: Uh, Well that's OK. Neither could I. You just say "It's not my thing."

Matt: This works?

Sean: I didn't even dance at my own wedding. Women like it when there's some mystery there.

Matt: Thanks

Matt: Uhh! Shit! It's coming! Uh! (reaches out) Hand!

Later. Loud rock music. Matt is knocking and calling at the front door of Vanessa's house. He enters the house. He sees Vanessa's pompoms and book bag on a settee. He goes upstairs and slowly opens Vanessa's door. Vanessa is passionately kissing and groping another girl. They see Matt. Matt runs out.

Later. Matt comes home and tries to sneak upstairs unnoticed.

Sean: Hey! Come on in here!

Matt comes back.

Sean: So tell me.

Matt: Tell you what?

Sean: How did it go with Vanessa? The stitches are out. I figured you- you know.

Matt (unconvincingly): It was great, Dad.

Sean: Just- great?

Matt: It was everything I wanted it to be. And I want to thank you for just really helping me out and giving it to me.

Sean: You're welcome. (They hug)

Matt: Uh, I'm gonna go wash up for dinner.

Matt goes to his room and closes the door. He leans against it and starts crying.

[And well he might. While this plotline is hardly pro-intact, not only did Matt's circumcision go to waste, but Vanessa was probably telling the truth that it wasn't his foreskin that was bothering her.]

In later episodes:
  • Neighbours blaming Matt for another incident say he "cut his own dick off."
  • Matt says to a Jewish friend who is considering converting to Christianity, "I wish I'd saved my foreskin; I could give it to you."

Northern Exposure


Episode 2.3. "All Is Vanity", broadcast 22 July 1991

Written by: Andrew Schneider and Diane Frolov

Directed by: Nick Marck

Shelly Tambo (Cynthia Geary) goes to bed with Holling Vincour (John Callum) and makes an offhand comment about him being intact. He asks Dr Joel Fleischmann (Rob Morrow) to circumcise him to be "more in style," but Joel advises against it. Shelly talks him into it again, but he has a bad dream (in which Joel circumcises him with a sword in front of an audience "[to give] it a more youthful and vigorous appearance" and something goes wrong).

Sensing his lack of motivation, Joel finds an excuse (clotting disorder) NOT to circumcise him.

The Oblongs


Animated series about a family living next to a polluted swamp. Episode 2: "Narcoleptic Scottie" written by Scott Buck

Youngest son, Milo (who is highly medicated for his Attention Deficit Disorder, among other things) is being put to bed by his mother, Pickles.

Pickles: And so the sexual odyssey of these two strangers breaks every taboo, leading to an unforgettable nine and a half weeks.

Milo: Read me another video box, Mommy.

Pickles: No, honey, it's time to board the sleepy train to slumber land where fairies make all your sweet dreams come true. Lockdown! (She pulls up the bed railings)

Milo: Oh, Mom, I'm fully medicated.

Pickles: Milo, last night you were up till dawn trying to circumcise ants.

Milo: That's not crazy. It's a matter of hygiene. (Pickles blows him a kiss and locks him in his bedroom.)

This is either

  • yet more of TV's endless endorsement of circumcision, or
  • a parody of TV's endless endorsement of circumcision, or
  • an attempt at simple bizarreness, but with the implicit assumption that circumcision is "a matter of hygiene"

Off Centre

Season 1, episode 20: The Unkindest Cut, broadcast April 21 2002

Official summary: Mike (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Chau (John Cho) harass Euan (Sean Maguire) for sporting the "natural" look and launch a grass roots movement against his foreskin, so Euan consults with urologist Dr. Barry Wasserman (guest star Eugene Levy) who has a bizarre style of penis humor. Lauren Stamile and Jason George also star. Danny Zuker & Warren Bell wrote the episode directed by Shelley Jensen.

A locker room at a gym

Euan: (undressing) I have to say it is nice to finally get to work out with you guys. I just always work such crazy hours, you know. I really do enjoy the camaraderie.

Chau: (in terror) What the hell is that?! (points at Euan's penis, buries his face in his locker)

Euan: (bewildered) What's what?

Chau: (pointing at Euan's penis again) On your thingy. You freak! (1)

Mike : Oh... oh... you haven't seen Euan the uncut version.

Euan: Ah yes... Very good. Ha Ha Yes, I am uncircumcised.

Chau: Dude I'm... I'm sorry for staring. But, um... it scares me.

Sean Maguire
Euan (Sean Maguire )

Euan: Hey look... guys, look... This is natural. This is the way God intended. And I don't believe God makes mistakes.

(Enter Jay)

Jay: Hey Euan. How's it hanging?

Euan: Hey Jay. You know my guys. (Jay, Chau, and Mike greet by high-fiving one another)

Jay: Say, Euan, I didn't realize it was casual Friday.

Euan: (confused) I beg your pardon.

Jay : (pointing at Euan's penis) I see you're wearing your turtleneck. (Laughter, more high fives)

Euan: (frustrated) Ah, that's good. Can I just say something? If we were in a European locker room, I would be in the majority.

Jay: Seriously, Euan, you should have that taken care of. I mean, you're a very attractive man but that penis is a disaster. (2)

Euan: Well what would you have me do, Jay?

Jay: Get circumcised.

Euan: No way!

Jay: Hey... hey, I'm your boss, OK Go see your urologist.

Euan: (still frustrated) I'm 25 years old. I don't have a urologist, Jay. I wouldn't even know where to find a urologist.

(Enter Dr Wasserman from nowhere)

Dr Wasserman: I'm a urologist. (The men laugh.) But seriously, I am a urologist. That's my luxury sedan parked out front - with the license plate P P DOC (he hands out his business card)

Chau: I saw that. Sweet ride.

Dr. Wasserman: I call it the penis mobile. Anyway, I specialize in pediatric urology.

Mike: (pointing at Euan's penis) That will be perfect for you, little fella.

Dr. Wasserman: Don't you listen to him. You are perfectly normal.

Euan: Thank you , Doctor.

Dr. Wasserman: Except for the anteater (laughs) Seriously though... It's very, very unpleasant. (3)

The apartment
Euan alone. Enter Liz and Jordan

Liz: Hey.

Euan: Hey Liz. Hey Jordan.

Liz: What's up with you?

Euan: I was just thinking about my penis.

Jordan: (an airhead) Now I'm thinking about it. Ah great! Now your penis is going to be stuck in my head all night.

Euan: All right... All right... No... See, the boys were teasing me today at the gym because I sport the natural look. Do women have an opinion on this?

Liz: It's not that big a deal. You do fine with the women. Obviously there's some who don't mind that much.

Jordan: Yeah, some chicks are into weird crap. (4)


Jordan: You should see this urologist in our medical group I work for. Dr. Barry Wasserman. He's so funny. He calls his house Casa de Pee Pee.

Enter Status with his date, Tonya. Small talk

Jordan:(suddenly yelling) Euan is uncircumcised! Isn't it gross? (5)

Status: Well, it's certainly gross to talk about.

Euan: (embarassed) Jordan, it's a sensitive subject.

Tonya: I don't really know you. But speaking as a woman. It's no big deal to me.

Euan: (surprised and relieved) Really?

Tonya: Sure. As long as I don't have to touch it. (6) (Exit Tonya and Status)

Liz: Euan, relax. Women like you for you. Only the most shallow women are going to get bent out of shape by appearance.


Jordan: Whip it out. I want to see it.

The apartment. Later.
(Status, Mike, and Chau. Status is helping Mike get dressed for his date with Liz. Euan comes downstairs)

Euan: (coming downstairs) Gentleman, I've been crunching the numbers and they don't look promising. There's a grass roots movement against my foreskin. A solid 35% of the women I've slept with lately referred to little Euan as off putting.

Mike: What's the matter.....they don't like Snuffleupagus? (the hairy elephant-like creature on Sesame Street) (7)

Status: Listen, you should just go and see my urologist, Dr. Wasserman. That man is a panic.

Mike: Does everyone know this guy?

Euan: And find him amusing?

Status: I got his number from P. Diddy. Apparently P had some work done on his diddy.

Dr. Wasserman's examining room

Euan is sitting on an examination table in a hospital gown, flipping through a magazine. Enter Dr. Wasserman.

Dr. Wasserman:(to someone offstage) Just tell him to pack it in ice and stop playing with it. (to Euan) Mr Pierce. Good morning.

Euan: Ah....Dr. Wasserman. Please call me Euan.

Dr. Wasserman: Oh... Reading about Mel Gibson, I see. He's circumcised.

Euan: Really? It just says here that it rained a lot during the filming of 'Braveheart'.

Dr. Wasserman: Oh well... we didn't come here to talk about famous penises now did we? Why don't you lift the gown and let old Dr. Wasserman poke around. (Dr. Wasserman inspects Euan's genitals.)

Euan: (coughs)

Dr. Wasserman: Are you okay?

Euan: I just thought I was supposed to do that.

Dr. Wasserman: No... No... You seem a little nervous, and you shouldn't be. Why don't you just relax while I go and get an instrument. (He walks to a cabinet and pulls out a hedge clipper, the kind that resembles a big pair of scissors) Ah... Here we are.

Euan: Lord! (jumps from the table.)

Dr. Wasserman: You see, Euan, I use humor to, uh, help diffuse the awkwardness of one man examining another man's penis.

Euan: That's a good bit. I feel a lot more relaxed now. (gets back on the table.)


Dr. Wasserman: Well, it's thumbs up on the testicles so to speak. Well, you have no balanoposthitis. You have no phimosis. However, I can now make a clear diagnosis of your condition.

Euan: Oh really? What's that?

Dr. Wasserman: Weird wiener-itis (8) (laughing) But seriously, Euan, it's a frequent reason for adult circumcision. Let me ask you... have you given any thought to the kind of cut you would like?

Euan: (confused) Well... no...

Dr. Wasserman: Would you like to pick one out from the big book of penises?

Euan: Oh well... I suppose.

Dr. Wasserman: Joking.

Euan: Okay. (chuckles)

Dr. Wasserman: Joking. There is no big book of penises. I mean maybe there is one, but I certainly don't have it. One again, I was using humor ro help put you at your ease.

(Enter Jordan. She tells Dr Wasserman his next appointment has cancelled. As she leaves, she drops a magazine on the floor. She bends down to pick up and sneaks a peek at Euan's penis)

Jordan: Ha! I saw it! (Euan is embarrassed. She leaves.)

Dr. Wasserman: Well, um, here I am with some free time. And, uh, here you are with uh, some, uh, spare skin. So...

Euan: Now?

Dr. Wasserman: Don't put off till tomorrow what you can just cut off with a razor-sharp scalpel and a Gomco clamp today.

Euan: Ah... Well I really wasn't expecting, uh... You know, perhaps you could just talk me through the procedure.

Dr. Wasserman: Oh yes, yes, yes... Of course. (pulling over a tray of instruments) Well quite simply in layman's terms, what I will be doing is making a small dorsal slit in the foreskin whereby the foreskin will be separated from the glans [This is a reference to infant circumcision. The adult foreskin is already separated.] at which point the bell portion of this Gomco clamp will be placed over the glans and the foreskin pulled over the bell and through the plate and the yoke and then I will tighten. (Dr. Wasserman picks up each instrument and re-enacts each step, to Euan's horror.)

(Suddenly Dr. Wasserman is notified of an emergency by the intercom. He hands the Gomco clamp to Euan and leaves. Euan immediately puts the clamp down. He picks up another instrument that has a huge blade like a chef's knife.)

Euan: Don't' worry little fella... I'm way ahead of you. (and proceeds to grab his clothes and flee the examining room.)

A restaurant.
Euan and Chau.

Euan: There were clamps and jokes and Jordan. It was a nightmare.

Chau: You don't have to tell me. My circumcision was the worst day of my life.

Euan: (sarcastically) It was the third day of your life. How could you possibly remember?

Chau: Dude, I remember it all: I'm in this clear plastic crib chilling, scoping out the lady babies. I had this sweet knit hat on- made me look like Baretta. Then this weird doctor was all choppity-chop-chop. And I'm all 'Dude, lay off the golden inch!'

Euan: Chau, that's insane.


The locker room. Later

Euan is shaving. Mike makes small talk and leaves. Euan takes off his shorts. Enter a beautiful blonde female gym employee. Euan hurries to put his towel on

Blonde: Oops! I'm sorry. We close in a half hour. I didn't think anyone was in here.

Euan: Oh, that's all right. Come back anytime.

Blonde: I'll do that. Do you need a towel?

Euan: Oh, no, no... fine, Thanks, I've got one.

Blonde: I bet it's not as nice and fresh and soft as this one. So why don't you drop that one and come here.

Euan: (looks towards Heaven. Voice over:) Dear Penthouse, I never used to believe that your letters were true. But this one night at my health club.... (takes off his towel, throws it to the side, steps from behind the sinks, and walks toward the Blonde.)

Blonde: (She finally takes her eyes from Euan's and looks down at his penis.) Whoa! (9) (she runs away.)

Euan: (startled and frustrated) What?!

Blonde: Uh, nothing. I just remembered I'm Jewish. (She runs our of the locker room.)

Euan: (grabbing a towel and covering up) That's it!. I've had it. Right... I'm cutting you off! (pointing at his penis underneath the towel) No, not you two. You're fine. (Exit, still talking to his genitals.)

Dr. Wasserman's examining room

Dr. Wasserman: (raising his head from underneath Euan's gown.) Now, that's what I call a good clean shave. Slap a little skin-bracer down there and we're good to go.

Euan: That's the humor again, right?

Dr. Wasserman: Indeed, it is. (yells) Suzanne, we're ready!

(Enter Suzanne, pushing a tray of instruments)

Euan: That's your urology assistant? She looks more like a magician's assistant.

Dr. Wasserman: Well, we are about to make something disappear.

Euan: I set 'em up and you knock 'em down.

Dr. Wasserman: I guess .

Euan: Ah, well, it's a pleasure to meet you, Suzanne. I can't help but feel we're skipping ahead a few steps in our relationship.

Suzanne: Wow. Charming and pantless. Devastating combination. What are we doing today, Doctor?

Dr. Wasserman: Well, Euan here will be enjoying a moderate low circumcision. So I will prepare the anesthetic and then, uh... let's peel this banana.

Suzanne: So why are you having this done? Have you had problems with it?

Euan: No, no, no... Lord no. No, I, uh, just thrive for perfection.

Suzanne: Oh, wow. Talk about unattractive.

Euan: Yeah, I know. That's why I'm having it cut off.

Dr. Wasserman: Okay, Euan. Now, uh, you're going to feel a little pinch here. Uh, in the sense that, uh, World War II was a little skirmish.

Suzanne: I didn't mean your foreskin was unattractive. It's your vanity that's a turn-off.

Dr. Wasserman: Okay....here we go.

Euan: Wait, wait, wait... What do you mean my vanity?

Suzanne: Well, come on. You're handsome and charming. But obviously your self-esteem is all wrapped up in your penis.

Dr. Wasserman: Diving in.

Euan: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait... So you're saying my narcissism is more offensive to you than my foreskin?

Suzanne: Much more.

Euan: Oh my God! She's right. She's right. Doc, what am I doing?

Dr. Wasserman: Uh, Euan... This is a simple case of the jitters. It's all perfectly natural. (walks toward him with a needle)

Euan: Will you get away from me with that thing! (He jumps up from the operating table.)

Dr. Wasserman: You know, that's what the wife said to me last night. I'm just kidding. My wife is dead.

(Euan is not circumcised)

Euan's foreskin is badmouthed a total of nine times by eight people, and defended twice, by Euan himself. Even Suzanne never says his foreskin is not offensive.
Season 2, Episode 4. "P.P. Doc II: The Examination Continues" 10 October 2002

Mike and Euan board an elevator, followed by a beautiful young woman. They introduce themselves and start flirting with her, when Dr Wasserman suddenly joins them.

Wasserman: Mike, has the redness gone away? And what about the flaking and peeling? Are you still using the lotion twice a day?

Mike: Yeah, yeah, sometimes more; I broke up with my girlfriend.

Wasserman (talking across the woman): And you, Euan, hows old Snuffleopagus, ah? I hope you remember that the, uh, uncircumcised penis poses challenges to hygiene. And smegma may be a funny word, but it's no laughing matter, believe you me.

Euan: I remember!

(The elevator stops and the woman gets out.)

Euan: So, Doc, what are you doing here?

Wasserman: I just moved in.

Euan: Oo, welcome!

Wasserman: I'm now a proud resident of the Hadley on Centre St. I found that since my wife's death, you know, the house was just too hard to keep clean.

Mike: Kinda like Euan's penis. (They laugh. Euan looks disgusted.)

Wasserman: Well said, well said. Although I can't really compare my house to Euan's penis. Because as far as I know my wife didn't leap to her death from the roof of Euan's penis. Also our house was quite large.

(The elevator stops and Wasserman gets out. The scene changes.)

Perhaps some humour can be extracted from this scene in Mike and Euan's near-saintly toleration of Wasserman's rudeness and uprofessionality. This time there isn't a single defence of Euan's wholeness.

The Office (US version)

"Baby Shower" - first broadcast October 16, 2008

Dwight (Rainn Wilson) is helping Michael prepare for the birth of Jan's baby by pretending to give birth to a watermelon. In an interview with the camera crew, he claims: "Babies are one of my many areas of expertise. Growing up, I performed my own circumcision." (In Season 1, he claimed he could raise and lower his own cholesterol at will.)

This implies that circumcision is an inevitable part of childbirth.

Series 8 Episode 13: Jury Duty

Angela had an affair with Dwight but left him to marry a Senator. She has now had a "premature" baby but her officemates note that he is suspiciously heavy, and Oscar thinks the Senator is gay. Left alone with Angela, Dwight presses his case:

Dwight: We were together a month before the wedding. You said that Robert was not fulfilling you, and I said, 'I bet I could fulfill you,' and you said, 'I'd like to see you try,' and then I kissed you with the force of a thousand waterfalls. (Angela is unconvinced. Dwight leaves)

Dwight (to nurse): Cancel the circumcision. I just might be his father.

The previous reference suggests Dwight has no particular snitch on circumcising - or the scriptwriters have no concern for continuity - but his right to decide about circumcising is here just a token of fatherhood.


Comedy/drama on Channel 10

Dr Chris Havel, a paediatritian, tells nurse Zara that he's been called in to "referee" between two warring parents who disagree over circumcising their newborn baby. The father wants it, the mother doesn't.

Chris tells Zara that it's a sensitive issue for him as he was four when he was circumcised, and he remembers it. His mother was against circumcision, but his father, overseas when he was born, came home and won the argument. The nurse, who's obviously interested in him, says she "hopes they did a tidy job", but the doctor doesn't take the bait.

If he doesn't like being circumcised at all, that probably did not help.
In a signifcant British case, it was ruled that where parents disagree, a court order would be required for him to be circumcised. In a significant Oregon case, a boy aged 14 was allowed to refuse to be circumcised where his parents disagreed.

The Orville

SF "Follows the crew of the not-so-functional exploratory ship in the Earth's interstellar fleet, 400 years in the future." Season 1, Episode 3 "About a Girl", first broadcast September 21, 2017

One of the crew, Lt. Cmdr Bortus (Peter Macon) is of an alien race that is all male. He and his partner Klyden (Chad L. Coleman) have had a rare female child (by laying an egg...). When this happens it is the custom of their society to change her sex to male. Captain Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) and physician Dr Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald) object to the sex change, prompting Bortus to change his mind and want to leave his daughter as she was born. A tribunal is called to determine if the sex change should go ahead, with Mercer as counsel for Bortus. Counsel for Klyden argues that the crew has no place interfering in their cultural customs. He asks Bortus if he is circumcised. Bortus admits he is and the lawyer argues that to their species, parents choosing to correct a "faulty" female child is no different from what many humans do to their male offspring. Baby has her sex changed.

Assumes that US male genital cutting, less than 150 years old now, will persist unchanged 400 years into the future (and that an alien would know all about it). The argument is a bad one: while male genital cutting is bad enough, it is quite different from a sex change, and less invasive.


NBC S05/Ep08, "The Ring" first broadcast November 14, 2013

Adam Braverman (Peter Krause) and his brother Crosby (Dax Shepard) are sitting in the office at their recording studio.

Crosby: Look, things aren't perfect for me at home, either. Uh, Jabbar [his 10-year-old son] chose, over basketball, for his winter sport, ballet. Ballet. It's not even a sport.

Adam: Ballet, that's cool.

Crosby: That's cool? Ballet?

Adam: Yeah. Whats the problem?

Crosby: Well, he was in the outfit, he had the whole, you know, he was twirlin' around the kitchen in the, ya know, super thin, here's-what-religion-I-am pants.

The Braverman family lives outside of Oakland, California, and does not appear to espouse any particular religion but mainstream, unaffiliated Christianity: "Only Jews circumcise."

Parks and Recreation

Comedy about local body affairs. Season 1, Episode 3, "The Reporter", April 23, 2009 The council plans to turn a construction pit into a park, and are being interviewed for a local paper by Shauna Malwae-Tweep (Alison Becker). They have been told to stay on message and carefully prepared for the interview. Andy (Chris Pratt), not a staff member himself, broke his legs in a drunken fall into the pit, but has not yet told the others.

Shauna: So, Andy, tell me about the night you fell into the pit.

Andy: You know, that's actually a great story. Um, I'd just finished up a gig with my band Threeskin, formerly Fourskin, but our bassist left for personal reasons.

The gratuitous reference is used to indicate Andy going off-message. Foreskins are always irrelevant. (A band called The Four Skins occurs in Gore Vidal's Myra Breckenridge, also purely for its shock value.)

The Practice

A courtroom drama series

A lawyer is questioning a Roma (Gypsy) woman about "the barbaric practice of arranged child marriages". The witness points out that America has barbaric practices too:

"When a baby is born you cut off the tip of its penis."


Fantasy adventure: After a supernatural event at preacher Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper)'s church, he enlists the help of Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun), a vampire, to find God. They are joined by Tulip (Ruth Negga). Season 2, Episode 1. "On the Road"

Cassidy (out of the blue, first lines in the episode): 70 million circumcisions every year. That they report! And that’s just in this country. [The true figure is closer to 1.2 million] Think about that.

Tulip: You know what, Cassidy, I don't want to.

Cassidy: 70 million baby boys' foreskins, right? Severed. Harvested. Piled up! Shoved in the bloody warehouses. And you don’t wanna know what they're using them for.

Jesse: Who’s the ‘they’, Cassidy?

Cassidy: The oligarchs! It's big business.


Cassidy: Skin grafts! Skin grafts -- we know they're puttin’ foreskin in skin grafts. It was on the Oprah Winfrey show. And they’re puttin’ it in … to the … the … the face creams you all use -- the girls.

Tulip: Hold up. They do not put foreskins in face creams.

Cassidy: Yes, they do! It helps bloody collagen or something like that.

Tulip: Cassidy, that is a lie! You’d feel those ... itty bitty foreskins on you!

Cassidy: What you feel is smoother, younger seeming skin, see? And that’s how they hook you. You just gotta think about it.

Jesse: [To Tulip] You do have nice skin.

Tulip: Shut up.

Apparently intended to illustrate Cassidy's deranged character. Infant male genital cutting is a weird thing to talk about (but not to do).


Broadcast July 21, 2000

A Jewish woman insists her non-Jewish fiance be circumcised. He cancels the wedding. She asks a doctor to try to change his mind. (This would be doubtful ethically.) She goes to his workplace and persuades him. At the last minute she changes her mind, but he gets circumcised anyway to prove his love.

Cute "jokes" in surgery about "Can you feel this?" He gives the doctor a TV (he sells them) in payment. A relative of the doctor says, "That must have cost a lot," but the doctor replies, "Oh , it's a little bargain." [implying that circumcision is trivial] .

Quantum Leap

Science Fiction. Season 2 Episode 7 “Thou Shalt Not... February 2, 1974" (aired 1989)

The lead character, Dr Sam Beckett (Scott Baluka) “leaps” into different people’s bodies, temporarily taking part of other people's lives in order to correct historical mistakes. In this episode he inhabits the body of a rabbi. Admiral Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell) is an assistand in the form of a hologram who provides him with the information he needs to play each part.

Calavicci: My third wife, Ruthie, was Jewish; she taught me the basics. Of course the more complicated stuff - weddings, circumcisions - you’re on your own with that.

Beckett: Circumcisions?!

The topic is apparently not raised again. Enough that we contemplate Beckett cutting a baby without instruction. Subtext: infant male genital cutting is risky.

Queer as Folk
(UK 1999)

Drama about Vince Tyler (Craig Kelly), boyhood friend but never lover of rich, self-absorbed Stuart Jones (Aidan Gillen), their parents and their circle of friends, largely set in the gay clubs of Manchester's Canal St. Stuart was sperm donor for Rosalie Cotter (Caroline Pegg) and Romey Sullivan (Esther Hall), but unlike the US version, it is Vince who behaves more like their baby Alfred's father, and there is no suggestion that Alfred (Alfie Robinson) might be circumcised.

Episode 7, Scene 3, out-take. Vince's 30th birthday party.

Nathan (Charlie Hunnam): Donna's getting all worried. Her present's going off. She bought him cheese.

Dazz (Jonathan Natynczyk): What d'you mean, she's bought him cheese?

Nathan: She bought him cheese.

Donna (Carla Henry): It's brie. (passing the package to them) It's nice. It's French.

Nathan: (sniffing it) Smells all cheesy, like a knob.

Dazz: It's like smegma.

Donna: (annoyed) I'm gettin' a drink.

Dazz: (calls after her) Vodka and Red Bull thanks.

Nathan: (relishing the word) Sss- megma! (They fall under the table laughing.)

It is a given that every man has a foreskin, and if it smells, that's a joke, not a catastrophe demanding surgery.

Queer As Folk
(US, 2000)

Sitcom about a group of gay and lesbian friends, a spin-off of the UK version which has no reference to circumcision.

Official summary: Lindsay and Melanie have a bris for their new baby Gus, which Brian decides to miss until Michael convinces him otherwise. Brian decides to crash the party and put his parental foot down. ... Brian's involvement as the father of Gus causes some relationship strain between Lindsay and Melanie.

(Based on the transcript by Tiffany) Episode 103, Broadcast December 17, 2000

Promiscuous and wealthy Brian (Gale Harold) has been a sperm donor for Melanie (Michelle Clunie) and Lindsay (Thea Gill). Their friend Michael (Hal Sparks) narrates.

(The front of Melanie and Lindsay's house. Various people are coming with gifts, etc.)

Voice of Michael: About a week after their baby was born, thanks in part to the invaluable contribution of Brian Kinney, Lindsay and Melanie had a party. They invited a herd of their nearest and dearest lesbians, assorted relatives and us...friends of the father, to their house. (Michael starts walking up the stairs) It was really nice....

But I'm jumping ahead. Let's go back an hour.
(The camera goes in fast motion out of the house and into the gym, where Brian is working out and Michael is trying to get him to go)

Brian: I told you. I'm not going to the muncher's brunch. And that's final.

Michael: Look, it's not for them. It's for your son.

Brian: My son. He's only my son when they want my money.

Michael: So why punish him by not going?

Brian: Look, it's not as if he's gonna know I'm not there.
(Brian enters the steam room, Michael close behind)

Michael: And if anybody should ask where you are?

Brian: Just tell them the usual. (takes towel off and throws it at Michael) Something came up.

(At the party. Melanie and Lindsay approach, carrying Gus)

Michael: Oh, here he is. Can I hold him?

Lindsay: It's almost time for the ceremony. Where's Brian?

Michael: He couldn't make it. He said to tell you that, uh -

Mel: Something came up. Hm. I can guess what.

Rabbi: Shall we begin?

Lindsay: This is Rabbi Protesh. He'll be doing the Bris.

Emmett: Oh, I love pot roast.

Ted: That's brisket. I believe, in the Jewish faith, a bris is a circumcision ceremony.

Rabbi: That's correct. First I give the boy child a little wine. Then I say a prayer or two. Then I take my scalpel and I remove his foreskin.
(Emmett faints)

(At the gym, Brian is changing. His phone rings and he answers it)

Brian: How's the party?
The screen splits to show Michael and Brian)

Michael: You better get your ass over here fast.

Brian: Why? With all those bull-dykes around, is there a shortage of bottoms?

Michael: No. I... I... Remember Lindsay and Melanie's invitation, the part that was in Hebrew? I just found out what that means.

(Melanie is holding the naked baby as the Rabbi speaks)

Rabbi: In every Jewish boy's life, there are three steps to becoming a man. First, his bris. Then his Bar-Mitzvah, and finally, his marriage. (as he talks, the camera goes around the room - Michael and Ted are holding Emmett up) For thirty-five hundred years, the circumcision ritual has been the fundamental sign of the covenant between God and Israel. Melanie, will you please place your son on his mother's lap? (She does so. Closeups as the Rabbi picks up a Mogen Clamp.)

Emmett: Oh, my god. He's really going to do it. Okay, I - I can't, uh -

Michael: Where's Brian?

Ted: Looking after the only dick that matters... his own.
(As the Rabbi bends over the baby, we hear Brian's voice)

Brian: Excuse me, Rabbi. (looks at Mel and Lindsay) You two. In the kitchen...now!
(In the kitchen)

Mel: What the hell do you think you're doing? Barging in here, interrupting a religious ceremony?

Brian: You should have asked my permission first.

Mel: For what?

Brian: To circumcise my son.

Mel: We don't have to ask for permission. We're the parents.

Brian: And I'm the biological father, and that gives me more rights than you.

Mel: Oh, ho ho. I see someone's been studying his law.

Lindsay: Look, this is no time to be having this conversation with a house full of guests.

Mel: Yeah, and since when did you start caring about your son? Considering you haven't been to see him once since he was born.

Brian: Well, I'm not exactly welcome.

Mel: Oh, bullshit! You've been too busy fucking everything that moves!

Lindsay: Can we please stop this?! (everyone falls silent) (to Brian) Why does it matter to you if Gus is circumcised?

Brian: It matters that he's been in this world less than a week and already there are people who won't accept him for the way he is. Who would even mutilate him rather than let him be the way he is. The way he was born. Well, I'm not going to let that happen.

Rabbi: Excuse me? Uh, shall we proceed?
(Everyone is silent as Mel looks at Lindsay)

Baby is not circumcised.

(At the diner. Emmett, Katsuo, Brian, Ted and Michael all share a booth)

Emmett: You really showed those dykes who's got the low hangers.

Michael: And for once, it was us.

Ted: I've always said, there's only two reasons to be friends with lesbians. They'll never try to convince you that the only reason you're gay is that you haven't met the right woman. And, uh, they know how to change a flat.
(Michael laughs)

Brian: It wasn't about them. It was about my son. If I don't look out for him, who will?

Michael: Wow! If you're not careful, you might turn out to be an all right dad in spite of yourself. raises glass) To Brian.

Ted and Emmett: To Brian.

(Melanie and Lindsay's house. Melanie is in a bad mood as they walk through the house doing various things)

Lindsay: Should I freeze this or toss it? I'd rather not have it around while I'm trying to get back into shape. (silence) So, how long is this going to go on? Or do you plan never to speak to me ever again?

Mel: What would you like me to say?

Lindsay: Anything.

Mel: All right, how about "I have a house full of uneaten cold cuts and an uncircumcised son"? How's that?

Lindsay: (drinks) Oh. Look. Brian's going to take out the insurance policy. At least he's agreed to do that. That's something, isn't it?

Mel: Oh, my consolation prize.

Lindsay: It was important enough to you last week.

Mel: So was this afternoon. But now I have been humiliated in front of our friends, my relatives, Rabbi Protesh. Where's the goddamn plastic wrap? (grabs it) And you let him do it.

Lindsay: Me?

Mel: You're the one who decided to call off the bris. Of course, I know it's not very important to you or Brian, but it happens to be a very important ritual in my family.

Lindsay: You know, there are a lot of men who think circumcision is a cruel and barbaric practice.

Mel: I don't care what men think about their dicks! I care that you put Brian before me. But, you know, why should I be surprised? You always have.

Lindsay: Oh, for Christ' sake, are we really gonna go through this again? I don't wanna have this conversation.

Mel: Yeah, and I didn't want Brian be the baby's father in the first place. But, no, you had to have it your way. It had to be Brian or no one. So now he' s a part of our lives forever. Whether we like it or not.

(Melanie and Lindsay's bedroom. Melanie has been answering the telephone)

Mel: I'm sorry it woke you, and the baby. I know you need your rest.

Lindsay: I was up anyway.

Mel: You were? So was I. Just thinking about all the terrible things I said.

Lindsay: No, I should have stood up to him. I should have.

Mel: No. I mean, it was best to be practical. I mean, this way Gus - how am I ever gonna get used to that name? - may keep his foreskin but still be provided for.

Lindsay: (sits down next to Mel) Look, it doesn't matter who's right. We can't allow Brian to come between us, as much as he'd like to.

Mel: And you know he would.

Lindsay: Even if he is the father, we're still the parents. You and me. Gus belongs to us. And that's why we had him.

Mel: Well, you had him. Aside from saying "Push" and "Breathe" I really didn't have that much to do with it.

Lindsay: You had everything to do with it. I never would have had him without you. (They kiss.) Just remember that...next time you're wondering who comes first. (they look down at Gus)

Since neither biological parent is Jewish, Gus is not Jewish and need not be circumcised.
While some remarkably Intactivist statements are made (including Brian's implicit linking of the enforced conformity of circumcision with the conformity enforced on gay people), much of the discussion - especially Melanie's contribution - ignores any effect circumcision might have on Gus.

Emmett creates a screen name for himself that includes everything that he wants to be: 4 per cent body fat, big beefy top 9[inches] by 6 UNCUT.

[June 5, 2005]
Ted, who has been depressed about aging, going bald, and gaining weight on earlier episodes, has decided to undergo multiple cosmetic surgery. In a hospital room right before the surgery, with several markings on his face where the alterations will be done, he is having doubts. Emmett is with him.

Ted: I've never had any surgery before. I still have everything intact, you know. My ... my appendix. My tonsils.

Emmett: Foreskin

Ted: My wisdom teeth. This will be my first time under the knife.

Emmett: Pish! It's nothing.

Ted: You can sit there and pish all you want, I'm the one about to suffer severe pain for the sake of a new me. What if I don't like the new me? ... Maybe Brian was right ... maybe this obsession with youth and beauty is shallow, superficial, and narcissistic.

Ted tells Melanie he's no longer satisfied with sleeping around since becoming so popular after the cosmetic surgery, and he wants to settle down. She tells him that if he wants to get hitched, he needs a Jewish guy because they make the best marriage material - that is, if the man can get past his incestuous relationship with his mother that lasts beyond the grave.

Later, Ted and Brian are at work at Brian's ad agency where Ted is Brian's accountant.

Ted: Hey listen, how about coming along with me to Beth Emmanuel's mixer?

Brian: Who's she?

Ted: It's a temple. They're having their monthly gay get-together at Woody's and I want to meet a mensch, settle down.

Later. Ted is at the mixer, at the bar ordering a drink, As he turns, he bumps into a man and spills it. After some small talk...

Ted: Ted Schmidt. Shalom

Adam: Adam Bernstein. Shalom, and nice to meet you too.

Cut to them seated at a table, talking, obviously attracted to each other.

Ted and Adam come back to Ted's place after their first date. They kiss

Adam: You know I never put too much stock into those mixers at Woody's. I mainly went to confirm my convictions that nothing would ever come of it.

Ted: That's so pessimistic.

Adam: It's not pessimistic. It's, uh, it's Jewish. But this time it worked out.

Ted: For me, too.

They walk to the sofa.

Adam: Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?

Ted: "Do I ever have sex on the first date?"

Adam: How did you guess?

Ted: Depends how it goes.

Adam: How would you say this is going?

Adam starts to kiss Ted again, passionately. He goes down on his knees and starts to unbutton Ted's pants. Ted lies back. Then he realises nothing is happening.

Ted: Everything all right down there?

Adam: Frankly, no.

Ted: What's wrong?

Adam: You're not Jewish.

Ted: I never said I was.

Adam: But you were at the mixer.

Ted: I wanted to meet a nice Jewish guy.

Adam (shaking his head, getting up): So did I.

Ted: Well, look, I mean, why let a little thing like my not being Jewish ruin what could be a beautiful relationship?

Adam (adamant): Because I want a Jewish husband. Because I want to settle down, carry on traditions, heritage.

Ted: I'll- I'll- I'll have the surgery. Oy, more surgery. Uh, I'll, uh, convert, huh? Elizabeth Taylor did it. Marylin Monroe, Sammy Davis Jr...

Adam: Look, you're a nice guy, Ted, just not a nice Jewish guy.

Later at Babylon, Brian's gay club.

Ted: My date was a bust.

Brian: What went wrong?

Ted: You could say I didn't make the cut.

Brian: You'll live.

Ted: Yeah. I don't know how you do it. You always know the right thing to say.

As usual, "circumcised" = "Jewish" in both Ted's and Adam's expectations. That Ted could could be unaware that his intactness might be an issue defies belief. The contradiction between Adam's traditionalism regarding circumcision and his lack of it regarding homosexuality goes unexplored.

Raising Hope

Season 3, Episode 21, "Bar Mitzvah: The Musical", first broadcast 28 March 2013

The parents (Lee Majors, Shirley Jones) of Burt Chance (Garret Dillahunt) arrive for an unplanned visit. They tell him that they have done some genealogy and discovered that they are actually Jewish. They urge Burt - who must be 40 or so - to study for and have a bar mitzvah. They'll invite all their friends, including a bunch of Jewish people they know.

In a musical scene in which men hoist Burt in a chair (as at Jewish weddings), everyone in the room sings about aspects of Judaism. One line is to the effect that "our wieners are cut". (Fiddler on the Roof this isn't.)

At the end of the episode, Burt's parents are caught lying about his Jewish heritage. They were short of money and figured they could get a lot of it by faking a bar mitzvah.

Season 4 Episode 15, "Anniversary Ball", first broadcast 7 February 2014

Jimmy Chance (Lucas Neff), is in the manager's office of Howdy's Market where he works, talking to his father, Burt, the store's manager, Barney Hughes (Gregg Binkley), and another employee, Frank (Todd Giebenhain). Burt has just told the others in the room that he found a lump on his testicle, and Barney mentions that he once found a lump on one of his.

Burt: What do I need a doctor for? I got a Barney. You're an expert.

Barney: Whoa, whoa, whoa Burt, I'm not a doctor.

Burt: It doesn't matter. You remember what yours felt like. If mine feels the same, I know I got nothing to worry about.

Barney: I'm not qualified...

(Burt stands up in front of the seated Barney and drops his jeans. Barney's surprised face is shown from behind Burt, between his legs. Barney blinks a couple of times while apparently looking at Burt's genitals, then looks slightly away.)

Barney: (awkwardly) ... and you're definitely not Jewish.

Barney would have known that from the episode above - but also, from the same episode, that people can be Jewish without knowing it or being circumcised. It's a gratuitous, throwaway line, inserted because of the jokey uneasiness Americans have with circumcision. Burt is a bumbling, often clueless character who says and does outrageous things, and for the mainstream American audiences this is written for, being intact is another sign of his oddity.

The Real Housewives of New York City Season 5, Episode 16: What Happens in St. Barths Doesn't Stay in St. Barths.

Heather Thomson: So let me tell you, I didn't grow up Jewish. When John said "you don't have to convert to Judaism when you marry me, but I would like to raise my children Jewish."
Carole Radziwill: Are they being raised Jewish?
Heather: Yeah, totally.
Carole: Did you have a, what is it when they cut the, the foreskin?
Heather: Oh, yes, he had his bris. A bris. Yeah.
Carole: I've been to a bris.
Heather: Yeah, it's not great because, you know, you feel bad and it doesn't feel good. But it looks so much better when you're 25, you're like "YEAH!".
Carole: You ever been with a guy uncircumcised?
Heather: Yeah. I don't like it.
Carole: I don't mind.
Heather: I didn't like it.
Carole: I'm a little bit of a size queen, but, you know, it matters who it's attached to. [implying her intact partner/s was/were attractive]
Heather: Although, I gotta say this, it doesn't matter who's attached to the small penis. Sorry. [implying her tastes in men are skin-deep]

Real World XIII: Washington DC

Episode 10 "Laughing Panda, Changing Ty", first broadcast March 3, 2010, 22 mins in. video (plays in the US only)

Andrew's younger brother, William, is visiting him. They are in the hot tub and Andrew says to William

"If I had twins I would circumcise one and not the other.....that's how I would tell them apart and would name them the exact same name: Robert and Robert."

This has reportedly happened - the single circumcision, not the name - nobody would be so stupid as to give twins the same name.

Red Dwarf

Science fiction comedy about three mismatched cosmonauts.

Characters routinely uses "Smeg!" as an expletive, presumably as a contraction of smegma. It may also be relevant that Smeg is an Italian brand of whiteware sold widely throughout Europe.

The existence of smegma is taken as a given.

Resident Alien

Comedy series about an alien (Alan Tudyk), a cruel monster, willing to do anything to achieve its ends, including killing a small town doctor, Harry Vanderspeigle, and stealing his identity.
Episode 3 "Secrets" (first broadcast February 10, 2021)

In Harry's office we can see a poster "Circumcision: Pros and Cons". It's too small to read the list, but it features a smiling baby

Harry researches medical procedures and discovering circumcision, says to himself,"They are a savage people."

The real Harry's foot is found in a lake. In order to avoid it being identified, Harry needs a different human tissue sample. He tells a couple with a baby, "I'm going to circumcise your son."

The parents say they had been thinking about it. Harry tells them he's "going to cut the skin off the end of your son's prick" and reads off the standard list of AAP medical benefits and says to them "You don't want your baby to get [gonorrhea] do you?" Dense and fearful, they respond "No". Baby is cut and his foreskin is used as the tissue sample.

This could be taken as anti-cutting, because even amoral Harry considers it "savage" and the couple are presented as gullible.

The Righteous Gemstones Black comedy that follows a famous and dysfunctional family of televangelists (HBO) S1 E9 "Better is the End of a Thing Than Its Beginning" first broadcast Ocotber 13, 2019

BJ (Tim Baltz) is arrested and uses his one phone call to summon his ex-girlfriend Judy (Edi Patterson) to the police station:

BJ: I don't play games. I don't deal with bullshit, and I do not beat around the bush.
Judy: Okay, well, how 'bout beatin' around this bush with that uncircumcised dick?
Judy shortly thereafter reports within earshot of the cops that she is very wet in the crotch for BJ.

Judy is inclined to intimidate BJ, so referring to his foreskin may not be complimentary.

In part 1 of the series

Young men are being trained to be warriors. The chief addresses them:

"What is the most important role of a Mandinka warrior?  To raise a family ... It is important that your fotos [penises] be clean and healthy." Thus begins the circumcision ritual.

There is no evidence that African genital cutting was done for either cleanliness or health. This seems to be a modern US cultural imposition on the rite.


Children's cartoon. Season 2, Episode 4 Showdown at Teeter-Totter Gulch
Official summary: A mean girl steals babies' toys at the park, so Tommy stands up to her and turns her into a nice girl.

Chucky says, "Something happened to him [Tommy] his first 8 days, I dont know what it is, but after that he changed and does not like to see babies getting picked on."

 Either "Circumcision makes children compassionate" (unlikely, but one circumstition is similar) or "Circumcision is picking on babies."

The Russell Howard Hour
UK, 2021
Russell Howard on Romance and Dating, standup comedy.

Howard: "This may be the creepiest dating app ever -'Refrigidating app aims to help you find a date based on what's in your fridge'. Let's be honest. I just misunderstood the phrase 'Check your Smeg'." <two waves of laughter, mainly men first, then women>.
1. SMEG* is a manufacturer of appliances including refrigerators, a common brand in the UK.
2. Smeg is short for smegma, also common in the UK and of no great concern, as the audience reaction indicates.

*for Smalterie Metallurgiche Emiliane Guastalla - Metallurgic Smelter of Gaustalla, in Regio Emilia, Italy

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