One of the scenes in Forgetting Sarah Marshall that people will be talking about over the virtual water cooler next week is the one that involves Jason Segel doing full frontal nudity. Yes, he lets it all hang out, and what's admirable is that he does it purely for the sake of a joke. That takes courage! That takes guts! That takes ... well, you know.
This isn't the first film to use nudity for laughs, of course. Comical naughty bits have a rich history in Hollywood. Here are seven movies with hilarious nudity.
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
What's funnier than a naked dude? A naked FAT dude. And what's funnier than a naked fat dude? A naked fat dude wrestling a naked skinny dude in a hotel room, and a hotel hallway, and a hotel elevator, etc., etc.
We now know M.C. Gainey as Mr. Friendly on TV's Lost. But we'll never forget his brief screen time in Sideways as the husband of a waitress that Jack (Thomas Haden Church) slept with. When Miles (Paul Giamatti) sneaks into the couple's bedroom to retrieve Jack's wallet, he interrupts a lovemaking session, and Gainey chases him out into the street, fully nude, flabby, and floppy. The camera angle is perfect: We're inside the car, with Giamatti running toward us, closely pursued by Gainey, so that the alarming nudity looms larger and larger until finally he presses himself up against the car window. It's like being on safari when an animal attacks.
The Simpsons Movie
Like most Simpsons TV episodes, the first act of the film is hilarious, followed by two additional acts that are somewhat less so. In that terrific first act, however, is the brilliant sight gag where Bart takes a nude skateboard ride. The film uses every trick imaginable to keep Bart Jr. hidden from sight -- until finally he rides past a hedge that blocks his entire body except for that. Genius.
Public bathroom stall. Larry Craig situation. Realistic-looking prosthetic wang pokes through a hole in the wall ... and then is used as a weapon, impaling Shawn Wayans through the ear. It makes sense, really, since the slasher movies being parodied often kill teenagers right after they have sex. Why not kill them with sex?
Monty Python's Life of Brian
Graham Chapman, like all the Pythons, was not afraid to do whatever it took to make a joke succeed. In Life of Brian, Chapman's reluctant prophet has just spent the night with Judith Iscariot (Sue Jones-Davies) when he flings open the window to let in some morning air -- and is shocked to find a crowd of followers in the courtyard below, waiting to hear words of inspiration. The fact that Brian is naked and has now fully exposed himself to his audience makes it that much more awkward (and thus funnier).
Mel Gibson's Oscar-winning epic isn't generally funny (depending on your attitude toward disembowelments), but it does have an amusing moment where the Scottish warriors lift their kilts to taunt the English with their junk, then turn around to moon them, too. Let's be honest: mass moonings are always funny (see also Revenge of the Nerds).
I find Jon Waters' seminal (sorry, but that's the right word) 1972 comedy almost unwatchable, not because it's gross but because when it's not gross, it's boring. It has a lot of nudity, though, and a lot of it's funny -- never more so than the horrifically transfixing moment when a naked man turns his back to the audience, bends over, and serenades us with his butt. I'm not even sure what rating such a scene deserves. NC-17 doesn't really do it justice.
Tell us some of your favorite comedic nude scenes ...