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Chippendales is a touring dance troupe best known for its male erotic dancing (striptease) performances and for its dancers’ distinctive upper body costume of a bow tie and shirt cuffs worn on an otherwise bare torso.

Established in the late 1970s, Chippendales was the first all-male stripping troupe to make a business performing for mostly female audiences. Through the quality of its staging and choreography, Chippendales also helped legitimize stripping as a form of popular entertainment.

Today, the company produces Broadway-style shows worldwide and licenses its intellectual property for select consumer products ranging from apparel and accessories to slot machines and video games.[1][2] The Chippendales perform in a ten-million dollar theater and lounge built specifically for them at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Annually, the official men of Chippendales are seen by almost two million people worldwide, performing in more than 25 cities in the U.S., 23 cities in Central and South America, 60 European cities, four Asian countries, and eight South African cities.[3]

[hide] 1 History
2 Legal affairs
3 Notable dancers and hosts
4 In popular culture
5 See also
6 References
7 External links

[edit] History

Chippendales was founded in 1979 by Somen Banerjee, Paul Snider, and attorney Bruce Nahin. After operating a Mobil gas station and a failed backgammon club, Banerjee bought a failed Los Angeles club named Destiny II and turned it into a nightclub featuring female mud wrestling and a “Female Exotic Dancing Night.” Destiny II was located at 3739 Overland Avenue at McCune Avenue in Palms.

Broadening the operation, Banerjee soon created Chippendales, which immediately gained a huge female following. Together with Nahin and new partner/choreographer Nicolas De Noia (Snider had died in 1980),[4] Chippendales was expanded to New York’s Club Magique, London, Hamburg, Philadelphia, and Florida. Authorized shows also toured extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Europe.

The company’s popularity throughout the 1980s led to internal disputes, legal troubles, conflicts with “copycat” companies,[5] deaths, allegations of murder,[6] and the 1994 suicide of Banerjee while he was in jail awaiting trial.[7]

The company is currently run by Kevin Denberg, whose grandfather ran a Chippendales club in New York City in the 1980s. Kevin Denberg bought Chippendales in 2000 with several other investors, and immediately set about distancing the company from its somewhat risqué past.

[edit] Legal affairs

The company continues to battle similar male revues in the courts. In September 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the Trademark Office’s decision not to issue a trademark on the Chippendales “Cuffs and Collar” costume. One of the reasons for upholding the decision was the testimony of Chippendales’ own expert, who admitted the male dancers’ outfits were “inspired” by those of the Playboy Bunny, who also feature a bow-tie and shirt cuffs.[8][9] In April 2011, St. Joseph, Missouri, police shut down a show by a Chippendales impostor group, alleging that it violated Missouri’s adult entertainment laws.[10][11][12]

[edit] Notable dancers and hosts

Pornographic actor John Stagliano was an original Chippendale dancer, performing with the company for four years into the early 1980s. Similarly, Mark Davis danced with the company for four years in the mid-1980s. Radio host Todd Michaels performed with the company in 1991 and 1995.

Recently, former The Bachelor fiancée Vienna Girardi hosted the Chippendales’ “Ultimate Girls Night Out” in November 2010. Karina Smirnoff of Dancing With The Stars hosted the following month.[13] Ronnie Magro of Jersey Shore guest hosted an event in February 2011. Jeff Timmons will be performing with the group in May 2011.[14][15]

[edit] In popular culture

In 1990, actors Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze spoofed the male revue in a Saturday Night Live sketch. A 1991 episode of Quantum Leap featured a a Chippendales dancer who must help a deaf woman find success as a professional dancer. Chippendales has also been featured on The FBI Files, the VH1 series I Love the ’70s, E! True Hollywood Story, and Pit Boss.

Chippendales dancers were the impetus for the plot of the 1997 film The Full Monty. Chippendales was featured in the 2000 film The Chippendales Murder,[16] directed by Eric Bross;[17] and the 2001 film Just Can’t Get Enough.[18] Director Tony Scott is reportedly working on a film about Banerjee and the Chippendales story.[19]

Professional wrestler John Toland and his tag team partner Chad Toland dress up like Chippendales dancers for their act as The Dicks.[citation needed]

[edit] See also
Australia’s Thunder from Down Under

[edit] References

1.^ Liepe-Levinson, Katherine (2002). Strip Show: Performances of Gender and Desire. Routledge. ISBN 0415173817.
2.^ Gold, Tanya. “Egos as big as their pecs: After 20 years the Chippendales are back but their muscles aren’t the only things that are grossly inflated,” Daily Mail (May 29, 2009).
3.^ “Chippendales celebrate 30 years,” ABC 13 Action News (Las Vegas) (Mar. 6, 2009).
4.^ Theresa Carpenter (1980-11-05). “Death of a Playmate”. The Village Voice. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
5.^ Reeves, Phil. “Cyanide in the beefcake: Somen Banerjee, inventor of the Chippendales, stands accused of much more than driving women crazy. Did he not hatch a plot to leave Blackpool strewn with dead Adonises?,” The Independent (December 13, 1993).
6.^ Weinstein, Henry. “Chippendale’s Owner Indicted in Choreographer’s 1987 Slaying: Crime: Somen Banerjee is accused of arranging the unsolved killing. The charges are part of an expanding investigation in the murder-for-hire case,” Los Angeles Times (Oct. 7, 1993).
7.^ Weinstein, Henry. “Chippendale Club Owner Kills Himself: Crime: Somen Banerjee, founder of the male-stripper nightspot, is found dead in his cell. He was to be sentenced in the murder-for-hire of his former business partner,” Los Angeles Times (Oct. 25, 1994).
8.^ Morran, Chris. “Chippendales Fail At Trademarking Dancers’ Outfits,” The Consumerist (Oct. 4, 2010).]
9.^ Bartz, Diane. “Chippendales stumbles in trademark attempt,” Reuters (Oct. 1, 2010).
10.^ “St. Joseph Shuts Down ‘Chippendales’ Show: Four Male Dancers Issued Summonses,” Associated Press (Apr. 8, 2011).
11.^ “Official Chippendales Set Record Straight And Offer Calendars to Victims of Imposter Revue Shut Down By Police In St. Joseph, Missouri,” PR Web (Apr. 11, 2011).
12.^ Moore, Matthew. “Chippendales dance troupe sues rival strippers,” The Telegraph (May 25, 2009).
13.^ “Vienna Girardi Poses With Chippendales Dancers, Gets Tied Up,” Huffington Post (Oct. 6, 2010).
14.^ Mandell, Nina. “Former 98 Degrees’ bandmate Jeff Timmons to join cast of Chippendales — but will he strip?,” New York Daily News (Apr. 15, 2011).
15.^ Ward, Kate. “98 Degrees’ Jeff Timmons will raise Chippendales’ temperature for a limited run,” Entertainment Weekly (Apr. 13 2011).
16.^ The Chippendales Murder entry, Internet Movie Database. Accessed Apr. 22, 2011.
17.^ Bianculli, David. “Murder Most Banal: Chippendales reveals little,” New York Daily News (Nov. 7, 2000).
18.^ “Just Can’t Get Enough entry, Internet Movie Database. Accessed Apr. 22, 2011.
19.^ Brunton, Richard. “Tony Scott filming Chippendales biography,” Filmstalker (Oct. 31, 2009).

[edit] External links
Official Chippendales site USA
Official Chippendales site Germany
Obituary of Somen Banerjee

Categories: 1979 establishments in the United States | American erotic dancers | Entertainment companies of the United States

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