A pregnant man? It's just another day in Hollywood
From 'Junior' to 'Star Trek,' male pregnancy stories are found in everything from scifi to comedy.
Are you a man who thinks he has what it takes to be a mom? That's the intriguing question behind the new reality show "ManBirth." Created by Keshet, the Israeli production company that's responsible for such U.S. television hits as "Homeland," "Your Family or Mine" and "Deal With It," the series follows three men who artificially experience the challenges of carrying a child for nine months.
"Using state-of-the-art technology, including custom-built pregnancy suits and contraction belts, the fathers-to-be find out what it really means to carry a baby," the series' website explains. "Alongside their partners, they’ll experience the weight, discomfort and clumsiness, as well as the sleeplessness, cramps and the inevitable contractions."
While reality television's embrace of pregnant men is certainly new, it's familiar territory for Hollywood. Below are just a few films and television episodes that have explored the idea of male pregnancy and its amusing possibilities.
In 1978, the late, great American comedian Joan Rivers debuted her first (and consequently, final) directing effort with "Rabbit Test." The film tells the story of a virgin, played by a young Billy Crystal, who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand with a mysterious prostitute. While the movie was panned upon its release, it's since turned into something of a cult classic; with many considering it a comedy that was well ahead of its time.
'Star Trek: Enterprise: Unexpected'
The Star Trek universe has given us all sorts of wonderful moments, from cameos by Albert Einstein to adorable tribbles. It's not surprising then that the science fiction franchise has also covered the topic of male pregnancy.
In the episode "Unexpected" from the series "Star Trek: Enterprise," Commander Trip Tucker accidentally becomes "pregnant" after playing a game with an unknown alien species. In addition to growing nipples in various places on his body, he also undergoes hormonal changes. While not pregnant in the classic sense (the alien baby is found to be using Tucker as a host), the episode does follow some of the same gestation tropes as others on this list.
"I'm the chief engineer. I spent years earning that position," exclaims Tucker. "I never had any intention of becoming a working mother!"
Starring Austrian-American Arnold Schwarzenegger, "Junior" tells the story of a male research geneticist who accidentally becomes pregnant after a science experiment gone wrong.
"I know this sounds odd, but Schwarzenegger is perfect for the role," film critics Roger Ebert said in his review. "Observe his acting carefully in 'Junior', and you'll see skills that many 'serious' actors could only envy."
This dark British comedy tells the story of a woman named Dr. Eva Frankenstein who overhears a man arguing with his wife over children. While the man wants kids, his partner is opposed. Dr. Frankenstein decides to assist the man by secretly operating and impregnating him with a child.
'A Slightly Pregnant Man'
Released in 1973, the French-Italian film "A Slightly Pregnant Man" tells the tale of a driving instructor named Marco who suddenly discovers that he is four months pregnant. It's not really explained how this is possible (the hormones in Marco's favorite meal, chicken, are hinted as the cause), but the film has fun with the concept. Marco's plight eventually becomes public and he enjoys a new career as the model for a new range of male paternity clothing.
'Sliders: The Prince of Slides'
"Sliders," which ran five seasons from 1995 to 2000, featured a group of travelers using wormholes to "slide" between different parallel universes. In one episode, the team find themselves in a world where women are unable to carry children to term. As a result, men are implanted with an artificial womb containing the child during the third trimester. As the promo for the episode shows above, the men in this world are also responsible for giving birth.
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