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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Welcome to Your Fantasy

Available on Apple Podcasts Podcasts

I grew up knowing Chippendales, the male striptease club and its shirtless, cuffed, and collared dancers, mostly through Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze’s 1990 S.N.L.sketch. But as this new podcast from PineappleStreet Studios and Gimlet shows, it was once far more than a punch line—Chippendales was an international sensation, and its backstory is like a real-life L.A. noir. Founded in 1979 by an Indian immigrant and a children’s-television producer, it reached its peak by the 80s, with calendar sales rivaling those of the Farrah Fawcett poster. But behind the glossy-photo shoots and still-glossier abs of Chippendales was a dark side, a cocaine-dusted world of corruption and even murder that host and historian Natalia Petrzela unfurls over eight episodes. It’s a true-crime series, laced in cologne, but it’s not all scandal. The show is also a revealing look into one of the best-known but perhaps least understood cultural phenomenas. —C.J.F.

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