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Television in Turkey
That's stage-hand Hilmi Bey, second from the left...
Down came his pants, out came his willy...
Click for enlargement.
Thanks to Hürriyet Gazetesi
11 June 2006
In front of a national television audience,
you live by the sword, you die by the sword...
Mehmet Ali Erbil is a living Turkish-television and entertainment legend -- who is known as much for his uninhibited behaviour (both on and off stage) as for his undisputed multi-talents. Always a proponent of the broad burlesque-style sight gag (which his fan-legions expect and love), Mehmet Ali's most recent on-air antics include such activities as sexually provocative dancing, dwarf-throwing, and performing in drag.
But last Friday evening, as the game show host for ATV Network's
Going for a-big-horse-laugh, Mehmet Ali lined up several of the male stage-hands and had them raise their hands over their heads. He then went behind one of men, Hilmi Bey, and yanked his pants down while the Live TV cameras whirred. Trouble is...not only did Hilmi Bey's outer pants come down on-camera, but so did his underpants as well -- exposing the stage-hand's completely-naked manhood to the entire national TV viewing audience.
It was vaguely reminiscent of Bob Hope's famous on-air blooper of the early 1950s. The way we heard the story, Bob and then movie-starlet Marilyn Monroe were doing a broadcast together -- and when Bob asked how she was, Marilyn said that she was a little cold. With that, the ever-helpful Bob suggested, "Well put your hand in my pocket then." She did... but feeling embarrassed, she said demurely, "I feel a little funny reaching in your pocket like this." With a sly grin, Bob replied, "Reach a little further and you'll feel NUTS." And the program went off air.
So these 'work accidents' can happen, we know. And that's how Mehmet Ali tried to explain away his blooper with stage-hand Hilmi Bey, as a 'Work Accident." And he apologized profusely to everyone concerned -- to each of the stage-hands, to the Turkish TV viewers, and to TV officials alike..
But, the day after the night before... ATV suspended the 'Ya Şundadır ya Bunda' show until further notice. And the Turkish National Censorship Board (RTÜK) called an emergency meeting to discuss the on-air incident, and will announce a verdict soon -- as to Mehmet Ali's fate.
Dear Mehmet Ali Bey, We hope that RTÜK doesn't restrict your wild side, entirely -- it would be a sad day for Turkish television. Your innovative ways provide a lot of enjoyment for your large and devoted audience. But, you may as well expect the worst... Bob Hope's blooper (which is still remembered more than half a century later) got him banned from US television for 2 years. Oh my...
Update: A week after the blooper incident, Mehmet Ali appeared, hat a hand, before the RTÜK Censorship Board -- and apologized again. Sensing his sincerity, the Board excused him with a warning.
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