The End of Men (With ascots)

The Congressional Subcommittee on Tropes and Memes has just released a report on the status of men in America. Well, not really. But the idea is out, according to several pundits, that the once-dominant American male is under siege and is loosing his collective mojo. The Atlantic didn’t start this reanalysis of the status of men, but they sort of codified it in their  “The End of Men” article from last year.  And a recent Maureen Dowd piece in the NYT took a look at several planned Fall TV shows that seem to glorify the good ol’ days of the 1960s when American women knew their place.  Evidently, broacast TV is going to have shows that feature 1960s Playboy Bunnies, 1960s Airline stewardesses, and an updated Charlie’s Angels.   This is all because men are in crisis mode and they need to soothe themselves in the balm of TV fantasy, or so the (heterosexual) argument goes.

The IP would rather watch TV from the actual era when American men REALLY were men.  And it dawned on him that there may be a really simple way for today‘s increasingly emasculated men to reclaim their mojo, all the while expressing retro sartorial chic: Wear ascots.

When one looks at some classic TV bachelors from the period, one thing becomes clear beyond their expected masculine behavior: THEY WEAR ASCOTS!!

Let’s look at just 4 such ascot-wearing classic TV bachelors:

#1 Ben Gazzara in Run For Your Life

Ben Gazzara is the shit. And you don’t talk shit about Gazzara. In Run For your Life, Gazzara plays Paul Bryan, an independently wealthy, workaholic lawyer/bachelor diagnosed with the Big C and given only a year or two to live. He scores chicks, has some fights, and drives race cars like all good bachelors do. AND HE REGULARLY WEARS ASCOTS!!!

# 2 Robert Culp From I Spy

As tennis pro Kelly Robinson, Culp teams up with fellow Bachelor Alexander Scott (Bill Cosby) to fight espionage as contract government agents. He scores chicks, has some fights, plays tennis (with Bill Cosby!), AND REGULARLY WEARS ASCOTS!!!

#3 Robert Wagner From It Takes a Thief

As uber-bachelor Alexander Mundy, Wagner plays a former cat burglar working for the government who, you guessed it, scores chicks, has some fights, drives fancy cars, and REGULARLY WEARS ASCOTS!!!

# 4 George Peppard in Banacek

Peppard plays Thomas Banacek, a suave, Polish-American freelance investigator based in Boston. The Polish proverb-wielding bachelor drives a fancy car, scores with chicks, and WEARS ASCOTS ON A REGULAR BASIS!!

OK, on to the clips!

In this clip, bachelor Paul Bryan removes his ascot in his European bachelor pad while wooing an Italian babe. He doffs the scarf within the first minute of the video, so don’t feel obligated to watch it unless you want to see how the unfettered Bryan manipulates his prey.

This clip features the awesome opening title sequence of I Spy. It doesn’t have any depictions of ascots, but you get the general idea of the show. Bill Cosby is, for some reason, shown shirtless in many episodes.

Another great opening title sequence showing the exciting bachelor life of Alexander Mundy. Of the four bachelors showcased here, Mundy got the most “action” in terms of hooking up with “the ladies.”

Polish-American investigator Banacek cruises through Boston in this opening title sequence. Note I.M. Pei’s John Hancock Tower under construction. Banacek has babe “friends” all over Beantown. Let’s hope he doesn’t spill HIS beans!

All these shows are still broadcast today on The IP’s favorite network, RTV.

Here’s a bonus bachelor track:

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One Response to “The End of Men (With ascots)”

  1. Kenneth Buttercup Says:

    There was a professor(?) or some administrator guy at Harvard University who regularly wore an ascot and a nice mustache. At least he would respond to a greeting when I was sweeping the floor.

    He was older, at least in his late 60s and had a distinctive throwback/retrograde look.
    I just think once he decided on his personal style it hadn’t changed for 40 years. Despite the lack of being ontemporary, it still provides a dash of style.

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