Time to Admit I Have a Mancrush

When the subject of mancrushes comes up, most heterosexual males will generally make a few proclamations of why admitting this don’t make me gay. I will be the first to admit that I don’t know the first thing about how to fix a car or work a circular saw. I do like to shop for clothes and I’m a big fan of ABBA. If I didn’t like poontang and football so much, I’m not sure I would be able to convince even myself I’m straight. So let me be clear when I say, I dig me the ladies.

I’m so comfortable in my own sexuality that I believe gay men should be able to marry, be part of the military, run a Cub Scout troop and even have the right to vote….wait a minute…I’m being told that they can vote…AWESOME! I say it’s about time.

I have always been able to say, hey that guy is decent looking. (In italics is the exact way I would always say it.) What I have never had before is a full-fledged MANCRUSH. That is until last year when I caught a show called Dirty Jobs.

If you haven’t seen it, Dirty Jobs is hosted by a guy named Mike Rowe, who travels the U.S. looking for the worst jobs around. While it’s interesting to see the horrible professions some people have to endure on a daily basis, what makes Dirty Jobs so infinitely watchable is Rowe. This is the man I wish I could be. Mike Rowe is a strongly built, square jawed, masculine dude, with a great dry sense of humor. I’ve been a touring standup comedian for 15 years and I have never seen anyone as adept at dishing out scatological lines as Rowe. This does come in handy, since many of the Dirty Jobs he features have a strong whiff of excrement in their duties/dooties.

In my research on the Mancrush, I found a great video that Rowe has done in response from a man named FATBOY Rider who feels similarly to myself about the Dirty Jobs host. Let me just offer up as a defense, Mr. Rowe, that my Mancrush is totally harmless, as I think it is kind of like a grown up version of hero worship. Much like how a young Bob Costas used to feel watching Mickey Mantle come to the plate. It is definitely not a Spartacus kind of hero worship, as I am no man’s man servant.

Further in my research I ran across a website devoted to the mancrush. Since I’m Agnostic, I can’t go with the Number 1 on their list, Jesus Christ, though I did think Willem Dafoe’s portrayal of the Lord was pretty cool in the Last Temptation of Christ. Actually, I would love to hear Kasey Kasem do a radio Top 40 devoted to the topic.

Number 36 on the Mancrush countdown, Mohandes Ghandi. This Indian dreamboat preached pacifism and had a great set of abs from his constant hunger strikes. And now for our long distance dedication from a former military man and current Harley owner, Fatboy Rider…

Since FATBOY Rider and I have been brave enough to share our MANCRUSH target, I would like to hear yours. Remember that the Juice Blog is a safe place where admitting a Mancrush says nothing more than you like another man in an unexplained and maybe in a little bit of an uncomfortable way.

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The Juice Blog’s List of the 4 Coolest Dudes on TV

  1. Anthony Bourdain
  2. Bobby Flay
  3. Hank Moody (played by David Duchovny in Californication)
  4. Did you think I would leave a Mancrush off my list?

36 thoughts on “Time to Admit I Have a Mancrush

  1. 5.  Cooks think they are cooler than they are, especially celebrity chefs. I think Bobby Flay is a hype-artist and obnoxious. But Bourdain is the real deal. I think he’s full of it, but you can be full of it and still be cool.

  2. 7.  From a site that was started by Will Carroll and now is run by me, I will never knock someone who is a hype artist, as long as they have some substance with it. I’ve seen chefs on Iron Chef that probably are more technically proficient than Bobby Flay, but TV is about having some personality. I love his Throwdown show, as it shows him failing more than succeeding. Anyone who is a creative person who is willing to fail on TV is someone I can respect.

    Alex, aren’t you the old school rap fan? Has there ever been a bigger group of hype artists than those acts back in the day? Maybe Chuck D is to Bourdain what Flavor Flav is to Bobby Flay? Flay is Flav.

  3. 9.  Mike Rowe used to host a local Bay Area TV fluff show called “Evening Magazine”, which was about as un-manly a show that a man could possibly host. Or, at least it was before Rowe got there. I understand that “Dirty Jobs” evolved from some segments he did for Evening Magazine, but I never saw those. So I suffer from a certain amount of cognitive dissonance about Mike Rowe: my brain just can’t process him as a super-manly type of guy.

  4. 10.  Trying to get me to comment about porn and mancrushes in the same week…you aren’t forwarding these to my employer, are you?

    I’d hesitate to vote Johan Santana off the island, but if the Yankees get him I might.

  5. 11.  Ken. During my research I did discover the very unmanly gig of the show you mentioned. I also found out that before that Rowe was a professional opera singer. You have to watch an episode of Dirty Jobs to really see what dianagramr and are speaking to. Wow, that last sentence really sounds badly for me? And to think I write for an NFL pregame show. (I slipped that in to make me feel a bit more masculine.)

  6. 13.  11 I’ve seen Dirty Jobs; I can intellectually understand why you’d feel that way. But on a personal, emotional level, I’ll never feel the same way, because I still categorize him as the “Evening Magazine” guy, and the inherent paradox overloads my brain.

    Speaking of opera, my all-time mancrush is probably Bill King. A man who had mastered his artform, and lived his life exactly the way he saw fit, without a care to what anyone else thought. Yes, you can like opera on the one hand, and drive a rusty $200 car, and eat mustard-covered popcorn on the other.

  7. 14.  I can’t begrudge Rowe the Evening Magazine gig. The show was (is?) fluff, but it was clear from the moment he got there that his talent would lead him to bigger things. (My wife was a daily EM viewer when Rowe first joined and throughout his tenure…. yeah, that’s it.) I remember EM showing clips from Rowe’s previous gig (a similar show in Seattle) and thinking KPIX did well to land him.

  8. 15.  Not to get into a whole Flay vs. Bourdain thing, but Bourdain is basically a clown and not respected among top chefs (FWIW). He is “cool” and entertaining, but he’s pretty much crossed over into self-congratulatory masturbation since his book fame. He reminds me of Mencia in a way: a hack with some lucky breaks whose fame vastly outpaces his talent.

    And to claim that Flay is not a chef but some kind of hype artist is silly. The guy is classically trained, etc. There are a couple of things I admire about Flay. First, he really seems sheepish when he wins a Throwdown. This shows humility. Second, my folks happened to bump into him in Italy (he was filming a special with Mario B.) and he was cool to my mom. Hey, I know that means nothing to anyone else here, but I give him props for that.

  9. 16.  One addendum on that, too. How is the guy who owns and is exec chef at six restaurants the Flavor Flav in this scenario, as compared to the guy who owns nothing (and pretty much produces nothing except himself on TV)?

    If Flay is Flav, that makes Bourdain Sir Nose Devoidofunk.

  10. 17.  When I first saw this video of the cult with Ian Astbury [http://tinyurl.com/yosaon ] I too questioned my manhood but like you I’m also an agnostic & am very secure with my manhood.

    ps I sincerely don’t get your Mike Rowe thing bro.

  11. 19.  15 For what it’s worth, being nice to your mom scores points with me.

    I was bummed that John Besh didn’t win the Iron Chef challenge, I love New Orleans and can’t wait to get back.

  12. 20.  I was a bit flip with my comments about Flay. It was just done as a specific response to ALex. I really dig Flay and think he’s the most interesting man to watch cook on television. Hey, I put him on my cool list. Beautiful food being prepared by beautiful women is tough to beat, though. Nigella Lawson is pretty tough to beat and I’m really mesmerized by Giada’s cleavage. She also is the only woman I can think of whose forehead is one of her best features.

    I didn’t know that about Bourdain, but I don’t watch him for his cooking skills. The guy is an edgy, literate person in a television world that has little of it.

    The Mike Rowe thing is that the guy is manly, while still being really quick-witted. Being able to make this show interesting to me is pretty remarkable, considering manual labor has never held much appeal to me. I grew up in a blue collar family, so I respect the work, even though it isn’t for me. I don’t know, but somewhere there is some type of connection.

  13. 21.  While I might have a mancrush on Mike Rowe, it doesn’t affect in many anyway like this pic does.

  14. 22.  This whole mancrush thing makes me think of Louis C.K.’s bit on Ewen McGregor from his recent HBO special. Funny stuff.

    Really, though, to me the mancrush is the old “girls want to be with him, men want to be him” thing. And to that end, is there anyone of a certain generation that didn’t have a mancrush on Han Solo/Indiana Jones-era Harrison Ford? Seriously now. That whole Errol Flyn/Cary Grant/James Bond witty swashbuckler with smirk and strong chin thing is mancrush central, no?

  15. 23.  I would agree with your sentiments, Cliff. Might be an interesting topic for some scientific researcher to tackle, as the strong chin thing might be something that has an underlying connection to heterosexual men. I’m sure a few of the Dodger Thoughts guys who grew up in the 70’s might have had similar feelings about Steve Garvey.

  16. 24.  Dude, I always feel like the 21 year old trying to pretend he knows what he is tasting at his first Napa trip when I make comments on this blog. Bill King? Ian Asterbery?

    For me:

    Justin Timberlake

    26 years old
    Multiple Grammy Award Winner
    Emmy Award winner (for his “dick in a box” skit)
    Dances like Michael Jackson
    Passable actor
    Took Britney’s virginity, and has slept with Cameron Diaz, and probably Scarlett Johanson and Jessica Biel.
    The previous list will only get longer…

    I must become comfortable with my presence among adults, and allow my true thoughts to come through without exposing my immaturity and lack of life experience.

  17. 25.  Bourdain was executive chef at Les Halles, which isn’t owning it, but it’s something. He himself admits, “I am not Alain Ducasse. The focus of my career has not always been a relentless drive towards excellence. As a mostly journeyman chef, knocking around the restaurant business for twenty-eight years, I’ve witnessed some pretty ugly episodes of culinary disaster.” It’s clear he’s happy being the Hunter S. Thompson of the food world. Here’s hoping he ends better.

    Giada is gorgeous, but then she smiles and I worry I’m next on the menu. Scary.

    Harrison Ford is really the only male film star left in the classic Gary Cooper mold. When people compare Kevin Costner to Cooper, I want to hit them.

    And I don’t know if it’s the Dodger Thoughts guys, but many people who grew up in southern California in the 80s feel for Garvey, too–they feel for him like a father.

  18. 26.  Scott: I can’t tell if your Mancrush definition is:

    a) Someone you’d very much like to be (or be like), or
    b) Someone who you’d have romantic-like feelings about if you were gay, but since you aren’t, you call out a bunch of disclaimers, etc.

    It sounds like (a), but I’ve previously thought it was defined like (b). I haven’t given any thought to (a). And I haven’t really experienced much around (b).

  19. 27.  Here is my response, Brent. A mancrush for me is that feelings hit me when I watch the guy that I don’t feel for other men. Let me stress, though that these feelings DO NOT include any romantic thoughts and definitely not lubricants!

    I guess I would say for a definition of mancrush it is like a) but with a little extra something to it. Maybe like a guy you would really want to have some beers and watch a game with.

    I have gotten into a territory where I’m starting to creep my own self out. It is definitely time for me to put my football picks up, to get the mancrush off the top of this page.

  20. 28.  23 There’s been a lot of research between facial features and what personalities people expect from the people who have those features. I’m not terribly familiar with it, but one of my college professors studied it, if memory serves.

    I do know that men with strong chins are generally perceived to be very masculine–often to the point where they’re assumed to be quick to anger and unfaithful to their spouses.

    From an evolutionary standpoint, it makes sense. On average, men have stronger chins than women do. Our brains do use that marker, along with many others, to differentiate one sex from the other (one of the things the brain does I rarely think about, but am extremely thankful for), so it seems likely that when we see a strong chin, our brain thinks, on some level, “there’s a manly man, and, therefore, a heterosexual one.”

  21. 29.  27 Hm. I feel like when you say “Mancrush” I have a lot better idea what Mancrush means than when you define it or describe it. As you describe it, I think it is not that rare I identify guys who I think “hey, I’d like to be his friend, he’s a cool dude!” which would be close to your “would really want to have some beers with…”

    But the “feelings hit me” part, which is probably what is starting to creep you out, is something I’ve experienced less often (if at all, since I can’t really recall anything like that in the past five years or more).

    So, sure, get the testosterone flowing with your manly-man football picks! This topic ain’t working too well for me anyway! 😉

  22. 30.  I don’t know about anybody else but I really enjoyed reading your post & the comments to the post, nice belly laughs & really nice read.

  23. 31.  Thanks for the positive feedback. As a married man with a 4 year old daughter, it is kind of weird to put out the news that I have a mancrush, but I figure my readers demand the perverse honesty that I bring.

  24. 32.  Yeah, I agree with the Bourdain as a bit of a phony too. He’s not really well-respected as a chef, per se, but as a personality. The times I’ve seen Flay on TV he just comes accross as an arrogant ass. And I find his cookbooks unneccesarily complicated.

    For my money, there is no cooking show better than that of Jacques Pepin’s. Whichever one his latest is. Also, I’m a sucker for the good peoples at America’s Test Kitchen (and their publication Cook’s Illustrated). Does the Food Network actually have a good cooking show these days?

  25. 33.  Rick Bayless is my favorite celeb chef, by far. And that remains true even though I discovered his brother is Skip a few weeks ago. I can’t get my head around that one.

    I also think Flay is an ass. And I think that is a pretty widely held view. The jerk chicken throwdown that featured a guy who used to work on the set of Boy Meets Grill was illuminating in this regard. When Bobby showed up for the throwdown and the guy saw him, his reaction was “Hey, it’s the rude one!” Bobby just kind of laughed it off.

    Although I guess you can give him points for allowing it to be included in the show.

  26. 34.  The discussion of cooking shows reminds me some of the baseball announcers one. No one seems to be able to grade on a curve. Bourdain hosts more of a travel show, with food as a major facet. Kind of like how I write an eclectic blog, with baseball as a major facet. Bourdain brings a literate, anti-corporate feel to television. This is something that is in short supply in the world, especially on television.

    Flay is a television superstar who allows himself to be seen as a douche, sometimes. The throwdown show is part cooking show, part sporting event. It is good television. I don’t find Flay’s cooking style that complicated, but I haven’t followed anything out of any of his cook books.

    I really like America’s Test Kitchen. I’m not a huge fan of French cooking, so Pepin I could take or leave.

  27. 35.  I don’t know if anyone is even reading this thread anymore, but I like your last post, Scott. It made me consider different aspects of these two guys. It might be safe to say that if I had to eat the food one cooked while having the dinner sitting down with the other, I’d have Flay cook and kick it with Bourdain. That’s not to say I wouldn’t break bread with Flay–it’s just to fit that scenario. Here’s another–let Paula Deen cook and sit with Giada (not a tough choice there).

  28. 36.  I do like Paula Dean’s recipes, but considering how heavy her food is, I would probably want to just eat a light salad, if I was to spend a night sitting, standing, and definitely the case laying with Giada.

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