By: Mary Fran Bontempo

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naked castaway

Well, now I’ve seen everything. And I mean that literally.

Last Sunday, my husband and I were treated to the repeated sight of a pair of naked, male butt cheeks staring at us from our family room’s television screen. The bum in question paraded about, occasionally jumping or squatting for almost an hour.

No, we have not subscribed to the Playboy channel.

This naked hiney belongs to former British Army Captain Ed Stafford, star of a new survivalist program on the Discovery Channel. And, if the sight of Stafford’s bare rear in the middle of your TV isn’t enough to clue you in as to what the show’s about, Discovery beats you over the head with the program’s title: The Naked Castaway. (Sunday nights at 10 on Discovery.)

Naked is a word the Discovery Channel likes a lot. We learn that Stafford, another demented Brit who, for some reason, enjoys being dropped in the middle of nowhere and eating bugs, has been dumped onto a remote island with nothing, to see if he can survive for 60 days. Nothing, as in, no tools, no water and most important for this show, no clothes. Apparently, the no clothes part is the selling point.

Of course, Stafford has a camera, or there would be no show. Unlike Bear Grylls, that other English nut job from Man vs. Wild, Stafford does not have a camera crew; he films the show (and his bare arse) himself. We get views of Stafford’s butt as he climbs rocks, strides down the beach, hacks away at foliage—basically does what every other survival guy has done, except, oh, that’s right, he’s NAKED.

Yet, just to keep things from becoming totally gratuitous, we never see Stafford’s other “important bits.” His words, used when he fashioned a grass covering around his waist to protect the bits against sunburn. Further editing keeps the bits hidden when the guy isn’t sporting a grass mini-skirt, leaving the real question unanswered for all the women in the audience.

Gee, thanks, Discovery. Leaving those details out begs the question: Exactly what are we supposed to discover, here? How many ways you can get a naked ass on television without censors stepping in? I mean, I know the guy was eating lizards and drinking scummy water and trying to teach all of us couch potatoes how to survive the next time we’re dropped naked onto a remote island with nothing, but do you really think anyone was paying attention to anything besides the guy’s butt?

Even when it wasn’t featured prominently on screen, I found myself sitting there just wondering when it would make its next appearance. Which, I suppose, is the point. No one watches those survival shows to learn anything. And how many bugs can you watch someone eat?

But you have to hand it to them. In an effort to make everything old, new again, Discovery has hit upon something men have known all along: people like to see other people naked.

Of course, men like to see naked because it’s primal. Women like to see naked because it’s a cross between funny and appalling.

Either way, I’m betting there’s a plethora of naked shows in our future. The subject matter is irrelevant; it’s the naked part that counts. The Naked Insurance Salesman. The Naked Warehouse Worker. The Naked Toll Taker.

The only show I’m sure we’ll never see, though, is The Naked Fry Guy. You could likely talk a guy into getting naked almost any time, except when vats of frying oil are near his “important bits.”

That’s a “sunburn” no man would be willing to risk.

Would you watch The Naked Castaway? Click “comments” below and share!