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The Five: Superman

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3. The Red Underpants: An Oral History


Adventures of Superman (1952)
George Reeves (Superman, before quitting the show): “I’m getting a little too old to be running around in my underwear.”

Superman (1978)
Margot Kidder (Lois Lane): “They put poor Christopher [Reeve] in this various assortment of sizes of codpiece under the suit in the red underpants, and some days Christopher would come out and he’d be out to here. Which would make me go ‘ding ding ding ding’ [flicks codpiece], ‘cause they were all made of metal. He’d go, ‘Kidder! Stop it!’ ”

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)
Dean Cain (Superman): “[When I was asked to do this pose,] I said, ‘Really?’ But I was in my twenties.”

Superman Returns (2006)
Louise Mingenbach (costume designer): “There was more discussion about Superman’s ‘package’ than anything else on the suit. Was it too big? Was it not big enough? Was it too pointy? Too round? It was somebody’s job for about a month just working on codpiece shapes. It was crazy.”

Man of Steel (2013)
Henry Cavill (Superman): “Why wear underpants when you can be far more revealing? There was no fly [on the costume]. There was no zipper. So it’s just one of those things where you got to wait for the right time [to pee].”


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