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Is ‘Welcome To Chippendales’ Based On A True Story?

Kumail Nanjiani smiles in a nightclub as Somen Banerjee in Welcome to Chippendales.

I am shooketh.

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I am rattled as rattlesnake. I am troubled like the water in that Simon and Garfunkle song. My world has been rocked harder than … a ROCK.

The trailer for Welcome To Chippendales just dropped, along with the cast and release date. I thought, “oh cool! A whacky true crime parody based on male strippers! This will be a fun departure from brutal reality!”

But I was wrong … I was so, so wrong.

Wait WHAT? Are you saying that CHIPPENDALES isn’t even safe anymore!?

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but the goofy all-male strip sensation has a bloodstained past. I don’t even know where to begin! This thread goes deep. I feel like that meme of Charlie from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia trying to connect the dots of a conspiracy. A CONSPIRACY THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. I’ll explain.

Once upon a time, there was a man named Somen “Steve” Banerjee who was born in Bombay, India in 1946. When he grew up, Banjeree moved to the United States to try and earn his fortune in business. It didn’t exactly go as planned. He managed a Mobil gas station for a time, and then he tried (and failed) to get a backgammon club off the ground. Who doesn’t love backgammon? Apparently lots of people. He then bought a failed club in Los Angeles and revamped it into a nightclub called “Destiny II.” I guess it was meant to be a sequel to the first club? He hosted all sorts of activities at his club, eventually realized that he could make a killing if he catered to a more diverse audience than just straight men, and created one of the first all-male exotic dance troupes in order to appeal to women. Thus, Chippendales was born.

As he worked his way up the newly created male stripper manager ladder, he had a series of totally wholesome business partners. One of these men, a nightclub promoter named Paul Snider, killed his Playboy Playmate wife Dorothy Stratten in a murder/suicide. Banjeree would later dabble with murder himself, as he hired a hitman in an attempt to kill his Chippendales co-producer Nick DeNoia in 1987. If that wasn’t enough, he tried to have a former Chippendales choreographer named Michael Fullington killed, along with two former Chippendales dancers who he believed to be competition to his Chippendales franchise.

This dude racked up a ton of charges, including arson, and was staring down the barrel of 26 years in prison. He never served his full term, as he died by suicide before his sentencing.

(Featured image: Hulu)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.

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