No Matter Who He Plays in ‘Lear,’ Ian McKellen Gets His Kit Off

Photo: Photos: Courtesy of BAM (McKellen); Patrick McMullan (Simon); iStockphoto (package)

Thanks to some excellent archival digging by New York reporter Jada Yuan, we've learned that no matter who Ian McKellen plays in King Lear, he simply cannot keep his pants on. In an interview with Yuan several years ago, McKellen complained again about a review in which former New York theater critic John Simon disparaged his manhood (making Yuan the second New York reporter to whom Sir Ian had made this exact complaint). Yuan went back to the tape and discovered that it was a 1974 production of … King Lear, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, with McKellen playing Edgar.

So 33 years have now passed, and McKellen is still getting naked on the BAM stage. We hope that's enough time for him to forget this supposed slight to his package. Get over it, Sir Ian! People are paying like four hundred bucks just to see you onstage in the altogether! You're doing fine.

Because this is what broadband is for, we are pleased to present streaming audio of Ian McKellen defending Little Ian from John Simon, for your listening pleasure, after the jump.

From the archives: Jada Yuan interviews Sir Ian McKellen

Earlier: John Simon Belittles Ian McKellen's Junk … Again?