Rabbit Test (film)
|Directed by||Joan Rivers|
|Produced by||Edgar Rosenberg|
|Written by||Joan Rivers
|Music by||Pete Carpenter
|Edited by||Stanford C. Allen|
|Distributed by||AVCO Embassy Pictures|
|Release dates||April 9, 1978|
|Running time||81 minutes|
Rabbit Test is a 1978 American comedy film about the world's first pregnant man, directed by Joan Rivers and starring Billy Crystal. The title is a reference to the Friedman test, commonly known as the rabbit test, a medical procedure used for several decades in the 20th century to determine pregnancy.
Lionel Carpenter is a night-school teacher who has bad luck with women. He remains a virgin until his brash cousin Danny (Alex Rocco) sets him up with a one-night stand. Soon after, Lionel starts feeling nauseated and throwing up, eventually doing so onto Segoynia Savaka (Joan Prather), one of his immigrant students. This turns out to be a blessing in disguise, as it gives him an excuse to ask her out on a date, and a romance develops.
When Lionel meets Segoynia's fortune-telling grandmother (played by Roddy McDowall in drag), she intuits that he is the world's first pregnant man. This results in a series of gags relating to his pregnancy and people's reactions to it. One sideplot has Lionel being pursued by the army, as the president is afraid of what effect the widespread ability of men to conceive will have on population growth.
In the ending sequence, which is patterned after the Nativity, Lionel finally goes into labor. The camera rises to heaven where God announces to the viewers the successful delivery: "Oh my god... it's a girl!"
This was the first and only theatrical film directed by Joan Rivers who makes a cameo appearance as a comic nurse, and her daughter Melissa Rivers also has a bit part. Rivers' husband Edgar Rosenberg was producer.
It is also Billy Crystal's film debut.
There are many cameo appearances by notable performers of the time, including Imogene Coca, Richard Deacon, Norman Fell, Fannie Flagg, Alice Ghostley, Roosevelt Grier, George Gobel, Paul Lynde, Roddy McDowall, Sheree North, Charles Pierce, Tom Poston, Charlotte Rae, Jimmie Walker and Michael Keaton (in his film debut in a bit part).
Whereas the similarly plotted Junior (1994) explains how its male protagonist gets pregnant (injection of a fertilized embryo into the abdominal cavity), in Rabbit Test this area is never delved into; Lionel simply has sex (he's on the bottom) and becomes pregnant.
- Junior, a 1994 comedy film about a pregnant man