Rabbit Test (film)

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Rabbit Test
Directed by Joan Rivers
Produced by Edgar Rosenberg
Written by Joan Rivers
Jay Redack
Starring Billy Crystal
Roddy McDowall
Joan Prather
Alex Rocco
Doris Roberts
Michael Keaton
Music by Pete Carpenter
Mike Post
Cinematography Lucien Ballard
Edited by Stanford C. Allen
Distributed by AVCO Embassy Pictures
Release dates
April 9, 1978
Running time
81 minutes
Language English
Budget N/A

Rabbit Test is a 1978 American comedy film about the world's first pregnant man, directed by Joan Rivers and is also Billy Crystal's film debut.[1]

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. This was the only directing effort by Joan Rivers, who also plays a nurse in a brief scene, while her daughter Melissa Rivers also has a bit part. Rivers' husband Edgar Rosenberg was producer. Many actors made a cameo appearance, such as 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 feature film debut. It was also the only theatrical feature to be scored by the team of Mike Post and Pete Carpenter.


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 vomits, 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 of the United States 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!"


The hospital where Lionel goes for the delivery is called the Mary Baker Eddy Memorial Hospital.




  • Margaret Adachi as Interviewer
  • Roderick Alexander as A Tint of Darkness
  • Adam Anderson as Sobbing Sailor
  • John Andersonjo as African Chief
  • Edward Ansara as Second Newscaster
  • Gino Ardito as Wino Brother
  • Lawrence Bame as Second Secret Service Man
  • Sarverio Barbiere as Gypsy Cousin
  • Marlene Barr as Cashier
  • Billy Barty as Lester
  • Tanii Bauer as Mrs. Reinheimer
  • Peggy Blow as Bunny
  • Steve Bluestein as Berkowitz
  • May Boss as Frail Old Lady
  • R.G. Brown as Amazing Frank
  • Suzanne Buhrer as Bust Developing Lady
  • Warren Burton as First Secret Service Man
  • H.R. Calhoun as Native Drummer
  • William Callaway as Intern
  • Hamilton Camp as Misha
  • Allan Chinn as Chinese Soldier
  • Jane Chung as Woman
  • Patience Cleveland as First Dancing Lady
  • Imogene Coca as Madam Marie
  • Jane Connell as Anthropologist
  • Charles Cooper as Second Presidential Aide
  • Edwin Craig as Man In Crowd
  • Valerie Curtin as Pashima
  • Keene Curtis as Dr. Julius Lasse-Braun
  • Francis De Sales as Cardinal
  • Richard Deacon as First Newscaster
  • Barry Dennen as Mad Bomber
  • Fay DeWitt as Mrs. Stockard (credited as Fay De Witt)
  • Peter Elbling as Monya
  • Norman Fell as Segoynia's Father
  • Fannie Flagg as The President's Wife
  • Jack Fletcher as The Pope
  • Ben Freedman as Gypsy Grandfather
  • Ben Frommer as Mr. Sanchez
  • Monika Furness as Little Girl (credited as Monica Furneess)
  • Alice Ghostley as Nurse Tumm
  • George Gobel as The President of the U. S.
  • Ina Gould as Woman Flasher
  • Roosevelt Grier as Taxi Driver
  • Rod Haase as Surfer
  • Teri Hope as Sobbing Lady (credited as Teri Hope Redack)
  • Tracy Hotchner as Woman In Crowd
  • Pollyanna Houston as Harpist
  • Roy D. Jackson as Man in Crowd
  • J.S. Johnson as Father of Triplets
  • John Kaufman as Janitor
  • Michael Keaton as Sailor
  • Paul Kessler as Storm Trooper
  • Deborah Klose as Shopper
  • Susan Krebs as Mother
  • James Lashly as Man In Crowd
  • Hap Lawrence as Soldier
  • Sondra Lowell as Second Dancing Lady
  • Paul Lynde as Dr. Roger Vidal, M.D.
  • Tommy Madden as Hospital Visitor
  • Peter Marshall as Peter Marshall (credited as Peter La Cock)
  • Murray Matheson as Dr. Mario Lowell
  • Roddy McDowall as Gypsy Grandmother & Dr. D & C Fishbine
  • Jed Mills as Air Force Aide
  • Rollin Moriyama as Japanese Doctor
  • Ray Anthony Morris as A Tint of Darkness
  • Shelley Morrison as Mrs. Borzoni
  • Nora Nichols as Woman in Crowd
  • Sheree North as Mystery Lady
  • Raymond O'Keefe as Bronco
  • Georgie Paul as Gypsy Lady
  • Paul Pepper as Reporter
  • Charles Pierce as The Queen of England
  • Fred Pittman as A Tint of Darkness (credited as Frederick L. Pittman)
  • Nathan Pittman as A Tint of Darkness
  • Henry Polic II as Tito
  • Tom Poston as The Minister
  • May Quigley as Nurse
  • Charlotte Rae as Cousin Claire
  • Ron Rifkin as Dr. Briscoe
  • Joan Rivers as Second Nurse
  • Sab Shimono as Chinese Leader
  • Mary Steelsmith as Melody Carpenter
  • Linda Thompson as Girl on Bus
  • Jimmie Walker as Umbuto
  • Al Ward as Man In Crowd
  • Jomarie Ward as Woman Reporter
  • John Welsh as Army Aide
  • Larry Gene Williams as A Tint of Darkness
  • Lou Wills Jr. as Doctor (credited as Lou Wills)
  • Dick Yarmy as Ist Presidential Aide
  • Carmen Zapata as Madam Nundi
  • Susanne Zenor as Mother of Triplets
  • Vincent Di Paolo as Swat Team Officer (uncredited)
  • Larry Gelman as Stand-Up Comic (uncredited)
  • Melissa Rivers as Little Girl (uncredited)

See also[edit]

  • Junior, a 1994 comedy film about a pregnant man


External links[edit]