Taking Off In A New Direction

The Early Show, At age 63, Bernie Barker is the oldest male stripper in the world, CBS/The Early Show

It is safe to say Bernie Barker is an example of the ultimate mid-life crisis, The Early Show Correspondent Melinda Murphy reports.

The flight-of-foot Hollywood, Fla., retiree says, "I spent more than 20 years in the nuclear industry." Commercial nuclear power, that is.

But it's not what Barker used to do for a living that makes him so special. It's what he does now.

At age 63, Barker is the oldest male stripper in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. Barker's collection of skimpy under-things is also quite impressive.

Showing one of his outfits, he asks, "Isn't that snazzy? It glows in the dark, too." And says to Murphy, "Don't be embarrassed."

Barker certainly isn't embarrassed; he's downright proud.

He points out, "I keep track of the articles and the things I've done."

Barkerhas won 42 amateur strip contests since he first started dancing three years ago. He's even been featured on the cover of the local paper.

"There I am," he says, showing off a newspaper article. "Front page."

But believe it or not, it all began with something not so pleasant.

He says, "When I was 59, I had prostate cancer and I had surgery and it's a very devastating operation."

Around the same time, he started hanging out at a local strip joint where the gals convinced him to try strutting his new buff body. One thing led to another and now Bernie just loves entertaining the ladies.

He says, "I do it because I like to do it. I like to dance. It keeps me going to the gym."

In fact, Barker goes to the gym about five days a week. And he works on his tan just as often, wearing only a G-string.

He says, "I do it to keep a tan, to maintain a bikini line in case I do male dancing."

Of course, that means his neighbors get a free show.

Debra Hormell is one of them. She says with a laugh, "When I first saw him, I thought he was cute. l told my daughter,'Don't look.'"

But is he sexy when he dances? That's the real question. So for The Early Show, Barker arranged to perform at a local ladies night.

Here are some comments by two ladies who saw him dance.

"He's very entertaining!" says one.

"What's wonderful is his energy and his sexuality and the fact that it doesn't matter what age you are, you are sexy," says another.

Barker has been married three times and does have children. He says no one in his family is supportive of his dancing. But he says he's 63 and isn't breaking any laws, so he's going to keep doing it because it makes him happy.

If you want to get in touch with Barker, you may email him at bern1runner@aol.com.
  • Tatiana Morales

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