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Re: Why the TV Hulk was David Banner: My understanding is that it was the Sixties TV Batman that made the name “Bruce” camp – or “swishy” – what with his ward, and the way his tights hung, etc. If memory serves, the Batman TV show was also responsible for making “ward” a joke euphemism. In the mid-Nineties, I was at a dinner party with a sweet old English actor who introduced me to his young male “ward,” and I was rather touched that he thought you could still pull that off.

In Australia, by contrast, Bruce used to be a very butch name. In British TV comedy, for example, the Aussies were always manly outback types called Bruce. But, in a minor example of globalisation, the Oz butchness somehow got infected by American swishiness and “Bruce” came to be associated with an oddly parodic butchness.

Apologies to all Bruces if any of the above is Bruceophobic.


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