Man, it must really suck to beĀ Richard Gere. Sure, he’s rich and famous and whatever, but no matter what he does, there will always be this rumor swirling around about him and the gerbil. Every time it seems about to die down, somebody reignites it again, likeĀ Ricky GervaisĀ just did onĀ The Tonight Show WithĀ Jimmy Fallon.Ā
Ricky was on the show to promoteĀ Derek,Ā his show that just released its six-episode second season on Netflix, so of courseĀ Jimmy FallonĀ had him play a game. It was called Word Sneak, and the basic idea of it is is that Jimmy and the guest each get a stack of random cards with words on them, and they have to sneak them into conversation as casually as possible. It was words like ‘mullet’ and ‘ squeegee’ and ‘nip slip’ and ‘breadsticks’…and then Ricky got ‘gerbil’.
And he didn’t actually say the word right off, he just asked Jimmy if Richard Gere had been on the show, which was probably pretty confusing to people who haven’t heard the urban legend about Richard Gere and the gerbil. So let’s chat about it! (Sorry Richard.)
Sometime in the early 1990s, someone either started a false rumor or leaked a true story that Richard Gere had been rushed to Cedars-Sinai to remove a foreign object from his rectum. According to the legend, an x-ray proved that the object was a gerbil, lodged there after a kinky sex act went awry (a practice called ‘gerbiling’), although the story varies as to whether it was alive or dead.Ā
It also varies on a range of other details, such as whether Gere came to the hospital alone or accompanied byĀ Cindy Crawford, his romantic partner at the time, and the preparations made for the gerbil.
“Some variants say the gerbil was found to have been shaven and declawed; others claim the animal had been placed in a special plastic pouch. Still others insist the poor creature was Gereās own beloved pet (appropriately named āTibetā in this variant).”
The alleged extraction took an entire team of doctors, which is supposedly how we have the story now, and how even two decades later, it’s still making the rounds of the internet.
(Photo: Jody Cortes / WENN.com)