"Welcome To Chippendales" Is Pretty Shocking, So You'll Be Surprised To Know That Most Of It Is True

Hulu just dropped the first two episode of Welcome to Chippendales, a miniseries about the sordid and bloody true story of the iconic male strip show.


Kumail Nanjiani plays Chippendales founder Steve Banerjee, and both he and the show are SO GOOD.

As is usually the case with these true crime adaptations, there's a lot of stuff that really happened and a few details that have been a little embellished. So, here's our best attempt to sort the fact from the fiction:

🚨SPOILER WARNING🚨 for the first two episodes, btw.

1.TRUE: Somen "Steve" Banerjee worked at a Mobil gas station and, as the show depicts, used his savings to buy and open a club.

Kumail as Somen standing in front of a sliding glass doors covered with blinds
Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

2.FALSE: He tried several business ideas with Paul Snider (Dan Stevens on the show) before they settled on turning Destiny II into a male strip club.

Banerjee did try out a few ideas, including a backgammon club and female mud wrestling as shown in the show, but he did so with his partner, Bruce Nahin. Nahin was not depicted in the show.

Banerjee did try out a few ideas, including a backgammon club and female mud wrestling as shown in the show, but he did so with his partner, Bruce Nahin. Nahin was not depicted in the show.

Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

3.FALSE: Banerjee came up with the idea for a male strip club and had to talk Snider into it.

Banerjee and Snider talking to a woman outside of a club in a scene from the miniseries

It was actually Snider's idea.

Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

4.TRUE: The name Chippendales is based on a type of 18th century furniture, and Banerjee chose it to imply a classy atmosphere.

A Chippendales performing kissing a woman who's surrounded by other women in the club
Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

5.FALSE: There was conflict between Paul Snider and Nick de Noia (Murray Bartlett) over how the club was being run.

Snider holding a microphone and smiling on the left and de Noia on the right

There's no evidence that the two ever met, since Snider died before Nick de Noia joined the business.

Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

6.TRUE: Dorothy Stratten (Nicola Peltz) was the person to suggest the iconic cuff and bowtie look inspired by Playboy.

Dorothy wearing a flow-y outfit and a suede fedora as she sits in a restaurant in a scene from the miniseries
Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

7.FALSE: Dorothy Stratten and Paul Snider were married when he killed her.

Dorothy and Paul walking together in the miniseries on the left and the real-life Dorothy and Paul smile as they cut a cake together on the right

Unfortunately, the murder-suicide of Dorothy and Paul at the end of Episode 1 did really happen, but the context is a little different. In the show, Paul accuses Dorothy of wanting to sleep with director Peter Bogdanovich and she says she's not interested. In reality, she did have a relationship with Bogdanovich when she and Paul separated. Dorothy and Paul were divorced and estranged when he killed her — the show implies that it happened during an argument in their shared home.

Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection / Getty Images

8.FALSE: Possibly everything the show says about Irene Banerjee.

Somen and Irene talking over drinks

Steve Bannerjee was married to a woman named Irene, but according to Annaleigh Ashford, who plays Irene, "there's, like, one photo of her." The show made up the plot about her being an accountant who helped the club cut its business costs.

Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

9.TRUE: Nick de Noia was a two-time Emmy winner who choreographed the Chippendales show and was crucial to the brand's success.

Nick leading a rehearsal
Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

10.FALSE: A lot of the details about the character Denise Coughlan, played by Juliette Lewis.

Denise standing at a bar

Denise seems to be based on Candace Mayeron, the self-professed den mother of Chippendales. And there's a few details about Denise that support this, like her appearance and close relationship with Nick de Noia. However, Candace never claims to have been a costume designer, and she certainly didn't come up with breakaway pants like Denise does in the show.

Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

Are you going to be checking out Welcome to Chippendales? Tell us in the comments!