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Emmys 2017
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'Shallow Hal': Tall Tail?

A burning question about Jason Alexander’s unique feature in the new Farrelly Bros. movie

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In Shallow Hal, Jason Alexander plays a shlub hiding a wiggly tail at the base of his spine. Is such a mutation a tall tale?

Not exactly. ”On very rare occasions, the neuroridges of the spinal column fuse but don’t stop growing and [a tail] will stick out…in the form of a fatty tumor,” explains Frank Sherwin, a zoologist at San Diego’s Institute for Creation Research. ”But it has no muscle, bone, or nerve, as in a dog or cat tail. Physicians deaden the area and cut it off.” Still, Alexander says he found his junior appendage (which wagged with a puppeteer’s help) ”remarkably comfortable.” The Seinfeld alum says he might like a tail: ”Why not? It doesn’t suffer from shrinkage.”