Best keep thyself at the gym for a few extra hours, Matthew McConaughey — you have some serious shirtless-celebrity competition, and his name is Mario Lopez. In the last couple of months, the 34-year-old actor-turned-exhibitionist has revived his career by showcasing his impossibly chiseled muscles on multiple magazine covers (PEOPLE, TV Guide), bookshelves (Mario Lopez’s Knockout Fitness), Broadway (he costars in A Chorus Line), and TV screens (MTV’s Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew, Extra).
Once best known for what he was wearing on the early-’90s sitcom Saved by the Bell — namely parachute pants and jaunty silk button-downs — Lopez floundered for years after it went off the air, mostly taking gigs as a TV host-of-all-trades (we’re still trying to forget The Other Half, though you probably have). In 2006, though, he wised up and decided to let his body do the talking instead. He famously bared his buns during an innuendo-laced shower scene on Nip/Tuck, and signed on as a contestant with ABC’s D-list resuscitation factory Dancing With the Stars. Faster than you can say ”Drop and give me 20!” the well-toned, good-spirited Lopez began to attract the kind of attention and adoration that’s usually reserved for female pinups like Pamela Anderson and Megan Fox. He clearly welcomes the fascination with his physique; in May, while promoting his book, Lopez told Good Morning America that ”fitness has always been so important to me. People over the years have asked me, ‘What do you do to stay in shape?’… It’s about having fun.” In other words, let handsome gents like George Clooney court their fans with old-school glamour and class — Lopez is more than happy to be Chippendales’ de facto ambassador to the world.