SINCE its debut at the 1998 Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Puppetry of the Penis has played to over 10 million people, in 30 different countries. It has been performed in everything from Spanish to German and French, in temperatures ranging from 52 degrees to -38 and in front of the likes of Hugh Grant, Naomi Campbell, Elton John, Bono and the Beckhams!
Australians Simon Morley and David Friend’s grand repertoire of genital gesticulations came about because of some good old fashioned sibling rivalry after Simon’s youngest brother, Justin, showed him his first installation – ‘The Hamburger’. The natural course of one-upmanship led to Simon’s mastery of the art of genital origami and to what is now the worldwide phenomenon that is Puppetry of the Penis. Australian Times got down and dirty and asked the boys all their gory secrets.
What inspires you to create a new dick trick and how do you go about it?
Sometimes you will see something and think ‘I can do that!” and then again sometimes you’ll be work shopping and think to yourself “hang on! What does this look like!?” The chicken and the egg really.
Who do you feel your material is aimed at?
It’s for everybody! Half of us have one, the other half is rather curious about them.
What about going on tour around the UK are you most looking forward to?
Seeing the masses trying to cuddle a penis!
Did you ever think you’d make a career out of doing it?
Oh no! Who could ever dream of this! Mind you, I think a lot of men dream of traveling the world, getting their penises out for an hour a night, and getting paid for it!
Why do you think men have such a fascination with their penises?
It’s our power source. We keep it hidden, but can’t wait to share it. With it we share some of our most memorable and joyous moments. It’s just always been there for us.
Have you ever had any strange requests from fans?
Too many to mention! No, I will not sign your testical!
How do you prepare for your shows?
Relax and think of my Nanna.
Which is the hardest trick to get right / the easiest to get wrong?
Hardest- Sea Anemone. Easiest to get wrong- The Hamburger. Got to balance those buns!
Have you ever injured yourselves?
Not from performing the tricks, but an old lady did drop me on my head one night.
What made you decide to make it a 3D show? How did the idea come about?
A dickade ago when we began, a camera and a big screen were cutting edge. Today the audience expects a lot more, and we intend to give them something new.
Simon Morley reflects on some of the stranger Puppetry of the Penis gigs:
We were doing a rural tour in Victoria, trying to raise money to take our show to Edinburg for the Fringe Festival. We found our selves in a small pub outside of Castlemaine, and this particular night, I was sporting the mother of all hangovers.
Time came, and the show must go on. All was fine till we reached the audience participation section of the show, where we perform the Friutbat. For those unaware of this particular installation, it involves me doing a handstand, while a member of the audience holds my ankles. I, a little too quickly it seemed, chose a little old lady a few rows back. As I called her up, my partner Friendy tells me “shouldn’t have done that mate!” Before I could get an explanation, I realised that maybe, this run of the mill Nanna, might have had a little too much to drink, but, the show must go on!
Up I go into my Fruitbat position, and our Nanna quickly becomes, what we now call, a slider. I feel Nanna’s hands leave my ankles, and slide down to grip my thighs. I then here her exclaim to the audience, that she was about to “kiss arse!” She then proceeded to nuzzle. At this point, a combination of the fruity Nanna, and my wicked hangover caused me to crash to the ground, hoping the Nanna would relinquish her iron grip. This proved to be incorrect. Nanna wasn’t letting go, and to the floor she came, still with her nose wedged firmly in my nether regions. You might think, that would have to be the strangest image imaginable, but ney!
My partner Friendy quickly comes to my aide, and takes the Nanna by the ankles, and try’s to drag her off me., but she wasn’t letting go. So here is a fully grown naked man, holding a fully clothed Nanna by the ankles, dragging her from the nether regions of another naked man lying and wriggling in uncontrollable fits.
Catch the boys with their pants down in Edinburgh from 3 — 28 August and keep an eye out for London dates later this year.