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"Can we, as a country, all agree

xmag.com : March 2003: Penis Puppetry

 

Puppetry of the Penis? I felt a bit like Chicken Little when I saw the ad for this "world-renowned troupe of penile performers." Were they really coming? I could pay to see dick? It had been a dry spell lately. I kicked into high gear. I was gonna get as close to this cockfest as I could. After making a round of increasingly threatening calls and then cornering a certain Mr. Quinn in a dark alley, I gained press access and a pre-show interview. So, with my buddy Dietz--an ardent penis fan himself--and a tape recorder in tow, I headed to the Aladdin Theater. There, to the joy of all gay men, frustrated middle-aged chicks and art connoisseurs, the penis men were schlepping their schlong schtick for four nights.


When we arrived, a retired couple was holding up the line, the wife yelling at the cashier. "We traveled all the way from Corvallis! I'm sure our tickets were for tonight." I half expected the madness that cost so many lives during the Cabbage Patch Christmas of the mid-eighties. Corvallis grandma was sedated and we were let in. Our seats, front row center, were close enough to lick the stage had we wanted to (I wanted to, but had the magazine's reputation to maintain...).

Comedienne Traci Smith opened the show with jabber about vaginas, liposuction and mall culture. I've endured two years of "comedy" at Dante's, so stand-up really isn't my thing. But this was actually funny. I was actually laughing.

After much ado, Jim and David, our penile performers, came onstage, clad in rhinestone robes that would make any Elvis impersonator jealous. We were introduced to their main prop: a huge projection screen the length of the entire stage which allowed even those in the balcony to see every pubic pucker. For the next forty-five minutes, Jim and David pulled, stretched, twisted and tucked their members into everything from vaginas to squirrels--the latter culminating with David sticking his cock squirrel-

like into a hole bored in a piece of wood.

The hilarity built quickly as they worked through a repertoire of over fifty configurations. Every trick, from turtle to hamburger, was preceded by verbal repartee and vaudeville sparring. I kept waiting for the drum roll. They made fun of themselves and of us. We had after all paid money to see two guys play with their dicks on stage. Penile configurations were referred to as "installations", and the boys' heavy Australian accents made it all feel like high art. During an audience participation bit, Miss Suzy Homemaker was instructed to hold David upside down. "It's a bat!" Jim cried, snapping a polaroid. I couldn't help wondering how it smelled for her up there.

Like any good motivational speakers, Jim and David have an easy step-by-step book, should anyone want to try penis puppetry at home (watch out, Anthony Robbins!). Even if you're penisless or not quite ready to twist yourself into a squirrel, Puppetry of the Penis: The Ancient Australian Art of Genital Origami is still worth a read.

How does it feel to hit it big--selling out shows across Europe, Canada, and now America--while playing with your pee-pee? Eager to gain a deeper understanding of guys who stretch their scrotums, I won twenty minutes of

show-and-tell time with Jim and David before the show.

 

Exotic: What inspired you to be penis puppeteers?

David: I was very poor as a kid, and I didn't have any toys. Actually, I used to be a bum puppet, and I used to draw faces on my ass and recreate great scenes in cinema. There was a puppeteer audition in Melbourne, and I went down there, but they weren't very interested in my ass tricks. So they said can you do any dick tricks? After a few beers I said well I can, dropped my pants and got the job. It's a bit of a Cinderella story there.

 

Exotic: Is there a boot camp for puppeteers?

Jim: It's called the pub.

David: And sport change rooms.

 

Exotic: What are some of your inspirations?

Jim: The fast food world is a big one. We do a lot of installations that resemble fast food: the hamburger, the hot dog, chicken thighs and the whole roast chicken.

 

Exotic: While on stage what can go wrong?

Jim: We had a complete blackout in Toronto.

David: In Edinburgh the screen kept breaking down. It's a digital projector.... okay folks, don't fucking buy Panasonic. When the screen went out we had people who couldn't see, so we would do a dick trick, then run out into the audience and do it again.

 

Exotic: Hard or Soft?

Jim: Always soft, the clay is easier to mold when it's soft, plus you can't mold it if it's already set.

 

Exotic: How has the show affected your sex lives?

Jim: It hasn't really changed overly, you don't get very many girls who come talk to you after the show. However, when they used to ask [in a bar] what I do for a living and I told them I was a concreter, they were like "oh, okay." And then I told them I was unemployed, and they'd walk away. Now I tell them that I'm a penis puppeteer and they say "oh really, tell me more."

David: No one ever believes me about what I do. So now I just tell them I'm a backpacker.

 

Exotic: Do you have any groupies?

Jim: No such luck.

David: Hey do you remember the girl who wrote us a card? This girl sent us a card to the show asking us out on a date. I let it sit there for a while and we stewed over it. Finally I rang her up and it was all such a wash. We took her to the seediest pub ever. Jim came along just in case she was a freak.

Exotic: Was she?

David: No, she was all right.

Exotic: Did she put out?

Jim: No, but her friend did.

 

Exotic: Who's been your most famous or most memorable audience member?

David: I would say that Anna Nicole Smith was the most memorable. I did a Christmas special at her house. It's nothing special, but she's got paintings up that she's done and above the fireplace there's one of Yassir Arafat. It's the most fucked up thing I've ever seen in my life. They filmed her coming to see [one of the] shows, and they took up the front row, and there are lights in front of us and camera guys in the wings. And she's sending them to get her drinks, but they couldn't, so she goes to the bar next door half way through the show. They were up and down like jack-in-the-boxes the whole way through, it was so frustrating. After the show she came in [to the green room] and drank all our booze. I did a show and Joan Rivers was in the front row. And you know, she's had a lot of plastic surgery, and her skin is all tight and all shiny. And every time I would stretch my testicles and scrotum, my skin would go all shiny like hers, I couldn't help but

chuckle the whole time.

 

Exotic: How have your love lives been affected?

David: When I first started doing the show I used to come into the bedroom and say to my girlfriend. "Hey look, look what I learned today." Like putting a painting on the refrigerator. After a while she said we should call it quits.

 

Exotic: How well does a penis puppeteer get paid?

David: We get paid enough to eat and drink alcohol and that's enough for us. It's basically a bacon sandwich and a slap on the ass.

 

Exotic: Have you ever been recognized in public?

David: Well, I was signing autographs in the Fresno airport and I didn't get my bags checked at all. We do get recognized and approached a lot for autographs, which is strange because the focus of the show is basically your penis.

 

Exotic: Do you follow any exercise or diet regimens?

Jim: None of us work out.

 

Exotic: Do you have to shave or trim?

David: They all fall out anyway, you can see them fluffering down on stage. We can't go with a razor near there, you don't want to kill the breadwinner.

 

Exotic: Underwear?

Jim: Boxers. You gotta let the boy run free.

 

Exotic: How well does your book sell?

Jim: Extremely well. The book is a great coffee table piece.

 

Exotic: How did your parents take your choice of career?

Jim: My mother has seen the show, but not with me. My dad has seen the video. He wants us to try him out to do the senior circuit.

David: My family is not too fazed with it, as long as I don't do it at Christmas.

 

Exotic: Have you had protesters?

Jim: We had a lone protester in LA. Up front, with a big "God Saves" poster. He kept on saying, "Penis. Vagina. Penis. Vagina. This is evil. Believe in Brother Bush."

David: We got a bomb threat, the Hotel we went to had a Lutheran Church Convention [at the same time].

 

Exotic: Have you ever had any injuries?

David: I'm pretty gentle with it. It's got to be business and pleasure. [Talking down towards pants...] You've got two purposes young boy; all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

 

Exotic: Any last words?

David: Make sure it's warm, practice in the shower or bath.

Jim: Pete Townsend is innocent we tell you!

David: So is Michael Jackson.

 

Exotic: Thanks guys, I almost wish I had one myself.

 

X

 

 

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