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Unexpected stories about genis
Told by neudies.

Puppetry of the Penis Exploring the Birth Of Genital Origami

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In 1996, Simon Morley had the idea of displaying twelve penis installations in a calendar. These genital expressions were the result of sibling rivalry between Morley and his brothers that started with what is now called, “The Hamburger” trick.

The calendar promised to be a success, except it took them over a year to print, and became outdated faster than they could produce it. The following year, Simon Morley hooked up with fellow puppeteer David Friend, and the request for live demonstrations gave birth to the “Puppetry of the Penis.” Their first show at the 1998 Melbourne International Comedy Festival was acclaimed the “Outright Best Show,” kicking off an eight-month tour of Australia, captured in the  documentary “Tackle Happy.”

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From left to right, Simon Morley and David Friend looking good.
Photo courtesy of Puppetry of the Penis.

Following continuous sold-out runs within Australia, the duo has recruited teams not only across Australia, but also from America and the UK to meet performance demands. The show begins with a stand-up comedy act to warm up the audience for what is about to come. Once the audience has laughed at jokes about sexual escapades, the real show begins.

“THE LOCKNESS MONSTER”

“THE BABY KANGAROO”

Penis installations from the book “Puppetry of the Penis”.
Scans from the Puppetry of the Penis Book.

Although two flacid penises swirling around the stage might seem awkward or off-putting, the level of comfort is instantly put at ease by the witty non-sexual comedic routines  performed by the genital artists. It’s not rare for the performers to invite audience members to come up on stage and learn how to do the installations. The participants range from intrigued college-agers to ballsy seniors in their 70s and 80s. Some of their famous tricks include “The Snail,” “The Atomic Mushroom,” “The Eiffel Tower,” “The Baby Kangaroo,” and the famous “Hamburger,” to name a few.

David Friend performing the “Eiffel Tower” on stage at the “Sports Bar” in Cairns, Australia.
Still from the Tackle Happy documentary.

Throughout the years the shows have grown to become an international phenomenon presented to millions of people in five languages across thirty-five countries. In London, the “Genital Origami” show ran for 6 months delighting Londoners and celebrities alike, including Naomi Campbell, Elton John, Bono and The Beckhams. In 2015, “Puppetry of the Penis” set up a flagship show in the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, which continues to run 5 nights per week and has cemented itself as a Vegas must-see show. It’s received high critical acclaim from several media outlets. Vanity Fair called it “dementedly good fun,” and Newsday USA named it “an international phenomenon.”

From left to right, David Friend and Simon Morley looking suave.
Photo courtesy of Puppetry of the Penis.

This past February, during a show in the Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia, David Friend was performing his signature trick, “The Bulldog,” when he sat down on a woman’s lap and severely injured one of his testicles. Friend plopped down directly on a corkscrew in the woman’s pocket, a souvenir from her trip to a winery earlier that day. Friend’s testicle “turned a deep shade of purple” and he was advised to give his act some rest. We hope Friend’s testes are back to normal.

Simon Morley introducing David Friend’s pulsating testicle on the right.
Stills from the Tackle Happy documentary.

Simply put, the show consists of two nude men who fold, bend, twist, scoop and bulge their genitals into various shapes, but it’s much more than that. Although it might seem crude in concept, they are really just another example of our culture’s love of experimentation with the mimicking abilities of the human body. Using genitalia to create recognizable objects is a more risqué version of creating shadow puppets or perfecting celebrity impressions. And if there is an audience for it, why not share it!

David Friend performing the “G-String” on stage at the “Sports Bar” in Cairns, Australia.
Still from the “Tackly Happy” documentary.

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