A BRIEF HISTORY OF PUPPETRY OF THE PENIS
*As of today most of the Western World has played host to PUPPETRY OF THE
PENIS, with it having played to millions of people in over 35 countries,
and in 5 languages.*
Puppetry of the Penis was born when Simon Morley teamed up with fellow
puppeteer David Friend. Their first show at the 1998 Melbourne
International Comedy Festival was received as the “Outright Best Show”.
The name Puppetry of the Penis was originally conceived by comedy producer
Simon Morley, as the title of a highbrow art calendar. Released in 1997,
the calendar showcased twelve of Simon’s favourite penis installations, but
male genitalia on display 12 months a year proved too much for most, and
sales were poor, forcing Simon to take the show to the stage to move a car
boot full of calendars quickly going out of date. Puppetry Of The Penis,
the LIVE show was born.
Quickly realising this was indeed a two handed show, Simon’s natural choice
of partner was David “Friendy” Friend, who had made quite a name for
himself on the college and bachelorette circuit performing his own
collection of dick tricks.
Their debut at the 1998 Melbourne International Comedy Festival was a huge
hit, kicking off an eight-month tour of Australia. The national tour
covered 20,000 kilometres and was been captured in the documentary Tackle
Happy. Subsequent sell-out runs in Sydney and Melbourne encouraged the boys
to take their wares to the 2000 Edinburgh International Fringe Festival,
where they were humbled by yet another sell-out run. When a West End
producer realised the potential of the show (after attending a performance
where the woman sitting next to him wet her pants laughing), the world was
no longer safe from the Art of Genital Origami! Contracts and mops were
brought out, and a deal was made on the spot: PUPPETRY OF THE PENIS was on
its way to London’s West End. The show ran for 6 months delighting
Londoners and A-list celebrities alike, including Hugh Grant, Naomi
Campbell, Elton John, Bono and The Beckham’s. This was followed up by a
sell out national tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Next on their list was north America. Their campaign of domination began
with a sell out 6 week run at the prestigious Festival Circuit in Montreal,
before a sell out run in Toronto. New York city was next with the show
opening on 42nd St and continuing to run for nearly 2 years. While there 4
other companies were put on the road, enjoying sell out seasons in Chicago,
Boston, LA and San Francisco to name a few.
The year was capped off by a memorable appearance on The Tonight Show with
Jay Leno, which was one of the highest rating shows of the year.
Much of the next decade the show continued to return for successful seasons
in Australia, the UK, Canada and New Zealand, and the USA, while also
conquering most of Europe and Scandinavia. In 2015 the Genitalia
Juggxrnaught continue to expand, setting up a flagship show in the
entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas. This continues to run 5
nights per week and has cemented itself as a Vegas bucket list show.
In 2017 the “Vegas Show” will spend February till May rediscovering its
roots tour around Australia, frequently performing shows in the UK, Canada
and Europe, and of course 4 nights per week in Las Vegas.