No matter where in the world thirtysomething Aussies Simon Morley and David Friend take their stage show Puppetry of the Penis, the reaction is the same: "Shock and awe," Morley says. "I don't think anyone's quite ready to see three-story high male genitalia." Perhaps that's why we waited until they released a performance DVD (now in stores) to witness the "ancient art of genital origami" a craft born in Morley's home, perfected in pubs, and now selling out theaters. Considering Morley can turn his twig and berries into the Hamburger, we figure our Seven Silly Questions are a piece of cake!
TV Guide Online: For future reference, what's the proper amount of drinks to have in my system before seeing your show live?
Simon Morley: Too many. (Laughing) Too many is nice and safe.
TVGO: Have you ever missed a show due to, er, injury?
Morley: No, and I've done about 3,500 now. If there's one thing a man knows how to do from a very, very early age, it's handle his own genitals.
TVGO: Granted, I haven't seen all 65 "installations" in your repertoire, but I'm pretty sure Gonzo is my favorite. Is that wrong?
Morley: Actually, when I was performing off-Broadway in New York, the people from the Jim Henson Company made a pilgrimage to the show. They were all most impressed. They invited us to meet Gonzo in the flesh.
TVGO: You encourage audience participation in your show. Who's the strangest volunteer you've enlisted?
Morley: We did this private show in London for, like, 20 A-list celebrities. I was performing the Fruit Bat [imagine Morley, in a handstand, and now look closely], and holding my ankles was Elton John. I was just thinking, 'God, someone snap a photo quickly.'
TVGO: What's the best post-show compliment you've ever received?
Morley: Bono was at that party as well, and he was very generous. He just shook my hand, and said, "Simon, I love your c---." I think you can safely say I'm the only man in the world he's ever said that to.
TVGO: You now have six Puppetry companies touring the world. I see one is heading to Salt Lake City this month. Ever been protested?
Morley: We have, but anyone who watches our show sees that it is very non-sexual. We don't use any swear words. We're good Christian men. (Laughing) My uncle is a Catholic priest for God's sake. He's not all that happy that I mention that on a regular basis, but...
Morley: My mum still hasn't seen it. Last time she saw my penis was in the bathtub, and I think we'd both like to leave it that way. (Laughing) I'll probably send her this DVD so she can sit down with her therapist and have a look at it. Older ladies love our show, especially grandmothers. I once had this 80-year-old lady come up to me and give me a big cuddle. She said, "Son, I've been waiting 65 years to laugh at a penis like that." It's quite educational.