"Puppetry Of The Penis" at Pantages: Dick tricks on a new level

Categories: Comedy, Theater
For anyone who has ever attended a drunken frat party (or in some cases, a drunken family reunion), there's always "that guy."

The guy who by 10:30 at night is completely naked and finding clever, creative ways to flash his masculine unit (or "donger" as it's often called at my family reunion) to anyone that will pay attention. Now imagine having that same experience in a packed theater.

Back in the late nineties, two friends in Australia got together and designed an entire show around creating various shapes with their penises (known as "Dick Tricks"), and the Puppetry of the Penis was born. Over a decade later and the show now has multiple teams of puppeteers circling the globe, bring their brand of comic nudity to audiences everywhere.

This Friday night, the Puppetry of the Penis invades the Pantages for two shows. In preparation for their arrival, we sat down with Rich Binning, one half of the show's duo, to talk about the show, the tricks and the shrinkage.

(Note to our readers: Don't read further if you might be offended by... um, talk of penis contortion)
For those of us who have never been to a show, explain what it's all about?

Rich Binning: It's a comedy show with two men onstage doing 40 different tricks with their genitals. We bend, twist, tuck and fold ourselves into shapes, and there is a big screen so that you can see everything up-close and personal.

About how long have you been a part of the show and how did you get involved in all of this?

It's been just over a year now. A college buddy of mine bought a how-to book of penis tricks, and so we started learning them and doing them at parties once we were drunk. Then one day we heard they were holding auditions and decided to go for it, and now here we are.

How hard was it learning the tricks?

Not too hard. We started with the simple ones like "The Woman" which is where you just tuck everything between your legs. It's one that every guy has done by himself in the mirror at least once, so that wasn't hard. Then you move up to tricks like "The Hamburger" and just keep building from there.

I think I know a thing or two about "The Woman" but how do you do "The Hamburger"?

That's actually one of the tricks we do during the show, and we bring guys onstage and teach them how to do it too. What you do is you roll your penis between your testicles, then turn the whole thing 90 degrees. Then you squeeze your testicles and it looks like a hamburger.

I'm definitely trying that later. You said you bring guys onstage during the show. Are they usually pretty eager to participate?

It depends on the night. I would say we get a guy to come up onstage and do a trick with us about 10-15 percent of the time. It's actually a lot easier getting a woman onstage, but it all depends on where you are. One night we had an 80-year-old man jump onstage, pull his penis out and do "The Hamburger" right there with us. You just never know.

It sounds like people typically know what they're getting into when the come to the show. But have you ever had an issue where people were offended or upset?

Not usually, but it does happen. Once in a while people will come up to us after a show and be like, "We thought you used actual puppets. We didn't know you were going to be naked!" And of course occasionally people walk out. But for the most part, everyone has a good time.

OK, so I have to ask. With the amount of times you've been onstage doing tricks, have you ever had any accidents?

I totally thought you were going to ask about erections.

That's my next question, actually.

I figured. No, fortunately there has never been any type of painful accident onstage, and erections aren't an issue because there's really nothing sexual going on. Shrinkage, on the other hand, can be a problem. Usually the theaters we play in are pretty warm, but last year we were in Chicago and it was just freezing. We had to bring a blow dryer with us to keep ourselves warm backstage.

Let's talk about you for a second. Any wife, girlfriend, partner, etc.?

Yeah, actually I'm married.

So what does your wife think about this?

She's actually the one who works the camera for us during our shows. We were together back in college, so she's used to seeing me do penis tricks at parties and stuff.

Anything else you want to add about the shows this Friday?

Just show up and be prepared to see some nude comedy. It's two dudes playing with their dicks.

Speaking of which, that really DOES look like a hamburger!


Nothing. Good luck on Friday.

Puppetry of the Penis
Pantages Theatre
Friday, May 21, 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
$37.50, $47.50

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