Richard Herring Press

RICHARD HERRING - TALKING COCK - Chortle - August 2003

VENUE: Pleasance
TIME: 20:30 (21:30)
DATES: 3 to 26 (not 6, 20)
PRICE: 8 to 10 Description The relative penis size of a human male is bigger than that of any other primate. So after all, it is Man who is the King of the Swingers, despite all the monkey's boasts in song.

The best way to determine the size of a man's penis is to get him to show it to you and then measure it with a ruler (make sure you get his permission).

According to Freud, women envied his penis and that's why none of them wanted to go out with him, because they were jealous of him and his amazing cock.

It inspires lust, fear, awe and laughter. And yet, it is an object of shame and when engorged, indecency. And though men may brag and exaggerate about their little chap, they rarely talk about their feelings for it. Whilst women celebrate their sexuality in world-wide smash The Vagina Monologues, men are twisting their genitals into the shape of hamburgers in Puppetry Of The Penis. It's time for the twisting to stop and the schlong celebration to begin.

It's time for a Vagina Monologues with balls...

REVIEW : It's a wonder no one thought of this before.

Given the sheer number of knob gags ejaculated from the mouths of comedians every day, it's a surprise that no one has yet decided to theme an show around their 'Spam javelin', as Herring calls it.

The acclaimed comic also had another bright idea: Get his substantial fan base to write the show for him.

For this offering - cleverly billed as the male answer to the Vagina Monologues - is based on the responses to a questionnaire posted on-line at

This has produced a number of statistics about what men, and women, think of the 'yoghurt-spitting sausage', as well as some revealing opinions and painful anecdotes that bring a tear to the eye (on your face, idiot).
Herring unveils these results at relevant points on the big screen behind him, which sometimes makes the proceedings seem like a pornographic Family Fortunes. ("We asked 1,500 people what they called their penis")

Of course, this show was always going to be a list of cock jokes - though it's actually more of a catalogue, as the gags are meticulously grouped together and weaved around some serious points.

Why are men always boasting of their penis size? Yet why is it essentially an object of shame? Why is the John Wayne Bobbitt story considered funny, when if a similar thing happened to a woman it would be shocking?

Mind you, these points are always flippantly made. For every mention of 'penile fascism' there's half a dozen about 'our fathers' spunking cocks'.
And no answers are offered, other than a plea for everyone - male, female, straight or gay - to celebrate the importance of the penis. But it does give the show some feeling of structure, even though it is still evolving as Herring receives more replies to his survey.

And it's hard to compete with some of those responses. Once someone confesses to having put his penis into a jelly spooned into a toilet roll, it's very hard to top it with a joke or pithy observation. To his credit, 'Dick' Herring does.

This was never going to be the trickiest of topics to make funny, but with his incredulous style and intelligent agenda, Herring has successfully created an unfailingly entertaining show of substance from simply talking cock.