I have a penis.
After several careful calculations, I think I've roughly seen it a few millions times in my life. I've never considered it to be that humorous. Penises, out of context, aren't inherently funny, are they? Situational penises can be funny, I guess. Shrinkage, sexual malfunction, size -- these are all premises that could get a laugh if it's not happening to you. Given the right circumstances, other people's penises are comical. I have a memory as a kid of walking through a pool locker room and seeing an old man, with one leg on the bench, looking like Captain Morgan, letting it all hang out. That was really funny.
But, if you were dining in your local Applebees, enjoying some potato skins and a man dropped his pants and whipped it out; would it cause a laugh or emotional scarring and years of recovery?
Penises in movies are different.
I saw The Dictator last weekend, and in an attempt to get a quick and cheap laugh, there is a penis. It worked. When Sacha Baron Cohen's character ziplines between buildings and his johnson ends up in in the window of an onlooker; I laughed. I don't really know why. Again, I have an aforementioned penis and it doesn't make me chuckle. This also marks the third consecutive Baron Cohen movie where there is a penis gag and weirdly, the effect it has on me hasn't depreciated.
Off the top of my head, I can recall wieners in comedies like 21 Jump Street, American Reunion, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Walk Hard, Hall Pass, Observe and Report, Sideways, Scary Movie, both Hangover's and all the Jackass movies. These wieners exist only to solicit a laugh from the audience and more often than not, I'm assuming it does. Whenever I've been in a movie theater, a penis usually evokes the biggest reaction from the crowd. It's an amalgam of laughs, shrieks, eye-covering and barnyard noises. Again, I'm assuming that upwards of 97 percent of an audience has seen a penis before, so why is it still funny?
I even laugh at artsy penises in dramas. In the first ten minutes of the NC-17 -rated Shame, Michael Fassbender walks around his apartment with his bushy Fassbender hanging out for no apparent reason. In The Brown Bunny, Vincent Gallo hilariously recieves non-simulated fellatio from Chloe Sevingy. In Bad Lieutenant, Harvey Keitel does some drugs, drinks a bunch and incoherently cries and interpretive dances while the camera shifts downtown. Even in Boogie Nights, the Citizen Kane of wiener shot movies, in that final scene where Mark Wahlberg pulls out his longer-than-a-ruler, prosthetic tool... it's funny, dawg -- he's admiring his wiener in a mirror!
Aside: I saw Peter Scolari's penis in last Sunday's episode of HBO's Girls and laughed hysterically because IT WAS PETER SCOLARI'S PENIS.
Full frontal male nudity is the manifest destiny of dick jokes. It's all the hard -- and sometimes flaccid -- work of our forefathers of comedy finally paying off. Charlie Chaplin would be so proud. I'd like to think I'm above the American pastime of America's Home Video hit-in-the-crotch humor, but laughing at another dude's junk is even more lowbrow. I can't be the only one who feels this way, can I? Should I get analyzed? Did Kinsey ever do any studies on funny penises?
However, there's no denying that there's an oversaturation of penises in comedies. It's becoming a tired gimmick like the fart and/or poop jokes of yesteryear. What once was shocking and explicit outrageousness has become normalized. Like, when an R-rated comedy comes out, I'm already going into it expecting a dick or two. I swear to God; 13 or 14 more penis shots in movies, and I'm going to stop laughing.
The penis envelope has been pushed. Testicles saw their twilight in There's Something About Mary. Breasts jumped the shark when Reagan was in office. Where do we go from here in nude humor? Vaginas are currently an untapped market. I'm not sure if it would be progressive or sexist if we collectively demanded there be more funny vaginas in movies. Bridesmaids could show women pooping in sinks and in city streets but couldn't give us one measly vagina?
Humor is subjective, and perhaps more polarizing than politics, but for some unbeknownst reason that I can't particularly justify, penises make me laugh.
Please validate me!
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