Bob the late-night talkback radio host is taking your calls on the open line about the issues of the day that matter to you, and our next caller is Gene. Gene wants to ask Bob a riddle. Bob doesn’t get it. Moving right along: Peter is next on the line. Peter also wants to ask Bob a riddle. Bob doesn’t know the answer, but Peter won’t tell him! Perplexed, Bob takes Phyllis’ call and asks her Peter’s riddle, but Phyllis just wants to hear Gene’s riddle again…
Dick Without A Hole
was inspired by my love for the genteel stupidity of talk radio in Adelaide
in the 1980s. The hosts craved the urgency and confrontation of shock jocks in other parts of the world but everyone in Adelaide, announcers and callers alike, were just too nice to carry it off. I still have a few cassettes of some of the better sessions, particularly the 9pm to midnight shift when the demographic got drunk and doddery.
This playful little dance of fumbled verbal exchanges and missed punchlines comes from one of those surviving tapes. Set to a cheerful, semi-funky shuffle, our four protagonists juggle the two dud gags back and forth, never grasping them yet never quite letting them drop. I find that their shared confusion in joke-telling gives a satisfying sense of mystery to this simple yet intractable form of social interaction. Their ritual is consecrated by the hallowed incantation of Messrs Kennedy and Gray, the two Magi of mid-seventies Australian comedy
Dick Without A Hole
made its public debut at John Beagles’ and Graham Ramsay’s Museum Magogo
in Glasgow, 1999. After that it toured to PB Gallery in Melbourne, and was revived in 2002 for the Piped Music
series at The Physics Room
in Christchurch – more specifically, in the toilets of The Physics Room.
Now with the mp3 player of your choice, you too can enjoy Dick Without A Hole
in the comfort of your own toilet. For best results, leave it playing on a continuous loop.
Filed under: Art, Music by Ben.H