(Photos: Dick and Duane… THEN!)
FUN WITH DICK AND DUANE!
(AKA: “Testosterone: A Love Story“)
Picture it: New York City, 1981. While cruising down pre-Guiliani 42nd Street, you’re tempted by the idea of skipping the nightly adult bookstore hookup and instead seeing the cult-classic-to-be ”Mommie Dearest”… or maybe you’ll catch John Waters’ “Polyester“– in Odorama! That is, if you have any money left over for a $3 movie ticket: The average rent on an apartment in Manhattan was just starting to reach the $300-a-month mark, and there was even a rumor that a subway token was going up to a dollar.
That was the same year, incidentally, that Lady Diana Spencer married Charles, Prince of Wales, on the other side of the Atlantic. But Stateside, a more enduring union was developing at that same moment: New Jersey teenagers Richie Cohen and Duane Tragis met, fell in love, got married with rings from a gumball machine, and became lifelong partners both personally and creatively. Fast forward to 2011. Cohen and Tragis, better known to their legions of fans and stalkers alike as Dick and Duane, are busier (and buffer!) than ever. They may have traded their Dippity-Do hair gel and “Frankie Says Relax” T-shirts for buzz cuts and protein shakes, but they’re just as dedicated to each other. And, as the only “husband and husband comedy team” in history, they’re just as dedicated to making you laugh. On their website, http://www.DickandDuane.com, you’ll find links to their YouTube videos, their blog, and photos of the couple throughout their three-decade relationship. The newest pictures of the two of them, in (almost) all of their hirsute glory, are guaranteed to arouse some carnal desires. WOOF! Dick and Duane have a new show coming up, a 30-year anniversary stage celebration called “Never Too Much”, at New York City‘s Laurie Beechman Theater in post-Guiliani Times Square. While the show was named after the song of the same name by Luther Vandross, the duo warn us that this WON’T be two hours of silly love songs or sickeningly sweet anecdotes. Their press release teases: “These boys just want to get down & dirty in their irreverently risqué way. Bring your trench coats for that vintage XXX porn theater vibe.” NOW we’re talkin’! The hunky twosome spoke to me about their new show and about life in their own two-king monarchy:
(Photos: Dick and Duane: NOW!)
So, boys, congratulations on the new show! What are some of the surprises we can expect in “Never Too Much“?
D&D: Thanks, Jed! Well, if I reveal any of the surprises, then potential audience members won’t be surprised. But I will say that we won’t be holding back a thing. “Never Too Much” is our song, but this is not a sentimental show. It’s going to be a little political, a little raunchy, and very silly. Just like we are in real life. Only, in real life, we aren’t on a stage with bright lights.
JR: Is this the kind of show you can bring your mother to? Put another way, just how raunchy does it get?
D&D: Well, we would bring our mothers, but that’s because they’ve become desensitized after years and years of our blue humor. But I don’t know about anybody else’s mother. Oh, what the hell. Sure, bring your mothers!
JR: Or, bring your Daddies! (Ahem!) Now, Dick and Duane have a very big following on Facebook. I notice how you two often (affectionately, I presume…) refer to each other as “The Monkey” and “The Ape“. Say more, say more…
D&D: Is a “big following” a euphemism for a big ass? (Laughs) The Ape does like to shake his. OK, Richie (Dick) was nicknamed “Monkey” at around age two by his father, who said that Richie’s face resembled one. And Duane is this big, hairy, muscley, kind of dim guy who, when he runs, kind of looks like a character from “Planet of the Apes“. Plus, his arms are very long. So, that’s how he got that name. We would eventually like to start an Ape Community, to compete with the Bear Community. Like the NFL and AFL. Or something…
JR: That’s a “Planet of the Apes” guaranteed to give me a “Rise”! Get it?… Oh, that was a BAD one! I‘d better leave the humor to you two… So, at one of your recent New York City performances, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were the target of a lot of your jokes. Why the Olsen twins?
D&D: Well, they were the subject of one of our pieces, where we do them throughout their lives, at age 4, 17, 61 and 97. We’ve always been drawn to the untalented as a source of humor, and they don’t really come less talented than the Twins. Well, true, now they have all those reality show “stars” who are worse. But in the 80s, nobody could beat the Olsens for bad acting. And we love that.
JR: If you were stuck in an elevator and HAD to pick one of the following famous people to be trapped with, who would it be: Anthony Weiner, Chaz Bono, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, or Michelle Bachmann?
D&D: That’s a bizarre assortment! Definitely Chaz Bono. And he could bring along his mother, what’s-her-name…
JR: I dunno. While we’re on the subject of overexposed media whores: What do you think of that 61-year old lifeguard on Long Island who supposedly got fired for not wearing a Speedo? He said something to the effect of “No man over the age of 50 should be allowed to wear a Speedo?” What would you say to this dork?
D&D: We hadn’t heard about that, but I guess we would just drop our pants and say something like, “Dude!! WTF, man?!”
JR: I’ll join you for that! While we’re on the subject of dropping pants: My boyfriend and I just celebrated our one year man-niversary. For a lot of gay male couples, that’s a big landmark– the equivalent of 15 years in a heterosexual marriage. What are some of the tips you can give us so that we can reach the 30-year mark like Dick and Duane have?
D&D: Well, first of all, congratulations! But I think one year is the same in any relationship. Straight people break up, too. But as far as tips…just be honest with your feelings at all times. No, wait… I guess that could lead to constant bitching and nagging. Hmmm… I guess we don’t really have any tips. And we don’t want to give anybody the wrong advice and open ourselves up to a potential lawsuit.
JR: (Laughs) And now, a very serious question: Boxers, briefs, jock, or commando?
D&D: Duane switches around all the time…boxers, jock, bikini briefs, commando… Dick is always in bikini briefs. Except at the desk, when he’s on-line looking at porn.
JR: Hmmm…that’s a very enticing visual indeed! While we’re on the subject: You two obviously spend a lot of time at the gym. What’s your funniest gym story? We all have one!
D&D: We have funny stories every day at the gym! If you follow our Facebook page– I assume you’ll put a link here because you’re good at that stuff, Jed!– you can read about our daily gym misadventures. Today, we wrote about the guy we saw in the locker room last night and how we couldn’t figure out why we knew him. Did we have sex with him? Is he a Facebook friend? Does he work at some store we frequent? Have we seen him on X-Tube? And then, we both realized that we actually knew him from right there….from the locker room, where we’d seen him before. Duh!
JR: I think I know that guy! So, what else do Dick and Duane have in store for the upcoming year?
D&D:We’re finally going to get to work on our long-awaited web series, once our 30th anniversary show is completed on Oct. 20th. We can’t wait to get started!
JR: I can’t wait! Now, the last time we spoke, you told me that you had a cat named Eve Plumb. Now, in the case Eve could not fulfill her duties as a pet, would the next cat be named “Geri Reischl”? (Geri Reischl is the talented actress who replaced Eve during the “Brady Bunch Variety Hour” and was unfairly labeled from then on as “the Fake Jan Brady”.)
D&D: (Laughs) No, you got that a little mixed-up. We have a cat named Dawn whom we named after the TV-movie “Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway” starring Eve Plumb! But definitely, we’d consider Fake Jan (and of course, we knew who she was!) as a replacement should Dawn decide to sit out the web series.
Here cum the grooms! (Ahem…) You can see Dick and Duane at The Will Clark Show at Pieces (8 Christopher Street, NYC) on Wednesday October 12th, at 8PM. “Never Too Much: The 30th Anniversary Show” is Thursday, October 20 at 7:00PM at The Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 West 42 Street (downstairs from the West Bank Café, just west of Ninth Avenue), NYC. Reservations required; call 212-695-6909. $12.00 admission plus $15.00 food or beverage minimum.