March 31, 2003 12:00 PM

The Windsurfer. The Loch Ness Monster. The Eiffel Tower. Each new contortion sends the sold-out crowd at Sacramento’s Crest Theatre howling louder. “Thanks,” bellows Dan Lewry, 25, a star of the bluntly, accurately and somewhat alarmingly named Puppetry of the Penis, “for laughing at our genitals!”

Call it full-frontal origami or just the latest in Stupid Man Tricks. Puppetry is a bizarre theatrical sensation that features two guys making unlikely shapes out of their, yes, well, you know. Created by Aussie comics David Friend, 34, and Simon Morley, 36, the show, which reached the U.S. in 2001, has raked in more than $20 million. Celebs such as Bono, Anna Nicole Smith and Hugh Grant have gotten an eyeful of the Eiffel et al, now performed by 18 accredited puppeteers worldwide. “The first prerequisite is a complete lack of shame,” says Morley. Anything else? “Let’s just say the more clay a sculptor has to work with, the more he can create.”

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