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Stunt penis
Entered on: August 11, 2003 5:36 PM by Swerb
This is a column written by my fellow GR Press employee John Douglas. It's a hoot. (I won't post a link, thus avoiding any potential fornication...)  
Something to learn from my stint in TV nudity  
Sunday, August 10, 2003  
By John Douglas  
The Grand Rapids Press  
So the case of Tim Huffman may go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Huffman is the man who has a show in Grand Rapids on public access cable television in which his penis cracks jokes for the audience. What is interesting about this case is that he is being charged with indecent exposure instead of an obscenity charge.  
What I don't understand is that there are a lot of people who get naked on television, but those people or the companies showing the programs here are never charged by our prosecutor. Why is the prosecutor's office picking on Huffman? Besides, how are we to know that Huffman wasn't using a stunt penis? If he did, then the wrong man is being charged.  
I can almost hear you poo-pooing the idea of a stunt double in such a case, but it wouldn't be the first time. The very person writing this column once used just such a stunt double on television.  
It was back in the late 1960s and I was a poor boy going to grad school at Wayne State University in Detroit. In order to supplement my income from the G. I. Bill, I volunteered to be an actor for a series of nurse training videos that were being produced by the university.  
This wasn't your normal acting job because whatever procedure they were showing on the tapes, I had to undergo as an actor. This included injections, enemas and bed bath among others so there were lots of occasions for me to get naked on television. Yes, these programs were broadcast over and over again on one of the local educational channels for the benefit of classes. Anyone with a television could see them. I was once identified on the street by a couple of strangers as the man getting the enema on television. It was something of a weird moment in my life.  
Anyway, the money was good and I wasn't all that concerned about the whole thing of being naked. Things were going along swimmingly until it came time for the video on catheterizing to be made. (If you don't know what that is, look it up.)  
It was then that I balked as an actor. I didn't feel that I was right for the part.  
"It doesn't hurt," the producers said, but it was not something that was said with great conviction. So I continued to say no.  
Then in a last-minute compromise, the producers suggested that if I acted in the scenes that prepared a patient for a catheterizing, they would find a volunteer in one of the local hospitals who was actually going to be catheterized for a medical purpose and who didn't mind being photographed. In other words they are going to find me a stunt penis.  
This I agreed to be part of, so the video was made and shown over the airwaves many times. I was never charged with any kind of crime.  
Perhaps I got away with the crime of indecent exposure because my show was enlightening while Huffman's show was entertaining. But who is to say that Huffman's show didn't have great ideas buried somewhere in his jokes? Certainly there was an entertaining element in the video that I made because it turned out that my stunt penis in the catheter show was black which certainly seemed to amuse my friends who saw the show. Perhaps that is why I was never charged. It was obvious that I was using a stand-in, which is something that Huffman should have considered.  
The point is that sooner or later you are going to be able to see anything you want on television. If you don't see it coming, then you are blind to the history of media in this country. Books, magazines, recordings, plays and movies have all gone explicit and so will television.  
"Never," I hear you say, but that's what they used to say about the possibility of "Gone With the Wind" being shown on television. "Never" doesn't apply to mass culture. It will sink as low as it can in order to generate an audience. Look at the nature of the content on television now as compared to 25 years ago and tell me that you can't see it heading in a particular direction.  
So I would suggest that we let Huffman off the hook. He didn't do anything that I didn't do years ago, plus the kind of thing that Huffman did on television will be standard fare in another decade if not sooner. It is truly a waste of the court's time, especially considering now many naked bodies turn up on television already on any given day.

NEWS 93 - 5 Comments
From: Jackzilla Entered on: August 12, 2003 1:10 AM
I actually read that one in the paper, Slerp! Funny that they gave him a black stunt penis. Could have been worse: Like a small, white one.  
Regarding the future of TV, I can see it now: CG-TV... Crank Gawker Television.
From: John Entered on: August 12, 2003 6:07 PM
And Zilla will be like.... Where do I sign up?
From: Jackzilla Entered on: August 12, 2003 11:33 PM
... cuz it would make a nice Christmas present for my crank gawker friend JOHNNY!
From: Swerb Entered on: August 12, 2003 11:44 PM
I just liked the fact that he was recognized as "the guy on TV getting an enema." Hilarious.  
However... little did I know that this would dissolve into another childish crank gawker exchange. Sorry, folks. :)
From: John Entered on: August 13, 2003 10:17 PM
Ha,ha,ha,ha, good one Zilla. You can keep that Chritmas present for yourself though.

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