Deirty Hugo
Aussies Without Cossies

Remember on the front page. I told you that biggest object held in high recognition is the grape and there is a story behind it. Well here is the article that started it all.

Celebrity privates on parade at drop of a hat

JOURNALIST George Negus had perfect timing, removing his hat to reveal his manhood only after the lights had gone down. Actor Ernie Dingo kept his member discreetly hidden under a "willy warmer", while singer Angry Anderson flaunted his nakedness by rubbing his entire body with baby oil before taking to the stage.
Anderson needn't have bothered.
All eyes were on the portly writer Bob Ellis, sweating and struggling to keep up with his fellow strippers.

Aussies Without Cossies, an innovative benefit for the Hope for the Children Foundation on Saturday night, was the social event of the year. It attracted hundreds of celebrities, media identities and chief executives and raised close to half a million dollars for charity.
The foundation, a Rotary initiative, supports families struggling to look after their children and provides peer support for single mothers.

The 12 high-profile men who had been bullied by actor and humanitarian Rachel Ward into performing, surprised the audience by dispensing with modesty and going, well, "the full monty". Without exception they bared their backsides and then turned to the front and removed their hats, to screams of delight from the audience.
Then the lights went out and they scrambled to safety.
At the Sydney Cove Passenger Terminal singer Jimmy Barnes, actors Graeme Blundell, Bryan Brown, John Jarrett, Peter Phelps and Jack Thompson and broadcaster Mike Carlton joined the others on stage and bravely went through the dance steps they had been taught by dancer Paul Mercurio.

Ward's plan had been for the men to strip down to G-strings, which would then be removed to reveal knitted willy warmers.
But at the dress rehearsal the dirty dozen dared each other into going all the way.
"People had paid enough for their tickets, we had to give them a good show," actor Hugo Weaving said.

AMANDA MEADE, Celebrity privates on parade at drop of a hat, The Australian, 06-29-1998, pp 003.


Bic uneasy being a shining light

MAKING a late entrance to the Aussies Without Cossies party, Kate Fischer lamented to Thirteen about having missed the action -she was on stage.

"I'm really disappointed I missed it all," she said. "I was looking forward to seeing Bob Ellis go the full monty.

"Though I've since heard that I didn't miss much -literally."

And as for the question you all want answered: Hugo Weaving. By several lengths.

BRYCE CORBETT and KATE MEIKLE, Bic uneasy being a shining light. , The Daily
Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), 06-29-1998, pp 013.


All-male revue with twelve members

WHAT did Noni Hazlehurst of Better Homes and Gardens and I do last Saturday night? Did we swap recipes and household hints or discuss the finer points of garden gazebos and macrame plant pouches? No, we sat quiet and shiny-eyed, fidgeting with fear as our respective partners prepared to remove their trousers in public and flash their hitherto private arrangements to a live audience of close to 1000 goggle-eyed spectators.

It was a charity event -Rachel Ward's Aussies Without Cossies extravaganza which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for families in need. So it was well worth all the angst and red-faced embarrassment and fear and quivering -and that was only among the wives.

Noni and I weren't worried that our larrikin guys would fail to measure up, both of them being fit and lively and, as younger women might say, "good for their age". It was the prospect of hundreds of other females perving on their dangly bits and soft tummies, and having a good old laugh at their expense.

As it turned out, we were wrong to fuss.

The startlingly agile Graeme Blundell and John Jarrett were unstoppable, writhing and cavorting and tossing aside their clothing as if they' d spent months doing little else but working out at the gym and spying at performances of the Chippendales. Blundell reported to me that backstage it was much like a preGrand Final gee-up with the Dirty Dozen roaring and whooping and back-slapping and, in one case, doing a bit of vigorous
thwacking of a recalcitrant member to render it less acorn-like.

After the event, a victory scrum went down, everyone still naked and high on adrenalin and the approving roar of the crowd. The actors among the group had taken it in their stride, but the blokes unused to the stage said they found the experience to be unparalleled. "Best night I've had in years," according to the none-too-retiring radio hot-shot Mike Carlton.

I've only once attended a male strip show, about a decade ago at a nightclub in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Carried away by go-cups (no-nonsense Louisiana-speak for take-away drinks) of absinthe frappe, I lurched inside, unaware that State law prevented strippers from revealing anything below the waist. Which in the case of males makes the whole thing rather redundant.

Needless to say, it was a disappointed woman who re-emerged into the neon glare of Bourbon Street after coming face to groin with a skinny stripper in decidedly unsexy beige underpants who kept twanging the elastic at me and inquiring in a nasally whine if I'd like to meet his duck. Only when he revealed himself as an expatriate Wayne from Wanganui, did I understand what he meant.

I wouldn't have thought women were all that interested in analysing dicks, really.

Explicit male porno magazines traditionally have sold to gay men rather than hetero women. Sex for women is largely cerebral; even the female- only audiences at touring strip shows such as the Chippendales are there for the girls'-night-out appeal, a chance to get out of the house, be boisterous with the sisterhood and pay back pulchritudinous mates.

Some blokes are appalled by such behaviour -and often they're the same hypocrites who frequent topless bars and that particular Sydney suburban tavern with the unforgettable billboard: "Nude Female Jelly Wrestling. Bring Your Own Spoon."

Meanwhile, back at Aussies Without Cossies, organiser Ward originally had wanted to go with the idea of willy warmers. She'd assumed, quite wrongly, that many of the invited performers would be too coy to get it all 'orf. On the contrary, the fellas applied themselves with gusto, hamming it up at rehearsal, clutching their flies, twirling discarded clothing like a veritable line-up of veteran strippers. "People haven' t paid $200 a head to look at little tea cosies," declared one of the 12.

On the big night, even if the level of dancing was more Monty Python than Full Monty, only actor Ernie Dingo chose to wear a modesty panel. Secret men's business, perhaps? At least one shortsighted woman was heard to yell as a jockstrapped Dingo stood alone like a beacon among the bare-fleshed fraternity, "Good God, it's white!"

The verdict? Well, Hugo Weaving had rhythm, Jack Thompson and Bob Ellis girdles of flesh, George Negus appalling timing and Bryan Brown the biggest grin this side of the Black Stump. From a distance, it had to be said, for those of us who forgot our binoculars, the body parts in question all looked the same. Variations on a theme, as it were. Nonetheless, in a fundraising auction, some punter paid $31, 000 for an exclusive photograph of the troupe.

Then Noni had a passing thought: somewhere out there, in someone' s better home and garden, Jarrett's tool will be hanging over a mantelpiece. As for me, Blundell insists I organise a troupe of male journalists to stage a follow-up performance. No wish list as yet, but at least I have the working title: Hacks Without Daks.

SUSAN KURASAWA, All-male revue with twelve members. , The Australian,
07-02-1998, pp 013.


Dirty dozen show no charity to fans

IT WAS the question everyone asked: Would they really go the full monty?
Answer: Ohhhhhh yes.

Senators Alston and Harradine would not have approved.

Three minutes was all it took for 12 nervous Australian men average age 48, average girth boosted to ample thanks to the barrel bellies of Jack Thompson and Bob Ellis -to get their gear off on Saturday night in the name of charity.

Totally, except for shoes and socks and 12 dirty big grins.

Welcome to the biggest (I use the term advisedly) show in town, the inspired Rachel Ward produced Aussies Without Cossies, otherwise known as The Full Monty.

It was difficult to work out if the combined talents (and we're not talking acting, musical and journalistic here) of Angry Anderson, Jimmy Barnes, Graeme Blundell (Alvin lives), Bryan Brown, Mike Carlton, Ernie Dingo, Ellis, John Jarrett, George Negus (stop laughing right now), Peter Phelps, Thompson and Hugo Weaving really needed to be stripped so bare.

But judging by the reaction a raucous standing ovation and the smiles on the strippers' faces -no one was disappointed.

Ward, the British-born actress married to Brown ("he had no choice" , she says of his strip) raised $500,000 for the Hope For The Children foundation -a worthwhile four-year-old program run by Rotary that offers in-home help for stressed parents with young families.

Half a million dollars? Hey, sex sells and Sydney is full of voyeurs.

Altruism be damned, these people wanted Monty which is why the show was a rapid sellout.

At least 750 of them paid $200 each for their tickets and another desperate 200 put their names on the waiting list.

And it was an A-list crowd who got an A-grade show.

Nicole Kidman, sans husband Tom Cruise who flew home with their two children on Saturday, sat bookended on table 27 by Sydney filmmakers Samantha Lang and John Polson.

Someone at the Kidman table made a fierce bidding for the only photograph of the naked 12 men which eventually went under the hammer for $31, 000 -at $2583.33 for each exhibitionist to another buyer.

Channel Nine's David Leckie kicked the bidding off at $5000, even though not one player from Nine stripped.

See, they wanted Monty.

Statuesque Marion Hume from Vogue chatted on the balcony with ABC fill-in and event barrel-girl Jennifer Byrne while Andrew Denton table- hopped.

Incidentally, Denton was asked to join the show but modestly declined, claiming "my family doesn't have pectorals". Kerry O'Brien kept strippers Carlton and Negus company, and lawyer Charlie Waterstreet joined the Ward-Brown-Thompson table.
Jamie Packer, minus Kate Fischer (who was on stage elsewhere), came in with Melbourne lad Sam Newman and sat at the back of the room on table 33 drinking Lite Ice beer with his mates.
There was Doug Mulray (who also declined a dance card claiming he was too shy to expose himself) and his beautiful partner Lizzie, James Reyne, Jimmy Barnes's son David Campbell wearing a remarkable (read, indescribable) suit, Gary and Johanna Sweet, Collette Dinnigan, Tom Keneally and family, newly jobless Sex/Life presenter Alyssa-Jane Cook, Graham Richardson and nine fellow 2GBers at a cost of $10,000 for a corporate table.

There was Cleo editor Deborah Thomas who worked the room, Scott Miller's beau Charlotte Dawson, Channel Ten's Angela Bishop and Nine's Hugh Riminton.
Everyone asked the same question, will they do the full Monty? When the time came, Bryan Brown, glass of wine in hand, lead the guys to their dressing room. They looked like they were heading to the gallows.
There was a rumour going around the audience that Tom Cruise was a mystery stripper which caused a certain amount of frisson.
Then at 10pm sharp, Rachel Ward introduced her "12 brave men" and the crowd roared its approval.

Negus's credibility with his serious Foreign Correspondent fans now might be strained, but not among the audience who were thoroughly charmed at his modesty. Negus remained hidden behind his hat until the lights were dimmed. Cute.
Not so John Jarrett whose rambunctious performance finished with him leaping off the stage and running -John Cleese style -on to the dance floor before throwing his arms in the air in a display of exuberance in front of a video camera.
Even that though, was overshadowed by the practised steps of an impressive Hugo Weaving ("muscle on muscle" said one appreciate female) who had the crowd talking about more than just his moves.

And he was overshadowed by the Bellies, Thompson and the irascible Bob Ellis who shuffled his way through the routine with the gracefulness of Mr Bean.
"I wasn't nervous about taking my clothes off, just the dance steps, " Ellis said after the three-minute routine.
No wonder. Ellis, who probably got the biggest laughs from the crowd, had to hold his pants up and then got them stuck around his ankles which he couldn't see.
As to taking his jocks off, you don't want to know.

Jack Thompson at 58 and a former centrefold had no qualms about stripping.
"No, I wasn't nervous at all," he said. "I'm an actor."
Aaah. Of course.
When told he and Ellis shattered the myth that only women have cellulite, he burst out laughing as did Ellis, similarly unworried about his dimpling buttocks, huge gut and exposed genitalia.
No, the good senators would not have approved. But boy, the audience did.

SANDRA LEE, Dirty dozen show no charity to fans, The Daily Telegraph(Sydney, Australia), 06-29-1998, pp 010.

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