NEW YORK — “Do you want to see it?”
When Jonah Falcon, the man with the world’s largest penis, asked me this question on the phone, I had no right to be shocked.
After all, I’ve been a weird news reporter for more than a decade, and I’m the one who called him up asking for an interview. Still, I couldn’t help but feel just a little queasy.
The last time I interviewed a man about his pecker, it was John Wayne Bobbitt, the man who had his junk sliced off by his wife, whom he allegedly abused.
Poor Lorena chucked that penis out a car window. It was found and surgically reattached. A jury acquitted Lorena at the infamous “weenie whacking trial” months later, and John turned himself into a national joke.
I caught up with the man just after he’d undergone penis lengthening surgery because he underwhelmed audiences in his first porno flick, John Wayne Bobbitt: Uncut.
The medical procedure did little to make his next effort, Frankenpenis, a bigger success. But at the time, Bobbitt was ecstatic over his artificial enhancement.
“I’m as big and wide as a can of Foster’s beer,” he bragged.
“Congratulations, John,” I told him. “Your penis is now completely useless.”
This loser would go on to work as a $50,000-a-year greeter at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, Nevada’s largest house of prostitution. He’d then get fired for being a general screw-up, and face further charges for beating other women who made the mistake of dating him.
As Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof told me, Bobbitt is “a nice, pleasant person with absolutely no brain.”
A Big Man With Big Plans
Like Bobbitt, Jonah Falcon is famous for his penis. But the comparison ends there. Bobbitt became a walking, talking punch line with zero self-respect.
Falcon is a 38-year-old New Yorker who is doing his best to become a serious actor and filmmaker — something more than a guy renowned for his bulge.
When he greeted me at the door, I was struck at how normal he looked. He’s five-foot-nine, with an average build and a boyish face.
You’d never guess that the man standing before me is the same one who was measured on HBO’s Private Dicks: Men Exposed at 13.5 inches — longer than your average wine bottle.
And it’s just as thick, I’m told.
The attention Falcon really craves, however, is as an actor. And up to this point, much of his work has been as an uncredited extra.
If you watch The Sopranos episode in which Paulie finds out that his mother is really his aunt, you’ll see him as a hospital orderly. This is work that’s called “paying your dues.” Falcon has been a juror on Law & Order (and it must have been a hung jury). He was a mental patient in the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind and a barfly on Ed.
His scene from Sex and the City was cut, but how could Samantha not have dated him?
“I’ve had bigger roles in indie films,” he tells me, “the kind that don’t get listed on IMDB.”
“Porn?” I ask him.
“Of course not,” he tells me. “I’m a SAG actor. If I did porn, nobody would take me seriously. Nobody. And Nobody would care about the size of my penis.”
“Because porn actors all lie about the size of their penis,” he says. “I’ve been measured on TV.”
What I like most about Falcon is that he’s got ambition, and that he’s trying to make it in a brutal, unforgiving business.
Falcon’s latest disappointment: HBO didn’t even consider him for a part in Hung the new series about a down-on-his-luck high school teacher who turns his personal “winning tool” (his big you-know-what) into a job asset. He becomes a male prostitute.
Did the cable network treat him like a piece of meat?
“If anyone knows what it’s like to have a big penis and be looking for a break,” he says, “it’s me.”
“I shouldn’t complain . . . I mean, I’ve struggled, but no more than anyone else in these tough times. It’s just that I’m an actor, and I hate it when I get passed over for a role that’s tailor-made for me.”
Still, it was on HBO in 1999 that Falcon became world famous. Back then, he shocked producers. “I went to their office in bike shorts with my c–k wrapped around the side of my leg.”
“I have a picture of myself back then,” Falcon says, running to the next room. He comes back and hands a black-and-white photo to me of him in all his glory.
“Look,” he says. “I’m hanging halfway to my knees.”
He hands me the picture, and indeed he was.
As you might assume, many men make claims about their genitalia, and Falcon’s “World’s Biggest” sobriquet comes with some dispute. The difference is that Falcon has been measured on videotape.
Being featured in the 2006 U.K. documentary World’s Biggest Penis also helps.
“I know every time that show airs in Europe because hundreds of people try to friend me on MySpace and Facebook,” he says. “It’s crazy.”
Falcon has also been featured on Howard Stern’s Howard TV on Demand, as well as Out magazine, wherein he describes himself as bisexual, and Rolling Stone, which opens with an elaborate account of what it was like to be a ten-year-old boy with an 8-inch protuberance while changing in the locker room for gym class.
Falcon will pull down his pants and show what God has given him, if challenged by a reporter, or to settle a bet at a party. But he’s not insensitive.
Robert Kurson’s Rolling Stone piece took some liberties, he says, and the pictures of him are unflattering. “It was the worst time of my life,” he says. “And it shows. I let myself get out of shape.”
‘John Holmes Is Not My Father’
“One reason I wouldn’t want to do porn is that I wouldn’t want to have sex on a crowded movie set. It’s just not my thing.”
When you’re No. 1 at something — anything, really — other people are gunning for you, and Falcon is no exception.
Rolling Stone suggested that Falcon started a rumor that his father was John Holmes, the porn star portrayed by Val Kilmer in Wonderland and the inspiration for Boggie Nights.
“I wasn’t the one who started that,” he says. “It’s just a rumor that’s been attributed to me.”
The truth is, Falcon’s father died when he was just a boy. He and his mother spent many years living with cousins in New York City, where he graduated in 1988 from the Bronx High School of Science.
Another persistent story is that Falcon still lives with his mother. The truth is, as an itinerate actor, he sometimes stays with her when he’s between gigs, but he otherwise lives on his own.
We chatted together at her place, as he waited for a repairman to fix the fridge.
Falcon is currently collaborating on a screenplay, and blogging for GameStooge.com. He hosts a public access TV show on the New York Yankees and the media inquiries never end.
“You know what they say, ‘If you can’t get someone to cast you in a part, you’ve got to cast yourself,’” he says. “So I’m working with a friend who’s helping me stay focused, and another friend who knows how to finance these things.”
The back room at his mother’s house is filled with his childhood mementoes. You can peruse his VCR tapes, CDs and DVDs and know that this guy is a fan of classic comedies, Woody Allen films, Mystery Science Theater, and singer-songwriters from the ’70s.
“When I was young my mother bought Piano Man by Billy Joel, and I’ve bought every Billy Joel album since. From there I learned the other singer songwriter of the 70s and 80s.
“And to this day, I can’t listen to ‘PacMan Fever’ without bursting out into laughter.”
That indeed means the man with the biggest penis is a bit of a softy, at least when it comes to his music. And that sort of fits with his sex advice for large men — be gentle.
“Use the size and sensation of the mass to your advantage,” he says. “Change speeds. That’s what ladies like.”
Big Shoes Mean Big Feet (That’s It)
We talked some more and then he tugged at the waistband of his shorts. “So,” he says, ” Do you want to see it?”
Ummmm, okay, I guess.
And, from about five feet away, I can say Jonah Falcon does live up to all the hype.
But now, what does one say?
“Is it tough for you on hot days,” I ask.
“Actually, it’s the cold that I don’t like,” he says.
When I saw Jonah, he was not in a ready-for-action state (and I’m very happy about that). But I saw enough not to doubt his claim to fame.
It was only after leaving Jonah’s home that I found out we share one physical trait in common. We both wear size 10-and-a-half shoes. So much for that myth.