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."