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File:N6584033589 4973Shane and David.jpg

Australian comedians Shane Dundas and David Collins are The Umbilical Brothers. They met in a theatre class and decided one day that their miming class was "too quiet". Their humor is primary physical comedy and they make full use of stage lighting, imaginary people and objects, the audiences' line-of-sight, camera frame and sound effects. Their comedic timing is spot on and you can tell they spend hours upon hours perfecting their routines - even though their early work was largely improvised.

They have done several live shows Speedmouse, Don't Explain and THWAK! among others, and were a regular feature on The Sideshow. The Umbilical Brothers also had a television show geared toward children called The Upside Down Show that was enjoyable for all ages.

Tropes used in The Umbilical Brothers include:

  • Bad Bad Acting: The Roadie is a borderline nightmarish clown who doesn't entirely hide his distaste for his work and Shane and David.

 "Could you at least try to pretend like you're in water."

  • Character as Himself: Ending Credits. But also played with - see Credits Gag below.
  • Credits Gag: Just read them. At the end of Speedmouse for example "Tina as Roadie; Roadie as Tina".
  • Dramatic Unmask: Spoofed in Speedmouse, where Shane and David rip off the Roadie's clown mask to reveal another identical clown mask underneath. Which they nevertheless react to as if it's a face that they recognise.
  • DVD Commentary: The commentary for Speedmouse has Shane and David frequently sidetracked or interrupted by the other characters from the show, and when they do provide behind-the-scenes information it's false. Several times, they claim that various imaginary props and characters were actually present in the theatre, but were digitally removed in post-production. At one point, they instead admit that a particular imaginary character really was just a voiceover, then claim that it was intended to be a visible CGI-animated character but all the earlier digital object removal broke the CGI budget.
  • The Elevator From Ipanema
  • Everything's Worse With The Threatening Bears
  • The Faceless: Tina.
  • Hand Puppet: ACTION FINGERS
    • Also the Threatening Bears.
    • Grrr...
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: David and Shane, for twenty-two years and counting. They make gay jokes unusually rarely for a male comedy duo, but on one occasion when they're wrestling for some air bubbles (they were "underwater") some porn-like music started playing, which freaked them both out.
  • Improv: A few of their routines are improvised, including suggestions from the audience. Even then they are so familiar with each other it ends up being much the same as a scripted performance.
  • Jerkass: The Roadie. He gives a (entirely imaginary) five year old kid a balloon filled with too much helium, then, when the kid flies up too high, pops it with a dart.
    • Twice. David catches her both times.
      • Then he falls off the top storey.
  • Lampshade Hanging: At the beginning of Speedmouse, David indicates to the empty stage and says, "Welcome to our show, hope you got your money's worth!"
  • Larynx Dissonance: Tina, the disconcertingly-deep-voiced stage manager.
  • Medium Awareness: The Schmuzzies schmeak Schmuzzish as does David in The Upside Down Show.
    • Their stage show Speedmouse has them fully aware that they are in a DVD, despite the fact that they weren't, until they were when the show was put on DVD. They muck about with stage show conventions as well - the third and fourth main characters are Roadie, the roadie dressed as a clown, and Tina, the stage manager.
      • The latter two turn out to be one and the same.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Part of the "Don't Explain" show. That imaginary dog didn't die! It was switched with... hm... a false one.
  • No Fourth Wall
  • Speech-Impaired Animal: The Schmuzzies.
  • Two Aliases One Character: Tina and the Roadie
  • The Voiceless: The Roadie. Until he speaks into a microphone with Tina's voice.
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