Outrage over Danish children's TV series about a man with a giant, misbehaving penis

John Dillermand and his misbehaving penis.
John Dillermand and his misbehaving penis. Photo: DR TV

If you've ever watched a kid's TV show at some point and felt like you were experiencing a fever dream then hold on to your hats, because do we have a show that may feel like one long hallucination. 

As wacky as some Australian children's shows have been (Round the Twist anyone?) we may have to concede and hand our oddball crown over to a new Danish TV series called John Dillermand; a man who's just trying to get through life with his misbehaving giant penis getting in the way.

The show, aimed at four to eight-year olds, moves past the idea that a man who cannot control his penis just means they didn't know how to aim towards the toilet, instead each five-minute episode depicts the main character John Dillermand (diller is a Danish word for penis) using his lengthy genitalia to, uh, try to attempt to solve every day problems.

Unsurprisingly the show has raised some eyebrows, with many thinking it sends kids the wrong message - especially in a #MeToo era.

John Dillermand and his misbehaving penis.

John Dillermand and his misbehaving penis. Photo: DR TV

Christian Groes, an associate professor and gender researcher at Roskilde University, told The Guardian he's concerned about the implications the show could have on equality, saying it's "perpetuating the standard idea of a patriarchal society" and "normalising locker room culture".

"It's meant to be funny – so it's seen as harmless," he said. "But it's not. And we're teaching this to our kids."

Made in claymation style, John - who resembles a 1930s strongman - always dons a red and white striped onesie which (thankfully) covers everything as he tries to complete everyday tasks such as playing with building blocks, doing a bit of gardening and even trying his hand (penis?) at hunting.

Dillerman's penis gets in the way of taking dogs for a walk.

Dillermand's penis gets in the way of taking dogs for a walk. Photo: DR TV


Unfortunately for Dillermand his 'pee pee' (as the subtitles say) often gets in the way proving to be more a hindrance than help, acting more of an octopus arm than men's genitalia.

For example, the description for an episode titled 'John Goes Hunting' reads: "John gets a gun from Oldemor and is asked to go out and shoot their dinner - preferably a pheasant. The world's longest diller and a rifle are doomed to go wrong, and funny enough, John also comes home with a pizza and a shot of diller."

In one harrowing scene, Dillerman gets into a physical altercation with his own 'diller'

In one harrowing scene, Dillermand gets into a physical altercation with his own 'diller' Photo: DV TV

Although the premise of the show has raised concerns of many people, others maintain it's just a silly show made to make kids laugh. They point out the giant 'diller' isn't sexual in nature, acting more an uncontrollable, annoying third arm or a rope with a mind of it's own.

"The show depicts a man who is impulsive and not always in control, who makes mistakes – like kids do, but crucially, Dillermand always makes it right," psychologist Erla Heinesen Højsted told The Guardian, pointing out the character takes responsibility for himself and his 'diller's' antics.

"When a woman in the show tells him that he should keep his penis in his pants, for instance, he listens," she continued. "He is accountable."