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 The Upside Down Show that was enjoyable for all ages.
- Bad "Bad Acting": The Roadie is a borderline nightmarish clown who doesn't entirely hide his distaste for his work 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. note
- 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.
- The Elevator from Ipanema
- The Faceless: Tina.
- Hand Puppet:
- ACTION FINGERS
- Also the Threatening Bears.
- 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.
- 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
- Running Gag: Whenever the brothers have been sped up, at the end, they say:"Hehehehe, ahh wankers."
- 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.
- Threatening Bears Are Bad News