Just think what an amazing Punch show you could do with Four Arms ( and hands presumably )
No actuallyI think you'd ruin it Richard!
Forgive me for taking you seriously. Yes, of course I appreciate you were humourously underlining your pun, and not making a serious remark but it did start me thinking. Perhaps you'll induge my musing.
I recall several two-man Punch shows (or two-person if it matters to you) which have allowed elaboration of the story. None have been at all successful to my mind. Yet the same teams have produced perfectly good puppet shows generally.
I think it is something to do with Punch being better if kept simple. It is the quintessential basic glove puppet show - two hands, therefore two characters, two distinct voices, a squawk and one other, and the basic actions that two hands can easily perform: pop-up, pop-down, hug, kiss, pick-up, put down, hit and grab. The puppets are simple caricatures, their construction basic, and their script a 200 year old Cruikshank comic strip.
It's fun to mess around and add topicality and novelty, but mess too much with it and you lose it. Make the puppets or action too realistic and you lose it. The figures must retain that element of unreality, the movement must remain stylised. You can misuse a peg doll baby but not one that's Disney cute.
We all know it works, the Punch show I mean, but to know why it works is a different thing. If you think about the Punch story its a pretty horrible sequence to be presenting to kids. Our job is to keep the audience laughing so that they don't realise this. The difference between a good Punchman producing laughter with the slapsticking and the wincing evoked by incompetent battering is wafer thin.
The ability to maintain the balance seems something to do with maintaining some primitive elements to the show and the do-it-yourself-amateur nature of the solo show has some part to play.