Dirk is Deaf was a short-lived conspiracy theory about the Rutle Dirk McQuickly, with the suggestion that Dirk was hit by an Ice Cream truck and lost his ability to hear.
Conspirators believed that as early as late 1966, Dirk had been replaced in the studio by a Dirk sound-alike. Suggestively, even though the Rutles have kept this deception secret from their fans, they have been hiding clues about it on the album covers and in song lyrics all these years. In tha espect, it was very similar to the other conspiracy theory from the early 70s of Stig O'Hara being dead, as well as the self-started Bary Wom conspiracy of the same nature.
In 1996, with the release of Archaeology 1, a small picture of what appears to be the other three Rutles reacting to seeing a horific sight while in the streets was spotted in the cover booklet. This was the first "clue" fans noticed, and many more clues were quickly "discovered".
On the cover of A Hard Day's Rut, Dirk is holding his finger to his ear, in a pose obviously self-conscious about his hearing loss.
On the Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band album, someone is holding a hand, palm out, over Dirk's head, which is the symbol for "hello" in the sign language used by the deaf. In addition, all the Rutles except Dirk are holding horns (Dirk is holding a clarinet). Dirk would naturally avoid holding a horn, as this would resemble the old type of horn the deaf used to put up to their ears as a crude hearing aid.
On the cover of the Shabby Road album, Dirk is crossing the road barefooted. He would obviously had not done this had he been able to hear people warning him that the asphalt would be hot and it would burn his feet.
Musical defects and "Pretending" to "play" the "guitar"Edit
In many photographs and live concert footage, Dirk can be seen "playing" the guitar. If these photographs are examined closely, it can apparently seen in some cases that Dirk is only faking playing, and is not fingering the guitar at all.One infamous example is in the final Let it Rot performance, where he clearly seems to not be stroking a note.
In All You Need Is Cash, an unofficial Rutles documentary, Dirk can be seen and heard trying to play the piano and compose a new song for his new wife Martini on their honeymoon. It seems that Dirk can not find the correct notes on the piano, nor sing on key. While this could indeed be caused by some sort of hearing defect, alcohol would have the same side-effect. He was shown drinking before the act.