Porn Parodies: Of Humor and Humping
After he finished the sequel to the hit “Jersey Score,” Jet Set Men director and partner Chris Steele decided he wasn’t going to do any more parody movies. And for a studio that led the industry niche with smashes like “The Hole,” “Getting Levi’s Johnson” and “Anthony’s Weener,” that would have left the gays gasping in horror. But then something funny happened….
“I kept getting fan mail through my website asking me what parody I was planning to do next, and I changed my mind,” Steele says. “I received all kinds of suggestions from people in the industry, and even straight friends who would email things like, ‘Why don’t you do a gay porn parody of ‘Glee?’ When I’m met with that kind of enthusiasm from so many different people, it tells me there is a clear market for gay porn parodies and people like them, so I keep making them.”
And with pop culture titles and news headlines staring him in the face, the temptation became too much to resist: “When I saw the trailer for ‘21 Jump Street’ with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill — specifically the bathroom scene where they finger each other’s mouth — it was so gay that I knew it was a parody I had to do. I wrote the script based on the movie and we went right into casting.”
The result is ‘21 Hump Street,’ the latest in a long line of successful Jet Set Men parodies (for those keeping track, the straights had that same parody title in 1988 … and both versions feature Ron Jeremy). Other recent hits include “To Fuck a Predator: Gangbang” and “Tosh.Hole,” which Steele notes “was a gamble because it is a parody of a TV show that has a specific audience. I moved forward because I’m a fan of the show, “Tosh.0,” and the host, Daniel Tosh, always has such a great sense of humor about gay sex. All three of our recent gay porn parodies have been strong sellers on DVD for the retail market. “21 Hump Street” and “Tosh.Hole” both got a boost in publicity from full feature stories on mainstream websites that don’t usually cover gay porn movies.”
Jet Set is certainly helped by the fact that virtually no one else is really capitalizing on the craze. Gay fans have seen the likes of Dominic Ford’s “So You Think You Can Fuck” and other parodies over the years, but no one is producing them consistently. And for some top studios, that’s fine by them.
“Parodies are very expensive to produce, so as studios strain under the current difficult porn economy, few such expensive movies are being shot,” says Chris Ward, president of Falcon Studios and Raging Stallion Studios. “We did several parodies in earlier years — ‘Raiders of the Lost Arse’ was a great one, as was ‘A Porn Star is Born.’ Parodies are not our specialty, so we now leave this genre to other studios. Also, parodies are more about short-term exploitation of a current media event. We produce films that hopefully will stand the test of time and become classics. It’s hard to imagine some of the parodies being produced being popular 10 years from now.”
Ward adds that humor and porn are a difficult mix: “The job of porn is to create a boner and help a guy whack off. Humor must be handled very carefully in order not to interfere with the porn prime directive. We at Falcon and Raging pride ourselves on never having won any ‘Best Comedy’ awards.”
Lucas Entertainment hasn’t been a producer of parodies, but they have tried their hand at injecting humor into some films — perhaps most successfully in their awardwinning 2007 hit “The Intern.” In 2010, they had a huge seller with ‘Kings of New York,’ which featured comic relief from Michael Musto and drag superstars Bianca Del Rio and Sherry Vine. That movie will soon be turned into a series on the studio’s website, with comic cameos again from Del Rio alongside Busted from ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ Broadway star Martin Samuel and Derek Saathoff from Logo’s ‘The A-List.’
“I’m not a huge fan of parodies because I think they lack creativity for the most part. But I love lacing in humor to a porn story,” says Marc MacNamara, marketing and creative director and a writer/director for Lucas. “When you open yourself up to laugh in sex, it breaks down a wall and the experience can become even hotter. My favorite character I have written was Issac Jones’ character in ‘The Last Day.’ He was this smartass and clever cynic who had a sharp tongue and cut through every scene with humor and sexiness.”
Steele just wrapped a gay porn parody called “The Ultimate Top,” a parody of the FX Network show “The Ultimate Fighter” (the loser has to give up his ass). He’s also been tossing around an idea given directly to him via Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen: a parody of “Million Dollar Listing,” a tempting idea considering former Jet Set Exclusive Tag Eriksson is currently on the New York Edition of the show. Steele also recently started a new line called Jet Set Reality/Chris Steele’s Gonzo, a fun new genre of reality porn.
“There aren’t companies out there producing gay porn parodies like Jet Set Men because the movies are hard to film,” Steele says. “Most gay porn movies nowadays use the trailer as the opening credits, have no dialogue or storyline to speak of and fade to black at the end of each sex scene. If they do a gay parody it’s usually only a parody in title with the movie having little or nothing to do with the parody subject.
“‘21 Hump Street’ was an ambitious gay porn parody with 20 pages of dialogue and 42 setups for scenes. It had multiple costume changes, multiple locations, props, special guests and things that if you’re just filming two guys fucking you don’t need to spend time and money on. It’s much simpler to pick a location, cast seven or eight guys to fuck with a random theme based on a location, a prop or wardrobe, then take a mono title out of the playbook, cut the trailer as the opening credits and call it a feature. Gay porn parodies are much more difficult, require a good script, good planning and an enthusiastic cast and crew.”
And it’s the “good script” part that can prove to be most challenging for Steele, especially when he’s doing a parody of a show like “Tosh.0” that has a full paid staff of professional comedy writers.
“It’s just me at a computer writing these, not a team of writers, so there’s always the risk of something coming off as stupid rather than funny. But when you’re in production you’re always surprised when guys like Jessie Colter step up to the plate and nail their performance. Jessie’s scene in ‘Tosh.Hole’ was a parody of a well-known YouTube video called ‘Greatest freak out ever,’ a clip with 64 million views, and he blew us away with his performance. He was hysterical. The same thing happened with Riley Price and Jason Goodman in ‘21 Hump Street.’ The two guys really put everything into their roles and they had such great chemistry on screen that made for a memorable gay porn buddybuddy performance. I know people don’t watch gay porn to get a laugh, so when I’m writing the script I try to keep the humor sexually based with a lead-in to the sex that fits the action on screen.”