“A few years ago, I got really burnt out from shooting nothing but porn and chasing after clients who wouldn't pay their bills,” Kliem said. “I felt creatively frustrated and needed a low-stress outlet to get inspired about filmmaking again. My friend Jim was working with a couple of guys who were shooting little skit-comedy videos just for their own amusement. There were no plans to sell them on DVD, broadcast them on Public Access TV or pitch them to ‘Saturday Night Live.’ We would get together on Thursday nights, smoke some pot, make cocktails and brainstorm funny bits. If we felt like shooting something, we would. If we didn't feel like shooting, we would just sit on the couch and giggle.”
Thus, “The Bong Show” was born. Kliem said that they started with “a shitty camera,” had no lighting and did the editing with two VHS decks and pause control.
“Eventually we got better cameras and iMovie, ” he said, “but the stress-free environment of no deadlines and no money involved was just the inspiration I needed.”
“The Bong Show” skits consist of gay parodies of old movies and TV shows, ridiculous drag, drug humor, phony commercials and goofing around.
“We were doing the kind of stuff kids are doing on YouTube today,” Kliem said, “but we started around 2000, long before the tube craze. The stuff we were doing was perfectly suited for YouTube — we just didn't know it at the time.
“One of my company slogans for Lavender Lounge is, ‘It's Porn Different,’” he continued. “Why is it ‘porn different?’ Because I’m not your typical pornographer. I have interests beyond dick, ass and money. I think of myself as a provider of all sorts of entertainment. Dick Clark, Merv Griffin, Hugh Hefner, Larry Flynt and even Florenz Ziegfeld are producers I like to emulate. Their brands covered a lot of different mediums, and I don't want to get stuck in just one gay porn pigeonhole.”
Sixteen video clips from “The Best of The Bong Show” are now available at LavenderLoungeVideoBlog.com under the comedy section. They're free to watch, and there is embed code and a direct link provided so viewers can post a video to their own blog or share it with friends.
For more information, visit the Lavender Lounge site.