August 3, 2012
The Dark Hog Rises! A Visit to the Early Ron Jeremy Oeuvre
Still making new friends 20 years on
Remember when American porn used to be fun? When male performers were not
chemically enhanced? When female performers were not artificially upholstered? When pornographers actually expected consumers to follow some sort of
storyline? When you, the consumer, actually did follow the storyline because you paid good money to get in and, what the
heck, unless you were willing to pull a Fred Willard, you had no way of achieving release right there on the spot, so why not
sit through the whole darn thing? You did what needed to be done once you
got home and you told no one, because this was also a time when consumers
were still circumspect about the whole porn-enjoying thing. If your friends
found out where you had been, you assured them that your interest was entirely
ironic. Remember those days? No? No recollection of all that? Misreading
my audience yet again, am I?
Well, all these memories came rushing back to me recently when I found
time to sit through Naughty Cheerleaders (Bob Tate, 1985), starring Ali Moore and a bunch of other unconvincing-as-cheerleaders actresses of whom I
had no memory. The male performers, on the other hand, had all been deeply
imprinted on my cortex. Oh, hey, there’s that guy! (Mike Horner) And there’s that other guy! (Paul Thomas) And there’s that guy who was in that one thing! (Don Fernando) And oh, sweet Mary mother of Jesus,, it’s a young and reasonably svelte
Ron "The Hedgehog" Jeremy!
I herewith present a running diary of my viewing of this mid-Reagan-era chestnut.
0:00 to 2:10
The opening title sequence features cutting-edge fade-in-by-character technology
and hustles to work in the production assistant, the gaffer, the makeup
artist, the sound mixer, the art director, the director of photography,
his assistant, and his assistant’s fluffer. No, I just threw in that last
one as an excuse to use fluffer, which I learned only recently and (predictably enough) from Gary.
This sequence establishes our main venue as some sort of Peach Pit-like ice cream parlor inexplicably patronized by porn performers who are even less convincing as teenagers than the final-season-of-90210 Steve Sanders, along with a chipper, chubby Asian fellow whose presence signals a degree of inclusiveness surprising for the porn of this era. (On a personal note, he also bears a disconcerting resemblance to my old college roommate Hoppy, but that is neither here nor there.) Alas (Spoiler Alert!), Chubby Asian Dude is fated never to appear hereafter.
2:10 to 14:40
Ali Moore, as one of the titular (ha-ha) Naughty Cheerleaders, bounces
in to apply for a waitress position, only to find the manager (Ron Jeremy)
locked in his office and engaged in a jowl-deep inventory of the reproductive
organs of an employee (Renee Lovins), his copious Seventies mustache drenched in poontang. The first words out of his mouth: “Wanna feel my tongue?”
As noted above, this is an early-model Ron Jeremy, still at least a decade away from his “I dare you to gaze upon me and maintain your erection” mode. This is not the same, however, as saying that his presence esthetically enhances the scene.
Fortunately, every time you find yourself thinking, “Man, I’ve seen enough
of Ron Jeremy,” the movie actually cuts away from the office to the ice
cream shop. This whole notion of abandoning an in-progress sex scene to
throw in bits of exposition (Among other things, we learn that the Ali
Moore is eighteen—in fact, by happy coincidence, is having her birthday
that very day!) is as alien to modern porn as the stuffed-animal furriness
of both Ron and Renee.
Here is how the sex scene unfolds, sans cut-aways: There’s the cunnilingus. There’s intercourse in three positions, all performed atop a wobbly diner table. (And wouldn't you like to see the later-model Ron Jeremy pull that off?) Then there’s a slow pan across Ron’s gut and chest that looks like
satellite photos of two dozen acres of Texas scrubland. It is this shot
that segues us to the fellatio, which (in another radical violation of
the dictates of modern porn) is served not as foreplay but as dessert--quite
literally, as Ron thoughtfully covers his penis with whipped cream and
chocolate sauce. “You’re not on a diet, are you?” he thoughtfully inquires.
Soon enough after this remark, Ron launches into his usual pre-ejaculation riff: “Ahhhhh… Oh, that’s the way, baby… Oh, keep going, baby! Keep sucking it! Oh… Oh, that’s it, that’s it! Oh, it’s going to come out in a minute! Oh, keep sucking! Oh, jerk
it with your hands, baby! Right in your mouth! OHHHH!!!” And then there’s another cut-away!! Vicarious coitus interruptus! Bad! Bad video editor! Bad boy!
Eight seconds of meaningless exposition later, we’re back to see Ron Jeremy
ejaculate, then stop, then start ejaculating all over again. A pretty prodigious
feat, even for a pro like him. A second viewing reveals that this is actually
the same ejaculation from different angles. Evidently, the director of
photography wanted it known that he was allowed to work with two cameras.
Did I mention that he had an assistant?
For the record, Ron says: “Arrrrrr!!! Awwwwww!!! Take-it-take-it-take-it-take-it, AWWWWWWWWRRRRRR!!!! Ahhhh…. Ah, ha-ha-ha-ha!!”
Renee is tossed a towel and summarily dismissed, and Ali is invited into
the office to present her application, which Ron, unsurprisingly, accepts
on the spot on condition that she change into a waitress uniform in front
of him; and it is at this juncture that we consumers grasp why Ali and
not Renee has top billing in Naughty Cheerleaders.
All right, so I’ve just spewed out 900 words getting us through Scene 1 of
a ten-scene feature-length porno here, so I’m going to declare this blog
a two-parter. Maybe even a serial of Pickwick Papers proportion.*
Before I take my leave, however, a few (hundred) kind words about Ron Jeremy.
Among those people who hold Ron Jeremy dear—not including his immediate
family, of course—most seem to do so for his shlubby everyman look. Porn
aficionados see the lardy, greasy performer that Ron morphed into by the
twenty-first century as an inspiration: If he can enjoy satisfying relations with all those attractive ladies,
then there’s hope for me, too! So the (inherently flawed) reasoning goes.
My own affection for Ron is not founded on his shlubbiness. To be sure,
there is an old-shoe comfort associated with his popping up every now and
then in my porn diet over the decades, but the problem with Ron is his
tendency to crowd his costars out of the shot. Whereas your typical twenty-first
century porn star, raised in a gym and weaned on steroids, is a walking
compendium of straight lines and right angles and perpendicularities, Ron,
with his oddly snowman-like figure composed entirely of spheres, is not
so easily cropped to the side of either a video screen or one’s imagination.
Wheresoever Ron's penis goes, there, too, goes his big hairy gut. He simply
has too much thereness about him for a male porn star. In well-executed porn, the viewer lets
his empathy run wild, projecting himself into the scene and saying, “It
is I who am enjoying this delightful young woman right now.” In a Ron scene,
one can only sigh, “No, it is Ron.”
Yes, it is Ron who is enjoying these beautiful women, but the point is,
in contrast to most male porn stars, he’s really, really enjoying them. At every stage of his career, on some level Ron clearly
seems to appreciate how incredibly lucky he is to be getting this sort
of work. It was said of Willie Mays that he was always more alert, more
perceptive, somehow just more in the game than other players on the field, and in this sense, Ron Jeremy can be
called the Willie Mays of porn. Unlike so many male performers, who seem
to merely be running out the clock and, if anything, trying NOT to focus
on the beauty of their costars, Ron is clearly living every minute spent in an orifice of a beautiful woman. And you know, god
love him for that.
And here’s another likable thing about Ron Jeremy. Do you know what he was doing prior to porn? He was a licensed special ed teacher, that’s what. Wrap your mind around that the next time you see that triple-canopy jungle of a belly heave into view.
|* No, I’m not begging off here so that I can skulk away and start masturbating.
If that were the case, I would tell you. After all, I pretty much cast
aside all shame in that regard way back at Blog 40, the one about my Rolling Fella Bomber. At my age, telling people that
I'm about to go masturbate constitutes bragging.
Which really brings me to the most salient difference between modern porn and its vintage ancestors like Naughty Cheerleaders: The old stuff just doesn’t make you want to ejaculate all that much.
This is something I’ll explore next time. But for the record, it’s not
(entirely) Ron Jeremy’s fault.
Part 2 of 2 parts here.