Josh Muggins's Blah Blah Blah


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.