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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Porn Takes Another Baby Step Towards The Mainstream




The stars of the hit Comedy Central "mockumentary" spoof of reality TV, Reno 911, have taken an unprecedented step in celebrating the success of the porn parody based on their show. On July 26th they joined the fine folks at porn studio New Sensations for a special sold-out charity screening of New Sensations hit XXX parody, Reno 911: A XXX Parody at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles.

Lots of shows get porn parodies made of them -- everything from WKRP to Bewitched to Batman has been spoofed with an explicit sex version. But most of the classic TV shows have casts that have either passed on or whose interest in XXX parodies is likely dimmed by age. There are, of course, obvious exceptions (lookin' at you, Betty White, who was spoofed in The Golden Girls: A MILF Parody just this month!) but only a handful of parodies have been done of existing shows, or shows from the recent past.

(View a good review of the XXX flick here)

But the Reno 911 parody apparently rang the bell of the cast and producers of the show, and they decided to do a special event showing of the (slightly edited) porn flick at the comedy bunker known as the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Billed as a "roast" of the original show, the event was covered by esteemed gossip shop TMZ. Some of the comments were priceless. From the press release:

"During the roast, the cast was full of praise for “Reno 911: A XXX Parody” and its adult cast. Garant stated, “When we found out there was a porn parody of our show being done by New Sensations, we contacted them immediately and said…” At which point Lennon interjected saying, “We need like 10 copies of that right away; for research purposes.”

and

Two weeks ago, “Reno 911: A XXX Parody” was featured in a sketch from mainstream comedy website FunnyOrDie.com, as New Sensations’ reputation for top shelf adult parodies continues to grow. Sketch director Justin Donaldson says, “New Sensations’ XXX parodies are by far the funniest and most entertaining thing I have ever masturbated to.”


and then this:

After first watching the trailer for “Reno 911: A XXX Parody” on New Sensations’ YouTube.com page, Robert Ben Garant posted, “Wow. I have never been so proud. This is like winning an Oscar. An Oscar you can rub one out to.”


and last, but not least, this:

Robert Ben Garant says, “To see yourself portrayed in high def, only you’ve got a 20 inch schlong, you feel like you can go back home and conquer Hollywood.”


That's some funny sh!t. You can read the rest of the press release here.

Now, while this is amusing and funny in and of itself, there's an additional layer of pop-culture irony here: Reno 911 was itself a spoof of reality TV shows like Cops. So this connection between parody and reality is growing on multiple levels. Just an observation. And if any cast of a mainstream TV show is likely to appreciate the possibilities of a porn parody, then it would be the folks at Reno 911, where episodes have dealt with as many outrageous aspects of free-form sexuality as you could name: roller-skating male prostitutes (Nick Swardson as "Terry" -- one of the show's staple "bad guys"), Reno brothels, homosexuality, bisexuality, drugs and sex, bondage and discipline . . . the list goes on. Reno 911 was always sensitive to the nuanced humor that inevitably arises from sexuality, without being judgmental. The nature of the show was to expose the outrageous sexual acts of everyday people, usually in areas where things just got out of hand badly enough to warrant a visit from the police. We've all been there . . .

I will say that it took balls from these mainstream actors to not only publicly acknowledge that the XXX parody existed, but to actively celebrate it as a sign of cultural success, not the moral disintegration of American popular culture. I think that it's not only another baby-step in the process of porn becoming a socially acceptable form of entertainment for adults, but its an appreciation of how parody, regardless of it's form, is an art unto itself.

Original show cast members in attendance:

Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Thomas Lennon, Joe Lo Truglio, Niecy Nash, Carlos Alazraqui, Cedric Yarbrough, Ian Roberts and Nick Swardson.

Cast members of the parody:

Jada Fire, Bobbi Starr, Natasha Nice, Sophie Dee, Jessica Lynn, Violet Monroe, Stephanie Cane, Lexa James, Jack Lawrence, James Deen, Mr. Pete, Ralph Long, Tyler Knight, Tony De Sergio, Alex Gonz, Eddie Adams and Brian Street Team.

View the official trailer:

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