Laugh if you will, but Ron Jeremy is America's favorite satyr, the former porn star who successfully parlayed certain physical gifts, a little acting talent--certain critics would say very little--and a willingness to trade on a schlock-grade of celebrity to transform himself into a cottage industry.
Jeremy spends that hard-won celebrity judiciously these days. He just finished a season on the VH1 reality series The Surreal Life, and he's now trying his hand as a technology reviewer.
Well, not really. He's only going to be playing one in a new online show called "Techsmart with Ron Jeremy," which debuts Thursday on men's entertainment site, Heavy.com. The show is satire that features Jeremy performing comedy skits, interviewing people on the street and lampooning the technology sector. Some of his funniest material comes when the 54-year-old tweaks the attention-starved crowd at YouTube.
YouTube is a celebration of mediocrity, he says disdainfully. He knows some people will accuse him of looking down his nose at other marginal performers and find that ironic. In an interview with CNET News.com, he answers his critics.Q: What are your tech credentials?
Jeremy: For a guy with a master's degree, six years of college and a teaching license from New York State, it's amazing how unsavvy I am on the computer and a cell phone. I still believe in hearing somebody's voice. I understand the logic of sending out mass e-mail and invitations. You press one button you can reach millions of people. That's terrific. You can't do that with voice mail.
However, one-on-one e-mail or texting each other back and forth, that's ridiculous. Allow me to remind everybody reading this: voice technology came after written text. I think it was Mr. Marconi who invented the wireless. Am I correct? They had Morse code and telegraphs way back. We had telegraph and Morse code, and the written messages being sent across the ocean years before we got the voice. So why are they going backwards in technology? People would rather type each other than talk to them? That is ridiculous.
I understand talking to thousands of people at once. I'll acknowledge you can't do that on the voice, but for God's sakes, when I see my friends e-mailing or texting back and forth to each other, I say: "Idiots. Pick up the damn phone and talk to each other." I never understand that. You guys are going backwards in technology. We have voices now. You don't have to telegraph or Morse code each other. Why don't you get up on a mountain top and do Morse code with a flag?
Give me an example of how technology has helped you.
Jeremy: Yes. Technology led the world of porn. The first prerecorded tapes were adult. DVD, CD-ROMS, interactive computer technology, the Internet. You know porn has always been on the forefront of tech. In fact, I even did a hologram shoot not too long ago where I and a girl will appear in 3D in your living room. Of course porn has always been a leader in technology. Everyone knows that. At Amazon and eBay, porn is like the most popular thing on the Internet.
Did you see the onset of porn on the Internet early?
Jeremy: I know what you're trying to say. Yes, I did because I saw the failure of Romp.com and Pop.com. When Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard started a Web site called Pop, it failed, because people don't need to see mainstream things in the privacy of their own room on a computer. They could see Spielberg films on Blockbuster or on TV. But when you go to your computer, you want to look at real private stuff, things that you don't normally look at. It's kind of a mysterious I'm-all-by-myself kind of attitude. That's why computers and porn got along so well; it's things that you can't normally see on satellite or cable or network. And a lot of mainstream Web sites absolutely failed. I worked for Romp.com. It was the site of (Eric Eisner, the son of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner), and it did not succeed, as I recall. The Spielberg and Ron Howard site did not work.
Yet all these little ridiculous Web sites, even girls who aren't even known are making a lot of money because people like seeing naked ladies on the Internet.
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