Can you tell us what is Popporn? What’s the story?
We started Popporn in 2008. I think it was April and it started as a section of our day job which is called TLAraw : a retail website where we sell DVDs and sex toys.
We were getting fed up with some of the porn websites out there. Literally, almost every American website related to porn – from a fan point of view – seemed to be completely kissing people’s asses: there is no humor, they took it very very seriously, or it was just boring. You’d see stories up there about… You know some company decided to put out this movie, and there was nothing special about the movie, it was just some boring piece of crap that have been put out a million times before.
We wanted to bring more humor and personality to the website, so we started another one called Popporn. We scoured the Internet to find humor, comedic stories about sexuality and porno. We wanted to stay away from what other websites were doing, which is mostly gossip about industry news… We thought that was boring we wanted something different. So we started it, we run it but we don’t own it. A couple of years ago, when Brian Bangs find the name « Popporn » he asked TLA to buy the website domain. We completely run it but… it would be nice if we… I would like to buy it some day, so it would just be completely ours and we could do whatever we want.
How did you start filming people and stories?
We took a camera to the AVN Awards in Las Vegas this year that was our very first shot. We just made interviews with porn stars. One of the goal of Popporn was to bring some fun into porn especially in interviews with the performers. Every interview that we would see on the Internet before we started seems to be the same: « Hello, you’re so beautiful! What’s your favorite position? Why did you start making porn? What do your parents think about it? blablabla » That was always the same questions, over and over and over again. We just wanted to do something a little bit different: to have a few videos, either interviews, little movies or skits. We were planning on doing a couple of those a week and then balancing out the website with our text stories. I’ve always considered myself the dancing monkey of Popporn, because I’m the only one of the three of us that’s comfortable being on camera.
How did you choose your nickname?
When my brother and I started this company, we were at the warehouse packing boxes of porno. That was all we would do, all day, sitting around and once I asked: « Cody, if you were in porno, what would be your name be?” and he said “Meatball! ». Then he described this character of Meatball. Meatball would shoot sex scenes but never take his shirt off, a white T-shirt – never washed – covered with stains and spaghettis sauce. When he was about to come he just lifted his arm up (you know like when when guys just jerk themselves off and just lift their arms up and let it go) and scream “Meatball!” We thought it was the funniest thing ever though. Then he asked what my name would be and I just thought of Spock Buckton. I don’t know where that came from, Spock from Star Trek…
So, as a teenager were you the popular dude playing football or a trekkie ?
I was a very weird teenager because I was very very, kind of a geek. I was into science fiction, comic books, toy collecting (I still have a toy collection which is mainly Star Wars but I think I may have one or two Star Trek toys lying around) but I was also like a jock, playing soccer year round. I almost went to college to play soccer but I decided to go to art school to follow a woman…
You said that you feel comfortable being on camera. Is your brother more shy or secretive?
He’s a lot more secretive because he has children and I don’t. He has appeared on some videos but he doesn’t want to do it all that much now. He doesn’t want his children to know that he does porno… And I don’t care! My dad is passed away but I know he would have loved it. He gave me a Penthouse and lube as my 13th birthday present! He’s always been a great fan of sex. I actually remember him pulling me aside and giving the talk about sex. He sat me down and he said “Jessie, no matter what, the woman has to come, don’t stop until the woman comes ». It was really hard, especially when you’re 15 or 16 because you kind of want to stop after one or two pumps.
Your family doesn’t know too much of it?
My mom knows what we do, my brother and I, but I don’t think his wife’s family are in on “the secret”. But there are some people like aunts and uncles who found out through social networks like Facebook or Twitter…
You are considering yourself as a « terrorist journalist » like we consider ourselves as « gonzo journalists »? Can you tell you definition of « terrorist journalism »?
I don’t know if we actually came up with the term of « terrorist journalism ». In the beginning, we wanted to say « gonzo journalism » but we thought « gonzo » was just to close to « gonzo porn ». We didn’t want to confuse people so we started talk about « terrorist journalism ». I guess the « terrorist journalism » is to blow people’s mind. I like to think that the kind of things that we do on our website could interested someone that isn’t really into porn. That this person could watch it and say, « Oh that’s funny! » or maybe learn something they didn’t expect to learn one day. Our main goal was definitely to make people laugh. When you really think about the porn, it’s such a ridiculous thing. I mean, it’s people putting things into other people! And we just think it’s really funny. We also have a lot of respect for it, because it makes a lot of people happy.
In other words, it’s a gonzo journalism?
So if we are both gonzo journalists, can we say that we are cousins?
We can officially say that Popporn and, how do you pronounce it again? « Le Tag Parfait » are cousins. « Les Cousins ! » (En français)
Can you talk about your next project?
The next project is a parody of the TV-show called Fantasy Island, which was very popular in the USA in the 70’s and 80’s. It’s about a man and a small midget round this island. They bring people to this island and they pay a lot of money to fulfill a fantasy. It could be anything in their wildest dreams. Some people want to live in the wild west so they built a section in the island and it’s like living in a Clint Eastwood movie. Our version is of course gonna be much more funny: the island is completely run out of money. They can’t afford to make this fantasy happen so they get people drunk for them to think they are having a wonderful fantasy but they really not.
What will be the play of the midget in Fantasy Island?
The midget is a kind of assistant to the guy name Mr. Roarke who runs the island. The midget is going to be a very funny character for us. What you will always see on old TV shows is a plane bringing all the people for their fantasy to the island and this really tiny midget – I think he was filipino – will look at the plane and say « The plane! The plane! » It’s something that has been really popular in American pop-culture. So Fantasy Island is going to be the next project but we have another one.
Seriously another one? I want to know everything about it!
James Deen and I have another big story to come where we will play police officers on bicycles. The joke would be that we never could catch any criminals because they have cars and drive away while we sit there on our bikes… That’s something we really want to do. James and I never stop talk about it every time when we see each other and it will definitely be a porn movie!
And, what about the shooting of Hangover?
Actually we haven’t shot it yet. We just shot one scene for the trailer. Basically we have a hard time finding a casino to let us shoot inside. We want to be as close to the real movie as we can, so we really want to shoot a lot inside casinos and big sweet hotel rooms. But we don’t have found it yet. It’s not over. We are just delaying it. It will probably be what we do after the Fantasy Island but there might be schedule problems… We definitely want to do it. We could also built sets… but porno sets always look just silly.
Can’t you just rent a hotel room to shoot some scenes?
We could! We could… but the guys who paid the bills are worried that the hotel will find out. Technically we can’t because in certain cities in America it’s illegal to shoot pornography inside hotels. And it’s funny because we only want to shoot dialogues scenes. We’re not going to shoot sex inside a hotel but we’re having a hard time finding one that would even be involved with pornography. We are looking for solutions. It may happen but it’s been slow… We still searching, you know, if there is red lights down here I keep an eye on it.
To be continued…
Gonzo et son armée de filles en culotte – Propos recueillis par Valéry Marin-Barthe – Photos par Antoine Doyen