A Late-night Date with the Hedgehog
Here’s the deal: If Ron Jeremy comes within 50 miles of my house, I’m gonna go see him.
I have my reasons.
Ron Jeremy, mom, is the most prolific male porn star in history, with almost 2,000 roles to his credit and another couple hundred which he directed. It’s enough work to earn him the title of Top Porn Star of All Time by Adult Video News magazine, and his body of work – and his actual body – speak for themselves.
The guy’s famous, more than just porn star famous, though if his adult film career, which was launched when a girlfriend convinced him to pose for Playgirl magazine, was the beginning and end of his legacy he would still be considered kind of a big deal.
And he’s not just a big star – he’s a… big… star, endowed well enough to be able, in his lithe and limber prime, to perform the act of autofellatio, which, mom, you’re going to have to Google on your own.
True, I was in the third grade when his first pornographic film, Rainwoman 10, was released in 1978 and, honestly, though I’ve sat through as much porn as the next guy, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Ron Jeremy film in its entirety.
No matter. I still want to meet the guy and, if possible, have my picture taken with him. You know… for Christmas cards or something.
The scene is Club Kryptonite in Burlington, one of those dimly-lit dance halls where the women shimmy on tabletops and the action doesn’t get hot until midnight or so. There are elevated dance platforms with stripper poles, a VIP lounge that looks a bit like Fred Flintstone’s house and mirrors everywhere.
I get there early, a couple hours before the Hedgehog, and watch footage of Saturday nights gone by on the big flat-screen. The images are almost exclusively of women, more specifically, a certain stripe of woman who looks good in tiny clothes, devoted her weekends to bingeing on Red Bull and vodka and considers it socially acceptable to perform the pelvic grind – to music! – with other similarly clad women and the occasional male who is able enough to wrestle his way to the bartop.
The door opens and the room begins to fill as the Asian bartenders preen and the doormen, who look like they’ve been constructed from bowling balls, adjust the short sleeves of their skin-tight shirts. Short skirts, diaphanous eveningwear, booty jeans and a crew of women who have come clad only in underwear and thigh-high, lace-up boots, and a bevy of guys who ritually apply cologne and Chap Stick.
And they swing into action, these minions of the dance floor. Grind! Bump! Do the robot! Look at my crotch!
Ron Jeremy is gonna love this place.
Steven Harvalias, who created Club Kryptonite with his father Manolis, says the Hedgehog’s appearance almost never went down.
“We’ve been trying to get him forever now and we couldn’t,” he says. “It was honestly just out of our price range.”
Manolis says Jeremy will earn $10,000 for his appearance, way more than he made for his first hundred or so pornos.
But the tipping point came when the Hedgehog made a visit to a whiskey stronghold in Myrtle Beach called Suck, Bang and Blow and father and son realized the extent of the man’s popularity.
“I think he’s a huge draw,” Steven says. “Look: People are already flocking in.”
“There are a lot of women in the house,” he continues. “He’s a huge women draw and a lot of guys who envy him.”
And here he is.
The video screens show Jeremy exiting an SUV in the parking lot in real time – mustache, greasy locks, forearm hair and all. And he’s mobbed from the moment he walks through the door and makes his way to the DJ booth.
“Hey everybody!” he intones, and delves into a stand-up schtick that includes self-deprecating semitic humor, oral sex jokes and a piece of prop comedy.
I try to get a moment of his time, but he waves me off.
And then he wades into the crowd, posing for pictures, autographing breasts, nibbling ears, administering wet kisses and loose gropes. Women love him. Nattily-dressed brothers love him. I’m smiling, too.
I’m at the bar a few minutes later when I feel a tap on my shoulder. It’s Ron Jeremy, pulling a suitcase full of swag behind him. He hands me a Polaroid of him cuddling a baby tiger and then pulls out his T-shirts that show him in his studly prime, copies of his book The Hardest (Working) Man in Showbiz which, he shows me, shared space on the New York Times Bestseller List with Bill O’Reilly, glossy photos and rolling papers that bear his likeness.
He sets them all up on the end of the bar, and now he’s got a minute to spend with this intrepid reporter.
He echoes the question: “Why do women love me? Because I’m an average guy getting gorgeous girls,” he says plainly.
Average? I think not. Putting aside his prodigious member for a moment, it’s important to note that Ron Jeremy, AKA the Hedgehog, was once Ron Hyatt from Bayside, Queens who held a master’s degree in special education from Queens College. And forget for a minute all the porn he’s done and try to remember that he’s done television, music videos, PETA ads and once addressed the Oxford Union debating society in Great Britain.
And it’s not irrelevant that, by his estimation, he’s had some form of sex with between 2,000 and 3,000 women. And counting.
“I get more ass now,” he says, “because I’m more famous now.”