Finding the Fun in Porn With Peep Show

Local comics keep it relatively clean and boner free

A man in cheap aviator sunglasses and something resembling a cop’s uniform stares down the audience from the stage. Behind him hang red velvet curtains, and glittering light from the disco ball overhead reflects off his face. In front of him is a packed audience full of twentysomethings with drinks in hand.

Hands on hips, he announces the rules of the night.

“No rubs, no chubs, no scrubs. I work hard to keep everything soft.”

This dutiful public servant is Nick Saverino, better known to this crowd as the Boner Police. His job is to vigilantly patrol for – you guessed it – boners, a tough task considering this audience has just been subjected to a series of vintage phone sex ads promoting 1-900 numbers and competitive prices ranging from $5/call to $4.99/minute, not to mention a few perverted Disney animations (one featuring the Beast furiously jerking off to his reflection in a hand mirror.)

“I’m always there working the beat,” Saverino says. Though in his case, this is a very different kind of beat.

Saverino gives his warning spiel to the audience. (Courtesy of Zac Brooks)

But the real meat of the evening is yet to come. Peep Show, hosted by comedians Zac Brooks and Lisa Friedrich, is a free monthly event at Spider House Ballroom featuring live commentary on adult films.

“I just thought it’d be funny to show people porn,” Brooks says.

With the crowd warned to behave, Brooks and Friedrich introduce the guest commentators. One-by-one they come on stage and Friedrich conducts a short interview, with softball questions like “If your sex was a sport, what would it be?” or “When was the last time you jerked off?”

“We immediately get into any uncomfortability,” Friedrich says. “We’re all here to have fun and joke and laugh at ourselves and laugh at what’s being presented to us.”

This time, Friedrich ends each interview with “What would your mafia name be?”, one that’s seemingly unlike the others until the reveal of tonight’s headlining film: The Sopornos. Cracking jokes today will be “Sweet Ronnie” (Ron Lechler), “Holli Cuomo” (Holli Cuomo), Lil Peccorino (Nathan Ehrmann), and “Big Puppy” (Jared Hawley). Before diving into The Sopornos though, the audience is treated to 1987’s Switch Hitters, a “touching” film about baseball broken up with copious amounts of sex.

“I go online and I just search through the vast ocean that is pornography,” Brooks says.

Brooks looks out for parodies, usually from the 1980s and 1990s, when the audio/visual quality is decent and the films still have music. He’s found gems such as Edward Penishands, Deep Space 69, and Titty Slickers in his quests.

“I assume a lot of people leave the show going ‘Oh, that was funny but weird’,” Brooks says. “That’s kind of what I want it to be.”

Though The Sopornos is the main course, the audience goes the craziest over the appetizer. At one point in Switch Hitters, a couple on a bench engaged in intercourse are approached by a second man who, soon enough, finds his penis in the mouth of the first man's – all the while the original girl and guy are still furiously pumping away. Saverino is on high alert following the consequential uproar of the crowd. Part of this frenzy probably has to do with the fact that the blow job is obscured by the Spider House logo.

“It’s definitely added an element of jokes I didn’t think were there,” Brooks says. “Throw something up there and it gets a laugh just by censoring something, which is great.”

An "edited" still from one of the featured films. (Courtesy of Zac Brooks)

The use of graphics isn’t just for laughs though. A law preventing a venue from selling alcohol and showing nudity spurred Brooks’ edits. His folder of graphics includes Twinkies, Saverino’s face, and Gumby, whose flexibility makes him an ideal censorship tool.

“Penetration on its own is not funny,” Friedrich said. “Penetration that is shittily censored is very funny.”

The last film of the night is Not the Wizard of Oz, fitting because though it stars all the beloved characters, this is no journey down the Yellow Brick Road. “You better polish up your dick, Tin Man,” the Wicked Witch of the West threatens.

Soon, they are thrusting away, their respective green and silver paint coming off from sweat and friction. The Tin Man’s costume begins riding up his face, and one comic notes, “[The Wicked Witch of the West] is fucking a water heater.” Thankfully, Dorothy bursts in to save the day, pushing the Witch out of the way and finishing off the Tin Man herself, the product of which is directed at the Witch and causes her to melt.

That kind of ridiculousness is the bread and butter of Peep Show; the hosts make sure the focus of the commentary remains on the writing and set design. They are careful not to mock or degrade people in the sex industry or the job they’re doing. Ultimately, Peep Show has the purest of intentions: to make sure everyone has a good time.

“Life is stupid right now and it’s so nice to come to something where you can just chill for a few hours,” Friedrich says. “We’re all just gonna watch porn and laugh about it with each other.”


The next show is set for Oct. 10 at Spider House Ballroom. Watch some porn, have some laughs. Doors at 8, show at 9. Free.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Peep Show, pornography, Spider House, Zac Brooks, Lisa Friedrich, Boner Police

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