Harry Reems Tribute from Deep Throat the Play ❤
Length: 2:03:29 Date: March 23, 2013. See the Free Pix Page.
This veteran adult star-studded broadcast was supposed to be closing night at the Zephyr Theatre of The Deep Throat Sex Scandal, the wonderful David Bertolino play about the little 1970s movie that was made on a shoestring, grossed over $600 million and kicked off “Porno Chic”—which is, of course, still kicking—and harder than ever. The good news is that this must-see play, which we originally saw on Opening Night, got extended another three weeks (so get your “Deep Throat Sex Scandal” tickets here or call 800-838-3006). So my show turns into a tribute to the play and the film’s leading man, the real-life Harry Reems, aka Herbert Streicher (August 27, 1947 – March 19, 2013), who just passed away at the age of 65 a few days before the broadcast.
Harry Reems was an honorably discharged U.S. Marine who came to be the “poster boy for the Sexual Revolution,” star of “Deep Throat,” “The Devil in Miss Jones” and many other loops and early adult films. At the height of his fame, he was arrested, convicted and forced to fight for our Free Speech rights against President Dick Nixon and the attempts of his “Moral Majority” henchmen (like Charles Keating) to censor and destroy the budding porn industry. A New Yorker busted by the Feds in the state of Tennessee for getting a consensual on-camera blowjob in a film he made in Florida, Reems went through legal and personal hell. Nevertheless, he managed to fight back and win, getting his conviction overturned. Though he received help from such luminaries as Alan Dershowitz, Warren Beatty, Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson, the battle took its toll on his career, his health and his psyche. Of course, the nefarious Nixon got his just desserts, forced to resign in disgrace, busted by a Watergate informant ironically and appropriately named “Deep Throat.”
In the 1980s, Harry retired from adult show biz, got sober, married, and became a born again Christian. He set up shop as a real estate agent out in Park City, Utah, first under his original given name, Herbie Streicher, and then under his porn name, which turned out to be better for business. He may have expressed ambivalence about his adult film life but, as we learn from several of the guests who knew him, he really didn’t have as harsh feelings towards the industry as may have been reported. Sure, the stories that have come out of the whole experience were not all positive…but overall, this show is an uplifting and edifying tribute to the free spirit that symbolized the Sexual Revolution and fought rather successfully for our rights to speak out and consensually express our sexuality through porn and other art forms.
Hyapatia Lee: The first of the iconic adult film personalities that we chat with on this show is actually the first female porn star I ever met in my life! Over 20 years ago, before Max and I even got married, I met Hyapatia when we were both interviewed by Geraldo Rivera, of all people! Hyapatia takes her name from the female philosopher and mathematician of ancient Egypt, Hypatia, to which she added the “a” of “Hya” to make it her own, and more in tune with her Native American heritage. Much of the knowledge and wisdom associated with the Egyptian Hypatia was lost when the famous Library at Alexandria was burned down. Hypatia herself had been literally ripped apart by a rabid early Christian mob in a Medieval example of puritanical, anti-female insanity. Today, Hyapatia writes for High Times Magazine, dances, sings, and performs, working to counter that close-mindedness that seems to have been dogging the human race from ancient times, thru the 1970s, and up to today. Though her personal memories of Harry Reems are kind of fuzzy, she loves being part of the cast of The Deep Throat Sex Scandal in which she has played the prize cameo role of the ticket taker.
Tom Byron: One of the many veteran porn stars and celebrities who have performed the male cameo of the Judge in The Deep Throat Sex Scandal, Tom worked a bit with Harry Reems way back when, and remembers referring to him as “that guy”… the guy that was putting porn and free speech rights on the map, taking a bullet for all in Tom’s industry. When I ask Tom why he wanted to be a porn actor, he gives me the answer that a lot of the guys, and girls do: you could act, and you could have sex. Makes sense!
Paul Thomas: This show turns out to be not “just” a tribute to Harry, but a little trip down memory lane for me, since Paul is another one of the first porn stars I ever met. We were introduced on the set of the film “Sore Throat,” a take-off on the classic, of course, directed by Ron Jeremy and also starring Christy Canyon and a horse, at the home of my old friend John Clark and his dearly departed ex-wife Lynn Redgrave. Paul is the star, and I play the non-porn role of his Christian mother shaking my Bible at him. We’ve run into each other a few more times over the years, including at Sex Week at Yale 2010, when he scandalized many by screening clips from some of his porn films in the Yale Law School. Paul (who also plays the cameo Judge in The Deep Throat Sex Scandal) went on to become a multiple award-winning adult film director, working with such established companies as Vivid. Despite his success, Paul has always been a bit of a brooding artiste, so I’m not surprised when he confesses that, kind of like Harry, he separates sex from his spiritual life (unlike most of the folks here). Paul tells me that sex is and should be dirty… it should involve drugs, nastiness, things that are forbidden. Quote: “If you’re not doing something that fills you with guilt afterwards, you’re doing something wrong.” I can imagine that would get exhausting after a while, so it’s no wonder that Paul is retired from the adult biz, and sings with the Agape Church. He remarks that “there’s no conflict, but… there is.” So as he sits next to Rebecca Bardoux, and is feeling wholeness and love, he lets us know he doesn’t want to have sex with her, but to hold and kiss her. When it comes to actual sex, he’d rather “bring in the midgets,” watch her have sex with her husband (if she was married), watch his own wife do it with someone else. Interestingly, this is what Paul did with Harry Reems’ first wife. Apparently, Harry was as much of a voyeur as he was an exhibitionist, and relished the cuckold role with Paul as the bull. Is that “dirt”—or just sperm wars in action?
Rebecca Bardoux: I first met Rebecca, another female icon from the illustrious cast tonight, when I interviewed her for Playboy, then had her on DrSuzy.tv a few months ago in Binders Full of Women. Last week, she played the Cashier in The Deep Throat Sex Scandal, taking on the female guest star spot that brings surprises every week. Rebecca joins our dialogue about spirituality vs. sex, saying that there are many ways to have great sex, dirty, spiritual and otherwise. Quote: “When you find someone you really like, you don’t want to just have sex with them.” To me, the keyword is “just.” Another keyword that comes up during our conversation is “porno,” a word that Rebecca wants to get rid of altogether. But I think it could be positively redefined, kind of like the way Slut Walks have redefined the word “slut.” So…who’s up for a Porno Walk?
Alana Evans: Another adult icon who plays the Cashier, Alana wowed us all on DrSuzy.tv back around the turn of the 21st century. Like many of our other interviewees, from Opening Night and this show, she got her start acting in high school plays and community theater. I’m starting to think high school plays and community theater are gateways to porn. Real MiLF Alana also jumps into the previously mentioned debate and says she doesn’t feel guilty about sex at all (and by the way, she’s been directed by Paul, being dirty, many times).
Eric Edwards: Another old-time porn and mainstream actor/director, Eric knew Harry back in his pre-“Deep Throat” loop days, when Eric started doing these films as a sideline… and like many, they became a mainline, that is, a way to pay the rent (not drugs). Eric, who cried during the play every time Harry’s name was mentioned, worked with him on a film called “10 Little Maidens.” In fact, they appeared in 30-40 movies, but only were actually together for that one day. Eric calls the show 99% accurate, and get this: Linda Lovelace was his first! Is that accurate? Who knows… Eric admits he’s an “old guy”, now content to live in the mountains and feed his geese. He’s also trying to hook Alana up with one of his two sons. Being a swinger, she’s ready to “corrupt” them any time… in any case, Eric says he likes my “love thing” hanging above my boobs. Alana says she just likes my boobs. Too bad we’re not back in Bonoboville for this broadcast where I could take better advantage of all this love…
Veronica Hart: We last saw lovely Veronica, aka Jane Hamilton, on Opening Night, when she was and still is taking a main role in the play with great humor and skill. In between, she found time to visit China, where she spoke at the Chinese Sexological Association, along with our recent Sexual Healing guest, Dr. Shelley, our old friend Dr. Patti Britton and Dr. Ted McIlvenna (who recently presented me with an honorary doctorate from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality). The Chinese sexologists were pretty open to Western ideas about sex, but according to Veronica, an open attitude toward sexuality is still “not the culture” (well, it’s not in most places!), but the women are ready for love and intimacy. They’re also the breadwinners, the “ATM”s, and “run the country,” but are still taught to support the males, says Veronica/Jane, who has fond memories of working with Harry Reems, as well as another “Porno Chic” soldier in the Sexual Revolution who died in prison, Reuben Sturman.
Ron Jeremy: Über-Icon Ron may have been the first male porn star I’d ever met, as he was introduced to me by my Being a Woman co-writer, the original radio psychologist Dr. Toni Grant, back in the 1980s. We’ve been friends ever since, and he’s fucked, sucked, told jokes and played classical piano on many an episode of DrSuzy.tv. Ron may be recently recovering from Aortic Aneurysm Disection, the same thing that got John Ritter, Lucille Ball, and Albert Einstein, but he’s right back into what he’s known for, even getting some action in the Zephyr Theatre restroom (was I supposed to say that?). Though he’s adjusting his eating habits, and lost some weight, we don’t expect any lack of sexual interest or energy from Ron. Maybe it’s that energy that enabled him to drive himself to Cedars Sinai in the middle of his aortic episode.. or maybe he’s just too cheap for an ambulance. Well, if I can feed into a cliché, that fits the Jewish in him. And that may be one reason he got along so well with Harry Reems… they were two nice, hairy, horny New York Jewish boys, with big moustaches and bigger members, who loved comedy, wanted to be professional actors, and ended up adult film pioneers. They also both played around with reverting to their original names, and both went back to their adult ones… Ron’s was “Ron Hyatt” (look for a few credits with that one, brothers and sisters). Ron has definitely ascended to the top of the porno chic fame train, and even got a nice plug (a buttplug?) at this year’s Academy Awards. from Seth MacFarlane who put Ron in “Family Guy.”
Dennis Hof: America’s most beloved legal pimp and brothel owner, Dennis owns the Bunny Ranches out in Nevada. His show on HBO, “Cathouse” (on which I did a cameo a while back), gets better ratings than “Entourage,” even if HBO doesn’t talk about that (as I well know from my own HBO specials). Dennis met me and Ron Jeremy through another Harry Reems contemporary, the legendary Al Goldstein. Dennis is currently dating a cheerleader from the University of Michigan, named Krissy Summers. She’s a cheerleader for now… but Dennis is trying to make her one of his working girls. He has a very public track record with that, so she has to know what she’s getting into. Dennis’ take on the aforementioned debate on Dirty Sex vs. Loving Sex is that as he falls more in love with a girl, it tends to get dirtier. “Take it to the next level,” he suggests.
Bill Margold: Veteran adult film actor, director, and historian whom Max has known since 1971 (last seen on DrSuzy.tv in 2000 verbally “reaming” porn industry gadfly Luke Ford), calls Harry the “father of freedom,” and Bill, as former director of the Free Speech Coalition, would know. Harry has a prominent place in the porn Mt. Rushmore in Bill’s mind… having been betrayed not by the adult industry, but by the real world of Nixon and puritanical hypocrisy, as well as mainstream Hollywood which cast Harry as the coach in “Grease,” and then axed him because he was too notorious. Bill was with Harry in some of his darkest times, when he attended court in a wheelchair and then was too drunk to remember he’d been there. Bill speaks passionately in defense of porn, Free Speech and Harry, saying he never saw a Harry Reems video jump off a shelf in a store and drag someone home to watch it, our society jacks off with its left hand while denying it with the right, and, perhaps in agreement with Paul Thomas, “when sex comes out of the gutter, it goes down the drain.” Hmmm….
David Bertolino: The writer and producer of The Deep Throat Sex Scandal doesn’t care about sex being dirty or clean… he just likes the box office to be clean. And he should be happy, as his wonderful play is doing well (it even may be making a run in Vegas soon). Though this was supposed to be closing night, it’s been extended to April 14th, so get your “Deep Throat Sex Scandal” tickets here or call 800-838-3006. Obviously, Dave venerates Harry Reems, the main character of his play, and it was his idea that I host this tribute to the “Deep Throat” and “Devil in Miss Jones” star, and reluctant American Free Speech hero. David interviewed Harry on 11 occasions. At one point, the relationship kind of ended… David uses the phrase “fell out of grace”, but that’s not really it… as mentioned, Harry was ambivalent about the industry that made him a legend and an almost-martyr. Then again, maybe he knew that he didn’t have much time left, and wanted to spend more of it with his loving wife of 22 years. David also reveals that Harry’s real-life lawyer that got his conviction overturned on appeal, Alan Dershowitz, saw the production and loved it… said it was accurate except that the actor playing Dershowitz should look like Brad Pitt. Ha Ha. So Herschel Savage wasn’t hot enough??
Yasi Mandanikia: Fellow SSSS member, last seen on DrSuzy.tv in our Masturbation Month Climax show, Yasi is the winner of this year’s Dr. Suzy award for “Sexiest Sex Educator,” and she’s gunning to repeat that in 2013 with her stunning exotic looks and sparkling charisma. Yasi’s young enough that before seeing tonight’s play, she took the availability of porn for granted. Even the physical act of filmmaking, we realize, was a huge hassle back in the day. Yasi wants David Bertolino to know that if Vegas doesn’t work out for the play, he should try bringing it to her hometown, Vancouver… they need sexy stuff. She compliments my boobs… they make her “shiver” (or maybe it’s my “Linda Lovelace Candy Stripper, Deep Throat Hospital” pin right between them). But it’s not just because of her eye for cleavage that I think she could be the first Persian media sexologist: “Dr. Yasi.”
Dr. Hernando Chaves: SSSS 2012 Western Region Conference Chair, as well as local LA psychotherapist and clinical sexologist, Dr. Hernando has graced DrSuzy.tv several times with his affable charm since we met back in 2008, and really appreciates the historical perspective that The Deep Throat Sex Scandal provides to a very important aspect of the Sexual Revolution.
Steve Nelson: I’ve known Steve since the inimitable Annie Body first brought him to DrSuzy.tv. Or did he bring her? What, he really made her squirt, and then so did I, and I’ve had good feelings about Steve ever since. He also happens to publish Adult Industry News, and gives us one of the funniest and most enlightening porn history tidbits of the evening: Back in the Deep Throat days, male porn stars all wore black socks during the shoots (you may notice this next time you watch a film from that era)… both in case they got busted and had to put on their shoes quickly to run, and because the floors were cold!
Natasha Charles Parker: I’m delighted to have Natasha, the talented and beautiful actress who portrays Linda Lovelace, back on the show. When I interviewed her on Opening Night, she gave me that wonderful quote, that “nudity is just another costume.” This time, we talk about shaven vs. unshaven female genital areas. Though most porn performers were pretty hairy back then, in Deep Throat, Linda was completely shaved. And Natasha has heard from a mistress of Jerry Damiamo, the Deep Throat producer, that he was into that thing. In the magazines Linda posed for back then, she was not shaved. But there’s a scene in the film, actually, where she did the actual shaving. The mistress must have been right… Jerry would put that scene in the film! After all, he was also a hairdresser. As we discussed more on Opening Night, Linda came out as an abused wife, though most agree that she willingly did her scenes in “Deep Throat,” often when her abusive husband Chuck Traynor wasn’t present. Increasing awareness and reducing tolerance of violence against women is why we continue our involvement in Eve Ensler’s One Billion Rising project: Strike! Dance! Rise!
Marc Ginsburg: Marc, who plays the main dude, the poster boy for the Sexual Revolution, Harry Reems, may have been naked for a large part of the play, but it’s his moustache, big, handlebar, hairy and 70s-ish and oh so … Harry Reemsish, that is most noticeable about his physical appearance! Marc has been playing the role for a while, so it makes sense that he’s beginning to take on the qualities more and more. He’s superb in the role, so I hope he gets to continue to do it, and other good roles that come his way. We talk about Harry, comparing him to Lenny Bruce, the 1950s comedian who was busted for “obscene” speech several times and died of a heroin overdose much younger than Harry. Though the real Harry Reems never got to see Marc’s performance (and might well have been ambivalent about it as he was about all things porn-related in his later years), I’m sure he would have been touched to see the level of sincerity and the sheer ability as a fellow actor that Marc brings to the character.
Michael Rachlis: Playing multiple roles and letting it all hang out on stage with panache, Michael is another great performer in The Deep Throat Sex Scandal troupe. Last time, we met Michael’s mom… she didn’t show tonight, but I’m sure that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love her son. What Jewish mother wouldn’t… and to continue the Ron Jeremy / Harry Reems connection, Michael–and Marc, in fact—are more horny talented Jewish boys seeking love and success. They’re not as hairy as Harry—or the Hedgehog. But who is?
Frank Blocker: Unlike our porn star guests, and similar to me, Frank Blocker’s name is his name… no changing necessary. Frank, against the initial advice of his agent, plays the aggressively prudish Tennessee prosecutor, Larry Parish, on the wrong side of history in his crusade against Harry, his movie, the industry, and the First Amendment. Frank, who himself just watched Deep Throat once, studied and even talked to Parish, learning that the honorable prosecutor watched it “several times” (oh I’m sure he did), and even believes and hopes that someone will pick up the torch where he left off. The torch of censorship and repression? Sounds great Larry. Sorry… we should be talking about Frank here. Well, Frank plays Larry, as well as the “Deep Throat” hairdresser, and does both brilliantly… so sometimes I forget to separate the actor from the characters. We all do that. Actors need plugs: Frank’s currently doing a show called “Southern Gothic Novel,” which I understand is a tour de force. See it!
Dana Bobbi: Now that The Deep Throat Sex Scandal is extending its run, they need more guest actresses and Dana will be next week’s, as the cashier. One of Ron‘s buddies, Dana came from England to America to take acting classes. Did you know that in England, the word “Reem” is an adjective meaning “cool”? So Harry would be “Reem.” How cool! Later, Ron says he will tell her (or show her?) what “reem” means in America.
Natasia Monroe: First she was a ballerina, then she was a topless dancer, and now she’s making a “sexy sexy film.” She’s naked on film, she doesn’t hesitate to tell us. “If you’re going to do a sexy film, you have to take it all… and you have to like it.” “Sex sex sex… it’s healthy!”
Maximillian Lobkowicz: My revolutionary hubby of over 20 years is a Free Speech hero who has also taken a few bullets for the First Amendment. And he is happy to report, that We the People are winning the fight for our sexual rights and our Free Speech rights. One thing he’s learned is that when you take people away—by arresting, imprisoning, financially draining or shaming them—one person goes down, and another comes up, stiff and hard, and ready to shoot (and not bullets)! Max reminds us that we can and should all be revolutionaries in our own lives. “Revolution is when you look in the mirror in the morning and ask: ‘What the fuck are you doing with your life?’”
Pix and Video coming soon to DrSuzy.tv!