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Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy Reviews

How did a short, fat, hairy guy from Queens nicknamed "the hedgehog" get to be that rarity in the porn world, a straight male superstar? Practice, practice, practice... But seriously, "Clown Prince of Porn" Ron Jeremy wants people to know he's a regular guy — an unusually well-endowed guy with at least 1600 adult movies to his credit, but a regular guy nonetheless. And the closest this amiable documentary gets to answering the big question is by asking porn consumers, who say they love Ron because they could imagine being him, in a way they clearly couldn't imagine being some chiseled Adonis. Why women love him is another question, but some clearly do: Director Scott Gill includes footage of Jeremy signing breasts and buttocks attached to giggling female admirers. The porn superstar was born Ron Jeremy Hyatt in Flushing, Queens, in 1953; his father is a physicist and his relatives include a cross-section of well-educated professionals. He attended Queens College and majored in theater, but got a degree in special education so he'd have something to fall back on. After two years of teaching special-needs children, Jeremy decided to pursue acting full time. While doing the starving actor thing, the still-slender 25-year-old got an unexpected break: His girlfriend sent a nude snapshot to Playgirl magazine for its "Boy Next Door" section, and adult-movie producers took notice. Jeremy dropped his surname out of deference to his father, and dropped his pants in hopes of making some money and, maybe, some connections that would get him mainstream movie work. Nearly 25 years later, Jeremy has outlasted several generations of porn actresses — there are girls in the business who weren't born when he started out — and achieved at least some small measure of mainstream success, mostly minor roles (he hates the word "extra") in exploitation movies. Jeremy's progress is illustrated with clips from his films (some frontally nude), many of them from the so-called golden age of porn — the BOOGIE NIGHTS era spanning the mid-'70s through the early '80s, when adult films were actually shot on film and featured surprisingly complicated plots. Jeremy mugs his way through parts as doctors, private eyes and fighter pilots, always going for the good-natured laugh before delivering the money shot. Though generally sympathetic, the film manages (without stooping to clichéd moralizing) to suggest that being Ron Jeremy isn't the non-stop paradise his fans imagine.