My Dad Wrote A Porno Takes the Stage for HBO

We interview the My Dad Wrote A Porno team as Jamie Morton's father’s erotica is brought to the world stage for an HBO special.

My Dad Wrote a Porno Comedy Special HBO

This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

It was 2015 when Jamie Morton first opened book one of Belinda Blinked. Written by his father under the pen name Rocky Flintstone, the erotic series follows the risqué comings (ahem) and goings of Belinda Blumenthal, the Worldwide Sales Director for kitchenware retailer Steeles Pots and Pans.

The podcast My Dad Wrote A Porno was off to saucy start … and the book was bad, very bad. There was talk of runnels of liquid, unattractive perspiration and weirdly specific detail about where clothes were placed after being ripped off in the heat of the passion. It was unintentionally hilarious.

With the likes of Elijah Wood, Daisy Ridley, Michael Sheen and Emma Thompson championing the show, Rocky’s literary work was read before worldwide sell-out audiences and will now be shown to the world in an HBO special airing on 11th May 2019.

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further reading: The Best Comedy Shows on Amazon Prime Right Now

Heading in to speak to the Porno threesome (no name is more appropriate, let’s be honest), I’m struck by how little the global fame of their podcast has changed their laid back, sassy dynamic that audiences fell in love with at the podcast’s start. Ushering me into a plush hotel room in central London, Jamie, Alice and James gesture to a fourth chair in their circle and warmly greet me. I tell them this is what I loved about the podcast; how you’re invited into the fold and made to feel like you’re discovering Rocky’s writing together.

I ask them how different it is to go from the really intimate feel of a podcast to sharing their in-jokes with a live audience. “It was interesting”, says Jamie. “We talked a lot about how we wanted it to work and what bits we felt needed to be upscaled and what bits needed to stay quite intimate and lo-fi. It took a bit of tinkering just to work out the balance of the show”.

“I guess that audience is always there”, Alice acknowledges, “they’re just then in the room. It wasn’t really a different feel because those people are always listening, just now we can see them and now we can use them for various elements of the show! I hope with the HBO special, when people watch it, they kind of get the best of both: where you get the excitement and buzz of people being there but you also have that thing that you get on the podcast where it’s like ‘I’m that fourth friend around the table’”.

As the three friends banter their way through the interview, I ask what fans can expect from their upcoming HBO special which was filmed in front of a live audience at London’s Roundhouse. “The lost chapter”, Alice shares mysteriously. “You won’t hear it on the podcast, you won’t find that anywhere else. It’s a chapter that Rocky deemed too s**t to include in anything else”. “It’s appalling”, interjects Jamie. Alice confirms: “it’s sort of the scrape-the-barrel lowest of the low”.

Excellent stuff, just what us Porno fans are after. Now to find out how they got to this point … and where they see the porn headed after their HBO special.

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When did you first realise that the podcast was building a big audience and that people were responding to Belinda Blinked?

James: I think when Elijah Wood tweeted us after the third episode. It made us realize that people outside Britain were listening and it was also like ‘wow, Frodo listens’.

Alice: Frodo’s a perv!

Jamie: It’s reached Middle Earth!

James: It wasn’t like it was a smash hit overnight but it spurred us on and certainly made us feel it was worth … pursuing this porn.

Jamie: When you make it you never think of anyone listening to it at all, let alone people you know of. It feels such an odd thing having people listening to something you’ve made in your kitchen. We’re just having a few drinks, making each other laugh and then uploading it to the internet!

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James: We didn’t have any huge expectations for it. We thought we’d get a small, dedicated audience who like a bit of porn every now and again…

Alice: A bit of tit, a bit of tat, you know. They’re out there.

James: Then we were like, ‘oh, okay, we could be onto something here’.

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Who first came up with the idea of reading Rocky’s books in a podcast?

Alice: Well, we were in the pub when Jamie brought [the book] to us.

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Jamie: Shared the manuscript…

Alice: And all of us became just really, really obsessed with it.

James: It’s all we could think about, as you can imagine.

Alice: I think we were all, in our daily lives, sort of shouting about it and then we just decided that we should do something with it as the three of us. We’d become so into it in a creepy way…

James: I just remember having lunch in a pub somewhere – sorry, everything happens in a pub with us – and we were just chatting about what it could be.

Alice: A podcast seemed like the obvious choice because of the content. Being visual seemed like a difficult medium conversion and also podcasts are so lo-fi that we could do it with very little risk and very little investment and equipment.

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Jamie: It felt like something we could actually make on our own.

Alice: Yeah, and James is a producer, Jamie’s an editor/producer and I work in radio so it felt like we all have skill sets that can lend themselves to that.

James: The stars aligned.

What else can you tell us about the upcoming HBO special?

Alice: We have an anatomy lesson. People can expect to learn, at James’ pace*, where the female bits and bobs are because Rocky kind of thinks they’re all just jumbled up and that they’re moving entities – but we lock them down. We give them some quite precise locations.

*Fans will be aware that James is gay and openly admits to being baffled by female anatomy.

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Jamie: And you get to see how physically impossible [Rocky’s] sex writing is because people come up on stage and try and act out what the hell is going on. Those poor girls … legs are up all over the place … you realize that dad has no idea what he’s doing. So it’s nice to visualise that element of the show that can’t be done on the podcast.

Alice: It’s a team-building away day, so that’s what people will get. It’s peak Flintstone.

James: Which descends into an orgy. Spoiler alert!

Do you see yourselves doing any other specials in the future?

James: I don’t know … we’ll have to see how this one goes! We’re really proud of it. HBO let us make what we wanted to make and we’ve been totally involved the whole way.

Jamie: They just let us go, which was quite a surprise to us. We thought they’d be very involved in the making of it but they really trusted us to make the show that we wanted to make. Even their notes were very few and far between and very on the money, so…

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Alice: What we’re saying is, if they came to us and said ‘do you want to do another one?’ we’d probably say yes!

Looking ahead to the next season of the podcast, you’ll be reading the first of Rocky’s books written since the start of the podcast. When was he writing the fifth book and do you expect his style to change?

Jamie: It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when because he was drunk, so he doesn’t know! He’d definitely finished book five by Christmas 2015. The podcast started that October and he was writing throughout that time. He’s on book … I don’t know what now.

James: He can’t be stopped.

Alice: A few people have said about book five, “will it be writing to order?” It’s hard to know but he hadn’t heard much of the podcast [when he was writing it].

Jamie: It was certainly before all the fandom happened.

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Alice: But I hope it’s just page after page of pomegranates. He’s like, ‘I know what they like!’

Jamie: I think what’s great is that he doesn’t know why people like the show, not really. He has retained, even to this day, that level of naivety that is so endearing and so batshit. He’s just got such a specific tone. His writing is so uniquely his that even if he knew why everyone found it funny I don’t think he could stop writing like that! It’s his voice so it’ll always be crazy.

The My Dad Wrote A Porno Comedy Special will air on HBO on May 11.