A password will be e-mailed to you.

If you’re not yet familiar with My Dad Wrote A Porno, chances are you’ve been living under a very pure rock; the wildly popular comedy podcast features host Jamie Morton as he reads passages from his dad’s erotica novels (yes, as you may have guessed from the title, his dad wrote a porno under the pseudonym of Rocky Flintstone) to his two friends James Cooper and Alice Levine. The whole thing is genius, and so it comes as no surprise that HBO reached out to see if they wanted to record a special. (Obviously they did.) Said special will air tomorrow night (May 11th, 2019) at 10pm ET, and will feature a reading of a lost chapter from the series. (I watched it already, and trust me, you’re gonna wanna tune in.)

Morton, Cooper and Levine were in town earlier this week, so I was able to get caught up with them about their bizarre (read: kind of really amazing) journey into the international spotlight. We also talked about fan cosplay, Morton’s dad’s creative process (hint: wine) and more, so internet-eavesdrop on our full conversation RIGHT NOW:

BYT: So who was in the audience while you taped this HBO special? Were they just fans who’d bought tickets, or was there some level of vetting?

Alice Levine: I mean, if we vetted them, there’d be nobody in the room! By definition, if you’re coming to a My Dad Wrote A Porno show then you’re a pervert. They were a raucous bunch, weren’t they?

BYT: Have you had any weird fan experiences?

AL: Weird in that we know the books pretty well (we’re scholars of Rocky Flintstone), and just the minutiae that people know about. Some of their costumes are so specific. For example, there were two people sat next to each other, and I don’t even know if they were together, but there was somebody who was on a bit of trellis, because in the first book, Belinda’s attached to a garden trellis that roses grow up. Anyway, they were handcuffed to it, but it was kind of encroaching on other people’s seats!

BYT: Wait, so people regularly cosplay this?

All: ALL THE TIME!

James Cooper: At every show we’ve ever done.

Jamie Morton: There’s been a cervix…

BYT: Your dad’s favorite word!

JM: He still doesn’t know what it means.

AL: A lot of people will also bring pots and pans, or come in wearing crumpled businesswear.

JC: I want to show you one that someone did… 

AL: Oh, this is the best!

JM: This was in New York last year. These two twins’ mum made them this costume…

AL: Can you imagine pitching that to your mum? Like, “Mum, we’re going to this show…it’s kind of a porno thing…” And then this thing that she’s made is like, mechanically confusing to me…

JM: I wasn’t sure how she managed to do it.

BYT: Is this her actual job? Like she’s a seamstress or something?

JM: Apparently she makes a lot of costumes, yeah.

JC: Here it is! [Shows GIF of twins wearing mechanized blinking boob costumes.]

BYT: Oh my god! That’s incredible!

JC: The mechanics involved!

AL: It’s just such a beautiful…

BYT: That’s honestly better than a lot of the Met Gala outfits I saw.

AL: Basically Janelle Monae, isn’t it?

JM: But that’s what we find so…you know, just the creativity of the people who come to these shows…that’s kind of why we wanted to do the HBO thing, was to celebrate and give people the chance to experience the live show even if they haven’t been able to physically come to one.

BYT: And so all of this started, obviously, because your dad started writing these books. I know he stays out of the spotlight for the most part, but what does he feel about all this attention?

JM: He loves it! He’s actually an executive producer of the HBO show, which is hilarious, because he didn’t know what HBO was a year ago.

JC: Or what an executive producer was. He still doesn’t know what that is.

AL: I feel like there’s going to be one of those strikes, like those producer strikes, where it’s like, “If Rocky Flintstone has that credit…”

JC: It means nothing anymore.

BYT: I have to admit, his Twitter presence is impressive. “Jus sayin’.”

AL: Those tweets, amirite?!

JM: He said to me, “I’m catchin’ ya up!” I said, “What do you mean?” He goes, “Followers. I’m catchin’ ya.” I’m like, “Dad, have it. I don’t care.” But that’s what’s nice, is that he can kind of have that platform, interact, say hi to everyone, but then also keep himself private. That’s the perfect balance for him.

AL: Because he’s the perfect sort of parent in that sense, where he’ll have a flurry of tweeting, and then six days will go by, he’ll forget his password for a bit and then eventually log back in. But he’s the ultimate wind-up merchant. I feel like he and Jamie are sort of pranking each other on a global scale.

JM: I’m not sure who’s winning at that, because being on HBO makes me look like an idiot.

BYT: Has he used this experience to like…”hone his craft”? 

JM: “Craft”!

JC: That’s very sweet of you to say!

AL: You clearly haven’t listened to the podcast or read the books!

JM: I think he has got better!

AL: Oh, he has. I mean, the progression in plot…some people would say that what he was doing in the early books and chapters was luring us into a false sense of security, because he’s revisiting some things. Some people would say that’s deliberate. I would say…I call bullshit on that. But to each their own.

JM: He did tell me right from the start about the whole Giselle thing, so I knew that he had plans for it. But he isn’t “skilled”.

BYT: Has he improved in terms of understanding the female anatomy?

JM: That’s the one that he’s really struggling with, even to this day. I blame the school system in Northern Ireland in the 1950s. If they educated their children properly…

JC: None of this would have ever happened!

BYT: And Jamie, how would you say your relationship with your dad has changed (if at all) because of all of this? Are you proud?

JM: I am really proud of him! What’s really nice is that I just see him so much more, too, because when you grow up, normally you kind of don’t see much of your parents.

AL: Major holidays only.

JM: Yeah, so this has been great. And it’s given him the chance to see what I do for a living. So few parents know what their kids do for a living. You can say, “I’m a director,” or “I’m a journalist,” and they’re kind of like, “What?” But now he gets to see it and understand it. It’s nice to share something as batshit crazy as this with your dad.

BYT: Absolutely. And in terms of what he does, does he have like…a “creative process” when he’s writing?

JM: Yes. It’s wine. And a lot of it. Wine and gin and tonic, and when he writes in Brazil, caipirinhas. He limits himself to seven a day. You can’t tell from the writing.

AL: He’s got some quite short shorts that I imagine he sports.

JM: Yeah, he likes a Speedo. (Sorry.) Like a Hawaiian shirt.

AL: So he’s a wallflower.

JM: Yeah, I think just a lot of alcohol. He claims he’s plotted things out. He says, “That’s what I call a timeline.” That’s what everyone calls it! So he reckons he’s done some bigger planning.

BYT: He’s just got a giant bulletin board with pushpins like you’d see on a crime show.

JM: It’s quite similar to that! It is a crime.

BYT: And so obviously the show is internationally popular, but have you gotten any fans from just totally bonkers countries that you’d never have expected?

JM: Yes! The Vatican City. (Papacy, huge pornography fans.) And we’ve had some listeners from Saudi Arabia, which, I’m actually concerned for whoever’s listening from Saudi Arabia; if their phones are bugged, that’s a problem. Download outside of Saudia Arabia and listen to it under lock and key.

AL: But the fact that it is all over is kind of crazy, because I don’t think we ever imagined it would travel as far as it has.

JM: You never really think about that sort of thing when you’re sitting down to make a podcast with your two mates and a glass of wine. You just don’t think that people will listen to it in other countries; it never really crossed our minds.

JC: I guess we didn’t really think about how the internet works.

JM: Yeah, we were really quite naive, actually!

JC: “This’ll be a great local radio show!”

BYT: I actually did some googling before I came here, and there’s a weird sub-Reddit post that’s like, “Belinda Blinked Japan” and it’s just like this GIF from some Japanese porno where it’s a bunch of naked businessmen (and women) sitting around a table, and one guy goes, “I think we’ve reached a deal!” and then proceeds to use his dick to make sake bombs. So clearly it’s a universally relatable plot.

AL: There’s no sub-Reddit, is there.

JC: What’d you Google?!

AL: I don’t know if I want to see this.

JM: …I do. Hilarious. Yeah, people get really invested.

AL: They go deep on Reddit, don’t they?

BYT: So Jamie, your dad has said he has plans to continue writing this series for the foreseeable future, possibly forever.

JM: He sees no reason to stop, and we’ve given him no incentive to stop.

AL: We will definitely tap out before he taps out.

BYT: So then, because this HBO special features a lost chapter, are there other lost chapters out there?

JM: Well, maybe. He’s an interesting chap in that whenever he travels by plane he emails me everything on his desktop, because he’s worried that if the plane goes down he’ll lose it.

AL: Also, if the plane did go down, the first thing we’d do wouldn’t be to get our microphones together and be like, “Well…”

JM: Right, “The material!!!” I’m sure there’ll be stuff if we need it.

JC: We’ve also used things in the footnotes, like he wrote a CV for Belinda.

AL: Honestly I think one of my favorite things he’s ever written. It’s so ridiculous. There’s like a name in it called “Norman Togui”. We googled it, and obviously every name he’s ever come up with, you know, somebody is actually called that, but we couldn’t find a single Norman Togui.

JM: People have since created them on Facebook.

BYT: And is this your dad’s main weird thing? Or are there other strange hobbies that just haven’t merited a podcast?

JM: This is the thing that’s taken up most of the headspace. He actually isn’t that weird…

AL: Mmm…

JM: Well, I only know him as my dad, so. I mean, my parents are crazy, but…

AL: He’s an eccentric dad. It’s not like he’s so…you know how people say don’t meet your heroes? Do meet Rocky, because he really is fantastic.

JM: Yeah, I think he’d be everything you’d want him to be.

JC: Jamie and I used to live together, and his dad would come and stay and be drinking a glass of wine and listening to Alanis Morissette.

AL: He’s just sort of unshakable, isn’t he?

JM: Yeah, once he wants to do something, that’s it. And that’s the beauty for us, is that he’s so single-minded in that way. He won’t take any feedback ever, which is great for us! He just goes straight for it. When people ask me if I expected any of this, I didn’t expect him to write porn, obviously, but…

AL: But of all the dads I know, I’d have put money on Rocky. For sure.

BYT: Did he ever try writing other genres before he found his calling in erotica?

JM: He did, actually! I don’t think he ever published them or anything, but he wrote little travel guides from where he’d been on holiday.

JC: I’d love to see what he recommended…

AL: Can you even imagine?

JM: He wrote ones about every country he’d ever visited, even ones he’d only been to as a kid. I was like, “How are you going to write a travel guide about someplace you went when you were five?” He was like, “Look, the tips stay the same.”

AL: “Great bars!”

JM: We should dig those out.

BYT: You absolutely should. Alright, and lastly, back to Belinda, I know you guys have had famous people say that they’d be down to play some of these roles if the series is ever adapted to the screen, but who are some people you’d like to cast who haven’t necessarily offered their services yet?

JM: Do you know who I think would make a really good Rocky? Partly because he’s kind of played it before, but Dustin Hoffman. Have you seen Meet the Fockers? That’s basically my parents.

JC: No one’s taken the Belinda role yet, so we’re always kind of like, “Who could be Belinda?”

AL: James wants to shoehorn Adele in at any opportunity.

JM: I think Adele would be a good Bella.

JC: Yes!

JM: At this point we’ll take anyone.

AL: Open to suggestions.

JC: I’m just keen to see Rocky adapted to the screen.

X
X