Porn 'n Chicken
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Porn 'n' Chicken was a club based at Yale University. The secret society blazed briefly in the headlines in 2001 when members announced plans to make their own pornographic film on campus starring other Yale students, although the film was never released or even completed. Nevertheless, a fictionalized version of the club's experiences was produced as a TV movie titled Porn 'n Chicken and broadcast on Comedy Central.
Contradictory histories have appeared in the Yale and national press. Supposed leaders of the PnC club in the 2000-2001 school year were quoted saying that the club had been founded in 1996 during one of Yale's periodic grad student strikes. Grad students had founded PnC, this story says, both as an organizing society for a variety of monkey-wrenching activities intended to hurt the Yale Corporation, and as a venue to watch pornographic movies. According to a PnC leader quoted in 2000, "for the past five years they've been engaging in technological, intellectual, financial, and reputational terrorism against Yale with the main goal of damaging the careers of the Yale Corporation — those individuals who hold the purse-strings of Yale's bank account and represent the worst effects of a capitalist society."
An alternate history contends that the organization was founded in slovenly frustration by a bunch of Yale undergrads who had not been asked to join any other secret societies. "We were sitting at dinner coming up with various combinations of words, and came up with Porn 'n Chicken," one told the Yale Herald.
A third theory, and the one best supported by recent evidence, is that PnC did not exist at all, and that the entire organization had been fabricated by a group of pranksters on campus, possibly the secretive Pundits. These folks allegedly even staged meetings for reporters when necessary.
According to reports in the campus press, 30-35 students would show up for each screening. The crowd was overwhelmingly male, but never 100% so. Films were chosen with an eye toward "providing a meaningful experience for the audience," as one of the club leaders ironically described his responsibility. A club leader would provide commentary and fast-forward through 'the boring bits'.
Members claimed to have access to a secret bank account, presumably funded by club alumni, to cover their small expenses.
As recently as 2007, the secret society of P'n'C has been confirmed to exist at the University of Virginia. Anonymous sources familiar with P'n'C claim a direct link between the Yale and UVA clubs, and that at least two of UVA's club members have gone on to begin successful careers at Yale University after graduating from the University of Virginia.
In the news
In the October 2000 Yale Herald article by Joseph Ax that is the first known public discussion of the club, it was mentioned that the club planned to shoot its own porno film that spring. The film's name, later infamous, had already been selected -- The StaXXX. "Everyone is invited to audition: undergrads, TAs, professors, local high school students," one of the club members explained. "We're pretty serious about this film. We'd like to have a screening at UPIX."
In November 2000 they posted around campus for actors and actresses, and even filmed their first scenes in late January (one of their actresses was taking a semester in Nepal during the bulk of the filming, so her scenes were completed early). Blurry snapshots of the action appeared in the Yale Daily News. A week later the New York Times had the story, and a national media frenzy ensued.
The New Yorker, Fox News Boston, Hustler, The New York Post, Brill's Content, The Village Voice, Premiere Magazine, The London Evening Standard, and others all inquired for information. Club organizers claimed that they were getting irritated by all the interview requests, and shut out MTV, the New York Post, and the New Haven Register.
According to the stories that followed, many students wanted to be involved, but few were willing to let their names or faces appear in the film. The movie's plot accommodated this by following the induction of members into one of Yale's secret societies, allowing the actors to wear masks.
Towards the end of the school year, nobody saw any filming going on. Word leaked that the scenes that had been filmed first had since been destroyed at the request of one of the actresses. Sentiment shifted to the hypothesis that the film, if not the entire club, was merely a prank. Students who had been contacted earlier in the year heard nothing more. Posters were hung in April advertising a preliminary screening of the film, but the public was not invited and many doubted that any footage existed.
Club members insisted The StaXXX existed, and even asserted that a sequel was in the works. This film, to be called Dubya, would depict the sexual exploits of U.S. President George W. Bush during his years at Yale. The budding filmmakers offered that they were being represented by the Creative Artists Agency. When contacted, CAA acknowledged that it was representing a Yale student named James Ponsoldt in connection with PnC, but Ponsoldt vehemently denied having anything to do with the club.
|Porn 'n Chicken|
|Directed by||Lawrence Trilling|
|Written by||Lawrence Trilling
|Running time||100 minutes|
Soon it became known that Ponsoldt, along with fellow Yale alumni William Marino, Colin Spoelman and Joshua Newman, had sold their PnC stories to Comedy Central, which then made its first-ever original movie about the club.
Comedy Central's film premiered on October 13, 2002.
Porn 'N Chicken has not been publicly active since the end of the 2000-2001 school year.
- "Hold the porn, pass the chicken". Cavalier Daily. 10 April 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
- 'StaXXX' trailer has stacks -- and some skin, Chris Rovzar and Eli Muller, Yale Daily News, April 25, 2001
- The New Yorker, "Talk of the Town," October 14, 2002
- Rebecca Dana (2002-09-06). "Porn 'N Chicken: The movie that never was...is". Yale Daily News.
- Joel Stein (2001-05-07). "The Chicken Was Delicious". Time.
- Joey Ax (2000-10-13). "P 'n C puts the 'stick' back in 'drumstick'". Yale Herald.
- Eli Muller (2001-01-19). "Sex in the Staxxx". Yale Daily News.
- New York Times, January 26, 2001
- Joey Ax (2001-02-09). "Sex at Yale: from prude to pornography". Yale Herald.
- The New York Observer February 15, 2001
- Eli Muller (2001-04-20). "Ads say porn flick will debut, but few, if any, will see skin". Yale Daily News.
- The Daily Pennsylvanian, September 19, 2002
- Ball State Daily News, October 14, 2002