Jack E. Jett

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jack E. Jett
Born(1956-06-17)June 17, 1956
Dallas County, Texas, US
DiedMarch 21, 2015(2015-03-21) (aged 58)
Other namesJhett
EducationHumber College[1]
OccupationTelevision personality
Years active2003–present
Known forThe Queer Edge with Jack E. Jett

Jack E. Jett was the first openly gay American talk show host.

Early life and career[edit]

Jack E. Jett grew up in Dallas, Texas and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 21. He held various jobs in the entertainment industry while in Los Angeles; among them, he was the Talent Agency Representative for the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). He then went through the Creative Artist training program.[where?]

Through a fluke meeting at The China Club in the early 1980s, Mr. Jett was offered a contract to model for Cinq Deux Un ("521"), an agency in Tokyo, Japan. Jett's modeling career lasted for the next eight years. Then known as "Jhett," he became one of the highest paid male models in the world in 1982, with contracts in Milan, Paris, Los Angeles, and Barcelona. Jett also appeared in Playgirl that year, in a profile about his career and life in Beverly Hills. He met The Go-Go's lead singer Belinda Carlisle, and they quickly became best friends.

Upon retiring, or being retired from,[specify] modeling, Jett began to travel with The Go-Go's, handling various tasks such as press, travel, interview schedules, and luggage handling. During Carlisle's solo career, he worked as her personal assistant.

In 1988, Jett dropped the name Jhett.

Television production[edit]

He was offered the position of U.S. Representative for Prime Television, an Australian broadcast network. He worked as a liaison between the American production companies and the network's executives. Prime was an aggregator of television programming, supplying programming for local stations. Jett developed projects for these stations to produce, in addition to finding new programs from the United States for them to broadcast.

After a few years he grew tired of the long distance travel, and wanted to stay near his home in West Hollywood, California. He accepted a position as a coordinator for the CBS Television City comedy casting department. This position allowed him to find up-and-coming comedy talent in various Equity-waiver theatres and comedy clubs, and arrange meetings between those comedians and various casting executives.

By the time he was 40, Jett had lost 40 friends to the AIDS epidemic. He began volunteer work with the charitable organizations Aid For AIDS, Elizabeth Taylor’s amfAR, and Cable Positive.

The Jack E. Jett Show [edit]

In early 1990, Jett returned to his native Dallas, Texas. Having been an avid fan of public-access television cable TV in Los Angeles, Jett found a very limited public-access television selection in Dallas. He decided to create a show that featured various oddball characters and freaks of nature. The show became a local cult classic, and soon became available on cable access stations in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, and Austin.

PrideVision Television in Canada (later renamed OUTtv) offered Jett the chance to move from public-access television to national cable television. He co-produced 65 episodes of The Jack E. Jett Show with Chris Rentzel; that show later became one of the first programs on the Q Television Network, the first American television network catering to the LGBT community.

Reruns of the Jack E. Jett Show continue to run on the IPTV LGBTQ network, Proud Television ( www.tvproud.com )

On Q Live[edit]

When radio DJ Jagger bowed out of a new program on Q Television called On Q Live, the hosting job was offered to Jett. The show was a four-hour chat fest that included various guests. The show was highly audience-interactive, with viewer call-ins, webcam conversations, and emails. Over 150 episodes were produced. The show was seen five nights a week, and catered exclusively to the gay and lesbian community.

The Queer Edge[edit]

As someone who preferred his programs to be a little more "on the edge," Jett developed a show that would eventually become the network’s top premiere program. The Queer Edge with Jack E. Jett became hit on the network. Each week a different co-host would join Jett. Co-hosts included Charo, Kim Coles, Butch Patrick (The Munsters), and Randy Jones (The Village People).

Jett's regular co-hostess was Jackie Enx. Enx is a transsexual radio personality, who hosted a segment called "Fun with Hypocrisy." Jackie was formerly known as Liam Jason, the drummer for the rock band Rhino Bucket.

A featured co-host was the internationally-famous Sandra Bernhard, and she signed on to become a regular part of The Queer Edge. The Queer Edge with Jack E. Jett and Sandra Bernhard ran for another 40 episodes, until Q Television folded.

When Q Television began to falter, a new management team was sent in, but the network was never able to recover. As a result, Jett ended up with total ownership of the 145 episodes[dubious ] of The Queer Edge. The shows can be seen on TLA Video On Demand, as well as Jett’s own online channel, FUTV in JetTVision, operated in conjunction with World of Wonder.[2]

The Queer Edge with Jack E. Jett and Sandra Bernhard was one of the first chat shows picked up by ManiaTV!.

Later work[edit]

In the year of 2001, Jack E. Jett released a DVD through TLA Video entitled The Gayest Show on Earth. This DVD quickly became a viral cult classic. The DVDs were sent to various college dorms around the world. The DVD quickly sold out and is out of print.

Jett has been involved with Ring My Bell for World of Wonder TV. He has been a substitute host for Cheaters, and hosted a new pilot for Bobby Goldstein Productions, Love Sick.

The Dallas Observer stated that Jett was to host a new program on Dallas radio station KFXR-AM "CNN 1190" starting on January 25, 2010. In the newspaper's blog posting announcing the show, Jett was quoted as saying

I don't just go in and talk on the mike while I'm jacking my cock. I research. I want to have as many eclectic guests as I do and be able to do that with less research.[3]

The next day, station producer J.D. Freeman announced that the show had been cancelled, saying "The guy shows bad judgement, and I wouldn't put him on the air. Any personality who uses that language is not someone we want on the air."[4][5]

As of May 2010, Jett was co-hosting a show with Rob Lobster on Dallas-area AM station KFCD called ilume-A-Nation Radio, featuring what Jett called "guilty pleasure yourself songs," once-popular songs now widely disliked.[6]


Jack E. Jett died of a heart attack in Texas on March 21, 2015 soon after celebrating his 21st anniversary with his partner, John Gennusa.[7]


  1. ^ "IMDb Resume for Jack E. Jett". Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  2. ^ "FUTV in JetTVision!". WOW TV. World of Wonder. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  3. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (January 19, 2010). "Jack E. Jett Now On Actual Radio, More Or Less: Clear Channel-Owned CNN 1190". Unfair Park. Dallas Observer. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  4. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (January 20, 2010). "Before He Even Started, Clear Channel Fires Jack E. Jett, Who's Ready to Fire Back". Unfair Park. Dallas Observer. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  5. ^ Musto, Michael (January 25, 2010). "Jack E. Jett Axed For 'Jacking His Cock'". La Daily Musto. The Village Voice Blogs. Archived from the original on April 20, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2010. Ironically, the remark was designed to tell people how thorough and professional he is.
  6. ^ "Dallas radio jock Jack E. Jett's new show features songs so bad they're good". PegasusNews. May 24, 2010. Archived from the original on July 4, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2010. We're talking tunes such as Muscrat Love (Captain and Tenille), Happiest Girl in the Whole USA (Donna Fargo), I Am Woman (Helen Reddy), Sugar Sugar (The Archies) ... you get the gist.
  7. ^ "Pinson, Jackie Dale "Jackie Jett"". Obituary. John P. Brooks and Family North Dallas Funeral Home. March 21, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2015.

External links[edit]