alia janine

Former adult performer Alia Janine goes from in front of the camera to behind the mic, with a very NSFW standup set. 

This article contains graphic content that may be NSFW.

If you’ve ever refrained from fast-forwarding to the main action and actually sat and watched the cringe-worthy introductory scenes to pornos, you know that porn and comedy are a natural fit. Yet while a handful of adult performers have crossed over into mainstream dramatic films, to varying degrees of success, few have actually ventured into the cutthroat world of standup comedy.

Former adult performer Alia Janine is one of the brave few. A former MILF performer who starred in 150-odd films with such inherently LOL-worthy titles as Big Dick Gloryholes and Your Mom Tossed My Salad 4, the 36-year-old Janine was in porn for only a few years before retiring to start her own podcast, the Scatterbrains Podcast, and to take sketch-writing and standup classes in New York City. Starting Nov. 5, she’ll be hosting her own  comedy showcase at the Cutting Room, a nightclub in midtown Manhattan.

Janine’s material is not for everyone: It shouldn’t come as any surprise that her set is fairly blue, and she’s politically incorrect, to say the least. (During our conversation, she’s intensely critical of gun control, and she referred to having intercourse with little people as “f**king midgets” on more than one occasion.) But the Daily Dot was curious as to how the cutthroat, boys-only world of standup compares to Porn Valley. So we got in touch with Janine to talk standup, her most awkward porn moment, and the funniest inside jokes in the porn industry. (FYI, enema companies: Your products should probably come with more explicit instruction manuals.)

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So how’d you get into this? I’ve never heard of a porn star turned standup comic before.

Well, Ron Jeremy does a little standup. It’s never been anything super substantial, mostly he hosts roasts and stuff, but he holds his own. There’s a couple others. A performer named Alexa Aimes just started doing it, and Kurt Lockwood, and Evan Stone are the other two male performers that have done standup. But it’s mostly guys—I think I’m the only girl.

What attracted you to standup in the first place?

I used to work at a strip club that was above a comedy club, so I would go see shows all the time out there. There was a woman there who also worked as a feature dancer and she was known as the Naked Comedian. And I was like, she was putting together two of my favorite things, dancing and comedy. So I wanted to see if I could do those things as well. This was about 2009, which is when I started doing porn as well, and when I moved to Los Angeles I hired a publicist and she got me standup and my own radio show. But it was only when I started thinking about retiring that I started writing more and doing these little sketches and jokes.

What prompted you to leave the industry [she left in 2013]?

I was sick of it, to be honest. The market’s getting oversaturated with a bunch of other girls. Everyone’s trying to be a huge porn star and that’s just not gonna happen when there’s so many girls in the industry. And also the condom initiative—I don’t like people telling me what to do, especially with my own body. Then it was just time for me to move on. I was 35 [when I left.] I know there are other performers that sustain their careers as they get older, but I didn’t want to do that. I only have so much time before gravity starts taking hold.

You entered the industry when you were in your early thirties. That’s got to be a major disadvantage when most of the other girls are coming up at 18.

Oh, without a doubt. I was automatically in the MILF category without having any kids. I thought that was hilarious. And you’d be surprised—there are a lot of MILF performers out there, and only so many MILF roles. I didn’t like being categorized.

You started taking classes at UCB last year. How does doing standup compare to the experience of having sex in front of a camera crew?

Doing standup is much more terrifying, I’d say, mostly because I haven’t done it as much as I’ve had sex or had sex on film. Standup is a lot harder, because when you’re on stage, you’re fully clothed and you’re just talking to people. You’re sharing your ideas, your thoughts, what you think is funny, what you think is important. And that’s a lot more nerve-wracking than giving a blowjob on film. Maybe it’s because I’ve given blowjobs on film that I feel that way, but it’s more of a mental kind of naked than having sex.

Having sex is a very animalistic thing. We do it all the time. We do it to survive. But we don’t need to stand up in front of people and tell jokes to survive. But once you start getting into a groove and you see how your audience reacts, there’s nothing like it. Getting people to laugh, it’s very addicting. Kinda like how doing porn was, for a little while.

Do you mostly tell jokes about porn and the industry?

I do have a couple, obviously. It would be really silly of me not to, especially because every comedian already has a joke about porn. A lot of my jokes are just crazy life stories that happened before I did porn. But a fair amount of [jokes] are about porn. Why would a porn star not have any jokes about porn? Like I have this Japanese rape scene bit…

Tell me about that.

I got hired by this company from Japan, and they hired girls for this particular scene, which was a rape scene. I’d have to get quote-unquote raped by a little Japanese man who was literally about 4’11,’’ maybe five feet. He came right up to my boob. This tiny little man who tapped me on the back and said, “I’m gonna rape you today!” (laughs). The only reason why I did it is because… I don’t like rape fetish, I don’t make rape jokes in my set, I don’t find that inappropriate… so they tied me up and then he had to act like he was raping me, but because I was so much bigger than him it was hard to feel like he was this big man who was breaking into the house and raping me. And the director was telling me to be scared and crying and stuff, but I was laughing hysterically during all of it. But apparently I was laughing so hard that it looked like I was crying, to the point where they had to stop the scene to ask if I was OK, which made me start laughing even more.

What else do you talk about in your act from your porn life?

I also have a joke that’s like the bucket list of all the guys I didn’t get to have sex with in porn. It’s like, “You know how people have the list of things they want to do before they die? Well, I have a Fuck-It List.”

Who’s on it?

A crossdresser, an Indian guy, and a midget (laughs). The crossdresser because your makeup sweats off during scenes, and you want to have someone to help you with it. The Indian guy because I’ve really been getting into Indian food lately, and I want to experience their whole culture. And the midget because I would be their personal jungle gym. One would be swinging from my titties, the other would be—like, my fantasy is to have a midget threesome (laughs).

How well does that joke usually go over?

Oh, it usually goes over pretty well. And then I have one where I talk about being asked all these crazy questions about different things in porn. Like, “Do all MILFs really have kids?”, “How many guys qualify as a gangbang?”, “What happens when a girl blinks her eyes during the pop shot?” Questions like that.

Do you think that porn stars are inherently funnier than most people, because of the stuff they go through on a daily basis?

Oh, I think you have to have a sense of humor to do porn. Otherwise, there’s no way you can do those first little snippets at the beginning of every scene. Like, the introductions. I did a scene called “Mother teaching daughter how to give a blow job,” where I have to basically tell this girl who’s supposed to be my daughter, “Don’t forget to cup the balls and stroke the shaft,” and I have to do this as her mother, and I have to do it with a straight face. I have to actually be very serious about it. And it turned out being a good scene, but it’s so hard not to laugh at the shit that comes out of your mouth. Like the teacher teaching the student, like, “Here’s one way you can get extra credit.” People don’t actually say that, ya know?

Are there inside jokes in the industry? Like, are there any jokes that are specific to porn people, that civilians wouldn’t get?

Oh, new girls not knowing how to use enemas (laughs).

I’m sorry?

New girls, when they enter the industry and they have to prepare for an anal scene, they usually have to give themselves an enema. But they don’t know what to do with the enema. There’s an instance where the girl drank the enema, and she couldn’t figure out why it tasted so bad and why it wasn’t working.

No way. Is this like an urban legend, or is this something that actually happened?

No, it actually happened! They don’t know. Some of them have had anal sex before, but they’ve never used an enema. They have no idea what a laxative is. Little jokes like that.

Standup is pretty much a boy’s club, and women comedians aren’t treated very well to begin with. Do you feel like other male standups or audiences are more hostile to you because you did porn?

I’ve never experienced any hostility because of that, but I know right away just from being a woman there’s definitely some hostility from some audiences, you can just tell. But I’m prepared for it. Just from being porn in general, it doesn’t matter what industry I’m going into, I’m going to get bombarded with questions or hated because of it or left out because of it. I’m always going to have that stigma.

Do you think being a porn star hurts or helps your career?

Every once in a while, I’ll get questions about it, but not that often. A lot of times, I’ll tell people I was in porn, and they had a hard time believing it, because I don’t look like a porn star. Besides, like, having huge tits (laughs). I’m from Milwaukee, and it’s a very conservative town, but I’ve never been turned down for a gig from doing porn there. And at the same time, I don’t think a club would be contacting me for gigs if they didn’t know what I’d done, in a way.

It seems like that’s what usually happens to people when they leave porn and start doing other things. Like, they’re hired because of their name recognition thanks to porn, but at the same time there’s still this stigma attached to porn that holds them back.

Oh, yeah, without a doubt. I got an email yesterday from a well-known president of a mainstream film company saying “I love your adult work and I just saw your standup,” and he wanted to talk to me about some gigs or whatever. I’ve gotten contacted a bunch of different times from the mainstream because of being in the adult industry. Sometimes it stands out, and other times it’s just creepy guys trying to get in your pants. It just happens all the time. I was an extra in the movie Her because some guy contacted me on Facebook and was like, “I’m an extras casting director, and I’ve seen your porn work, and I can do this for you.” Porn has opened a lot of doors for me.

Do you think there’ll ever be a point where you don’t have to introduce yourself as a porn star comedian, though? Where you’ll just be Alia Janine, the comedian?

That’s a good question. I’d like to think so. But it’s something I’ve always been very open about it. I was in porn. I don’t regret it and I’m not shameful of it. So if that’s what people know me as, then so be it. You need to embrace it, because there’s so many people who try to hide it or lie about it, but with the Internet, you really can’t hide from or lie about anything anymore. And I think the media’s tendency to sensationalize everything and put the blame on everything: Like Amanda Fluke [Alyssa Funke, the young woman who committed suicide after shooting an adult movie], she did one porn, and then she killed herself, and it was porn’s fault, completely leaving out the fact that she had years of mental health issues before that.

So no, I’m honest about it, although actually I used to lie about it. When I first moved to the city, I had a makeup artist job, and it was because I lied about doing porn and they found out about it that I got fired. They said if I was honest about it they would’ve kept me on, but I’m not really sure I buy that. There was this woman there, who really didn’t like me before she found out about the porn, so…

So is that why you’ve started being more honest about it, and incorporating it into your act?

Well, no. It’s because I slept with her son (laughs). And I have a joke in my act about that, too.

Photo via AliaJanine.com

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