Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction: This ain’t your childhood story circle
“Hermione, sick of studying, rummaged through her bag. There it was. Did she dare? No one was in the Library, not even Madam Prince. Hermione threw caution to the wind for once in her life and pulled out her vibrator. Padma had given it to her as a prank joke on her birthday, but Hermione had put it to good use. She gasped just thinking about her last orgasm.”
If this doesn’t sound like the “Harry Potter” you remember reading (and the “Harry Potter” you let your kids read) that’s because it isn’t.
That’s a line from a piece of Potter-inspired erotic fan fiction we found on the Internet titled “Dirty, Erotic, Smutty Sex in the Library.” For the uninitiated, fan fiction is a term for a subset of fictional stories based upon about characters or settings of an existing work, written by fans of the original work, rather than by creator. And erotic fan fiction, well, you get the idea.
Not limited to children’s fantasy novels (though that makes the fan fiction all the creepier, which is often the point) fan fiction and erotic fan fiction can be written about a wide variety of genres including television, movies, comics, and more. If you can imagine it, and you can smut it up, then you can write it.
The thing is, though, that while we’re sure a fair amount of this particular type of literature is penned by pasty, 50-year-old virgins, typing sweatily and furiously in their parents basements at 3 a.m., fan fiction can also be mined for comedic gold. That’s the idea behind comedian Bryan Murphy’s Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction, a monthly comedy show (soon to be made into a podcast) he’s hosted for the past two-odd years at the Nerdist Theatre in San Francisco. The premise: eight comics write — and read aloud — short pieces of erotic fan fiction based either upon their own fancy or audience suggestions. The audience decides who has written the most titillating — or just plain absurd — story by a show of applause. We asked Murphy a few burning questions that sprang to mind when we found out that his show was stopping in town at the Davis Square Theatre next week.
How did you come up with the idea for this show?
I used to do a Valentine’s Day comedy show in Seattle, and a few weeks before I saw my friend Travis Vogt (a great comic/filmmaker) read a piece of ‘Cars’ erotic fan fiction at a show. It was hilarious — and it bombed. It occurred to me that Valentine’s Day would be a perfect time for a bunch of comics to write erotic fan fiction, so I made everyone performing on that show bring a piece and we had a competition. It was by far the most popular thing that night, and a month later I spun it off into its own show.
Tell me how it works.
Five comics bring pieces they have written in advance, based upon any subject they choose. Five other comics get audience suggestions for a topic, and have to write backstage while the first five read their pieces.
Do you write erotic fan fiction yourself?
For this show, yes, but it wasn’t something I was into before, because that would be pathetic.
Was the first show super awkward?
No, not at all. The (small) crowd who came out knew what they were in for, and it was great. There are times now when I get audience members who may not know what they’re in for, because I bring the show to comedy clubs. Comedy club crowds sometimes just show up for “comedy”, and don’t know that what they are going to get is the cast of Green Acres getting sodomized by Petticoat Junction.
What’s the best story you’ve heard or read so far?
It’s a three-way tie: Kyle Kinane doing “Rent: The Musical,” Ian Karmel doing “Criss Angel: Mindfreak,” and Ben Roy doing “Life Goes On.”
What about the worst, weirdest, or most uncomfortable?
Same three answers. The worst/most uncomfortable fan fiction IS the best fan fiction!
What makes a really great piece of fan fiction?
1. Know your subject really well or not at all (either extreme is hilarious).
2. Get to the f—cking
3. Make it tight. Very few people can keep it up for more than a few minutes.
If you could read a piece of erotic fan fiction about anything in the world, what would it be?
What do you mean could? I can! I may be the only person with such an option (and a regular audience who will listen). But it changes constantly. Lately, it’s “Girls.”
If you go
June 17, 8 p.m.
Davis Square Theatre
255 Elm St., Somerville