As an associate producer of Saturday Night Live, Greg Scarnici has thoroughly tickled our collective funny bone, but now he’s tickling another bone altogether. His new book, Hot Rods, explores the scruffy, slutty Fire Island sex scene in 2019, as seen through a 1970s lens.
The men of Hot Rods are cool and creepy and coifed all over, sprouting hair from every imaginable surface. Scarnici parodies vintage porn with equal parts reverence and hilarity, even going so far as to adopt the sloppy prose writing style of a back-alley Bukowski. Erotic fiction has never been this over-the-top trashy, and we applaud Scarnici’s commitment to kitsch.
Hot Rods ostensibly evokes an era of free love and Fresca, but the grand irony is that we now look back longingly on events that occurred just a year ago. In the golden haze of gays gone by, we could hug, we could kiss, and we could fondle with furious abandon. Ah, the hirsute history!
Scarnici has a gay old time conjuring up the sins of the past as a skewed storyteller and general emcee of perversion. Hot Rods is just the latest title in his library of lascivious comedy writing, which includes Sex in Drag, I Hope My Mother Doesn’t Read This, and Dungeons and Drag Queens.
With Hot Rods, Scarnici takes off the rubber gloves and gets way horny on your ass. There may not be hardcore sex depicted in the grainy, sunshine-hued pictorials, but the shocking vernacular will have you gay-gasping for breath as you turn the page and guffaw anew. Indeed, Greg Scarnici makes you laugh your pants off, a proposition that becomes even more enticing when you see what he looks like in real life.
The camera loves his stubble-specked mug, as you can witness in Scarnici’s on-camera work. He appeared in his own directorial debut, Glam-Trash, he played Gay Man #2 on a classic episode of 30 Rock, and he even popped up in the Lady Gaga incarnation of A Star Is Born.
But now, Scarnici is ditching the mainstream fare and immersing readers in an X-rated wonderland of sweaty studs and misguided hairstyles. As we search for a happy ending from the viral misery infecting our present tense, we reminisce about the past with yearning and nostalgia… and plenty of ChapStick.
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