Fred Willard arrested for masturbating to porn because that's not what porn is for, apparently

As far as celebrity arrests for whacking off in a porn theater go, we can proudly proclaim that this generation's Pee-Wee Herman has finally arrived! Fred Willard, that guy who has appeared in several Christopher Guest movies, Anchorman, Everybody Loves Raymond, and various guest spots on TV shows including Tim & Eric, Modern Family, and The Boondocks (and the one thing he probably won't be invited back to do, voiceover work for Old Navy) was caught red-handed in a Los Angeles adult movie theater by police doing a "random walk-through." I have a question: What do police think people normally do with their penises in porn theaters on a typical Wednesday night, and do taxpayers really need to be paying for them to check? The public demands an answer.

While Mr. Willard sorts out his legal problems and the world laughs, let's compare whacking off in a porn theater to other 100 percent normal activities that probably wouldn't warrant a "random walk-through" by the police (but maybe they should).

First, I'd like to imagine the conversation that happens in the police department of any major metropolitan area concerning the possibility of lewd behavior taking place inside of an establishment that shows porn.

Important Law Enforcement Official: "Listen up, everyone. There's a lot of cleaning up to do out there -- people being robbed, raped, assaulted, killed, even. But we've been getting a lot of complaints from exactly one person who is sick of seeing grown men leave a theater showing nudey pics looking too damn happy. That's why I'm ordering random walk-throughs of these joints, making sure that all these smiling men who are spending their hard-earned cash to watch people have sex on-screen in public don't act on their most natural instincts, whip their penises out in the dark confines of the theater, and rub one out. They should be doing that for free in the comfort of their own homes. I'm tired of the injustice, and everyone else is tired of seeing that dopey look on their faces while the city burns. It makes me sick. Now, move out!"

It's just speculation.

And now, an unordered list of things that are just as natural as a grown man masturbating to porn that also happen in public places:

And now, an unordered list of normal human behavior that is not against the law and should be:

I'd say "consuming bad entertainment" based on every woman in my town gushing over Fifty Shades of Grey, but at least they're reading.

In any case, Fred Willard is not hosting a children's show like Pee-Wee was when he got caught, so I think it's safe to say that this will not be the end of his career. In fact, this makes his career even more hilarious than it was before. He's Fred Willard, and he was watching porn at the Tiki Theatre at 8:45 PM on a Wednesday night.

Unless he was being loud, which is awkward and inconsiderate, but still not illegal.

Fred Willard arrested for improvisational one-man show in adult movie theater [AV Club]


    1. I’m launching a new Web site to pay legal fees for anyone caught doing what is natural in a porn theater. It’s called Dickstarter. The great Fred Willard will be the first campaign.

    1. To be fair, it is PBS. They rely almost solely on donations so they kind of have to ditch anything remotely controversial. Otherwise any time someone wanted to bash NPR they could just use the term “liberal public-masturbation supporters”.

      1. The problem is, PBS has long held a policy of pre-emptive firings, dumping people before any complaints could possibly have come in.  This isn’t the first time something like this has happened.  Contrary to popular misconception they’re dominated by the right, and their standards of conduct have gone beyond conservative into the prudish and reactionary.    

    2. Don’t blame PBS. Blame republican prudes in congress who’ll gin this up in an election year.

  1. I imagine that start-of-shift meeting at the station with The Cheif pointing at the two fuck-up officers and going “Jackson, Smith… you dumbasses are on jerk patrol tonight! Make yourselves useful and bring in some pervs or something.”

  2. “Parents being dicks to their crying children and ruining aforementioned children for life as well as everyone else’s day” I sense that you need a hug. {hug}

  3. Could have been worse.
    Could have been at the midnight screening of THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
    Or, you know…BRAVE.

  4. As far as the two lists of illegal things vs. legal things that should be illegal, wouldn’t this fall in the latter as I think whipping it out in public and whipping it would be unsanitary.  Also, aren’t death threats illegal?  

  5. When they buy their ticket they should have to sign a waver that says you know other people will be masturbating and  they don’t care.  I mean, people aren’t going to these places to see porn, that is free on the internet, available on most any modern device…   These people are buying tickets to a masturbation party.  If everyone consents, how is this different than a sex club, only with no actual sex?

    1. Just made a comment re: Fernwood 2-Night on another post, I bet Freds ears were burning… well maybe not his ears.

      Waste of resources, the police be more effectively arresting kids chalking the sidewalk for hopscotch,  four square or kickball.

  6. In any case, Fred Willard is not hosting a children’s show like Pee-Wee was when he got caught

    Technically Paul Reubens was busted eight months after Pee-Wee’s Playhouse ended.  But yeah, he was still primarily associated with that role and it certainly hurt his career for the better part of a decade.

      1. That’s part of it.  I think the Lewinsky scandal was actually part of a marked sea change too — it was pretty clear by the late 1990’s that giving a crap what consenting adults do in private had become a fringe position in American culture.

        (And yeah, I’m counting a porno theater as “private” because it’s not like anybody’s stumbling in there by accident.)

    1.  Spelling fix: Pee-wee, with an uncapitalized w.

      I suppose there’s no chance the incident was a publicity stunt for his upcoming movie, “The Yank,” eh?

  7. This far into the Age of YouPorn, I’d say this is 70% compulsive exhibitionism, 30% angling for a career boosting “scandal.”

    But, yah, the cops shouldn’t be in there, even if they got a tip from Willard’s publicist.

    1. I did wonder why anyone would actually pay to go to a porn theater.  What is this, the 1970s?

  8. “While Mr. Willard sorts out his legal problems and the world laughs”

    I’m not laughing because this ain’t funny. If Fred has to go through a fraction of what Pee-Wee did it will be very sad indeed. In some states, guys have been forced to register as sex offenders for getting caught peeing behind a tree. Yet another WTF moment in America.

  9. Apparently I’m the only one who immediately thought of this:

    The premise of this commercial is almost as ridiculous as Willard’s real arrest. Although I realize it’s unlikely I hope there will be a police interrogation and Willard will put on an equally clueless act. But if it does happen I hope they videotape it.

    And shown in the Tiki Theater between movies (if there’s a break) with “Let this be a warning to you!”

      1. In order to not be aroused by Fifty Shades of Grey at home he would have had to buy a copy to not be aroused by.

  10. On a side note can I just take a moment to complain about the fact that you shut down comments on the old man with the gun post right after someone accused me of liking hockey.  Its just so unfair.  Almost as unfair as arresting grown men for masturbating together.

  11. I agree this should not be something to be arrested over, unless he was whiping it out and trying to show other people his junk in the theatre! I always liked him as an actor and I still do, probly even more so now!  

  12. Never before in the history of mankind has there been so much free porn available to anyone with a computer or smart phone.  Why in the hell anyone actually pays for porn anymore is beyond me.  

  13. Wow. I JUST saw him in a charity play of Cats last weekend. He was sitting behind a desk the whole time…

  14. I think I’m most flabbergasted by the fact that in the year 2012 there are still adult movie theaters. How on earth is this place able to stay open?

    Also, won’t somebody please buy Mr. Willard a computer? Maybe someone would arrange a fundraising drive like they did with that bus lady who was abused by kids.

    1. I occasionally smoke a cigar, and I buy them in a cigar shop.  Two doors down from that cigar shop is an ‘adult’ store with a “video arcade” at the rear.  Countless patrons, nearly all men by my observation, and mostly older, amble in there and spend $5 or more to get a private room to masturbate in.

      Many people don’t have enough privacy to access the internet and masturbate in their own home without provoking societal taboos.

      I assume it is both creepy and gross in there, but if you feel compelled to do so and that’s the only way you can rub one out, well that’s what you’ve got.

      1.  A friend of mine worked as (his words) “a jizz-mopper” at a local porn store.
        He regaled me with lots of stories of that trade. I think the best one was the dixie cup left in one of the booths with “DONT WASTE IT’ written on the side in felt-tip marker ink.

    2. This was my first reaction, too. If anything, Fred should be commended for helping to keep the tradition of adult movie theaters alive. In Hollywood, no less! The place is called TIKI THEATER — XYMPOSIUM for goodness sakes.

  15. Well, he’s old school.  All the young bucks sit at home, hunched over their computers.  Not Fred.  He’s out in the wild, living life, and whipping it out in public.  I can appreciate that.

  16. What? You can’t ‘bate in a porn theatre? Mr. Willard doesn’t have a private room and a wi-fi connection?

  17. Fred
    even writing this again impinges on your diginity but I will say it. You have nothing to be ashamed off. It depresses me that craftsmen such as yourself can capture a corner of the public imagination so decidedly as the go to guy for superficicially decent Flanders style home cooking apple pie Americana but yet with that excrutiantinly funny odd sensibility.
    Its very simple 97% of human masterbate. Its the other 3% Im worried about.
    Fred, I am Sparticus!!

    1. Pretty sure the other 3% are liars, or possibly far right hyperventilator politicians who are destined to get caught in an airport bathroom having someone else do the pulling for them.

  18. my prayers and thoughts go out to his family and loved ones
    and the theater custodian.

    1. If the state of the floors are an indicator, the custodians all died out in the 70s.

  19. Between inane policing and entrampment by local police departments, a stupid “war on drugs” that isnt anywhere close to end, and the expenses on TSA according to that graph yesterday, id say that you, guys in the north, pay a lot of taxes for a pretty crappy service. 

  20. Americans have a funny attitude about sex.  Even up here in Canada, where we have our own sweaty judgementalists, the US panties-in-a-twist brigade is a genuinely fascinating cultural phenomenon.

    The brouhaha (I love that word) about Janet Jackson’s nipple, in an age of porn saturation, is one of the finest examples.  

  21. I’d like to think he was masturbating with exactly the same expression and body posture, adjusting his smoking pipe earnestly, while thumbing his Twinkie.

  22. So, Jamie, “consuming bad entertainment” is on the “things I disapprove of” list when it’s porn for women, but “consuming bad entertainment” when it’s porn for men is on the “natural things that just happen sometimes” list.  Cool.  Just checking.

    1. There’s erotica (or “porn for women” as you sexistly put it) out there that isn’t, you know, a stinking pile of garbage. Written by people who can actually compose a linear sentence, with plots worth reading, chracterisation that isn’t below the standard of most video game characters, and which make active use of vocabulary that is above the fifth grade level.

      Hating Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t hating on erotica, it’s hating on awful writing, churned out by hacks and publicised to insane levels, when there are far better alternatives available.

        1. Er, no. She’s the one who made that assertion, and I was calling her out on it.  Fifty Shades of Grey may well have been written (“written” seems like a strong word somehow; “churned out” seems more appropriate) with a female audience in mind, but it’s no more “porn for women” than porn films are “porn for men.”

          1. I was simply pointing out that Jamie labelled MEN openly enjoying sexual material in a porno theater (the films shown in which, though I can’t say from first hand experience, are likely churned out stinking piles of garbage with characterization below video game levels) as a natural thing to be expected in life, whereas WOMEN openly enjoying stinking piles of garbage with bad characterization that are sexual in nature is on par with parents yelling at their children and bad sanitation–things that “should be illegal.”  I find this sexist.

            It’s a double standard that I see when our culture criticizes women for enjoying sexual material that is dubious in quality, but doesn’t think it odd or wrong for men to peruse YouPorn for 30 second clips of amateur sex videos or go to porno theaters.

    2. Ha! Good point. I’d never thought of hating on 50 Shades as equiv of hating on porn plot lines. Not sure it’s that tidy …

  23. The further down the road we go to totalitarian police state, the police focus more on non-violent and defenseless and mostly harmless lawbreakers instead of well armed (both weapons and lawyers/connections) drug cartels.

    As for poor Willard, with so much free online porn and online delivery by mail of porn, one has to think that people who do what he did, are doing it in part for the danger of being in a public place and the threat of getting discovered and prosecuted. 

    I hope he is able to cope with the world of professional hurt he has brought on himself, as I have always enjoyed his on screen characters and it would be a shame to see his career end.

  24. Not to mention his great roles in various Christopher Guest movies, and also Wall.E! Sounds like the opportune time to rent his entire repertoire.

  25. There should be a law against paying too much (unwanted) attention to somebody in an adult movie theater.  Scratch that– there should be a law against looking at anybody in an adult movie theater.

  26. Being an asshole should be illegal???  Damn, I don’t want to live in your America.  You can have my right to call you Fucknuts when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

  27. It’s the same as some of the other half-hearted attempts at limiting things enough to please people that would want them banned but not enough to actual limit them.  We can sell bongs at every head shop and cigarette shop and even in the mall, but we have to put up big signs saying that they are for tobacco use only.  While technically, sure, that 3 foot glass water pipe with the pot leaf design could be totally purchased by someone who just wants to have a nice smoke of pipe tobacco, we all know that it’s WAY more likely it’s  going to be used for smoking marijuana.  We can sell sex toys as long as we market them as “novelties” as if folks are just buying them to laugh at and not to put to any actual sexual pleasure use.  Yeah, most folks are buying the penis shaped straws and blow up dolls as bachelorette  and stag party jokes, but most of the stuff in the adult store is going to be put to erotic use in the bedroom.  We can have strip clubs as long as we market them as Gentleman’s Clubs where Exotic Dancing entertainers work.  No one is going to the strip club for an intellectually stimulating artistic dance performance and high-brow discussions with other scholarly gentleman.  They want to drink and see some chicks wiggle around topless.  We pretend that no one drinks to get to drunk, no one uses blank media to illegally record anything copyrighted, everyone goes to Hooters for the food and reads Playboy for the articles.  We can have a porn theatre, but we have to pretend that folks are just going there to watch films.  We can’t be honest about what draws people to watch those movies and why they want to do it in public.

    Can’t we just be realistic?  Can’t we just acknowledge that other adults might want to do things that maybe don’t appeal to us, but aren’t harming anyone and just let them do it?  Can’t we just card everyone at the door of the porn theatre and make it wildly clear that they will be seeing explicit sex movies and may be exposed to nudity and/or lewd acts in the theatre and by entering they are consenting to that and if you don’t want to see that kind of thing you can just not go into that theatre?  I agree we have a right to expect a certain level of acceptable social conduct in public.  I don’t want to have to see someone masturbating while I eat lunch in a restaurant or ride home on the bus, but if I’ve bought a ticket and entered an adult movie house and I see someone touching themselves, that’s my own fault. I should have to take responsibility for it if that grosses me out and it should be no one else’s business if I dig it. 

  28. My wife’s extremely plausible theory is that this is what happens when such a theater forgets to pay the police their shakedown money.

  29. Are porn theatres a gay thing?  I’m guessing that the clientele is 99.9% male.  Do men enjoy getting together and whacking off in the same room (even if it’s dark) if they’re straight?  After all, private booths porn theatres are still around.  An inquiring girl wants to know.

    1. Porn theaters have mostly been straight. Outside of places like San Francisco, gay porn theaters would have been harassed out of business.

      1. Interesting… I was just imaging some gay guy going to a straight porno movie for the thrill of whacking off beside straight men who also had their schlongs out – but I guess most gay men want to jerk off with other gay men, et al.

  30. I wasn’t really even aware porn theaters still existed, I mean, with the internet and all, and google. I simply assumed the ability to whack it for free in the privacy of your own home had killed the whole concept of paying to jerk off in a dark room with a bunch of other people. Hm learn something new everyday I guess.

    But seriously, like, you can type anything in on google and get porn, these people must really not know what the internet is. Seriously, someone tell them to google something innocuous like “Melons”

  31. If Fred Willard wants to rub one out in the crusty leavings from the last show, then he should glaze his knuckles. He’s earned that right.

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