I don't know if you're familiar with the concept of the doppelganger. It comes from the German word 'doppelganger'. Which means 'doppelganger'.
It's just that I have one. A significant one. An actor.
Actually, when I say an actor, he's really more of a pâ¦
Well, let me start at the beginning.
The first time anyone made the connection was on a Saturday afternoon quite a few summers ago, when I'd started growing my hair. (That's such a stupid phrase, 'growing my hair'; I didn't actively 'grow' it. It grows on its own. I stopped getting it cut regularly.)
I used to present a music segment on an afternoon 'magazine'-type radio show. I was on air after the book lady, and before the gardener and the vet. One time, during the introduction, the host suggested on air that, what with my long hair, I'd started to look a bit likeâ¦ (he paused for dramatic effect)â¦ a porn star.
"Dude!" I admonished him in mock outrage. "My mum listens to thisâ¦".
But I had no idea what he meant, to be honest.. How did having long hair make me look like a porn star?
Then, a couple of weeks later, a kid on a scooter called out to me from a across the street, insisting I was Ron Jeremy.
"Wha?" I thought.
Turns out Ron Jeremy is a porn star. With quite an endowment. And I look amazingly like him. From the waist up.
Around this time somebody at work dubbed me 'Dom Jeremy', and it stuck.
And then I started doing stand-up. Despite writing about it and interacting with the industry just about forever, judging Raw Comedy heats and finals and all of that stuff, I didn't actually start standing up for myself until 2010. And I realised I needed to write some specific material to deal with hecklers. Because often, on stage, the heckle I'd receive consisted of just two words: "Ron Jeremy!"
One time the audience consisted solely of federal police. They were on a night out. Of course they gave me the 'Ron Jeremy' heckle. Only, this time it was before I even started talking. I'd barely taken the stage, and in the split second between my getting to the microphone and opening my mouth,
My friend Hayden Brotchie had suggested I point out that I "get mistaken for Ron Jeremy 9.75 times out of ten" (because that's how big his dick is, in inches).
One time I had the good sense to announce, "Mate, if I had an inch for every time someone called me Ron Jeremy, I'd actually be Ron Jeremy."
And so it went.
Cut to March this year. The NSW Sexpo - a "sexuality lifestyle expo" - is on at Darling Harbour. Ron Jeremy is going to be there.
"No, but you've got to go there and meet him. Have your photo taken with him," my friend insists.
So I go. But my Catholic sensibilities really need pornography to be less out-in-the-open. Self-conscious as ever, just less self-assured. I don't last long. I don't encounter Ron Jeremy. Funny thing is, nobody mistakes me for him, either. I guess Sexpo is the one place where people are going to be so familiar with him that they can't be fooled by someone who happens to look a bit like him.
But I spend the whole time walking around without my glasses, assuming someone somewhere will come up to me thinking I'm Ron Jeremy.
No such luck.
It's the day-trippers who mistake me for Ron Jeremy. The people who deal with him and his product on a regular basis will know full well that I'm not him.
Then I get the phone call.
My buddy Chris North, currently working on the Merrick Watts Highway Patrol drivetime show on Triple M, says they're doing some kind of promo with Ron Jeremy's rum company, and I should rock up to one of the events and be my doppelganger's doppelganger.
So I rock up at Triple M, where Ron's been in attendance, figuring someone's gonna mistake me for him. But nobody looks at me twice. (Clearly everyone there watches so much porn that, like the patrons of Sexpo, that will not be fooled by me. Or they watch absolutely none. I reckon it's the former.)
I end up going to the first bar with Chris. Some heads turn. A staff member approaches, but realises, up close, I'm not Ron.
The rum corps appear: the Aussies importing a new brand called 'Ron de Jeremy' ("the adult rum"!) Dutch people arrive. They are the originators of this particular spirit. Turns out, 'ron' is Dutch for 'rum'. Realising the famous man with the impressive encumbrance is in fact called 'Rum Jeremy', they came up with the idea to make a 'Rum of Jeremy' - or Ron de Jeremy - figuring Ron Jeremy may well be happy to front it. And he is.
When Ron appears, he's amused that I exist, mostly because it seems to drive his minder mad. We chat. I tell him I have a 'Ron Jeremy' routine in my stand-up set. He gives me pointers. He especially gives me comebacks - that would work a treat if I was Ron Jeremy. ("Tell them, 'Ron Jeremy's dick is so big, it has it's own dick. That's bigger than yours.")
Strangers want to get into photos with me because I look like him - they figure I'm his twin brother or something.
The sort of thugs who would normally be trying to beat me to a pulp for 'looking at' their girlfriends are offering them to me. Which is weird.
Eventually I head home, utterly hammered on Ron de Jeremy (hammered on Ron de Jeremy, not by Ron Jeremy, mind). Not without some cool photos. And even a clip of Ron Jeremy giving me Ron Jeremy lessons.
The question I was asked most, after the event, was, 'did you compare willies?'
Yes. Of course. I was totally prepared to compare dick size with a renowned porn star that measures nine-and-three-quarter inches.
And let me tell you something:
Mine is precisely as long as his is.