Howdy Tabloids, welcome to the fiftieth character assasination of HACK. If you’ve made it this far, none of this is real yet all of it is true.
This past week I paid a new visit to an old friend. So this present week I present an old piece with new revisions.
For three whole decades sages, scholars, and crackpot conspiracists have attempted to explore the labyrinthine life of mankind’s most enigmatic ego-entity. In this rare and as yet unaired interview, infamous celebrity psychologist Dr. Robert Black gives The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart some simple answers to history’s most complicated question: Who is Pepe Hopkins?
“Even though this is a world where good men are murdered in their prime and mediocre hacks thrive and proliferate, I’ve gotta share this with you because I love you, and you feel that.”
—Bill Hicks, ‘The Vision’
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
October 1, 2017
Stewart: Our guest tonight is not an award winning author, porn-star, and stand-up comic. Instead we have some guy who wrote a book about that guy.
Please welcome…Doctor Bobby Black!
Stewart: Thank you for coming on. Professor…excuse me, Doctor Black…
Dr. Black: Yes?
Stewart: You’ve written a book…
(Stewart sighs while dropping head…laughter)
Dr. Black: (grinning) Yeess?
Stewart: I don’t know what to make of this! I mean this guy’s story reads like a fairy tale for the insane.
Dr. Black: That’s good, I wish I’d thought of that!
(Stewart presents book for close-up)
Stewart: OK, so the book is called Suck My Brain: The Life and Lies of Pepe Hopkins. Would you like to tell our readers the origin of this title?
Dr. Black: Well, you know that part that hangs under the penis? Oh, sorry! Can I say penis?
Stewart: Yes, you can say penis. I say it all the time.
Dr. Black: OK, but I’m talking about what’s underneath. Can I say scrotum?
Stewart: (holds hand to ear) Um, I’m being told that…yes, yes you can also say scrotum.
Dr. Black: It is the scientific term, after all.
Stewart: Let’s just call it a scrode.
Dr. Black: OK, so Pepe always called his—
Stewart and Dr. Black: —scrode—
Dr. Black: —he called it ‘The Brain.’ At his high school graduation, he walked around flashing people and screaming “The Brain!” The police were called. He was taken away and cavity searched for narcotics, which they found.
Stewart: And you’ve written a book about him because…?
Stewart: No I kid. It’s really a fascinating story. I mean, this guy is raised as a Mormon, nearly kills himself doing the California club scene, and then has himself ordained as a Buddhist priest in Amsterdam. At this point, he’s still only (looks down at notes) 12 years old.
Dr. Black: I see you’ve read this book very carefully.
Stewart: I did indeed. And while reading it I kept asking myself, “Why do I still care about this guy?” (Picks up the book and cluthes it) Yet I couldn’t put it down.
Stewart: How do Mormons have a boy and decide to name him Pepe? You would think, Jacob or, Jebediah—but, Pepe?
Dr. Black: First of all, Pepe is his middle name. His real first name is Jared. His great-great-great-grandfather was a pirate named Clutchy Hopkins.
Stewart: Oh! Let me tell ya, that pirate chapter was some crazy <beep>. But tell us more about the life of Pepe Hopkins himself. Pick up where I left off.
Dr. Black: Well, after his parents divorced he moved to Southern Jersey with his mother. This was during his sophomore year of high school. Once there, he reinvented himself. Everything he said, the way he dressed, all of it was an attempt to stick out and separate himself from his “peers.” I mean, he was light years ahead of the other students socially.
Stewart: How so?
Dr. Black: Well he didn’t stick to just one niche, see. He sought out like minded souls in all the cliques. It was actually a very lonely time, however, for you see had no one else to compare himself to. Quite frankly, it was boring.
Stewart: But in a couple of years he becomes a full fledged writer.
Dr. Black: That’s right. He befriended someone named Towel Boy, a fellow writer and self-imposed outcast. The two wrote furiously during this period and we have a record of it in The Coffeehouse Journals, a collection of some of Pepe Hopkins’ earliest poems.
Stewart: Yeah, he was like a beat poet of the post-ridiculous era.
Dr. Black: (laughing) That’s one way of looking at it!
Stewart: OK, here’s what I don’t get. How does a poet become a porn star?
Dr. Black: Not easily, I’m afraid. Which is why I’m still a professor!
Dr. Black: But seriously, the whole porn star thing was just a gag.
(Dr. Black reaches into his jacket pocket and hands Stewart a business card.)
Dr. Black: This is one of the original business cards that Pepe printed and passed out to women on the boardwalk.
Stewart: (mock deadpan) Seriously? He passed out business cards that said porn star and girls fell for it? (snaps fingers) Damn, why didn’t I think of that?
Dr. Black: And it worked! The legend grew and grew. Yet you will not find one pornographic film with Pepe Hopkins in it, and believe me people have tried!
Stewart: Are you one of those people, Doctor?
(Dr. Black grins and winks, more laughter.)
Stewart: OK, so he’s not a porn star.
Dr. Black: No, he’s not a porn star. He later became a licensed magician and mentalist. He traveled the country doing shows but then ended up getting fired one night… A drunk woman heckled him and he said he was going to make her disappear by sticking his magic shotgun in her mouth.
(gasps and laughter)
Stewart: Is he still a Buddhist priest at this point, or…?
Dr. Black: So then, he becomes a bartender. And then, he becomes a bartending magician.
Stewart: Right…this is when he’s telling offensive jokes while pulling rabbits out of whisky bottles and magically making the women switch underwear with each other, underneath their clothes!
(groans and laughter)
Dr. Black: As I said, you read this book very carefully.
Stewart: Yes I, shall we say, highlighted the swapping sweaty panties part.
Dr. Black: So he’s settled in Florida at this point and it’s there that he thrives. He becomes a legend in the Orlando bar scene.
Stewart: Isn’t that an oxymoron?
Stewart: I mean, that’s why he moved to China, right?
Dr. Black: He moved to Shanghai because of a breakup with the girl he was going to marry. Oh, we haven’t even gotten into his love life yet!
Stewart: Except for the panties.
Dr. Black: And the porn.
Stewart: Yes, and your secret stash of Pepe Hopkins porn flicks.
Stewart: Well, we’re almost out of time, but we haven’t even talked about his stand-up, which is what he’s generally known for.
Dr. Black: Yes, he infused his comedy with a living autobiography. And yet…most of it is lies, or rather, gross exaggeration.
Stewart: It is truth disguised as lies.
Dr. Black: True!
Stewart: I love how you described him in the book as “a compassionate con-artist.” And the last chapter is the most captivating. You cover his mysterious disappearance and the ensuing custody scandal down to the last detail.
Dr. Black: Yes, some say Pepe Hopkins is dead. Others say that he puts uses disguises and still haunts random open-mics across the world. His powers of persuasion are so great that he can hypnotize a whole audience, perform magic for them, and make them forget who it was they just saw.
Stewart: A comedian/magician. How original.
Stewart: You met Pepe Hopkins once, is that correct?
Dr. Black: Yes, it was right before he disappeared. He found out I was writing his biography and requested a face-to-face meeting. I didn’t know if he was going to help me or threaten my life if I continued.
Stewart: What happened?
Dr. Black: I was sent by submarine to one of his island estates. I never knew which one. We sat in a large room made entirely of mirrors…the ceiling, floor, walls, even the furniure…everything reflected everything else!
(Stewart and audience in silent suspense.)
Dr. Black: I ran down the basic outline, told him the stories I wanted to focus on. He listened carefully to every detail. When I finished there was long, tense pause and all he said was, “My life is a lie.”
Stewart: Mine too.
Dr. Black: Mine three.
Stewart: One last question. You seem to be the authority on this guy, so, the tattoo on his forearm. What does it mean?
Dr. Black: Om Mane Padme Om. It’s a powerful Hindu mantra to ward off danger.
Stewart: Well, sounds like he needed it. Anyone who can convince their substitute teacher to give them a blowjob is just asking for trouble.
Dr. Black: Indeed!
Stewart: Doctor, thank you for coming on. It’s a compelling book and a fascinating look at the man who was—and maybe still is—Pepe Hopkins.
(Stewart faces camera, holds up book.)
Stewart: The book is Suck My Brain: The Life and Lies of Pepe Hopkins. The man is Doctor Bobby Black! Give it up!
(Cut mic. Applause. Cue music. Stewart shakes Dr. Black’s hand as he leans in, speaking in his ear. Fade out.)
‘My Life Is A Lie’ originally published in Heroes and Hierophants © 2010 iUniverse Press. Any likeness to Jon Stewart is purely fictional. All details pertaining to Pepe Hopkins are purely speculative. No midgets were tea-bagged during the making of this HACK.
Towel Boy is the author of many unauthorized biographies including: The Szendrodi Code, If You Don’t Give Me Hugs: The Wit and Witticism of Aaron Kliger, The Legend of Kingfox Series, Suckas and Sycophants: A History of Haters, and It’s the Coup! – Outragerous Outcasts Who Ousted An Oligarchy.