Arts & Culture
The Big Jewcy: Jay Louis – Documenting The Hot Girls With Douchebag Phenomenon
Jay Louis, creator of HotChicksWithDouchebags.com has probably made more money off of douchebags than anyone save Summer’s Eve, Christian Audigier, and the producers of Entourage. Read More
Douchebag exists unchanged as a pejorative since its rise in popularity as such in the 1960s. One theory I have for its slang success is it’s particularly fun to say: The sharp “d” already conveys emphasis – the o and u create an “oo” sound like “oooo you asshole, I want to punch your face” – then comes “che” sounding like sshhhh as if you’re telling the jerk to shut up – end it all with a buoyant bah and a harsh g.
Jay Louis, creator of HotChicksWithDouchebags.com has probably made more money off of douchebags than anyone save Summer’s Eve, Christian Audigier, and the producers of Entourage.
I got to speak to Jay about d-bags, the success that came from being their first major critic, and, of course, Snooki.
Congrats on being named to Big Jewcy. How does it feel?
It is an honor and a privilege to share anything with Mila Kunis.
What were you doing before you started Hot Chicks with Douchebags?
Bemoaning the sad state of culture, raging against the creation of “seduction” books and occasionally enjoying a tasty package of HoHos at the corner deli with Mohammed, Jugdish, Clayton and Sydney. Sydney’s blind.
Was there one moment that made you decide that you were going to start the project?
It was at a sushi place in Hollywood, when a stunningly hot girl, dressed upscale classy walked in with a shirtless, shiny vest wearing greased up orange douchebag wearing a giant bling cross, tons of hair grease and designer sunglasses. It was then that I knew we had a problem that needed addressing.
The site does seem to be also heavily about the hot chicks as much as the douchebags. I always thought that the type of girl that would be attracted to douches is in a way a douche herself. Do you have a similar animosity for them?
You make a good point, which is that many of the couples do belong together, aka deserve each other. So, on the site I do try to mock the douchebaguettes (female douchebags), or what we call “Bleeths” (named after Semitic hottie Yasmine Bleeth, who was ruined by dating originator of 90s douchebaggery, Richard Grieco). However, with so many douches to mock, I probably don’t mock the douchebaguettes as much as I should. My book, however, describes how much of the blame, and responsibility, for douche culture lies with the female, who encourages the male to douche it up to gain her attention.
You are unavoidably immersed in this culture have noticed an evolution since you started your project?
When I started douche mocking, it was something new and, I think, well needed in culture. Now, so many have “borrowed” the humor from HCwDB on so many levels, a development I can find both flattering and annoying. But for the most part, it’s been great to see the crusade go viral, and the douches get the mocking they so rightly deserve.
Are there regional differences in douchebags?
Absolutely, my show on MTV helped catalog the differences between things like the east coast classing Jerseybag and some of the more mutant stains like the Seattle Hipsterbag or the Vegas Doucheclown. Scottsdale, Arizona is a surprising mecca for douche behavior, as is Chicago. New York and L.A. contain a far lower douche-to-hott ratio.
You’ve said that generally people roll with it. Has there been anyone with a really strong reaction?
Many people in the early years were extremely upset, with many lawsuits and death threats sent my way on a regular basis. One douche from Miami threatened to use his mafia connections to have me “taken care of.” Now it seems to have settled down.
When I was reading up on you I was reminded of Nick Kroll’s Bobby Bottleservice character. He now actually gets paid to do dates in Vegas as that character and has found that a lot of the fans of the character seem to be a lot like the people he’s making fun of. Do you see that a lot as well?
Many douches have taken on a self-deprecating style of humor, a comedic veneer over their fauxhawks and bling, which I guess is progress. Those clowns took themselves so seriously back in 2006. Now they try to laugh about it while still acting like douchebags, which is, of course, not an excuse. Just another variation of ‘bag behavior.
What do think of the Jersey Shore? Do you feel you paved a way for it? Not to mention you in effect discovered Snooki, did you know she was going to be a “star?”
Well, there was a lot of behind the scenes wrangling for my TV pitch at the beginning, and I know it was the impetus for both Tool Academy and The Jersey Shore. The success of season one of my show, Is She Really Going Out With Him? definitely played a role in MTV greenlighting The Jersey Shore and their casting Snooki from my show. I had no idea she’d be anything at all, she just seemed whiny, but I have to give her props, she is a self-made star. Someday I’ll tell all the juicy (jewcy) details about Hollywood and my show. Maybe in a future book?
What did you think when Kanye West’s “Runaway”, with the “Let’s give a toast to the douchebags” line, came out?
I was very pleased. My show was in its third season at that point, and I felt we’d really reached the height of cultural impact. Kanye was trying to cash in on a term he didn’t quite understand, but it was a pleasure to see him try.
Are you working on any new projects?
I’m trying to sell a number of new shows right now, one of which is very close to happening. For one of them I’m working with Kelsey Grammer, which has been great and surreal. I’m also still writing the website, which I love doing, and salute the hilarious regulars who keep me going.