Jon Ronson

  • Aired:  10/31/12
  •  | Views: 29,993

Investigative satirist Jon Ronson describes accompanying masked superhero Phoenix Jones as he confronted a large gang of armed crack dealers. (6:14)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE).

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK, MY GUEST TONIGHT, THE BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF THE PSYCHOPATH TEST, HIS NEW

BOOK IS CALLED "LOST AT SEA, THE JOHN RONSON MYSTERIES." PLEASE WELCOME BACK TO THE PROGRAM JOHN RONSON.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN!

>> Jon: FIRST OF ALL, LET ME THANK YOU FOR COMING OUT IN THESE DIFFICULT CONDITIONS.

I MET YOUR FAMILY BACKSTAGE.

LOVELY PEOPLE.

AND VERY KIND OF YOU TO COME HERE.

AS THE AUDIENCE AS WELL ON A DIFFICULT NIGHT.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

>> I WAS IN THE VILLAGE, YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN PROUD OF ME.

I STARTED TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS OF MY INSTAGRAM OMINOUS FILTER.

(LAUGHTER) THE TIME I THOUGHT THIS WAS REALLY BAD IS WHEN YOU NO LONGER NEEDED THE OMINOUS FILTER.

(LAUGHTER) AND THEN THE NEXT DAY I WAS TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS WITH MY "EVERYTHING'S GOING TO BE OKAY" FILTER.

>> Jon: WHEN DID THEY DEVELOP THE "EVERYTHING'S GOING TO BE OKAY" FITTER?

AND CAN THEY USE IT DOWNTOWN, PLEASE?

THAT'S THE SAD PART.

YOU HAVE DEVELOPED SOMETHING, IT'S ALMOST A NEW CATEGORY OF, LIKE, INVESTIGATIVE SATIRE.

>> YEAH.

>> Jon: YOU GO AND YOU EXPLORE WITH GREAT INTELLECTUAL CURIOSITY, YOU FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT FUNNY.

THIS BOOK IS FILLED WITH THESE STORIES.

YOU SPENT TIME-- IT'S NOT IN THIS ONE, IT'S GOING TO BE IN THE PAPER BACK, SUPERHERO.

>> WELL, YEAH, I PUT MYSELF IN EXTREMELY TKAEUPBG WHITE HOUSE SITUATIONS WHICH IS RIDICULOUS BECAUSE I SUFFER FROM ANXIETY SO

I WAS WITH A SUPERHERO CALLED PHOENIX JONES, A REAL LIFE SUPERHERO, DRESSES UP IN A SUPERHERO AND FIGHTS CRIME.

>> Jon: HE'S A CRIME THWARTER?

>> HE'S A CRIME THWARTER.

BUT THE WEEKEND I WAS WITH HIM THERE WAS NO CRIME TO THWART, HE WAS GETTING MORE AND MORE FRUSTRATED.

AT ONE POINT HE HEARD A WOMAN BEING ATTACKED AND HE WENT IDEA I CAN'T TELLSY!" AND HE RAN RUNNING TOWARDS HER.

>> Jon: SORRY, BACK THAT UP?

>> YAHTZE, THAT'S HIS SUPERHERO CRY.

AND HE SCREECHES TO A HALT AND THEN THE WOMAN JUST VANISHED SO THAT WAS NO GOOD.

BUT THEN HE WAS SO ANNOYED THAT THERE WAS NO CRIME TO FIGHT HE TOOK ME TO BREAK UP A GANG OF 30 ARMED CRACK DEALERS.

(AUDIENCE REACTS) I HAD NO IDEA.

AND HE HAD A BULLETPROOF SUPERHERO SUIT, I HAD A CARDIGAN.

SO HE WALKED --

>> Jon: WHAT WAS THE WEAVE ON THE CARDIGAN?

WAS IT A TIGHT WEAVE?

>> NOT EVEN THAT.

IT WAS NOT --

>> Jon: DID YOU HAVE IT OPEN OR DID YOU BUTTON?

>> WELL, I WAS VERY BUTTONED AS YOU CAN IMAGINE.

>> Jon: SO THESE CRACK DEALERS ARE GOING "WHAT ARE YOU DOING COMING HERE TO OUR BLOCK WITH YOUR STUPID OUTFIT?

THIS IS NOT FUN AND GAMES FOR US, THIS IS REAL LIFE." AND WHAT I WAS DOING WASES OSTENTATIOUSLY NODDING IN

AGREEMENT WITH THE CRACK DEALERS IN THE HOPE THAT IF THE SHOOTING STARTED THEY WOULD CONSIDERATELY IGNORE ME.

>> Jon: (LAUGHS)

>> IN THE END PHOENIX WON BECAUSE THE CRACK DEALERS SAID "IF YOU DON'T GO, WE'RE GOING TO KILL YOU."

AND PHOENIX SAID "I'M NOT GOING." AND THEY SAID "WELL, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO GO HOME." SO HE REALLY IS A SUPERHERO.

>> Jon: THE CRACK DEALERS LEFT?

>> THE CRACK DEALERS LEFT, YEAH.

>> Jon: PHOENIX WON.

>> I KNOW!

I KNOW!

>> Jon: IF YOU ACT CRAZY AT A CERTAIN POINT THEY'RE LIKE "THERE MUST BE SOMETHING HERE, MAYBE HE IS A SUPERHERO, HE HAS

LASERS OR SOMETHING AND CLEARLY HE'S HERE WITH WATTSON SO THAT'S GOT TO BE LIKE --" (LAUGHTER) BECAUSE IN A SUPERHERO SITUATION

I CAN SEE YOU BEING AN EXCELLENT SIDEKICK WITH GREAT -- LIKE, YOU'RE THE GADGET GUY.

>> I WASN'T AN EXCELLENT SIDEKICK THAT NIGHT, I'LL TELL YOU.

>> Jon: DID YOU YELL AT PHOENIX AFTERWARDS?

>> NO, BUT WHEN I GOT BACK TO THE HOTEL MY KNEES BUCKLED AND I HAD TO MOLD MYSELF UP ON THE CHAIR.

I'M 45.

THIS IS WHAT THE CRACK DEALERS WERE SAYING, THEY WERE SAYING, LOOK, THIS IS NOT HOW YOU WANT TO DIE.

(LAUGHTER) BELIEVE US.

THIS IS NOT HOW -- YOUR MOTHER WILL SEE YOU IN A CASKET AND THIS THIS WAS A RIDICULOUS-- I'M PARAPHRASING --

>> Jon: SURE.

>> --WAY TO DIE.

>> Jon: DID THEY MENTION HOW YOU WOULD WANT TO DIE?

>> THEY SAID WHEN YOU'RE VERY, VERY OLD, WHEN YOU'REN UP HAVING ADVENTURES.

>> Jon: HERE'S THE THING ABOUT CRACK DEALERS PEOPLE DON'T RECOGNIZE.

A LOT OF WISDOM THERE.

A LOT OF GOOD WISDOM.

A LOT OF REALLY NICE -- DO YOU KEEP IN TOUCH WITH ANY OF YOUR SUBJECTS?

IS THERE A RAPPORT THAT'S DEVELOPD?

>> I LIKE TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH PEOPLE BECAUSE I DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO FEEL -- YOU KNOW, I SPEND ALL MY TIME WITH CRAZY

PEOPLE BUT I NEVER LOOK DOWN AT THEM, I NEVER FEEL IMPERIALISTIC, I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE I CONNECT WITH THEM ON A

NEUROTIC LEVEL AND SO I LIKE IT WHEN THE PEOPLE --

>> Jon: DO YOU, WHEN YOU'RE WITH THEM, REFER TO THEM AS "CRAZY PEOPLE" OR WHEN YOU'RE WITH THEM DO YOU SAY "GREAT

IDEA, PHOENIX!

LET'S GO A TO A CRACK HOUSE."

>> I DIDN'T SAY THAT.

AT ONE POINT WHAT HE WANTED TO DO WAS GET SOME -- GET A HOTEL ROOM -- HE WAS WITH TWO OTHER MASKED SUPERHEROES.

>> Jon: (LAUGHS) WAIT, WHO WERE THE OTHER TWO?

>> PITCH BLACK AND GHOST.

>> Jon: PITCH BLACK AND GHOST?

>> YEAH, ALL MASKED.

HE WANTED TO GET A HOTEL ROOM AND HE WANTED TO CALL UP SOME PROSTITUTES AND THEN WHEN THEY ARRIVED HE WOULD ASK THEM IF

THEY WANTED HIS HELP ESCAPING THE WEB OF PROSTITUTION BUT I SAID TO THEM, LOOK, THIS IS A REALLY BAD IDEA BECAUSE WHEN THE

PROSTITUTES -- A IT'S GOING TO BE LIKE AN HOUR AFTER THEIR NIGHT AND, B, THEY'RE GOING TO GET HERE, SEE MEN IN MASKS,

THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE THINKING SUPERHEROES.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Jon: I'M TELLING YOU, MAN, INVESTIGATIVE SATIRE.

YOU'RE LIKE -- YOU KNOW HOW RICHARD ENGEL GOES INTO SYRIA, CRAWLS IN?

YOU DO THAT FOR COMEDY.

AND I ADMIRE THAT!

DEEPLY, DEEPLY IMPRESSIVE.

YOU'VE GOT TO GO GET LOST AT SEA, IT'S ON THE BOOKSHELVES NOW.

IT'S SKADZ OF THESE GREAT STORIES.

JOHN RONSON, INVESTIGATIVE SATIRE.

(CHEERS AND AP

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