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Friday, July 23, 2010

The Chatroulette Show at the Make-Out Room: Laughs, Music and Masturbation

Posted By on Fri, Jul 23, 2010 at 2:35 AM

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All of the performers got a few eyelid-lifting shocks out of their chance encounters, which made for some of the show's funniest moments. Watching German/Russian/Texan retinas pop at the sight of a  shirtless dude shouting a haiku about horses and salt licks (one of Staedler's more noteworthy moments) or a tall guy doing tricks with playing cards and a hat (Miller's a good magician) never got old. Chatroulette is supposed to be about surprise, but little of what one finds there is actually surprising. Encountering a bar full of people in San Francisco singing weird songs, wearing wigs and doing costumes? You don't see that on Chatroulette every day.

The assistants passed signs in front of the screen to tell chatters what was up.
  • The assistants passed signs in front of the screen to tell chatters what was up.
The best parts of the night were the few moments in which the random human connections that Bender hopes for were found. Proving that cellos are irresistibly sexy, Mulkey (aka Unwoman) dazzled a naked German (?) dude with big eyebrows (his reaction to her and her cello: "wowwwwwwwwwww"). Mad Noise made friends with a Texan wearing a creepy George W. Bush mask, who bounced along to "Umbrella," complained about the bad sound quality, and signed off, in true Internet-asshole style, by holding up signs that read "epic fail." (He was very wrong.) There weren't many chatters that lasted longer than a minute watching any part of the show, although the live audience seemed to enjoy it a great deal. (Mulkey and Mad Noise earned such effusive cheers from the live crowd at the end that they were deemed a tie for first place, winning $50 each.)

Miller tried hard not to get nexted.
  • Miller tried hard not to get nexted.
So more than making real connections, the Make-Out room crowd felt the sting of rejection: Rejection from veiny erect penises, rejection from flaccid hairy penises, rejection from adolescent males lounging in beds lit only by their computer screens, rejection from would-be video-sex-chatters, rejection from dudes scratching their balls, rejection from four-year-olds in the southern hemisphere, and rejection even from gaggles of teenage girls and boys looking for a little amusement on the tubes. The average span of attention was about three seconds, which doesn't say much for the future of civilized society. The Make-Out Room crowd, however, laughed and shouted through the entire production -- so the future of the Chatroulette Show, which returns there on August 27, looks pretty bright.

Critic's Notebook

By the way: Some smart people studied Chatroulette and concluded that its users -- who number about 35,000 at any one time -- are 89 percent male, 49 percent American, and 13 percent perverts. Clearly, they weren't studying it last night.

Overheard in the crowd: Person A: "Isn't that why we're here -- to see dick?" Person B: "No, it's not." Person A: "Oh ... I really thought it was."

Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown and the writer @iPORT


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Ian S. Port

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