|ROCK AND A HARD PLACE: STUFF MAGAZINE'S JIMMY JELLINEK.|
In the magazine industry, when you think of hard-hitting news coverage Newsweek comes to mind. When you think about sports, you think Sports Illustrated. When you think about black dudes, you think Ebony. And when you think about semi-famous chicks in provocative poses you think Maxim. Or maybe you think of Stuff. Maybe.
Regardless, Jimmy Jellinek, editor-in-chief of Stuff has decided to show us his editorial nutsack and join in the media meatball sexin' that is Rock and a Hard Place. Jellinek has been helming the titty-rific mothership for almost a year now after stints at something called "Complex" and a writer-at-large for FHM.
And just in time for Hanukkah, dude's letting the Jewfro fly.
Grab your dreidel, your yarmulke and your whitefish and embrace the laddy goodness of Jimmy Jellinek.
So, out of all the things you guys cover -- tits, gadgets, uh, beer pong, tits -- which is your favorite? Which portion of the job do you just wake up and say, "Fuck, man, my job rules!"? Or do you not even say that anymore?
Just the mere fact that I get to do what I get to do gets me up in the morning. The idea of having to do something else is so abhorrent I break out in hives when I think about the idea that this job is a young man's game and eventually they'll push the auto-destruct button on my back and I'll be forced to actually work for a living editing Chemical Digest. The tits aren't all that exciting anymore I'm sorry to say. You probably see more tits than I do on a given day. Ours are covered with the exception of the vaunted side-boob. And besides no women are even in our office. Radio DJs from Des Moines like to ask, "Hey man isn't it crazy working for Stuff Magazine?' I always tell them yes, of course it's crazy. "Of course we have a dwarf man servant offering up mints and amphetamines on silver trays. Of course I have a waterbed and do all my management lying down. Of course I have a bazooka bass system under my desk that rattles the whole office. I am such a pimp that I pimp other pimps out to pimps. Our walls are mirrored, there's a disco ball, waitresses and ponies." The honest answer is that I work with a lot of talented people who make my job look easy by working their ass off and that's what makes me so excited is seeing other people getting excited about what they do.
Do you think men's magazines can be considered "journalism" at any point? And do you consider anything Stuff does vapid? And is vapid good for this type of enterprise?
That's such a short-sighted douche-bag question from someone who dabbles in nothing but vapidity. The blogosphere, if that's what you fucking retards call it, has proven once and for all that news and journalism are whatever you decide it is. The institutions that used to decree authority or gravitas on a publication saying that this is journalism and that isn't are totally irrelevant. All that matters is what you stand for, the emotion and ideas behind your brand that make people want to log onto your venture or pick up your publication. Does that require a level of professionalism? The answer is yes. If there aren't great ideas, energy and emotion, backed up by solid reporting you will have no connection with your audience. Stuff reaches six million young men every month. These are people who have tremendous demands on their time, more so even than when we started doing this seven years ago. There was no broadband or internet culture, DVD culture, videogame culture, 300 channel cable universe, On Demand etc. All of these things were barely nascent back then so it was easy to attract an audience hungry for something different. Now a days you have to fight for every last reader because they're so fucking busy screwing around on Myspace or playing Halo or watching all 87 episodes of "Gimme a Break" on DVD. (So longwinded, sorry.)
In order to attract people to something that is inherently static, inherently not multi-media you have to build in an aspect of being indispensable to people's lives. In Stuff's case that means creating an entire lifestyle that millions of young men want to identify with and want to be part of. And in order to do that you must build trust. That comes from your humor, your sarcasm, your vapidity, whatever it takes to reach beyond the static that is their lives and give them a good bitch-slapping of culture.
Which chick that has ever graced your cover do you think had no business being there, but then once she put on a bikini you suddenly decided you'd let her pee on you if given the opportunity?
That's a stupid question as well. This is a $30 million a year business not a bikini car wash. Everything we do is vetted, tested, thought about and packaged. Were there some misses? Sure, but nobody's perfect. You spend much of your day groping around in the dark looking some insight or glimmer of information to tell you who is going to sell better. There is no exact science other than trying to come up with a supremely arresting cover image and marry it with cover lines that demand attention. The bigger the star the better the sales. Getting there is not easy but we are working our way back up the Hollywood food chain.
Would you rather get kicked in the nuts twelve times by Mila Kunis wearing roller skates or let Vivica A. Fox rip out your ass hair with her teeth?
I would rather be smothered by the women of "The Sticky Pages" from my favorite magazine Don Diva.
If you could compare Stuff to one of the successful women's magazines what would it be?
I would say a now defunct English mag that was big in the 60's and 70's
called Nova. By name it was a women's magazine but in essence it wasn't
defined by that label.
I'm a dad so I'm a dad's dad. That mean's the once a month I get let out of the house I get unacceptably loaded and show pictures of my daughter to people who are even more fucked up than I am and definitely don't want to see pictures of my six month old daughter at 3:30 a.m. in the basement of Siberia Bar. I fight all the time. In fact, I just got in a fight five minutes go. I'll kill you.
Do you think it's okay to slap a bitch if she embarrasses you in public?
"Never hit a woman, never, never hit a woman. But you can shake' em!" -- Chris Rock
Hey, how do you feel about Oddjack?
Tough break, bitch. In your business success and failure are measured immediately. In the magazine world it takes years and millions of dollars before somebody can call you a loser.
Thank you! So, if you could have a job editing any other magazine in the world, what would it be? Why? How? Wait, not "how." Sorry, that doesn't make sense.
I would be a crime reporter for a daily tabloid in Mexico City. Shit is crazy down there, like that movie Amos Perros but for real.
So, you're married and shit. Now, honestly, as EIC did you ever have your wife give you a hummer under the desk when you're spending those late nights laying out pages during closing?
My executive editor Dan Bova takes care of that. We are very close and free with our sexuality at Stuff Magazine.
Would you rather let Andy Pemberton give you head under your desk or throw a puppy down a flight of stairs?
Shut the fuck up. Pemberton is a good guy. Did he fuck your girlfriend or something?
So, I guess that means you hate puppies? Anyway, do you think New York City makes assholes out of media people or do you think asshole media people come to New York City?
This business attracts assholes like flies flock to poop. Most of us are just frustrated high school newspaper geeks who spent our teen years rubbing our hands, going, "I'll show you." So when it comes time to actually show somebody something you have to wring the most you can from the sponge. So you have all these dickheads whose sense of purpose and power derives from where they sit on a masthead. What else you going to brag about, the pay? Hell no, a first year analyst at Goldman Sachs with a coke problem makes more than most of us do.
Which magazine editor is most undeserving of their success?
That schmuck from Men's Health...
What's the longest you've ever stared at your own crap?
I'm a mercy flusher.