Apr 18, 2014
Jerry Stahl is best known for his memoir of addiction Permanent Midnight. A film adaptation followed with Ben Stiller in the lead role. Stahl has worked extensively in film and television. His latest books are "Bad Sex On Speed" and "Happy Baby Mutant Pills: A Novel." Also on our show Kevin Rooney, Paul Dooley, Carol Rafael Davis, John Matthews, and Film Critic Michael Snyder.
Stahl began publishing short fiction, won a Pushcart Prize in 1976, and made a living writing for magazines and doing porn stories for cash. One writing job as humor editor for Hustler meant moving to Columbus, Ohio and living at the YMCA until the magazine moved its headquarters to California. Stahl lost his job six months to the day after taking it and ended up on unemployment in California, alongside an escalating heroin dependency, which eventually led to his contracting hepatitis C.
He would go on to become a writer for the 1980s TV series ALF, Thirtysomething, and Moonlighting. In 1990 he would also write an episode for Twin Peaks and Northern Exposure. He has also acted in seven films.
Permanent Midnight, his 1995 memoir, was adapted by Stahl into a 1998 film of the same name starring Ben Stiller that raised Stahl's profile and set the stage for his ongoing work in film. He wrote the screenplay for Bad Boys II, which starred Will Smithand Martin Lawrence. His novels Perv: A Love Story and Plainclothes Naked enjoyed moderate success. I, Fatty, a fictional autobiography of legendary movie comedian Roscoe Arbuckle received a favorable review from Thomas Mallon in The New Yorker and attracted attention from a variety of national media. According to Stahl, Johnny Depp has optioned the film rights forI, Fatty.
Stahl edited The Heroin Chronicles (Akashic Books 2013) a collection of stories by various authors.
He introduced the dominatrix character Lady Heather who has appeared in a number of episodes, the first of which, "Slaves of Las Vegas", featured viewer discretion advisory warning, due to nudity and sexual content. Stahl has been criticised for his inaccurate portrayal of furries in "Fur and Loathing". However, while earlier episodes of CSI had been criticised for the treatment of transgender people, his episode "Ch-Ch-Changes" was highlighted as offering a sensitive portrayal of the topic. It also got the largest audience to date, 31.5 million, with his "King Baby" being the second most watched that season. That episode dealt with infantilism and the Parents Television Council declared it was the worst television show of the week.
Stahl and Barbara Turner wrote a screenplay for an HBO film about Ernest Hemingway and his relationship with Martha Gellhorn entitled Hemingway & Gellhorn starring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman. James Gandolfiniserved as executive producer to the film, which was directed by Philip Kaufman and first aired on HBO on May 28, 2012