From the Department of Mysteries: Billy Herrington is a beefy gay porn star whose career peaked ten years ago in the United States. In Japan, he's a video mashup internet meme hero. What gives?

It seems that the Japanese—not just the gays, but all of 'em—have a special fondness for Herrington's butt-smacking wrestling videos and the way he says certain American phrases ("you got me mad now", 'Like embarrassing me, huh?") that sound like something completely different in Japanese ("you are not distorted" and "you are sloppy recently", respectively). So Japan being Japan, in 2007 they decided to honor this curious Mr. Sparkle the best way they knew how: by creating whacked-out, aural-seizure-inducing internet video mashups, that were uploaded to their insane Japanese version of YouTube, Nico Nico Douga.

After two years of bizarre internet fame, Herrington was finally invited to come to Japan a couple of weeks ago to appear on an internet talk show. He threw his shirt into the audience, slapped a few asses, and said his famous catchphrases ("You are sloppy recently!!"), to the shrieking delight of its manga-weened audience.

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I'm not sure what, if anything, this says about Japanese people and their culture. But it is interesting to note that while the internet fanboy culture of Japan was giving rise to near-softcore totally gay Nico Nico Douga sensations, our snickering pizzafaces were still mired in the outre-heteronormative playground of "2 Girls, 1 Cup." So... put that in your non-phallic pipe and smoke it, socio-techno-genderpunk scholars.

More coverage on (NSFW!) Fleshbot.