Working for Mr. X: California 1988 – Podcast 83

Working for Mr. X: California 1988 – Podcast 83

On this episode of The Rialto Report, we listen to a rarely heard documentary made in 1988, called ‘Working for Mr. X’.

The mid to late 1980s marked an inflection point for the adult film industry. Home video had firmly taken over from theatrically released movies, making the business more widespread than it had ever been before. Never in history had so many people consumed sexually explicit materials in their own homes.

Deep Throat (1972) may have marked the point where anybody could go and see a pornographic film, but the invasion of home video signaled that everybody could watch one. So, what happens when your audience changes from the raincoat crowd to the suburban mom and pop – and their kids?

But despite this mainstreaming of the sex industry, it still remained a contradiction. On the one hand it was extremely popular (we’re talking about an estimated 200 million video tapes rented yearly in 1987), yet at the same time, it was also condemned by American society through legislation, social stigma, and myths.

The one thing everyone agreed on was that the industry itself fascinated people, and naturally this attracted the attention of the media, and this extended to the broader sex industry, and included phone sex, book stores, strip clubs, and sex toys.

The documentary you are about to hear was recorded at the end of the period often referred to as the golden age of adult film – and features interviews with actors, lawyers and producers who worked in the world of California’s pornography industry such as Vanessa del Rio, Richard Pacheco, Ona Zee, Jeannie Pepper, Mike Horner, Shanna McCullough, Nina Hartley, and Susie Bright.

It explores the phenomenon of video, and the effect it had on the sex film business, and also considers whether issues such as race, legal decisions, AIDS, and drugs were changing the industry.

This podcast episode is 58 minutes long.

The musical playlist for this episode can be found on Spotify.


Jeannie PepperJeannie Pepper


Heather HunterHeather Hunter


Christy CanyonChristy Canyon


  • Posted On: 23rd September 2018
  • By: Ashley West
  • Under: Podcasts


  1. Bob Shelton · September 23, 2018 Reply

    At last: As much as I love the well-researched written articles and the curated photo collections, I’ve missed the podcasts. Please don’t stop!

  2. HANK · September 23, 2018 Reply

    I’m sure I’m not the only person who’d love to hear a Jeannie Pepper podcast……. and there is now where I’d rather hear it than here. Just sayin’…

  3. FMB Props · September 23, 2018 Reply

    Does anyone look better with a tan than the ravishing Christy Canyon? Always wanted to see Christy and another fantastic actress Kimberly Carson do a scene with the biggest stud in porn at the time big bad Field Marshall Bradley

  4. Luís Virgílio Caldas · September 24, 2018 Reply


    You are making an amazing work! I love Ona Zee!


  5. Gabriel Wheeler · September 25, 2018 Reply

    Thanks for this. It’s refreshing to hear a documentary that’s not condemning or exploiting porn for it’s own benefit. This documentary actually seems to be interested it the the subject of porn and it’s appeal to performers and it’s audience.

  6. Pulsatyr · September 26, 2018 Reply

    I only met Shanna McCullough one time, but she was far hotter in person than even in film. She also had a great sense of humor and seemed genuinely friendly. Of the celebrities I’ve met, she’s the one who left me feeling best about being a fan.

  7. Rod · September 26, 2018 Reply

    Can you do an Erica Boyer feature?

  8. Bondurant · September 30, 2018 Reply

    Is there a known avenue to watch the film?

  9. Matthew · October 1, 2018 Reply

    Have you ever considered tracking down Mike Ranger or Janey Robbins?

  10. Zach S. · October 7, 2018 Reply

    Great look back – as always! Cheers Rialto Report!! As to the content, and not to minimize the validity of the justified complaints, but oh my goodness what a bunch of Leftist claptrap about victimhood. Those poor people’s problems are not “the industry” but themselves. Victimhood – in America – is more often a choice from within than a condition imposed from without. So nauseating…. So sick and tired of the whining and immaturity.

  11. Uncle Stevie · September 5, 2020 Reply

    To Bondurant: The piece was a audio documentary from Pacifica Radio.

  12. Uncle Stevie · September 5, 2020 Reply

    Hi! Longtime listener of your fascinating podcasts, but first-time poster. My apologies for this long post!

    First off, thanks for sharing this audio documentary. An interesting look back on the adult film industry at a time (late-1980’s) when it was changing from film and porn theatres to video cameras and home videocassettes. Interesting.

    One bit of trivia and a request, though. Near the end of that piece, an adult film actress named Suzanne Myers was interviewed and it mentioned about her starting an erotic video company made by, and catered to, and starring lesbians. The name of that company was Tigress Productions. And that name rang a bell, because Suzanne had performed in many porn films under several names (Suzette Holland, Monti Stevens, and Montana Brent), but is perhaps best known as Cris Cassidy. Her Tigress Productions made several lesbian-themed movies, all of which were starred and directed by her. This was back in the late-1980’s and early-1990’s. One of those movies, called ‘Hay-Fever’, featured Nina Hartley!

    But I haven’t heard or seen Cris Cassidy since then. Perhaps this would be a great opportunity to find out what her story is and find out what she has been doing nowadays, for a future podcast!

    Once again, thanks to the Rialto Report!

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