Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Pornhub says people keep searching it for "Joker," which we can only pray is just a piracy thing

Photo: Niko Tavernise (Warner Bros.)

Few websites on this existential misery sponge we call the internet have readier access to people’s deepest, darkest desires than Pornhub, a fact that the site likes to cheerfully remind us of from time to time by revealing some weird trend or spike in its vastly horded trove of carefully cultivated search terms. In the past, the company has reported on such exciting developments in horniness demographics as people’s reactions to missile scares, their potentially sinister intentions toward pizza, and the ways that millennials are killing the boobs industry. All of which we’ve taken with a certain shrug of “Yep, people love to masturbate” sangfroid, and yet, today’s revelations—as disseminated by TMZ—have still given us a bit of pause.

See, Pornhub released statistics this week suggesting that searches for “Joker” have skyrocketed over the last week or so, coinciding closely with the release of Todd Phillips’ very serious comic book movie of the same name. In the first four days after the film’s release, searches for the word have risen to 741,000, a massive surge that we can only—now that our brains have been terminally corrupted—compare to the reaction that might happen in the pants of a clown fetishist, upon seeing 30 or 40 of the objects of their obsession pull up in a very tiny car.

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Now, there’s a more mundane—if still illicit—explanation for all of this; it’s possible that this rising tide is just from people hoping to find pirated copies of the actual movie that have been uploaded, given that Pornhub has a notoriously lax attitude toward the removal of copyrighted content from its servers. (If you want an actual examination of that topic, rather than the series of Joker’s boners jokes we’re now contractually obligated to provide, Jon Ronson’s podcast The Butterfly Effect features some fascinating reporting on the ways the site has affected the adult entertainment industry.) So it’s possible that, like Hamilton before it, people are cruising the site in search of a less “funny-fuck me” kind of thrill. That being said, we heard from our buddy who heard from his older brother who heard from a Newswire writer who decided “Fuck it, might as well see what actually comes up,” that while entering said search term into Pornhub will, indeed, bring up at least one bit of Joker related content, it will also bring up multiple videos in which people in very bad Heath Ledger makeup are showing their friends a trick, if you catch our drift. You have been warned. Or whatever.

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