the old new york

Proud Pornographer Al Goldstein Dead at 77

Screw Magazine publisher, Al Goldstein, entertains a crowd of onlookers outside the 1980 Hollywood, California, Adult Entertainment Awards held at the Palladium.
Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

Shameless Screw magazine publisher Al Goldstein has passed away in his native Brooklyn, the New York Times reports, describing him lovingly as “a cartoonishly vituperative amalgam of borscht belt comic, free-range social critic and sex-obsessed loser who seemed to embody a moment in New York City’s cultural history: the sleaze and decay of Times Square in the 1960s and ‘70s.” Through his porno rag, which debuted in 1968, and later his public-access show Midnight Blue, Goldstein single-handedly made America more filthy.

From a VA-hospital bed on 23rd Street, Goldstein spoke with New York Magazine in 2010:

Close-ups of him licking slabs of beef, tight shots on his crotch as he used a Thighmaster — Goldstein was proudly repulsive. He was also among the earliest of the First Amendment porno-warriors. Screw predated Larry Flynt’s Hustler by six years, and Goldstein was arrested 21 times for his unprecedented indecency. “Obscenity was mostly boring,” he says, “but I thought it should be legal.” The highlight was winning a federal obscenity trial in Wichita in 1974. “I honestly think, down the road, one day, like Lenny Bruce, there’ll be an Al Goldstein article capturing his life and all the battles he’s waged,” he says. “It won’t matter because I’ll be dead, but I really think it will make something positive.”

Below, some NSFW highlights from Midnight Blue, including the Goldstein’s signature segment “Fuck You” and an extended puppet-blow-job joke:

Proud Pornographer Al Goldstein Dead at 77