just got an extremely troubling call from the manufacturer. not good
November 21, 2012 5:12 PM   Subscribe

A Note From Our Founder.
"Friends—When I started this company, it was with one goal in mind: To market a high-quality, fun, innovative novelty T-shirt that combined the face of late night titan Jay Leno with the iconic imagery of similarly-first-named Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara.
We went live with a soft-launch of our product late last night (November 19th), a T-Shirt we dubbed the Che Leno.
The response was overwhelmingly one of negativity and confusion."

"That’s why today, JeShirt.com is announcing a MAJOR revamp of our product line with the launch of our new T-Shirt, the Jay Guevara."

Update: "Due to an uploading screw-up, we accidentally ordered a batch of 'Jay Guevara Shirt' T-Shirts and are offering them to YOU for a limited time only."


Update: "We appreciate your support but PLEASE stop ordering the 'Thanks-Je-Ving' shirt There IS NO 'Thanks-Je-Ving' shirt and it is COSTING US MONEY"

Follow the still-unfolding Je Shirt saga on Facebook and twitter.
posted by Atom Eyes (94 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Business performance art? Performance art business? Performance business art?
posted by pashdown at 5:17 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

it looks like Eddie Munster. Also this made me laugh in a prolonged way that made my wife think less of me.
posted by boo_radley at 5:22 PM on November 21, 2012 [17 favorites]

I had a good run, I hung on longer than most my age, but I no longer understand the internet.

Is this how my parents felt the first time they heard rap?
posted by Ad hominem at 5:24 PM on November 21, 2012 [53 favorites]

A few years ago for an internet message board secret santa (not this one) I unwrapped the gift from my secret santa and immediately began scratching my head. As far as I could tell I had received a cartoon drawing of Jay Leno. It was a couple days before I realized I had actually received an attempt at a caricature of myself from someone who had never actually met me and only knew what I looked like from a shitty scanned photo on the forum photo board.

I ended up sending it across the country to a friend in Portland who displayed it prominently in her office for several years. I'm not sure what she's done with it since.

I guess my point is that Jay Leno is the cause of a lot of shittiness in this world.
posted by bondcliff at 5:25 PM on November 21, 2012 [16 favorites]

I guess my point is that Jay Leno is the cause of a lot of shittiness in this world.

Hear, hear!

D. Letterman
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:26 PM on November 21, 2012 [5 favorites]

Not bad considering this probably only cost $30 to set up.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:28 PM on November 21, 2012

Wait, so can I order these or not?
posted by cmoj at 5:28 PM on November 21, 2012

The Che Leno looks more like Willem Dafoe to me.
posted by Randwulf at 5:28 PM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

now I'm making a horrible rasping noise and my wife is telling me I'm an idiot.

Curse you Jay Leno.

Curse you.
posted by boo_radley at 5:29 PM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

Che Leno needs a hammy smile and visible chin. As it is it looks like Willem Dafoe.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:30 PM on November 21, 2012

This is making me laugh so hard. I am embarrassed to admit how hard.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 5:30 PM on November 21, 2012

Y'all are drunk, right?
posted by Mezentian at 5:34 PM on November 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

Also where is Tom Scharpling in all of this? I feel like he's got to be in the mix somehow.
posted by boo_radley at 5:36 PM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

Well, I ordered a Limited Edition Jay Guevara Shirt T-Shirt. A shirt with a picture of a shirt is just irresistible. Plus it is a limited edition.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:37 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Reading this post before investigating the links, I completely thought that the referenced negative reactions were going to be about the casual use of an image of Guevara that many Cuban-Americans consider highly offensive and glorifying a historical personage that they regard as a murderer.

But it is all about bad photo-illustration and poor business decisions. Huh.
posted by Morrigan at 5:37 PM on November 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

Mezentian: "Y'all are drunk, right?"

What, you're not?
posted by boo_radley at 5:37 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ok, how long before they "relent" and decide that the thanksgiving shirt is going to be a real design after all? I admit to kinda liking it, it's a pop culture turducken.
posted by contraption at 5:41 PM on November 21, 2012

I'm confused.
posted by latkes at 5:46 PM on November 21, 2012

Let's make this happen.
posted by wobh at 5:46 PM on November 21, 2012

speaking of turducken.
posted by HuronBob at 5:47 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

This is brilliant.
posted by brundlefly at 6:00 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Well, it's no pet-food delivery service, but I reckon these guys are on to something...
posted by pompomtom at 6:08 PM on November 21, 2012

This has made my day. I am resisting a very strong urge to buy these for everyone I know.
posted by goshling at 6:12 PM on November 21, 2012

"i got in with some bad bad dudes to fund this thing, i'm mega fucked if they don't hotcakin' asap

I....I cannot stop laughing at this. It's far past the tight twitch of about to pee and on into "the floor must contain my mirth now" zone.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:13 PM on November 21, 2012 [5 favorites]

Hang on, he printed 15,000 of these things?!
I am laughing so hard at this. Now I feel quite sorry for the dude & I am getting closer to actually buying some. I should turn off the ADSL before I do something silly.

These would make AWESOME Christmas presents, though.
posted by goshling at 6:17 PM on November 21, 2012

This is almost funny. Very Leno.
posted by srboisvert at 6:18 PM on November 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

The confusion is likely due to the fact that Jay Leno can be found nowhere in the design. ( that is to say, if you did not know "Jay Leno" going in, you would not discern it from looking at the shirt.)
posted by spock at 6:19 PM on November 21, 2012

I was rubbing tiger balm into my forearms while reading this, and I think I've laughed so hard I've actually snorted tiger balm up my nose. Oh god, my head.
posted by goshling at 6:20 PM on November 21, 2012

I just ordered 15,000 T-shirts with the likeness of Che Guevara photoshopped to look like an anodyne late-night talk-show host. Seriously. Like 30 minutes ago.

Boy do I feel dumb now.
posted by adamrice at 6:23 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

goshling, I almost thought you said you were rubbing tiger balm into your fore... something else. And I'm like Don't do that! That would hurt!

This guy seriously didn't actually print 15,000 -- did he? I can't believe someone would actually do that, that's seriously a joke, right?
posted by symbioid at 6:25 PM on November 21, 2012

I love the tweets to Donald Trump and Spencer Gifts, asking if they want to make a deal. And the undeleted "direct message" 3 hours ago makes me wonder how real this actually is.
posted by Stynxno at 6:25 PM on November 21, 2012

Dude watches a lot of Tim & Eric. These shirts are lame. Surely you don't own all of those famous rock-n-roll scientist t-shirts yet? Buy those instead.
posted by Brocktoon at 6:25 PM on November 21, 2012

If you put three of these Leno/Che/Ape faces howling at the moon, you'd have an Internet craze.
posted by Nelson at 6:27 PM on November 21, 2012 [5 favorites]

Stynxno: "And the undeleted "direct message" 3 hours ago makes me wonder how real this actually is."

Yeah, I'm pretty sure this is deadpan comedy. Although I wasn't sure until I saw this Facebook post.
posted by brundlefly at 6:49 PM on November 21, 2012

He's looking for investors? He should TOTALLY being going after the now-unemployed Chevy Ches.
posted by argonauta at 6:52 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Are they deliberately, ironically bad? Or were they accidentally bad, and now he's trying to run with it?

The turkey ones are kind of cool, though; I might order one.
posted by Forktine at 6:55 PM on November 21, 2012

brought to you by Community writer and all-around funny dude jason woliner.

this is good.
posted by raihan_ at 6:55 PM on November 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

If you'd like to know if this is for real, click here.

If you'd like to retain your innocent wonder and sense of mystery, click here.
posted by kyleg at 6:56 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Canceled my order, the Jay Guevara T-Shirt Shirt is already over. Now the Internet is all about animals without necks.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:57 PM on November 21, 2012 [11 favorites]

(Okay, maybe a Community writer wouldn't be so gung-ho about the "Chevy Ches" idea. OR WOULD HE.)
posted by argonauta at 6:57 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Pepsi Je
posted by absqua at 7:05 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

why do I ever read Metafilter after more than a wee dram?
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:05 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

So, is he actually selling shirts?
posted by Area Man at 7:06 PM on November 21, 2012

I would have guessed that was a long-haired Boris Karloff, but now I'm starting to suspect that I'm actually the butt of the joke.
posted by Naberius at 7:10 PM on November 21, 2012

I made Che Felix after the mutiny episodes in BSG. Something about his face just fits, you know?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:25 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

The more I look the more absurd it gets...it really shouldn't be this funny.
posted by anthom at 7:34 PM on November 21, 2012

Could a Che' Leno/'Jump To Conclusions' mat be far behind?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:43 PM on November 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Clearly, at 3:30 in the morning, my sense of humor is in its own drowsy place, far from anywhere this is funny.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 7:44 PM on November 21, 2012

You people are actually buying some of these? God damn it.

God damn.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 7:48 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

From what I can tell, two of the dudes invovled are Peter Atencio and Jason Woliner. Woliner is Aziz Ansari's creative partner and Peter Atencio is a director (he does all of the Key and Peele stuff). These are funny guys.
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party? at 7:48 PM on November 21, 2012

A little while ago I was chatting with a friend the same age I am (39) about this commercial, which confused and upset him. I tried to break it to him as gently as possible that he just wasn't getting it (I don't really get it myself) because we're no longer the target audience for these ads. We used to be, and back then advertisers made insulting attempts to pander to us, but now it's someone else's turn.

Anyway, reading about this t-shirt makes me feel the same way as that commercial, so I guess I can expect an increasingly steady diet of this emotion from here on in. So it goes.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:54 PM on November 21, 2012

For some reason the t-shirt thing was only mildly amusing to me, but the animals without necks made me laugh so hard I wheezed and cried, but only for about 30 seconds.

I guess in a couple of years I'll laugh so hard that I cry but only for 15 seconds. Eventually it will be down to a wheeze and a single tear and then on to the next thing. What's after that? Is there some irreducible base unit of attention?

Anyway, I love this kind of thread. Please carry on. I'll take all the wheezing and crying due to unexpectedly ridiculous things I can get.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 7:56 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

What's after that? Is there some irreducible base unit of attention?

No, there is only darkness of the soul, a howling void confusion, and over-protectiveness of one's lawn.
posted by Mezentian at 7:58 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Should we love Che Guevara?
posted by KokuRyu at 8:13 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Do the t-shirts actually exist? Has anyone REALLY bought any? I'm too scared to go through all the checkout steps incase I do accidentally buy one (or more) of these things, but the checkout process does seem to lead to Paypal.
I love them, but I don't love them $40 (inc postage).
posted by goshling at 8:44 PM on November 21, 2012

This is just another chance to screw the guy who took the Iconic Che image over anyway.
posted by Mezentian at 9:00 PM on November 21, 2012

Is Jason Woliner Losing It? - “is it http://jeshirt.com or http://jeshirts.com i cannot remember the login, help.”
posted by unliteral at 9:05 PM on November 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

I vote for Performance Art on a Genius Level.
And more interesting than that thing Joachim Phoenix did.
posted by Mezentian at 9:07 PM on November 21, 2012

Massive. Absolutely stunning in its epic breadth and scope. The feel-good t-shirt parody site of the year. A blockbuster.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:03 PM on November 21, 2012

I completely thought that the referenced negative reactions were going to be about the casual use of an image of Guevara that many Cuban-Americans consider highly offensive and glorifying a historical personage that they regard as a murderer

Nobody but Republicans in election years cares about Cuban-Americans.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:37 PM on November 21, 2012

I can't believe that people are actually speculating that a professional comedy writer might have bought 15,000 shirts on the assumption that they (or rather it) would be big sellers.
posted by kenko at 11:19 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, God, this was way funnier than it had any right to be!
posted by Harald74 at 11:54 PM on November 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

In all honesty I bought one. I figure they are real but not actually printed yet. There is like an entire strata of t-shirt entrepreneurs like snowpocalype 2011 that rely on the idea to go viral before even printing the shirts. I figure this is like that.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:32 AM on November 22, 2012

I'm not going to join in the pile-on here of laughing at this poor guy. Have a heart, man.
posted by orme at 2:13 AM on November 22, 2012

If this shirt really exists, it shouldn't. If this shirt doesn't exist, it should.
posted by tommasz at 6:09 AM on November 22, 2012 [10 favorites]

If this shirt really exists, it shouldn't. If this shirt doesn't exist, it should.

Schrödinger's Shirt
posted by HuronBob at 8:20 AM on November 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh that was Schrodinger? I couldn't tell by looking at the shirt. It looked more like Leno. Or maybe Willem Defoe.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 11:00 AM on November 22, 2012

I had a good run, I hung on longer than most my age, but I no longer understand the internet.

Come on, you put two different things together and you get wit. So much easier than the old days.
posted by bongo_x at 12:36 PM on November 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

thank you for causing my evening to end with five straight minutes of desperate snorting and involuntary drool, it is not as common an occurrence as you might think
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 11:19 PM on November 22, 2012

Everyone I have shown this to has laughed incredibly hard upon seeing the "Je shirt T-shirt", it's the perfect three-part joke setup. This may be some kind of intentional performance art, but I don't really care, it's funny as shit.
posted by jake at 1:08 AM on November 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

The original looks like a whole Planet of the Apes (sorry apes).
posted by hat_eater at 9:51 AM on November 23, 2012

The latest update: "Because of some personal issues going on in my life (which are not being helped by the JeShirt situation), I was asked to not be home last night. With nowhere else to go, I wound up spending Thanksgiving evening alone in the JeShirt warehouse. 'Warehouse' is putting it nicely; it is basically a storage locker. Unfortunately, this was a one-way ticket to what is becoming a now-typical 'meltdown'."
posted by Atom Eyes at 4:00 PM on November 23, 2012

Fun and funny. Surprised fewer people aren't playing along.
posted by syzygy at 4:15 PM on November 23, 2012

Black Friday factory seconds deal.
posted by maryr at 10:05 AM on November 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is hilarious. Are there any reports by people who've received the shirt?

Oh, and is the thing about losing money through the orders for the Thanksgiving realistic? PayPal is one of those things that I try not to learn too much about, lest I lose my will to live.
posted by Kattullus at 5:05 PM on November 25, 2012

I got an email:


Thank you for your recent order of one or more novelty T-Shirts at JeShirt.com. There have been a lot of questions raised over the last few days about the site, and we wanted to check in with you, our most valued customer, and set some facts straight.

A) We are a REAL T-Shirt company. 

Though the company was founded by Jason Woliner, who has worked on a number of semi-successful comedy television shows, and has scripts in development at numerous Hollywood production companies, this is NOT a "joke" T-Shirt company. The shirts are real and they WILL be delivered to your door as promised.

B) Jason Woliner is NOT having a very public meltdown.

As with any newly-formed small business, there have already been a wave of ups and downs in the JeShirt story. Such is the nature of small business, particularly under the reign of "Comrade" Obama. Jason Woliner has been doing his best to get the word out, on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, and raise awareness about our fun, exciting line of T-Shirts. He is a passionate person, and such people can tend to have a mercurial side. There have been a few mental/emotional incidents this week that, with the power of social media, have become somewhat public. But to call it a "meltdown" is a bit of an exaggeration. Jason Woliner is fine, he's back at work, and he is committed to bringing you, our customer, the best in funny T-Shirts that combine the face of late night titan Jay Leno with the iconic image of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. Customer service is an important part of business, and we are doing a great job responding to your needs as a customer, considering the circumstances.

We cannot thank you enough for your support. The shirts are real and we will be shipping them as soon as possible.

Jason Woliner

Also, if you were offended by referring to President Obama as "'Comrade' Obama", we sincerely apologize. It is not in our company's interest to take sides in politics or play the blame game, we are simply speaking the truth, but do not mean to offend the sensibilities of those who choose to keep their eyes closed to the plight of small business under the current administration.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:43 PM on November 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Now I don't know what to believe.
A) We are a REAL T-Shirt company.
I believe.
Such is the nature of small business, particularly under the reign of "Comrade" Obama.
Ha ha.
Jason Woliner is fine, he's back at work, and he is committed to bringing you, our customer, the best in funny T-Shirts that combine the face of late night titan Jay Leno with the iconic image of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara.
I believe again.
if you were offended by (us) [sic] referring to President Obama as "'Comrade' Obama"
Ha ha.
posted by unliteral at 7:42 PM on November 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

What this narrative needs now is a rival T-shirt company that also exclusively produces shirts combining the iconic Che shirt with the face of Jay Leno, but which does a really slick, professional job at it.
posted by contraption at 2:11 PM on November 27, 2012 [5 favorites]

Or produces, perhaps, marginal quality David Guevara or Conan O'Guevara or Che Stewert t-shirts or some such. Che Handler maybe?
posted by maryr at 9:06 PM on November 27, 2012

Whoa, things got really bad for Jason. But it looks like he's on the mend.
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:06 AM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

OK, lost it at


[cowbell image]


posted by maryr at 11:05 AM on November 30, 2012

Jason interviewed at How Did This Get Made. Starts 10 minutes in. Crazy gonzo.
posted by painquale at 11:02 AM on December 4, 2012

Crazy gonzo indeed. I BELIEVE.

I've taken the liberty of making a transcript for posterity:

Earwolf: We have a very special interview today, I told you earlier in the show today, we have the founder and creator of jeshirts here, ah, Jason, you might know him from being ah, producer, writer, director of Human Giant, ah, is a producer, writer director of Eagleheart and now actually has a brand new t-shirt biz, ah, it's jeshirt.com?
JW: It's jeshirt.com, yeah, thanks for uh, letting me come on and plug it.
Earwolf: Oh yeah, no, I'm really excited about this. Just tell everybody if they're not familiar with jeshirt, what we have going on.
JW: I started this company a couple of weeks ago, um, I had this idea that I thought would be a kind of a fun, funny novelty shirt, you know people walking around with this Che Guevara shirt.
Earwolf: Yes! Like a red shirt like with Che Guevara.
JW: Yeah, and then people, I've seen a lot of spoofs of that and I just kind of was sitting at my kitchen table and I had this like, image, kind of hit my head of uh, like Jay Leno's face in, in like a Che in like, on a jeshirt and so…
Earwolf: So like, like Jay Leno is replacing that face.
JW: Yeah. Cos their name sounds the same and so I thought it was funny. So I thought I could sell some of those shirts. You know I'm not a business man and I've never done anything like that, I've been like, you actually introduced me to the show Shark Tank and I've been watching a ton of that and it kind of, I don't know about you, but it gets me in a kind of entrepreneurial…
Earwolf: Yes, because you start to watch those people and you think, I can come up with something like this, a tie, a necktie, you know rental business.
JW: Yeah, or the guy, the cat drawing guy you told me about.
Earwolf: Yeah, I love the, he, he makes so much money on that, that cat drawing guy. It's a huge deal, but that's because Mark did a write up.
JW: Yeah, and I felt like oh, I could do something like that. So, I had this idea and uh, and I used to do Photoshop stuff and so I just kind of played around with it and I got a friend of mine to help make it really better and put it on t-shirts and uh, and then, then just kind of, you know like I really get into stuff, kind of go overboard, so I ordered just a ton of these shirts.
Earwolf: How many shirts?
JW: Um, in the neighbourhood of 15,000 shirts. Which is…
Earwolf: Wow! Wait, so you ordered 15,000 shirts just to start, like, before you even put it online or anything.
JW: I felt like it was just like a slam dunk, um, because of how popular the Che shirts are with college kids, because of how popular Jay Leno is with you know, Americans, with people.
Earwolf: Sure, he's popular.
JW: He's the king of late night, and so I had these shirts ordered but I rushed them.
Earwolf: How much did that cost, I mean, uh, how much are the shirts selling for?
JW: Uh, they're selling for, uh, I think for about $19.99 right now.
Earwolf: And, and so just to make a profit on that, you're making a little bit of profit on that right, I mean…
JW: I'm making a few dollars per shirt.
Earwolf: So, that, that's an expensive, that's a lot of money there, like $20 a shirt, I mean that's a lot of money that you're putting out.
JW: Yeah, no it's a tremendous amount of money, but I know from watching that show, I know all small businesses will go, you go into the red a little bit and then you come up into the black and then you start generating profit and so I'm gonna take that leap, I think I have a good idea and so I announced it, um, the shirts came, um, Monday, two weeks ago and I announced on Twitter and uh, right away it was not the reaction I expected. People were really confused, people uh, didn't know it was Jay Leno's face. People didn't know why I was in the t-shirt business. They thought it was a joke or just like a Photoshop thing. I was like, these are real shirts.
Earwolf: Yeah, when I first saw it, I thought it was a joke, you made just like a funny Photoshop of Jay Leno and Che Guevara.
JW: So you thought it was funny?
Earwolf: I, I thought it was a good, I thought you were doing a, no I thought you were doing like a bit, something like that.
JW: Okay, I've done like jokey stuff before, and so people er, like didn't know who it was, I got text messages, I got you know Facebook messages from people, who is that? that's funny.
Earwolf: It was confusing because it looked a little bit like a monkey or something. It didn't look like Jay Leno cos the way it was shaded, I don't know.
JW: I heard monkey, I heard like Willem Dafoe face, Schwarzenegger a few people said. None of those, none of those guys names rhyme with Che so that doesn't make any sense to me why anyone would do that.
Earwolf: Okay, right, well, well okay, right.
JW: So I… I kind of panicked, I started fighting with people on Twitter, er.
Earwolf: Is that jeshirt?
JW: That was under my actual name, under jwoliner, uh, later that night I made the jeshirt account up, I needed to kind of separate my personal life from the business.
Earwolf: Right
JW: Um, and then just, ah, wound up fighting with people from the jeshirt account, and so we kind of panicked and ah, I called the guy that had done the shirts, I put together a kind of a very hasty uh, second shirt that has Jay Leno's face on it in a very clear way, I don't think anyone…
Earwolf: Well, yeah I did…
JW: …could be confused.
Earwolf: I actually have seen that shirt, well I mean, continue, yeah, it's a little, we can explain it.
JW: Yeah, there's no doubt that it's Leno, and I thought people would love it and it's more, like, twice as negative, the reaction to that, to that shirt.
Earwolf: Yeah, well I mean, just so you can paint a picture for those people listening, you basically just, like, I don't know if this is the right term but you use the, the Photoshop eraser and you just put like a picture of Jay Leno right there, so it's not like the shirt, it's not like the face is, the face is literally on the face. Would you describe it like that?
JW: Yeah, I think that's a good description.
Earwolf: Okay, the face is on the face. Yeah, you have to see it too… so alright now you have…
JW: It's at jeshirt.com, you can go check it out, you can buy it, ah, it's an add to cart system, it works.
Earwolf: Okay.
JW: Paypal for it. So, I ordered just as many of those shirts, put the order in.
Earwolf: So now we're talking 30,000 shirts, in the neighbourhood of 30,000.
JW: Yeah, storing them in a warehouse, a storage space near my house. Um, and the week just kind of got worse and worse, and there were some other printing errors and very few people were buying these shirts and ah, it's just been kind of a roller coaster that only, only, goes down.
Earwolf: Well I mean ah, I've known you for a long time and I mean I, you've done amazing stuff but you're ah, I mean as a friend I'm nervous about [nervous laugh] what has been going on because I saw the Thanksgiving shirt you released and that was…
JW: That, er, yeah that's not a shirt, that's a…
Earwolf: Wait! That's not a shirt?
JW: No, that was another confusing thing is that we released like a, a, like a fun Thanksgiving message er, that was the image from the Jeguevara shirt of er, Jay Leno's head inside Che's face, er, we put that like inside like a turkey's silhouette and put that image on a picture of a shirt because we sell shirts and people everywhere… we put it on the site, and the only way I can add an image to that site is by giving it a product ID, so it had an add to cart button on it, but that was not a shirt that we printed or intended to print or could ever at this point afford to print.
Earwolf: So, you, how many, did you get any orders on that shirt?
JW: Yeah, like about 1,800, a little more actually.
Earwolf: Well, 1,800 on the gobble gobble shirt, then how many on the other two shirts, roughly?
JW: Roughly, between six and seven
Earwolf: Wow!
JW: Sets.
Earwolf: I didn't realise it was that low. I will buy one of these shirts. You should buy one, this is why we're talking today.
JW: I'll give you a shirt.
Earwolf: No. I want to buy it, I want to support, but um, I will say that you know June and I are obviously friends with you and we were nervous about some of these tweets that had been happening.
JW: No, people have been contacting me and asking about if I'm melting down. I'm okay, like that, that's a, you say that word and everyone kind of starts whispering to each other, like, oh, this guy's just going crazy, this guy's had it.
Earwolf: I mean I'm talking, I mean there are text messages at like midnight where you just write like, 'Fuck shirts' or you know…
JW: Can we curse on here?
Earwolf: Yeah, you can curse on here.
JW: Yeah, I said 'Fuck shirts', because fuck shirts, shirts have…
Earwolf: But I mean…
JW: …not done me any favors.
Earwolf: And, and then I, I don't remember the wording of this one but it was like 'Customers equal human garbage' and stuff like that.
JW: I've also been drinking a lot. I don't remember a lot of that stuff.
Earwolf: But you know, yeah, so I mean obviously you've been upset but then I read your tumblr, the jeshirt tumblr, and it seems like things are kind of like turning around?
JW: Things really did kind of turn around this week. Um, there's kind of a crazy thing that's happening, in that I've had a bit of a change of heart uh, in terms of the way I see the world and kind of had my eyes opened a little bit to this… I was in a very dark moment and I was kinda pulled out of it and, and it does seem very clear now that we've shifted the focus of the company kind of away from the… from just putting Jay Leno's face on Che Guevara's head and it's just become about a different thing.
Earwolf: Um, but I don't mean to like undercut you kinda found God, right, I mean, would you say that, I mean?
JW: Yeah it's weird, you know it's a little… it's fresh, it's a little bit weird to talk about right now.
Earwolf: But you did rename the entire site PRE, P.R.E.
JW: It's a line that jeshirts put out.
Earwolf: Oh, so you can still get the original jeshirt?
JW: The secular shirts are still available, yeah.
Earwolf: Now the PRE line. Um, now talk to me about this, I feel like this is such an interesting thing. I've known you for a long time and you and…
JW: I've never been religious…
Earwolf: No.
JW: …before. Uh, I mean just check out the shirts, there's a lot of fun, popular, faith inspired shirts that we just put out that…
Earwolf: You guys have a 'Keep Calm, Carry On' like you do a parody of that.
JW: Yeah, it's like a fun British parody.
Earwolf: Yeah, and you did one that is like 'He died for our sins'
JW: Yeah, yeah you know it's all very much based around faith and spirituality and it's a very popular thing.
Earwolf: Again, I got to tell you, as a fan of Shark Tank I actually do think you may have found a really cool angle here because you know there's one shirt you have that I really like. If you're like a fan of acid metal and you're really religious, you like that show, that one sketch where they say 'more cowbell' and stuff like that.
JW: Yeah, more cow, yeah.
Earwolf: What did, how does this shirt?
Earwolf: Yeah, it's for walking, Yeah, I mean yeah.
JW: But you have a shirt that actually incorporates that, that says, can you tell me how it says 'There's more cowbell, he died for our sins'.
JW: Ah, 'Jesus Christ died for your sins'.
Earwolf: That's great. I do think that that is a market you know. I mean, but you are a believer. Are you a believer now, or you are… are you doing this as a … I mean?
JW: Yeah.
Earwolf: I mean this is it. How are these shirts. Are the PRE shirts, the PRE line, is it selling well?
JW: They're not moving yet. I feel like I need to stick with it for a few more days to really kinda convince people. It's been very crazy, there have been a lot of changes, er, in the last week it's been very nuts. I think it needs to settle a little bit. People really need to believe that this is what we're invested in as a company, this is the direction we're moving in. We're not just going to pull up stakes and do something else, uh, this is just not about just finding a market of Christian shoppers that are over 140 million strong and growing.
Earwolf: Okay.
JW: And once people er, kind of settle into that, um, I feel like they're going to start moving and hopefully it won't take too long because er, the holidays are coming up and er, shirts make a great stocking stuffer no matter what you celebrate.
Earwolf: And now I mean I will say that I've noticed a real change in the tenor of you tweets, ah, you are putting bible passages now. Um, and…
JW: Yeah.
Earwolf: …your whole attitude. Have you been…
JW: Well I found is that you can um, basically whatever anyone throws at me, haters you know, uh, people saying that I'm being insincere, people saying uh, you know, whatever, that I'm going to turn back to drugs and alcohol, um. you can just google like, what did the bible say about blank and pages and pages come up of just bible quotes, quotes about anything and so I can just throw these at these guys and they generally stop responding to me and unfollow and stop paying attention.
Earwolf: Now are you getting a new fan base in because of this kind of religious turn, Have you found that you've kind of activated this market at all?
JW: You know, I think a lot of people will check twitter but not click follow so I think i, you can't really track those numbers, you can't really track sales like that kind of stuff. We don't know…
Earwolf: Yeah, I think it's the same thing, that's obviously like Mr. Clean or, or you know, Skittles, they probably have a twitter account but we're not following them, but we know that they're there if you ever want to go there, I mean it's sort of…
JW: I don't see how that's the same thing.
Earwolf: Well, I'm just saying that people don't want to follow a business but they'll check in on it maybe, I don't know.
JW: I don't know, hopefully.
Earwolf: So, I mean, you seem, I mean you seem good, the shirts are, I love the shirts.
JW: Yeah, they're not, they're real, they're not, you know the other thing I'm up against is because you know that I've done a lot of work in comedy, we've worked together a lot…
Earwolf: Yeah.
JW: People think it's a bit or a joke, it's not, the shirts are real.
Earwolf: I'm actually looking at one right here. I'll take a picture so people can see it.
JW: I've brought you some stickers as well. I've invested, I've put everything into this company. Um, literally to the detriment of my career, I had a project go away last week because…
Earwolf: You were going to direct a movie, right?
JW: In serious talks to direct a movie and I bailed on a meeting er, just to do some basic inventory stuff. I don't think it was that. I think they just read my twitter and think that I've had a kind of mental break.
Earwolf: Have you been getting that response from people, like I mean I know that I heard you on the Best Show, you know our friend Tom Sharp, and I think we all are…
JW: Tom's been supportive, he let me go on.
Earwolf: Yeah, it's great, I think we all want to support you and and we want to make sure you're not losing your shirt obviously, I think there's some trouble at home, how's that thing going?, I know that you…
JW: I can't really talk about that, it's not, you know it's not great, it's not helped.
Earwolf: Even with the new outlook and everything, you haven't made it better?
JW: No. That's definitely made it worse.
Earwolf: Alright, well you have these shirts, you can go to jeshirt.com, yes, is that the address?
JW: Not the letter j, je.
Earwolf: Okay.
JW: Shirt. S.h.i.r.t.
Earwolf: Now are you sure about this because on that show you misspelled the url.
JW: Yeah, I blew it.
Earwolf: Yeah, so this is jeshirt, je shirt.
JW: Yeah, no hyphen. j.e.s.h.i.r.t. dot com. And we are, you know it's 24 hours, there's other, there's non-shirt items on the site.
Earwolf: What kind of non-shirt items are there?
JW: I'm trying to get rid of my car.
Earwolf: I saw that actually, and er, and I don't even want to talk about the noose, um…
JW: Yeah.
Earwolf: …but that yeah, the car, and you are, I imagine you can't keep your shirts, I mean, you can read all this on the tumblr blog, the jeshirt store tumblr, but I imagine you can't get back into that storage facility where the shirts are when the collapse happened?
JW: No, I had to move the shirts out of there.
Earwolf: So where are the shirts now?
JW: Ah, at this place. I should probably plug that too. It's um, my buddy is letting me stay at this er, kind of a home for older men that he works at. Um, it's the Claremont Home for Men. It's c.l.a.r.e…
Earwolf: You probably don't want, you don't need to…
JW: m.o.n.t. home for men dot com and they're being very nice to me, mostly, er…
Earwolf: Wait! are you living there?
JW: Yeah.
Earwolf: You're living in a…
JW: I'm staying there right now, yeah.
Earwolf: Is it like a halfway house?
JW: No, no, it's like, it's like an old, it's like a home but no, there's no women.
Earwolf: Okay, and obviously so you're not in your house, you've got your shirts and you're able to get online and deal with that sort of stuff.
JW: Yeah, the wifi's not great, also because I uh…
Earwolf: You're doing this all by yourself, that's a thing, do you look for interns, are there any interns, are you looking for that?
JW: I shouldn't even be, I know like in comedy you're supposed to say we and I usually forget that a lot.
Earwolf: Alright, so okay.
JW: We are doing this by myself.
Earwolf: Well, I did want to talk to you about, I mean um, obviously you've done some amazing stuff this last season, Eagleheart, what are you working on now, are you working on anything?
JW: Um, really just focussing on the shirts right now.
Earwolf: And before the shirts came up you were writing a couple of things and what's going on with that?
JW: Yes, it's all kind of gone away.
Earwolf: Okay, well, um, jeshirt dot com. You got a bunch of items on there and I hope you sell the car. The car is damaged though I mean right?
JW: It's damaged. It explains why on the site eh…
Earwolf: I don't think you should…
JW: …the trunk got a little fucked, um…
Earwolf: I hope you won't have a lawsuit with that, we shouldn't talk about all the different stuff that went down there.
JW: There's legal stuff going on too. Also, if you are looking at the car there's minor fire damage to one of the doors since that photo was taken. Which I also shouldn't…
Earwolf: But, but, it is a fun looking car because it does have the image, the jey image on it and I think that that's really great.
JW: Yeah, I had it, er, what's called a half wrap put on it because I couldn't afford, er, all the doors.
Earwolf: Well, it looks great and you know what, I've watched Shark Tank a bunch and I've seen people come in and they, all they need is just…
JW: Yeah, they're not casting again until Spring is the email I got.
Earwolf: So, you tried to actually get on Shark Tank?
JW: Yeah, I emailed them, I said er, that I thought that it would be a great fit and I'm ready to face the sharks and let's do it and then…
Earwolf: Have you been tweeting them too, anything?
JW: No, I almost got thrown off of twitter because I sent the same tweet to all five sharks, er, which was, is a little disingenuous. To each one I said um…
Earwolf: They almost kicked you off twitter?
JW: 'You are my favourite shark, I'm ready to swim in the tank with you', or something, er, and then right after I tweeted that at Lori, one of the two female sharks, I got thrown off twitter, I couldn't log in, and I got a message saying that, er, it was like an anti-spam thing that kicked in, so I was, I was worried that some of the sharks had reported me just because, I don't think they check the chat replies of the other sharks, and they see that I'm saying to each one that they are my favorite but…
Earwolf: You never know though but, they, they seem tight, um, at least when I see the show, they, they, I mean I would…
JW: They seem like they hate each other.
Earwolf: Well um, that's because they're in the business mode right there, but I mean that's, that's like when they're having dinner and stuff like that, I imagine, but I can see this on CUBC, I can see this on CUBC and I think you should definitely check it out so jeshirt dot com, buy one of these t-shirts, help a guy out er, if you're a fan of comedy this is going to help er, Jason kinda get back in to the swing of things and I think you've had a rough month and er, you know, don't know if I want to er, I don't know if I can say your girlfriend's name on the air, but I…
JW: Sure.
Earwolf: …well Becky and you guys are great and I just…
JW: We were, [ironic chuckle] we were.
Earwolf: Well, I think it, I think, you know what, you're in the thick of stuff right now and …
JW: Pretty sure.
Earwolf: …and you know what, I think that this guy, maybe this is what you need, this is what you need to get like started…
JW: Wait!! This is what I need!!!? What?
Earwolf: I just think that maybe you need a chance, you know, you're at the Claremont house and that you're…
JW: I'm sorry, I'm getting, like the surly stuff is coming out, um, I'm gonna…
Earwolf: Okay, yeah.
JW: …thank you for letting me do this.
Earwolf: Yeah, well I'm sorry, alright, well, thank you and, and hopefully we'll have you on the show on…
JW: Do you want to like hang out or get dinner or something later, or…
Earwolf: Um [long pause].
JW: No, you pretty, you know…
Earwolf: I wanna…
JW: …deal with this stuff.
Earwolf: Okay, no, no, no, I got stuff, but let's hang out, we'll definitely hang out, I mean, yeah, we'll definitely hang out and um, actually it's so funny because June, as I said Beck [mumble] and I, um, alright, so we will check out your blog and um, all that sort of stuff so, alright, Jason Woliner from jeshirts, follow him on twitter and um, definitely check out the tumblr blog.
JW: Do I just leave now?
Earwolf: Well, we'll just cut it, can we cut now. Well, okay, so, that was Jason Woliner, um, [chuckle] sorry, that got a little bit weird at the end there, um, definitely go check out his web site and er, I just hope that he finds some success in this.
posted by unliteral at 4:22 PM on December 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

I just want to note that just now, almost exactly ten days after I first read about jeshirts.com, I finally got the "Je-shirts" joke. And I'd sort of idly wondered what the "Je" stood for.
posted by Kattullus at 5:06 PM on December 5, 2012

Wow, thanks unliteral!

This is the best ad campaign ever.
posted by painquale at 5:37 PM on December 5, 2012

JW: We are doing this by myself.

Brilliant. The whole thing. I print t-shirts for Internet retailers, and the whole thing is just such a marvelous send-up.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:48 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

You think so? Read or listen to that interview. I think the guy is troubled/in need of help/is happy where he is/doesn't give a fuck what you think. Either way it's up to him.
posted by unliteral at 3:47 AM on December 6, 2012

I don't think anyone could be in doubt after the last two Tumblr posts (not that there was much room for doubt to begin with).
posted by Kattullus at 5:14 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ah, the long con.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:15 AM on December 6, 2012

It did get a little funnier as it went along.
posted by bongo_x at 11:35 AM on December 6, 2012

What's not clear to me is whether it was a long con from the beginning. He clearly didn't make a noose out of shirts and punch a cop. But were all of the drunken Tumblr rants fake? Did he or did he not order way too many shirts? This might have turned into a comedy bit only partway through, and that ambiguity makes this an especially great piece of bizarreness.
posted by painquale at 2:12 PM on December 6, 2012

Okay, the latest tumblr post has me convinced. DO NOT BELIEVE.
posted by unliteral at 5:03 AM on December 10, 2012


Actually I don't, that would be an all kinds of horrible story if real.
posted by Kattullus at 7:16 AM on December 10, 2012

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