If you are lurking on the internet forums since the mid-2000s, especially on the ones with lots of Japanese content, you will be familiar with a phenomenon called Billy Herrington aka Gachimuchi. Billy was a prolific same-sex adult film actor of the 90s who shot to fame among the internet generation around 2007 when a clip from one of his adult films become a nucleus of bait-and-switch videos.
Origin and First Appearance
Bill Herrington was famous even before becoming a meme. In 1996, he won the “Real Man of the Month” title by Playgirl magazine. He also featured in various same-sex adult films during the same time. But that was not the end of Billy’s popularity. Nearly a decade later, a clip of one of his films “Workout Muscular Men 3” was shared on a famous Japanese video-sharing platform called Nico Nico Douga (NND).
The video was titled “Professional Pant-Wrestling” with the thumbnail of the muscular Billy Harrington. This video was a subtle bait-and-switch video and became quite popular among NND users. As of now, that first video of Billy Herrington has more than 5.5 million views on the platform.
Spread to the Mainstream Meme Scene
The popularity of Billy’s homoerotic wrestling scenes eventually spilled over other parts of the internet as well. A couple of months after making records on NND, his videos made it to 4Chan. The exposure on 4Chan transformed Billy Herrington into a mainstream meme personality. During this period, hundreds of bait-and-switch videos with Billy’s footage appeared on the internet.
The Legendary Status in Japan
Even though Bill Harrington’s clips got popular worldwide, but the way they are enjoyed, used and celebrated in Japan, it was something else. The term Gachimuchi that literally means “fit and plump” also came from Japan. Japanese users also gave him titles like Billy Aniki and Forest Fairy (a Japanese slang used for homosexual individuals). Billy was even invited to an NND event that took place in Tokyo in 2019. Around 10,000 fans of Gachimuchi attended that event.
Japanese users have also used Billy’s clips in their MAD remixes. MAD is some next-level video memes with extensive editing. From 3D animation to fan art and sound sampling, many editing features were used on Billy Herrington’s funny adult film clips and dialogues for creating MAD content.
Billy’s underwear wrestling clips took the lead among all the “sub-genres” of Gachimuchi. These videos appear with the tag “Gachimuchi Pantsu Wrestling”. More than 11,000 such video exists on NND.
Besides being used as bait-and-switch video hooks, Billy’s clips were also used to make generic funny video and song remixes.
The Sad Ending
On a fateful day of March 2nd, 2018, Billy Harrington had a sudden death in a car accident. When the news broke out on social media by a former adult film director and his mom, the hashtag “Billy Aniki” started trending on Twitter to pay homage to Billy for his immense contribution to the entertainment industry.