DID YOU READ

Randy Quaid and the Hollywood Star Whackers

Randy Quaid and the Hollywood Star Whackers (photo)

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I interviewed Randy Quaid once. It was at the Sundance Film Festival in January of 2008. Quaid was the star of the opening night film at Slamdance, “Real Time.” Quaid was on time and polite (if a little standoffish), and he seemed to have a lot of fun joking around with his co-star Jay Baruchel both before and during our interview. I’ve definitely met Hollywood people who seemed weirder and more clearly under the influence of unspecified substances.

That said, there was something about Quaid that struck me as a little… off. Most stars at Sundance look extremely uncomfortable in the freezing cold of Park City. They’re fresh off the plane from Los Angeles where it’s 70 degrees. The last time any of them even saw snow was watching a Christmas movie. Quaid, on the other hand, looked like a fashion designer who’d lost his mind and became a survivalist. He had this big, bushy beard and was wearing this enormous full-length fur coat and for some reason both the coat and the beard were the same exact shade of brown (here’s a picture of Quaid in the ensemble at “Real Time”‘s Slamdance premiere).

I always think about that day when I read about Quaid in the news. He and his wife Evi are in the news a lot, unfortunately. They’re always missing court dates or being accused of felony vandalism or missing court dates on charges of felony vandalism. Their behavior is so extreme — running out on enormous hotel bills, squatting in homes that don’t belong to them — it’s almost hard to believe.

Not as hard to believe, though, as the Quaid’s explanations for said behavior, which is detailed in a fascinating article in the new Vanity Fair. “The Quaid Conspiracy” by Nancy Jo Sales catches up with the Quaids on the lam in Canada, seemingly living out of their Prius (“Priuses are deceptively roomy,” says Randy). The whole piece is a mesmerizing read, but the real highlight is Sales’ rundown of the Quaids’ case against the “Hollywood star whackers” who they believe have killed Heath Ledger and David Carradine and have now set their sights on them:

“The lawsuit alleges that a cabal of crafty Hollywood lawyers, estate planners, and accountants maneuvered to turn the house into a sort of at-the-ready cash machine full of endless equity, all in Randy and Evi’s name…starting around 1983, Randy’s lawsuit goes on, the corrupt clique set up a fake living trust in order to steal more of his money, including residuals he was still owed by Warner Bros., which released the ‘Vacation’ movies. They allegedly used a falsified probate file for a fictional, deceased Santa Barbara woman named Ronda L. Quaid (‘Rond-ALL Quaid? Randall Quaid?,’ Evi kept repeating meaningfully) to cash Randy’s checks at City National Bank and deposit the money into the fake trust account.

But of course, Ronda L. Quaid was not a boogeywoman invented by some sort of fiendish conspiracy. She was a teacher and horse enthusiast; Vanity Fair even spoke to some of her friends (or did they?!?). Though Sales’ piece certainly takes everything the Quaids’ say with an enormous grain of salt, she also does an impressive job of avoiding the urge — and it was surely a hard one to resist — to just mock these crazy people. Instead, she paints a portrait of a screwed up couple whose love is as genuine as their insanity.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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