Randy Quaid and his wife, Evi, after a round of illegal house-sitting, are currently seeking asylum in Canada because they believe that, like Heath Ledger and David Carradine before them, they are being pursued by a cadre of Hollywood assassins, “Star Whackers” in their terminology, who are trying to kill them for advertising money. The pair appeared on Good Morning America today to explain to Andrea Canning that they are not crazy and their predicament is real. Instead they convinced us that, possibly unbeknownst to themselves, they are making a high-level satire that may be to celebrity journalism what This Is Spinal Tap! is to rock music.
The Onion could not have choreographed this better. The elements are all pitch perfect: Randy and his wife don’t have the affect of crazy people. (Helping here, Randy has shaved his beard.) So when they say crazy things — and, oh wow! They say crazy things — there is the exact right zany disjunction between content and delivery. Also, in a very short time, they totally establish themselves as “characters” in the Waiting for Guffman sense: two people who bicker constantly, are insanely in love, and also insane. And then there is Canning, who is right out of news-anchor central casting and will not give up her “anchorman” voice. It all adds up to outstanding bits/exchanges like this:
Canning: Are their any Hollywood celebrities you feel should be very afraid right now?
Evi: Lindsay Lohan.
Randy: Yeah, definitely. And Britney Spears.
Evi. Mel Gibson too. I think he was drugged. I think he was slipped a mickey. That’s my personal opinion.
Randy: I think she was sent in to do him in.
Canning: kill him?
Evi/Randy: No, no! Just figuratively!
Evi: “We are refugees, we are Hollywood refugees seeking to be left alone by the criminals in America.”
Evi: “Who would be trying to kill us? An estate planner who had created a living trust and a county that could cash in Randy’s royalty stream forever.”
Canning: Are either of you mentally unstable, schizophrenic, or on drugs?
Evi: Do you think we are?
Canning: You tell me
Evi: Not even vaguely. And can I ask you a question? Does murder happen?
Evi: Does embezzlement happen?
Evi: Dennis [Quaid] is now on a treadmill of making movies that are garbage, but it’s unfortunate because he’s talented.
So Randy and Evi Quaid totally have a clear-eyed view of Dennis Quaid’s career and who should be in your celebrity death pool, but very little else. We are really looking forward to the Christopher Guest–directed version of their story.