The beauty of Peripheral Performances: #1

Or alternatively: “No, no, the OTHER guy… Whats-his-name again? You know the one…”

Kudo’s to the incomparable Chutson, who sent me a link a few days ago which is dedicated entirely to Star Wars character Jek Porkins.

Who is Jek Porkins? Porkins had a brief but memorable scene in Episode 4; he was the portly Rebel pilot who crashed in to the Death Star.

Stay on target!

By my reckoning he had 24 words of dialogue, if one considers ‘Aggggghhhhhhh!’ a word (and I do). That one appearance would have been enough to guarantee actor William Hootkins a lifetime of sweet convention appearances and fat cash.

Now, obsessive Star Wars nerds and their veneration of every minute detail of saga canon are legendary. There’s no such thing as a minor character in the original trilogy to these people. Then again, let’s not become boosters for OCD sufferers that think dressing like this makes them awesome:

Boba Fett: Bounty (and Pizza) Hunter

But Chutson’s link got me to thinking about some of my own favorite peripheral characters from other non-Force related movies.

They’re generally minor characters played by non above-the-line actors that still manage to forcibly seize your attention. And my first nomination for the Peripheral Performance Hall of Fame is:

1. JUSTIN LONG

Yeah, Long is finally getting some mainstream attention, primarily for his role in ‘He’s Just Not That In To You’, for sexing Drew Barrymore periodically, and for being THAT Mac guy in dem commercials.

But Justin Long has been awesome for a… well… long time. He’s had major roles in flicks like ‘Die Hard 4.0’, ‘Waiting’ and ‘Drag Me To Hell’. However it’s his minor, suppporting roles that always make me laugh the most.

He was fantastic as Sci-Fi geek Brandon in ‘Galaxy Quest’ (his first film). He stole Seth Rogen’s movie as gay porn star Brandon St. Randy in ‘Zack & Miri Make a Porno’. And no-one takes a wrench to the face like he does in ‘Dodgeball’.

However my favorite peripheral performance from Long is his 2 minute cameo as Dr. Lexus in ‘Idiocracy’.

Doctor Lexus

For those who haven’t seen it, ‘Idiocracy’ is Mike Judge’s film about Joe, an average guy who is cryogenically frozen by the army, but not thawed out until the year 2505. To his horror Joe finds that the human race becomes exponentially dumber over the next 500 years, so he goes to a hospital to try to find some answers. It’s here that he’s tended to by the highly qualified physician (at least for 2505), Dr. Lexus…

Check it out this kickass scene, my Scrotes, by clicking here.

I love his delivery of “Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit’s all retarded”. But to me the pinnacle of Long’s performance is the throwaway line “Why come you got no tattoo?”

Dr. Lexus distills in a nutshell everything Judge is trying to say about our society today and where we’re irrevocably headed, with that single, mind-numbingly stupid remark. Don’t believe that this is the inevitable evolution of language? Try and read a text message from a teenager sometime. C wot I meen LOL:P

For that line alone I’m willing to sit through rubbish like ‘Accepted’ and ‘Jeepers Creepers 2’  on the off-chance Justin comes up with something as genius as “Why come you got no tattoo?” again.

Congratulations on your induction to the Peripheral Performance Hall of Fame , Justin Long. Here’s your $9 bottle of wine and a flimsy plaque. You’ve earned it.

BPM

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