An individual exhibiting such uniqueness or individuality that he or she will cause a roomful of bar cronies to exclaim, "That's one interesting motherfucker!" Actual sexual relations with one's mother are not required.
By John "Singing Like Dave Coverdale!" Saleeby
For years Ray Walston was the Actor Hollywood Producers hired to play The Little Grouchy Guy That The Audience Was Supposed To Like. Any God Damn fool can play The Little Grouchy Guy That The Audience Will Think Is An Asshole --- just look at Joe Pesci or Clint Howard. But when you were making a Movie with A Little Grouchy Guy That The Audience Was Supposed To Like, Ray Walson was The Man For The Job! Are any Producers out there putting together a Movie with A Grouchy Little Guy That People Want To Walk Over And Knock The Shit Out Of? Cause I'd be a Natural for that. I can't go anywhere without people walking over and knocking the shit out of me. I just seem to bring that out in people. Why can't Hollywood give me an opurtunity to put my Natural Abilities to use? I talked to Roger Corman about that and he told me that when they put guys like me in Movies people just get mad and watch Television. I asked him what happens when they put guys like me on Television and he knocked the shit out of me. If he was't The Man Who Gave Dick Miller His Big Break I would have killed him!
I've always liked Ray Walston! I first discovered My Hero singing "There Is Nothing Quite You Can Name That Is Anything Like A Dame" in "South Pacific". Meanwhile, the women in that Movie were singing "Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair", which is pretty nasty if you think about it. Is it just me or does your scalp get kinda itchy every time you hear that? The Movie ends and when the lights come up everybody is examining each other for hair lice which is kind of intimate if you're on a First Date. What other songs are in "South Pacific"? Oh, yeah - "Some Enchanted Evening"! That one's fun to sing when you're drunk and you've got a whole subway car full of people for a Hostage Audience "Once you have found her . . . Never . . . Let . . . Her . . . GOOOOOOO!!! And now, 'Sweet Child O' Mine'!!!"
I found out a WHOLE BUNCH of interesting things about Ray Walston while doing research for this article! Did you know that old TV Show "The Waltons" was almost "The Walstons"? Swear to GOD!! "Good Night, Jim Bob!" "SHUT UP AND GO TO SLEEP!!!" "Sorry, Ray! Goodnight, Ma!" "I TOLD YOU TO SHUT UP!!!" "Sorry, Ray! Goodnight, Pa!" "I'M GONNA KILL ALL OF YOU IN YOUR SLEEP!!!" "Sorry, Ray! Goodnight, Grandpa!"
"HE'S DEAD!!! AND YOU'RE ALL NEXT!!!" No, Ray Walston wouldn't put up with that Hillbilly Hockum, Ray Walston was from NEW ORLEANS! Hey, I'm from New Orleans, too! Let me tell you, Ray Walston is a better example of what New Orleans is all about than Ellen Degeneres - Although if anybody has any business singing "There Is Nothing Quite You Can Name That Is Anything Like A Dame" it is Ellen Degeneres. Don't ask your Mother to explain that joke to you! Everybody has a hard time imagining what people in New Orleans are like, they seem to think the whole town is nothing but morons standing on the roof of their houses waving "HELP" signs to helicopters or Brass Bands marching around playing songs like "Let's Break Into The Store And Steal Us A TV Set" while Tourists stand around going "Don't blame me, I wanted to go to Graceland!" So if you grew up in New Orleans and aren't grouchy you probably could have grown up in Chernobyl and become a healthy well adjusted adult. The place is a MESS and all the Super Bowls in the World won't (Eighty six pages of how screwed up New Orleans is got cut out as well as a coupla pages of pretty funny Obama jokes that were thrown out by mistake) and now he's IRISH!?! So, yes, Ray Walston is the Ultimate New Orleans Guy. Him and Mister Bill. Walston got his start as an Actor appearing in New Orleans Theater as a "Spear Carrier". No, not "Chucker"! "Carrier"! I'll have you know that being a Spear Carrier is a lot more difficult than it sounds. I was a Spear Carrier and halfway through the show I found out that I was walking around with the damn Spear upside down - With a Bird House nailed to the top. Every time the Lead Actor tried to speak a Parakeet came out of the Bird House and said "He's no Troy Donahue!!" And there aren't any Spears in "The Odd Couple", anyway! "Why does Murray The Cop have a Bird Cage on a broom stick?" "Sssshhh! It's SYMBOLISM!!"
The only Movie I hated Ray Walston in was "Popeye". But it's okay because I hated everybody in "Popeye". That Movie is so bad it makes you realize how stupid the whole "Sailor Eats A Can Of Spinach And Suddenly Has Super Human Strength" thing is. Imagine a Porn Movie so bad it makes you realize how stupid the whole "Guy Puts His Penis Inside A Woman And Takes It Out And Puts It In And Takes It Out And Puts It In" thing is. That would be one Bad Porn Movie and "Popeye" is one bad Sailor Eating Spinach Movie. The worst part is the Big Climactic Action Sequence in which they neglected to give Walston anything to say but shouting "HAUL ASS! HAUL ASS!" over and over. I was hoping he'd break into "There Is Nothing Quite You Can Name That Is Anything Like A Dame" but, no, he just kept going "HAUL ASS! HAUL ASS!" In 1992 Scientists showed this scene to Test Subjects and, after several minutes of "HAUL ASS! HAUL ASS!", those people responded to the question "What year is it?" with answers like "Hell, I don't know! 2002? 2005? I feel like I've been listening to that guy hollering 'HAUL ASS! HAUL ASS!' for at least ten years! I bet I need a hair cut! Is Letterman still on CBS?"
The height of Walston's career was probably "My Favorite Martian" on which he played a Grouchy Spaceman. Typically, Walston feared that "My Favorite Martian" would leave him typecast as Grouchy Spaceman for the rest of his Life. Ralston's Co Star on the show was Bill Bixby who later turned green and ruined a warehouse full of very nice shirts on "The Incredible Hulk". Walston made frequent Guest Appearances on this show and it's not hard to imagine him getting Grouchy over all of those shirts.
"Gee, Thanks for coming by, Ray!"
BILL BIXBY 1934 - 1993
But who cares about "My Favorite Martian"? There's no such thing as Grouchy Spacemen but there are a million Grouchy Schoolteachers and that's where Ray Walston found the Ultimate Grouchy Character Of All Time - Mister Hand in "Fast Times At Ridgemont High"!! Yes, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the title "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" may be Pheobe Cates' tits, but once you get past that the second thing that comes to mind is . . . Oh, okay . . . Jennifer Jason Leigh's tits. But once you finally past that the third thing that comes to mind is - Sean Penn? Huh? No wonder he's balling Scarlett Johanson! Whew! But Walston is in there as Mister Hand and He's The Man! Next time you're at work and it's pissing you off and you're on the verge of freaking out and doing something that you will really regret just stop for a moment and think of Mister Hand. Being a Teacher in a classroom full of smart ass Early Eighties Punks had to be a billion times tougher than whatever you're stuck with doing to make a living and, even though he is consumed with rage and hatred for everyone and everything around him Mister Hand is always the very model of Professional Behavior. That's why he's so funny! So, like I said, next time you feel like you are about to make an ass of yourself just think of Ray Walston as Mister Hand (Maybe you should carry a picture of him in your wallet that you can look at) and spare yourself the trouble of getting a Lithium prescription.
But the Ray Walston performance I'm most familiar with is Ol' Cranky Ass as The Crotchety Ol' Geezer in "The Stand". And once again I think Ray is perfectly entitled to be more than just a little bit dissatisfied with the situation in "The Stand" - Practically everybody is DEAD, but Rob Lowe and Molly Ringwald are alive? Damn! Bill Murray and Debbie Harry are dead but Robe Lowe and Molly Ringwald are alive!? Axl Rose and Lorie Loughlin are dead but ROB LOWE AND MOLLY RINGWALD ARE STILL ALIVE!?! That Stephen King is one sick ass son of a bitch sticking Ray Walston in the middle of a great big bowel of Rotel Cheese Dip like that! If Ray Walston can put up with everybody dying except for Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, and that creepy Gary Sinise (Oh, yeah, he's supposed to be so nice but you just know he's up to SOMETHING!) without losing his temper and making a damn fool of himself maybe I can handle all the horrible stuff that is getting me down without losing my temper, too. What? What's that? SETH ROGAN IS GONNA BE IN ANOTHER MOVIE!?! SHIT!! SHIT!! SHIT!!
(Saleeby opens up his wallet, takes out a picture, stares at it, calms down)
A Note From Acid Logic Editor Wil Forbis - Here at Acid Logic we're about to put out a series of wallet sized pictures of Ray Walston as Mister Hand that can be purchased over the internet. We also have Lithium you can buy over the net - Powdered Smokeable Lithium. We make it ourselves! Smoke enough of that shit and you can hear Mister Hand singing "There Is Nothing Quite You Can Name That Is Anything Like A Dame" from inside your wallet. Sit down and you can hear him hollering "HEY! GET YOUR BIG ASS OFF OF ME!!!". Lithium, Our Noble Ally Against Crapping Ourselves!
(Saleeby looks up from his picture)
"This ain't no picture of Ray Walston! It's Miranda Cosgrove from 'iCarly' on Nickleodeon! Hey, I'm no homo!"
John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines Schmuck.com, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email - email@example.com
View John Saleeby's crazy web log!
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