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Another Portland Blog

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

 

Attack of the Sociopathic Talk Show Host(s)

He dresses like a Mexican wrestler, talks like a preadolescent reincarnation of one of the Three Stooges and gobbles Pixies Sticks like they're, well, candy. He's the Famous Mysterious Actor and his semi-weekly local talk show debuted on CNW14 last month.

The masked entertainer was born as a bit character in a Eugene improv group. A year long gig at Jimmy Mak's led to stints entertaining Portland clubgoers between sets at area clubs. Then in 2003 TFMA landed a "fake" talk show at the Ash Street Salon.

A monthly show turned into a bi-weekly one as the crowds grew larger and the press came calling. Now he's on cable TV. I taped the February 28th show and finally sat down to watch it last night.

The Famous Mysterious Actor Show plays like a combination of Pee Wee's Playhouse, Andy Kaufman and Space Ghost. TFMA has two cohosts, one of which speaks entirely in German and apparently introduces each show.

Imagine a local Late Night With Conan O'Brien but hosted by a masked sociopath and you should have a good idea of what the show is like. As FMSA took the stage, the audience was prompted to toss candy at his head as he waved around a bullwhip. When they ran out of ammunition he began rolling through a potty-mouthed monolog taking aim at Lindsay Lohan, the president and others.




After slurping on an oversized Pixie stick and giving away a free tattoo to an audience member, his first guest, a guy from Dark Horse comics, took a seat next to the desk. Graphic novels took a backseat to FMA rambling diatribes on Judge Wapner, the devil and cutlery infomercials. His second guest, "Mr Wonderful," the owner of the Rose City Rollers, was subjected to the same treatment.

Further adding to the strangeness were the commercial breaks, which consisted of nothing but ads for No Fish, Go Fish, the Sapphire Hotel and other local businesses. A spot for Movie Madness was a weird parody of The Godfather that ended with someone discovering the disembodied head in a bed. A cartoon ad for a tattoo parlor starred a girl riding an atomic bomb as he falls into the heart of downtown Portland.

For obvious reasons, The Famous Mysterious Actor Show is my new favorite talk show, taking the place of The Tony Danza Show. The next episode airs this Sunday, March 12th at 9 PM on channel 14.

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