Theater Talk

FULL EPISODE

Mean Girls | Australia's Beloved Randy

Tony-nominated actors Taylor Louderman and Grey Henson from new musical Mean Girls have a fabulous time with Julie Halston, Michael Musto and Susan Haskins, celebrating their successful Broadway show. Lane Binkley goes on location to Theatre Row to interview Randy of Randy Writes a Novel.

AIRED: May 14, 2018 | 0:27:10
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> HASKINS: Coming up on

"Theater Talk"...

>> RANDY: Now that I've done

"Theater Talk,"

you know what I mean...

>> BINKLEY: You've kind of

done it all, haven't you?

>> RANDY: I've kind of

done it all, I have.

I don't think there's

much more for me to achieve.

>> DAMIAN: Now that's a party!

>> JANIS: ♪ A revenge party

♪ A party that ends with

somebody's head on a spike ♪

>> DAMIAN: ♪ Oh, whoa

>> JANIS: ♪ It's a revenge party

with your two best friends ♪

♪ It's like a party

and revenge is what it's like ♪

>> HASKINS: From New York City,

this is "Theater Talk."

I am joined by my guest co-host,

the delightful actress

Julie Halston.

And more than that --

Oh, there's my camera.

More than that, I am joined by

our special guest commentator,

and co-host, Michael Musto

of NewNowNext.com.

And we are here to celebrate

the Tony-nominated musical

"Mean Girls" with two of its

Tony-nominated performers,

Grey Henson and Taylor -- you're

the wickedest one of all --

Louderman.

>> Yes. Yes, we can.

>> HASKINS: Thank you.

Thank you.

We are so happy you can be here,

and to celebrate, as I said,

your how many Tonys?

>> HENSON: 12.

>> HASKINS: 12!

>> MUSTO: That's more

than "Angels in America."

>> HENSON: Oh, my gosh!

>> HASKINS: Well, it's more

than "Harry Potter," isn't it?

>> HENSON: Success!

>> MUSTO: And I enjoyed this

show, Susan.

I'm sure you did too, Julie,

because it's about the

trajectory we all faced in

school, where you want to

make fun of the in crowd,

then you want to be

part of the in crowd.

And you find you can't really be

fabulous until you develop some

ovaries and become a fabulous

person.

>> HALSTON: Yes, that's very

true.

Although I don't know

if I ever developed the ovaries.

[ Laughter ]

But the talent on that stage

is astounding.

You guys -- I'm here

to just gush, you know?

I just was beside myself.

Because I love a triple threat.

>> HENSON: [ Laughs ]

>> HALSTON: But when you have,

like, a quadruple threat --

Because I was watching --

>> HENSON: What's the fourth?

>> LOUDERMAN: Yeah,

what's the fourth?

>> HALSTON: Well, first of all,

there might even be a fifth.

>> MUSTO: The souvenir stuff

was incredible.

[ Laughter ]

>> HALSTON: First of all, sing,

dance, act, be attractive.

[ Laughter ]

That's four.

And five is be really funny.

That's another kind of skill,

of all those skills.

>> MUSTO: And in the show,

you're all trying to come up

with lingo.

One of the characters comes up

with "fetch" for "fetching,"

and it won't catch on.

Have you ever done a word

that didn't catch on?

>> LOUDERMAN: No, but I'm

hearing this new word that's

catching on, "stan."

Have you heard about this?

>> HENSON: No.

>> HASKINS: No.

>> HENSON: S-T-A-N?

>> LOUDERMAN: S-T-A-N. Yeah.

And kids are saying -- Kids.

Can I still call myself a kid?

>> HASKINS: You're a kid.

>> HENSON: We're in

our late 20s.

>> LOUDERMAN: But I don't know

about this word, so I

feel like not a kid.

Stan. "I stan you."

>> HENSON: What does it mean?

>> MUSTO: "I can't stand you"?

>> LOUDERMAN: No, I think it

means, like, "I love you."

>> MUSTO: In the show, you stan

George Michael, right?

>> HENSON: Oh! Yeah.

George Michael and

many celebrities.

Damian is a celebrity

worshipper.

And so I wear all these

amazing t-shirts.

I wear a Cher t-shirt,

I wear Judy Garland,

Liza Minnelli, a few "Drag Race"

queens -- "RuPaul's Drag Race."

>> HALSTON: Right.

>> HENSON: But they wanted

Damian, sort of that to be his

thing because he's sort of

an old soul.

But he's gay and out in 2018 in

high school but loves

George Michael, and maybe these

little, like, dated references

that teens these days

might not know or love.

>> HALSTON: Yes. Right.

Well, he understands,

because he's a little more

evolved than many people.

>> HENSON: He is. He is.

>> HASKINS: Yes, he is.

Where you are not evolved

in the slightest.

>> HENSON: [ Laughs ]

>> LOUDERMAN: No, not at all.

Well, I really want the audience

to walk away feeling like

there's hope there, though.

>> HASKINS: I went to high

school many years ago.

>> MUSTO: No!

>> HENSON: Surprise!

[ Laughter ]

>> HASKINS: And the meanest girl

in my school is now my

Facebook friend, and she's

apologized to me.

>> LOUDERMAN: No way!

>> HENSON: Did she really?

>> HASKINS: Yeah.

>> LOUDERMAN: That's great.

>> HENSON: Did that feel good?

>> HASKINS: Yeah.

>> LOUDERMAN: Yeah. [ Laughs ]

>> HALSTON: And I say

slap her down!

>> LOUDERMAN: [ Laughs ]

>> HENSON: I know, right?

She's probably watching this

"Theater Talk."

>> MUSTO: Block her and unfriend

her immediately.

>> HALSTON: Exactly.

Slap her down.

>> MUSTO: And block her on

Twitter, too.

>> HALSTON: But, no, can we ask

them some serious questions?

>> HASKINS: Let's ask

them some questions.

But first, I want to say, this

just in, "stan" means teenage

stalker-fan.

>> HENSON: [ Gasps ]

>> MUSTO: Oooh.

That's not pretty.

[ Laughter ]

>> HALSTON: Okay.

>> HENSON: Oh, I love that.

>> MUSTO: They're at the

stage door waiting for you

every night.

>> HENSON: Oh, we do.

We know some stans.

>> MUSTO: Now, Taylor, it's

interesting, you mentioned that

your character, Regina, who is

the queen bitch of the school,

has a chance for redemption

at the end.

Because up to that point,

I pictured her ending up lousy

like so many former-cheerleader

types...

>> LOUDERMAN: Mm.

>> MUSTO: ...with 45 kids

and very unhappy,

eating a lot of cheesecake.

But you think she's

gonna be okay.

>> LOUDERMAN: Yeah, I do.

I think she has a lot of powers,

she just hasn't learned how to

use them for good yet.

And I really have a lot of hope

for her, that she could be,

like, next President of the

United States.

>> HASKINS: Glenda Jackson told

me today...

>> MUSTO: Name-dropper.

>> HASKINS: ...that when you saw

people who were really mean,

that you had to understand

that they were insecure and

feel sorry for them.

>> LOUDERMAN: Yeah.

>> HENSON: So true.

>> MUSTO: Oh, you just nailed

my whole career.

[ Laughter ]

>> LOUDERMAN: We're not all bad,

right?

It's layered. It's much more

complex than that.

But you're right.

>> MUSTO: What do you find

from the audience response?

I mean, it's a mixture of

young and mature people.

What are they getting out of it

besides just a good time

and some fun jokes?

>> LOUDERMAN: I think this is

true, based on the response

we're getting on social media

and whatnot, that young people

especially, women especially,

are feeling more empowered to

say how they feel, especially

in the face of conflict,

to communicate their feelings

in a way that upholds someone's

dignity, right?

So, say now you feel, but you

can't do it in a mean way that

disrespects another person.

>> HALSTON: Right. Uh-huh.

>> LOUDERMAN: But still say it.

>> HENSON: Yeah. Yeah.

I agree.

I mean, we grew up

with this movie.

And when we were in high school

it came out, I think,

and so there's our generation

that loves the material and is

excited to see it elevated,

I think, onstage.

Because what is musical theater

but you have to just dive deeper

into people's psyches because

you sing because you can't speak

anymore, right?

And I think people are

so drawn to that.

And then we have a lot of

younger audience members who are

maybe 10 years young than we are

that are loving it,

because there's a lot of cute

boys in the show.

[ Laughter ]

>> LOUDERMAN: You're

one of them.

>> MUSTO: Now, you have two

show-stopping numbers, Grey.

In act one, there's the one

where you're kind of

introducing --

>> HENSON: At the lunchroom.

>> MUSTO: ...the hierarchy of

the school, and act two it's a

song called "Stop."

>> HENSON: "Stop," yes,

which has grown to be my

favorite number.

>> MUSTO: Do you have to sort of

take a breath after each song,

because they're both basically

bringing down the house?

>> LOUDERMAN: Yeah, go ahead.

Tell him. [ Laughs ]

>> HENSON: It's funny, because

Taylor and I cross paths.

We're never really onstage

together because we exist in

very different worlds.

We do dance at the end together

for a moment.

But I always pass her after

"Stop" -- and "Stop" is the big

tap number that opens act two --

and I am so out of breath.

Because I play the hefty boy.

>> LOUDERMAN: Where he's going

up the stairs, and I can hear

him [Breathing heavily]

>> HENSON: And Taylor's

coming down in a track suit,

and she's like --

>> LOUDERMAN: With my

fat suit on.

>> HENSON: She wears a fat suit.

>> LOUDERMAN: I'm like,

"Hey, Grey. How's it going?"

I'm getting ready to go.

>> HENSON: No, I do.

It really knocks

the wind out of me.

But also, I don't know how to

mark, you know?

Marking in a show is when you're

sort of half-[bleep]ing it.

>> HASKINS: Oh, no!

Don't half-[bleep]

>> LOUDERMAN: Save your energy.

>> HENSON: Well, and it's true.

Sometimes you have to mark a

little bit, blah, blah, blah.

>> HALSTON: You must never

mark, Grey!

>> HENSON: Exactly.

You come from that world.

>> HALSTON: You must never mark!

>> HENSON: I never do.

And so it's always the

full-out tap dance.

>> HALSTON: Good.

>> MUSTO: Are you a trained

tap dancer?

>> HENSON: You know, I started

doing ballet when I was

3 years old.

I'm from Macon, Georgia,

a small town.

My mom said I was dancing all

over the house.

She said, "We have to put him

in dance class."

And this one studio in Georgia

wouldn't take me because

she thought it was strange.

And this was in the early '90s.

And another studio was like,

"Of course he should come!"

And I was with her through

high school, Jane Madison

at The Madison Studio.

>> HALSTON: Ohh.

>> LOUDERMAN: Aw.

He has some good photos.

>> HENSON: Yeah.

I did a lot of ballet, actually,

and never really tap.

So I'm good on my feet, and I'm

good with dancing and stuff,

but tapping is a very specific

art form.

And so I do a really good

fake, I think, of it.

And once you learn it,

you can just do it.

No, dancing has always been a

part of my life, and people are

surprised because I'm built like

a linebacker.

>> MUSTO: [ Laughs ]

Your character is

unapologetically gay,

as you said.

He just is what he is,

which is wonderful.

It's refreshing.

And I think he's gonna end up

with a very hot boyfriend,

don't you think?

>> HENSON: Oh, God.

Fingers crossed.

>> LOUDERMAN: [ Laughs ]

>> HALSTON: Oh, yeah.

No, no, no.

>> HENSON: Damian is way more

confident than Grey is,

and so I get to use that,

which is a lot of fun.

>> HASKINS: But, Grey, you're a

Tony nominee.

>> HALSTON: You're a

Tony nominee.

You're both Tony nominees!

>> HENSON: It happened this

week, and it still hasn't

registered with --

>> LOUDERMAN: No.

>> HENSON: I don't know about

you, Taylor, but --

>> LOUDERMAN: No.

I feel like it's like a birthday

where you're like,

"Okay, now I'm one year older.

I should feel different."

>> HENSON: I know.

Well, I will say -- we both had

this -- the first performance

we did after the nominations

came out, we felt the pressure

to be a Tony-nominated actor.

>> LOUDERMAN: To prove it,

you know what I mean?

Like, show the audience,

"We deserve this, right?

You guys really think so?"

>> HENSON: Right.

It was the scariest show

I have had to do.

>> LOUDERMAN: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

>> HALSTON: How is the cast

taking all this in?

It must be a lot of pressure.

A lot of times, you have to

really sort of bond together

even in a bigger way.

>> MUSTO: And go to therapy.

Lots of therapy.

>> HALSTON: Yeah,

and go to therapy.

>> HENSON: It is sort of

unfortunate that it

becomes about a competition

in a weird way.

And why are we creating art but

to, like, elevate society and

everyone, and for people to see

themselves onstage.

But then, you know, to have the

Tony awards come out --

>> HASKINS: Oh, that

competition.

>> HENSON: Do you know

what I mean?

>> HASKINS: Yes, yes.

>> HENSON: It is amazing to be

recognized, but the whole

company is so stellar.

And there's so many of us,

and the roles are all so

specific, but everybody elevates

the show to a whole new level.

>> HASKINS: Well, I'm going

to go back to my friend

Glenda Jackson...

[ Laughter ]

>> MUSTO: Oh, let me

pick up the name.

>> HALSTON: Oh, really?

>> HASKINS: ...who said today

she was thinking back on her

work with Peter Brook,

and she said how he always said

everybody in the show was

creating this thing together.

You're all pulling together.

You were singled out for Tony

nominations, but that whole

group are so wonderful.

>> MUSTO: But also Ashley Park

was nominated, correct?

>> HENSON: Yes, for Gretchen.

>> MUSTO: And let's not forget

Erika is playing Cady.

>> HENSON: Ugh. And she never

leaves the stage.

>> HALSTON: And she's

unbelievable.

>> LOUDERMAN: She carries the

show.

>> MUSTO: And I loved your

cohort.

>> HENSON: Barrett,

who plays Janis.

>> HASKINS: Yes, yes.

>> HENSON: We're connected

at the hip.

But even more than that,

we have a lot of Broadway

debuts, and they're dancing

their butts off.

>> HALSTON: Aww.

>> HENSON: And everyone

is so excited.

And to have the show be

nominated for Best Musical

is such a win.

And we're all still on a high,

truly.

>> HASKINS: And Katie Rockwell.

>> HENSON: Kate Rockwell.

>> MUSTO: Oh, yes.

She was hilarious.

>> HASKINS: She's hilarious.

And Kerry Butler.

>> MUSTO: Playing three roles.

>> HENSON: Broadway's

Kerry Butler.

>> LOUDERMAN: All

three of those

A lot of people don't realize

she's doing all of those.

>> HALSTON: Oh, no.

It's hilarious.

>> MUSTO: In the movie, Janis

gets called a lesbian all

through the movie,

but then it turns out

she ends up with a guy.

In this one, it was kind of

ambiguous.

>> HENSON: Yeah, and I think

that's something Barrett really

wanted to take on.

And I think we were both excited

about the idea of having two

queer narrators in a show.

And because that's what Janis

and Damian sort of do, is take

the audience along with them on

this "cautionary tale."

But, yeah.

Barrett chose to sort of

make it ambiguous, and sort of

give it a mystery about it,

because something that is

so special about this new

generation of kids is that

sexuality is very fluid with a

lot of people, and it's open for

discussion or debate for, like,

where you fall on that spectrum,

which I think is what's special.

>> HASKINS: Yes, the world has

moved on.

>> HENSON: Exactly.

>> LOUDERMAN: Yeah.

And it shouldn't define you.

>> HENSON: You're not gay or

straight, you know?

There's a lot of gray area.

And so I think Barrett sort of

took that on in a really special

way, too.

>> HALSTON: It comes across.

>> HASKINS: Now, I'm sorry,

we only have a minute left.

>> HALSTON: No!

>> HASKINS: Yes.

>> HALSTON: All right.

First of all --

>> HASKINS: Any parting remarks

to the wonderful...?

>> HALSTON: Who are you wearing

at the Tonys?

Who are you wearing?

That's the most important thing.

>> LOUDERMAN: I don't know!

We haven't --

>> HENSON: Oh, gosh.

We have no idea.

>> LOUDERMAN: I don't know!

>> HALSTON: You have to call --

get your publicist on that.

>> LOUDERMAN: I need help.

I need help.

Send me some ideas.

>> HALSTON: All right.

>> MUSTO: This is the kind of

show where, if your energy flags

for one second, it could subvert

the whole show, I feel.

>> HENSON: Oh, it's

fast, fast, fast, fast, fast.

>> MUSTO: I mean, are you

doing hard drugs?

What are you doing?

>> LOUDERMAN: Oh, my God!

[Laughing] Are you kidding me?

>> HENSON: Regina George does

coke before every show.

Could you imagine?

>> LOUDERMAN: I'm doing

Schmackary Cookies.

That's what I'm doing.

>> HENSON: A lot of sugar.

>> HALSTON: Oh, the

Schmackary's, yes.

>> LOUDERMAN: We eat so many

sweets at that place.

>> HALSTON: And look at them!

Look at these people!

>> HASKINS: I'm not disclosing

your size, darling, but you're

not eating cookies.

>> LOUDERMAN: I am!

>> HALSTON: No, she's

throwing them up.

[ Laughter ]

>> MUSTO: Oh, God. Oh, geez.

>> HENSON: Absolutely not.

>> LOUDERMAN: No, no.

I'm trying to take, like, one

bite of each flavor...

>> HASKINS: All right.

Oh, one bite of a cookie.

>> LOUDERMAN: ...to keep it

chill.

>> HASKINS: I'm so happy you

were here.

>> HENSON: Thank you for

having us.

>> HALSTON: I hope you had fun.

We didn't even get to the deep

and important question.

>> HENSON: I know.

I feel like that

was just so fast.

>> MUSTO: Yes, we did.

"What are you wearing?"

>> HALSTON: Yeah, that's true.

>> HASKINS: How you conjure up

your psychological truth, no, we

haven't gotten there at all.

>> HENSON: I know.

Well, next time.

>> HASKINS: Well, all right.

So, I want to thank you,

Michael Musto.

We'll see you next week for Tony

predictions?

>> MUSTO: Yes.

>> HASKINS: And I want to thank

you, Julie Halston.

>> HALSTON: I always have

so much fun here.

>> HASKINS: And now we are

heading over to Theatre Row with

our producer, Lane Binkley, who

is talking to the Australian

superstar Randy.

>> HALSTON: Randy is a genius.

>> HASKINS: A genius.

>> MUSTO: Thank you, Grey Henson

and Taylor Louderman.

>> LOUDERMAN: Thank you.

>> HENSON: Thank you.

>> HASKINS: [ Clapping ]

>> ♪ She has everything

♪ She gets everything

♪ Regina, Regina, Regina

>> RANDY: [Australian accent]

You know a smartphone's

not that great?

You know that, right?

They're not.

They're not that great.

You don't need the Internet

in your pocket.

You work at Kohl's, okay, you're

not working for the President.

[ Laughter ]

You don't need it.

You don't need that much

information.

And also, what was the point of

developing opposable thumbs for

you to take a photo of your

head and post it on the

Internet, and then just stand by

for validation?

[ Laughter ]

>> BINKLEY: I am chatting with

Randy, who's dazzling one-man

show is currently playing at the

Harold Clurman Theatre in

New York on 42nd Street

until June the 9th.

And I would like to welcome you,

Randy, to "Theater Talk."

>> RANDY: Thank you so much

for having me.

It's very exciting.

>> BINKLEY: Is it?

>> RANDY: Yeah, it's wonderful.

I'm a big fan of the show.

>> BINKLEY: Are you?

>> RANDY: Yeah. Huge fan.

>> BINKLEY: Well, tell me

about your show.

>> RANDY: Well, there's --

"Randy Writes a Novel"?

>> BINKLEY: Yes.

>> RANDY: Well, it's a one-man

show, as you said.

Well, it's billed as

a one-man show.

>> BINKLEY: Yeah.

>> RANDY: But that's just mostly

for equity reasons,

for the union stuff.

We've actually got a chorus line

of maybe 30, 40 people

come out in the middle.

>> BINKLEY: [ Laughs ]

>> RANDY: But I can't put that

on the posters.

Some sort of equity thing.

Because I'm not paying them,

you see.

>> BINKLEY: I gotcha.

I gotcha, I gotcha.

>> RANDY: They just sort of come

out in the middle and

dance around the in background,

just to beef up the second act.

>> BINKLEY: But it's really

about you, isn't it?

>> RANDY: Yeah.

It's 130 -- I think it's running

about 140 minutes.

>> BINKLEY: I see.

>> RANDY: And it's a

liturgical dance piece...

>> BINKLEY: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

>> RANDY: ...where I sort of

explore the nature of humanity

and the dynamic harmony of

natural phenomena that we

experience on a daily basis.

>> BINKLEY: It sounds tiring.

>> RANDY: It's challenging, yes.

But I think, you know,

the art speaks for itself.

>> BINKLEY: : Tell me something.

What is your background?

Where did this all start?

>> RANDY: Performance-wise,

you mean?

Or just in general?

>> BINKLEY: In general.

>> RANDY: Well, I grew up in

Australia.

I grew up in a small

country town.

>> BINKLEY: I can hear that.

I can hear that.

>> RANDY: You can hear the

Aussie accent?

>> BINKLEY: A bit, yes.

>> RANDY: I've got a bit of a

soft accent, these days.

When I go back to where I grow

up, I'm very much [Mumbling with

heavy Australian accent]

It's just like one monotone,

low-fly kind of [Nasally

whining] kind of noise.

Very nasal.

>> BINKLEY: Oh, okay.

Well, you're not doing that

now, though.

>> RANDY: No, no.

I'm trying to speak with my best

"the-a-ter" voice.

>> BINKLEY: I got you.

>> RANDY: For "The-a-ter Talk."

>> BINKLEY: Okay.

So, started in Australia.

As a small child?

Were you one of those kids

that dances around the

living room with a

hairbrush entertaining people?

>> Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

Absolutely.

>> BINKLEY: and then everybody

said, "Oh, here comes Randy.

He's gonna sing for us"?

>> RANDY: "Here he goes.

He's gonna sing another song."

Yep, yep, yep.

>> BINKLEY: Yeah.

>> RANDY: I had a huge family,

big family.

>> BINKLEY: How big?

>> RANDY: Yeah, seven brothers,

six sisters.

>> BINKLEY: Oh, wow. Wow.

>> RANDY: Yeah, so --

And I'm the middle child.

>> BINKLEY: Oh, that's

a curse, isn't it?

>> RANDY: Yeah, yeah.

So I left home at, uh, 5...

>> BINKLEY: Mm-hmm.

>> RANDY: ...and just sort of

made my way in the world.

Wasn't getting enough attention

at home, so I just busted out

and went and lived on a sheep

farm in rural New South Wales.

>> BINKLEY: Oh, speaking of

attention, I imagine you're

quite well-known in Australia.

>> RANDY: Unfortunately, yes.

That's why I'm here.

I'm on the run. Too well-known.

>> BINKLEY: I was going

to ask you if privacy

was an issue with you.

>> RANDY: Well, yeah.

I don't know if you follow the

Australian papers, but --

>> BINKLEY: No, I don't.

>> RANDY: Well, there's been

some controversy, anyway.

Let's just leave it at that.

>> BINKLEY: Okay.

>> RANDY: For legal reasons, I

can't discuss that anymore.

>> BINKLEY: I gotcha.

>> RANDY: But that's why I'm

here in New York.

I had to get out of town.

>> BINKLEY: Mm-hmm.

>> RANDY: So...

>> BINKLEY: Well, I understand.

And maybe we shouldn't pursue

that line --

>> RANDY: No, let's leave that

line of -- my lawyer should

have -- did you not --

Did you not talk about this?

I think we cleared these

questions.

>> BINKLEY: Maybe that was in

the rider that was attached to

your contract.

>> RANDY: Did you get my facts?

>> BINKLEY: I did

get your facts.

I didn't read it. I'm so sorry.

>> RANDY: Oh, come on.

>> BINKLEY: My mistake.

My mistake.

>> RANDY: Unbelievable.

>> BINKLEY: Let's move on.

[ Laughter ]

Is it like it is here with

comedians, where they go out on

the road and they hone their

craft and they play to small

houses and they sleep in

cheap motels?

Is it like that in Australia?

>> RANDY: Very much so, yeah.

>> BINKLEY: Is it?

>> RANDY: Yeah, it is.

That's kind of been at least my

pathway in the comedy world.

I feel like I've

paid my dues a little bit.

>> BINKLEY: Have you?

>> RANDY: Yeah.

But here, I haven't.

I have not yet paid any dues

in New York, so...

>> BINKLEY: Ah.

>> RANDY: I don't know, quite,

if there's some sort of, you

know, frat-house hazing

techniques that you use in

theater here.

Is someone gonna run in and

paddle me halfway through

a show or something?

Is there something that happens?

Is there a ritual?

>> BINKLEY: Oh, there's a lot

that happens, yeah.

>> RANDY: I imagine there's a

rich history of backstage

traditions and stuff.

>> BINKLEY: Oh, yeah.

But speaking of backstage

traditions, do you have any

superstitions?

A lot of us are superstitious.

>> RANDY: Oh!

Like theater superstitions.

>> BINKLEY: Yeah.

>> RANDY: What are yours?

What have you got?

>> BINKLEY: I never wear green.

>> RANDY: Amazing.

>> BINKLEY: I don't think it's a

good thing.

Bad luck.

>> RANDY: What if you're cast in

a show and the --

Do you get in there early and

go, "I'm not wearing green"?

>> BINKLEY: Won't do it. No.

I do. I say, "I won't do it.

I won't do it."

>> RANDY: Wow! That's amazing.

>> BINKLEY: Yeah, I know.

>> RANDY: What have I got?

I don't really have too many

superstitions.

Um...

I like to give myself a little

pep talk about disrespecting my

audience.

>> BINKLEY: How does that go?

>> RANDY: Well, it's usually

like, "Go out there and

disrespect them."

That's pretty much it.

Because if you're disrespecting

your audience, you have command

of the stage, really, don't you?

>> BINKLEY: You really own it

that way, yeah.

>> RANDY: You own it.

Because if you don't care what

they think -- if you don't care

what they think or how they're

perceiving the show,

generally you can stay on the

track, with comedy in general.

If I start to care too much

about what they think or how

they're receiving it, I can end

up digging myself a hole trying

to get them on board.

>> BINKLEY: I understand.

>> RANDY: But that being said,

not to say that I don't work for

my audience.

I will work hard to try to get

them on board.

But generally I don't care

what they think.

>> BINKLEY: Not needy.

>> RANDY: I care what you think,

though.

>> BINKLEY: I do. Oh, well,

you have my support.

>> RANDY: Really?

>> BINKLEY: I'm your

number-one fan.

>> RANDY: Oh, stop it!

>> BINKLEY: Would you say that

your piece deals with creative

angst?

I was getting a lot of

creative angst.

>> RANDY: Yeah.

It's about the nature of, um,

whether or not art is only art

once it's been witnessed.

>> BINKLEY: Oh,that's so --

>> RANDY: And what do we do in

terms of leaving a legacy versus

pursing some form of kind of

more, I guess, esoteric

enlightenment,

or leaving some kind of legacy

behind that's either "Look at

all this art that I made"

or "Don't look at all these

people that I helped,"

do you know what I mean?

>> BINKLEY: I do. I do.

>> RANDY: Like, the difference

between being selfless

and entirely self-indulgent.

>> BINKLEY: I do.

>> RANDY: And clearly I've

chosen self-indulgence,

'cause here we are.

>> BINKLEY: [ Chuckles ]

Here we are.

>> RANDY: In the Clurman.

I don't know much about Clurman.

Can you tell me anything about

Clurman?

>> BINKLEY: He was very

important in the American

theater.

>> RANDY: What did he do?

>> BINKLEY: He was part of the

Group Theatre.

>> RANDY: Oh, right.

>> BINKLEY: And he was

part of a small group of

actor/writer/producers who

were in the Group Theatre,

which was a new movement,

as I said --

[ Laughter ]

Talk about stuttering.

>> RANDY: Very formative

kind of period for --

>> BINKLEY: Formative.

It was very formative, yes.

>> RANDY: In New York

specifically?

>> BINKLEY: In New York

specifically.

Although, I attended a lecture

that he did at age 83...

>> RANDY: Wow!

>> BINKLEY: ...in Los Angeles.

>> RANDY: Oh!

>> BINKLEY: And he was leaping

around the stage -- leaping.

>> RANDY: Oh, that's awesome.

>> BINKLEY: Yeah.

He was inspiring.

>> RANDY: Imagine still being

able to leap around the stage

at 83.

>> BINKLEY: I'm imagining it

now, yeah.

>> RANDY: I want to be able to

do that.

>> BINKLEY: I don't know

if I would.

[ Chuckles ]

>> RANDY: That's why I actually

have a trampoline that

I keep with me backstage

behind the thing, yeah.

>> BINKLEY: Oh,

isn't that smart.

>> RANDY: No, just 'cause if the

show gets boring, I can just

climb on it and just...

Just sort of bounce

around a bit.

>> BINKLEY: Oh, that's fun!

I notice you talk a lot about

writers in your show.

>> RANDY: I do.

>> HALSTON: Ernest Hemingway.

>> RANDY: Yes.

>> HALSTON: And it wouldn't be

a spoiler, right, if I mention

Ernest Hemingway?

>> RANDY: No, please do.

>> BINKLEY: I'm not spoiling

anything, am I?

>> RANDY: No, not at all.

>> BINKLEY: Okay. Harper Lee.

>> RANDY: Yes.

>> BINKLEY: Not spoiling, right?

>> RANDY: No, not at all.

>> BINKLEY: So, do you have a

favorite author, or someone

who's inspiring you?

>> RANDY: Yeah, you know what,

I read a lot of --

I'm a big Neil Gaiman fan,

'cause I like a bit of

sci-fi-ish kind of fantasy

stuff.

And you know what, I read a lot,

but I'm gonna talk about what I

just read recently.

I've just gone through --

I've gone back and just read

every book that Stephen King

ever wrote, like in one sitting.

>> BINKLEY: Wow.

>> RANDY: Have you

ever done that?

>> BINKLEY: No.

>> RANDY: It's terrifying.

>> BINKLEY: No, I can barely get

through one of his books.

>> RANDY: Actually, his book --

I know. People don't realize --

I adore -- 'cause they're very

edible for me, those books.

But also I just like his --

he takes the everyman and puts

them in bizarre situations,

where someone like Clive Barker,

if we're talking horror,

will take sort of unlikable

people and put them in

terrible situations.

But usually you want to root for

the Stephen King characters.

>> BINKLEY: Always. Always.

>> RANDY: So I like that.

>> BINKLEY: No matter how bad

they are, I always want to

root for them.

>> RANDY: Yeah, totally.

>> BINKLEY: Randy, yes,

I think everyone is curious

about your novel.

>> RANDY: Ah, yes.

My magnificent opus-ness.

>> BINKLEY: Can you speak to it?

Is that tender territory?

>> RANDY: Yeah,

we can talk about it.

The book is called --

This is it. This is it,

the book, right here.

>> BINKLEY: I know.

>> RANDY: It's not just a prop.

It's the actual manuscript.

>> BINKLEY: I was afraid

to look.

>> RANDY: No, please do.

It's called "Walking to Skye."

It's about a young man who walks

from the southernmost borders of

Scotland up to the Isle of Skye

in the far north.

And it's a thrilling ride.

Uh, there's a badger in the

third act that speaks to him

about his future.

And between the start and the

middle and the end of that, it's

just -- look, you know what,

I'm gonna crack this wide open.

I don't know if it's any good.

I can't tell.

I think it might be a bit

[bleep]

>> BINKLEY: Really?

>> RANDY: Yeah. I don't know.

>> BINKLEY: Well, there's only

one way to find out, right?

>> RANDY: Well, yes, to do two

months of shows at the Clurman

at read bits out and see what

people think.

>> BINKLEY: Exactly. Exactly.

And then talk to people after

and say, "What'd you think?"

>> RANDY: That's the

whole point of this.

This is a thinly-veiled

book reading.

That's all this show is.

>> BINKLEY: I thought so.

>> RANDY: Yep. Yep.

>> BINKLEY: I really did.

I thought so.

>> RANDY: Yeah.

>> BINKLEY: Well, is there

anything you'd like people to

know about you that they

might not know?

>> RANDY: Um...

That is an interesting question,

because I'm a very

private person.

>> BINKLEY: I know, yeah.

>> RANDY: So if people don't

know anything about me,

I prefer that.

Which is counterintuitive

to someone who's

trying to make it...

>> BINKLEY: In show biz.

>> RANDY: ...as a performer,

yeah.

I think this might be my

last-ever show.

>> BINKLEY: Really?

>> RANDY: Yeah, I think this is

it for me.

>> BINKLEY: This is your

farewell tour?

>> RANDY: I think so.

And now that I've done

"Theater Talk,"

you know what I mean?

>> BINKLEY: You've kind of

done it all.

>> RANDY: I've kind of

done it all, I have.

I don't think there's much more

for me to achieve.

I know this season, I'll do this

season, but at the end of this

season, I think I'm out.

>> BINKLEY: Well, I am very

impressed with your credits

that someone gave me.

You have been nominated for

Best Comedy at the Edinburgh

Fringe Festival.

>> RANDY: Yes, with this show.

>> BINKLEY: With this show?

This very show?

>> RANDY: With this one.

"Randy Writes a Novel," yep.

>> BINKLEY: Okay.

This is a long list.

You want me to read them all?

>> RANDY: Oh, that's up to you.

I'm sure they'll edit it out

later, but yeah.

Yeah, go for it.

>> BINKLEY: Okay.

Well, it ends with

"nominee Golden Globe Award,

Melbourne Comedy Festival 2009."

>> RANDY: Now, that's a typo.

It's not a Golden Globe award.

It's a Golden Gibbo Award.

>> BINKLEY: No,

I just misread it.

>> RANDY: Oh, right!

>> BINKLEY: It wasn't a typo.

>> RANDY: That's the best.

I would love it if I got credit

for a Golden Globe nomination.

>> BINKLEY: Why don't we say

Golden Globe?

>> RANDY: It's a Golden Gibbo.

>> BINKLEY: Can we say

Golden Globe?

>> RANDY: No -- [ Laughs ]

The Golden Gibbo is named after

an amazing Australian performer

by the name of Linda Gibson.

She was an incredibly prolific

wonderful, wonderful comedian,

and she had an award named after

her posthumously.

It basically awards shows that

are a little bit --

usually self-produced -- always,

in fact, self-produced --

and shows that are a little bit

anarchic or off the grid

a little bit.

>> BINKLEY: Speaking of --

>> RANDY: Speak to me.

Talk to me. Talk to me.

>> BINKLEY: I just want to toot

our own horn a little bit,

because we have had some other

Australians on the show.

>> RANDY: Ahh.

>> BINKLEY: Maybe you

know some of them.

>> RANDY: I know

all of them, surely.

It's a very small country.

>> BINKLEY: It is.

It looks big on the map.

>> RANDY: It's not.

>> BINKLEY: Oh, it's not?

>> RANDY: It's perspective.

>> BINKLEY: Hugh Jackman.

Have you heard of Hugh Jackman?

>> RANDY: I'm a big

fan of Jackman.

Hughy and I -- yes, I know Hugh.

We actually go fishing together

occasionally, me and Hugh.

>> BINKLEY: Really?

>> RANDY: Yes.

He's got a yacht --

This is actually true.

He's got a very large --

It's almost like a

catamaran-style boat.

>> BINKLEY: Doesn't surprise me.

>> RANDY: No. And we go off the

coast of -- it's actually quite

close to Sydney.

There's a small little bay

just outside of Sydney,

and we go out fishing together.

>> BINKLEY: Dame Edna,

we had one the show.

>> RANDY: Ohhh.

>> BINKLEY: Do you know

Dame Edna?

>> RANDY: I wish -- I wish I

could say that I knew

Dame Edma -- Dane -- Ugh.

Can I say that again?

'Cause I just called her

"Dame Edma," which is

very embarrassing.

Please, if you're watching,

Dame Edma, I apologize.

We're talking about Dame Edna.

I don't know Dame Edna,

but I wish I did.

Yeah, I'm a big fan.

I used to walk past her house

often, and sort of just slow

down on the off chance that she

would come out and say, "Hello,

possum!" but she never did.

>> BINKLEY: Oh, that's good.

So, my last name that I'm gonna

drop -- are you ready?

>> RANDY: Okay.

Dropping some names.

Here we go.

>> BINKLEY: Cate Blanchett.

>> RANDY: Oh, Catie!

>> BINKLEY: Oh!

>> RANDY: Yeah, me and Cate are

great mates.

>> BINKLEY: Like this, right?

>> RANDY: Yeah, absolutely.

In fact, I have a show in

development with her at the

Sydney Theatre Company.

I don't know if you know,

she's the Artistic Director.

>> BINKLEY: No, she spoke of

that with us, yes.

>> RANDY: Right. Yes, yes.

>> BINKLEY: I'd love to see

something there.

It sounds so good.

>> RANDY: Well, here and I are

developing a two-hander,

actually.

She's gonna be in it.

>> BINKLEY: Really?

>> RANDY: Yes, with me.

I'm very excited about that.

2020 that'll come out. Yep.

>> BINKLEY: Fantastic.

>> RANDY: It's called, um, uh,

"Cate Humiliates Randy

with her Acting Prowess."

That's a working title.

I made that up.

>> BINKLEY: Well, Randy,

I'm sorry that we are out of

time, 'cause I could just talk

to you all day.

>> RANDY: No! Come on, man.

We've only scratched the

surface!

I want to know about you.

>> BINKLEY: I know.

>> RANDY: Let's talk about you,

your things.

>> BINKLEY: Oh, no, no, no.

It's not about me.

It's all about you.

>> RANDY: Ah!

>> BINKLEY: It's all about

Randy, folks.

Randy is at the

Harold Clurman Theatre until

June the 9th in his screamingly

funny one-man show,

"Randy Writes a Novel."

>> RANDY: With chorus line!

>> BINKLEY: And with a

chorus line, as well.

>> RANDY: But don't tell Equity.

[ Laughter ]

>> HASKINS: Yay!

Our thanks to the

Friends of "Theater Talk"

for their significant

contribution to this production.

"Theater Talk" is made possible

in part by...

>> ANNOUNCER: We welcome your

questions or comments for

"Theater Talk."

Thank you.

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