Hi everyone, and welcome back to A Mind Occasionally Voyaging. You know, after my last article, a lot of concerned readers wrote in to let me know that I was basically a complete fucktard for my opinion on Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. And by “A lot of concerned readers”, I mean “A voice in my head”, largely because I am actually writing this article at some
point before the article in which I made an offhand crack about Transformers 2, because I didn’t want to forget all the jokes I had
But none of these myriad fictional complaints prepared me for the
fictional complaint I received this morning when I stepped into my
Yeah, you, punk.
I heard you were talking trash about my movie
You heard that? I — (Glares at Devestator) — I didn’t know you guys
We don’t. But you were right down stairs. There
are like 13 of me up here.
[Devestator]: DEVESTATOR! DESTROY!
Shut up, Devestator.
Shut up, Devestator.
So, um, Optimus Prime. Um.
Look, you’re entitled to your opinion. Freedom is the right of all
So you have the right to be a total douchenozzle about my
latest film. I just thought we had something, man
Look, Optimus, it’s not like that. It’s totally not like that, man. I
— you know what, I hated how this movie treated you. This
movie was beneath you, man. It was like Raul Julia doing Street
Fighter, or all that crap Orson Wells did right before he died.
I’m not familiar with his later work.
Well, it was pretty dire. It was sad, you know, there was Citizen Kane, the Third Man, the guy who made half of America crap its pants that the Martians were invading, and here he is, shilling for frozen peas and doing voice-over work.
That doesn't make any sense. Sorry. There's no known way of saying an English sentence in which you begin a sentence with 'in' and emphasize it. Get me a jury and show me how you can say "in July", and I'll go down on you. That's just idiotic, if you'll forgive me by saying so. That's just stupid, "in July"; I'd love to know how you emphasize 'in' in "In July"...impossible! Meaningless!
(Sigh) Rambling anecdotes are the right of all sentient beings…
Right. Anyway, that’s what it was like, seeing you in another Michael Bay film. Man, you were my idol. Seriously, if it didn’t contravene the laws of God and man, I would totally worship you as a god. This movie? This movie was beneath you, man. Seriously, you were dead for like half of it.
When I put down my twelve dollars to see a movie– okay, when I pay my monthly fee to Netflix– Okay, when I mooch off of my wife’s Netflix account to see a movie with The Optimus Prime in it… Well! I can tell you, I really expected somethign better out of the robot who singlehandedly defeated the Drule empire.
Um… That was Voltron.
Oh. Right. Sorry. Um… Defeated the evil forces of Lord Zedd?
Sigh. That’s the Power Rangers
Mega Man. You just watched a Let’s Play of it earlier tonight.
Right. Sorry. King Ghidorah, then.
That’s Godzilla! You’re not even trying now!
Sorry. Sorry. Um.. Who did you singlehandedly destroy again?
MEGATRON! You know, “Autobots wage their battles to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons” and all?
Riiiiight…. Only I thought he got away at the end.
Oh nevermind. I didn’t even want to be in that stupid Bay movie anyway.
Of course not! Have you You ever tried working with that man? Frakking Wheelie has a longer attention span. And by the Allspark is that man racist. I mean you saw what he did with those twins, right? (Conspiratorially) You know those weren’t even their own teeth. He made them get those.
I had my suspicions
That wasn’t the half of it. You should have heard the things he said about people from the middle east. I bet you didn’t know this, but Bluestreak and Cliffjumper were originally supposed to be in the movie too, but they walked off the set in disgust after he asked them to wear turbans and fight with scimitars. Terrible man to work with. God knows how many times I had to bite my tongue whenever he started talking about money. You know the stereotypes.
Um. No. There’s a stereotype about robots and money?
You didn’t know? I’m Jewish.
I was not aware of that.
I haven’t been practicing in years, but it’s still an important part of my heritage. (At this point, I deliberately steered the conversation away to avoid the temptation to make a hackneyed “bot mitzvah” joke.)
So if Bay was so terrible, why’d you do the movie?
(Sigh) I, uh… I needed the work. It’s… It’s a hard out there in the industry, when you’re a giant robot of a certain age. The phone doesn’t ring so much, and when it does, a lot of the time they want you to play the old mentor type who buys it in the third act
Heh. Jetfire’s half my age. They just put him in makeup. But
yeah, And with my ball joints not being what they used to be, I can’t
do so many of the action scenes any more. And if I throw a rod or
something out there, I can’t take anything stronger than STP for it,
on account of my history…
Uh… Yeah. Look, I’m not proud of a lot of things I’ve done. There were a couple of years back in the eighties when… Well, I, uh, well, I developed a pretty serious drug problem.
You had a drug problem? How does that even work?
Things started getting rough right after the movie. I knew they were going to write me off the show, hell, I asked for it. I thought it would be good for my career to try to move out of TV work and get some more movie jobs. I had some serious interest from the James Bond people, before that throttle housing Dalton got the part. And then they were talking about doing another Mad Max movie, I even got a draft of a script for a Killdozer remake. But the first time they brought that kid Hot Rod out on the set, man, I just knew right there that there was always going to be someone younger, someone who was still under factory warranty. So, the movie deals dried up, Smokey and the Bandit 4 got cancelled. Then, they called one day and said they wanted me back on the show. I was over the moon. But, well, you know how it went from there. They were going to have me come in mid-season on the Headmasters, shake things up, but they got canned five episodes into the next season. It was just a downhill spiral after that.
No, actually, I meant, how does a giant robot get a drug problem. What drugs do you guys do?
No way. I thought you guys ate it for energy or something. Like us humans and food.
Heh. You ever hear of an intergalactic war over pizza? Nah, the whole Autobot-Decepticon thing was a drug war. The Decepticons were muscling in on our turf.
I had no idea. Though in retrospect, without that piece of information, nothing that ever happened in the show made the slightest bit of sense.
Tell me about it. I mean, seriously, you couldn’t tell that Blurr was on something?
Surprisingly, Wreck-Gar never took anything harder than Nitrous Oxide. I think he got dropped a lot in his youth
Does that mean you were high the whole time you were doing the show?
No, no way, it was nothing like that. I was always a professional back then. Never sample your own merchandise, kid. Not cool. I mean, maybe a little on the week-ends, but nothing big, not until after they wrote me off the show. That’s when it got to me. Pretty soon, I was doing two, three cubes a day. I’d go out partying all night, black out, wake up a couple of days later, stuck in a ditch somewhere. I’m lucky I didn’t end up wrapped around a tree
So, I guess the drug problem was why we didn’t hear much from you for a bunch of years?
More or less. But when I really hit rock bottom was that whole Tommy Kennedy thing.
You mean the kid who used to sit on your shoulder when you did the introductions for the reruns in the early 90s?
Yeah. Look, I swear, I never touched that kid. But all of the sudden there’s reporters camped out around my parking lot, saying that I’d asked him to be my Headmaster. No one ever even had enough
evidence to go to the DA, but there ain’t no such thing as reasonable
doubt in the court of public opinion… And then social services
started hanging around all the time and (voice cracks) and
then I lost custody of Roller… I… That was when I knew it was time
to get help.
That’s when you quit the Energon?
Yeah. I checked myself in to the Henry Ford clinic. Got clean. It was rough going. I had to take a few years off from acting.
Oh! That’s why they got that other guy to play you in Robots in Disguise?
(Snorts) Yeah. You know, I wasn’t going to come back at all, but
after that piece of shit ran, I started getting calls from my
agent. Seemed that they had a lot of complaints about trying to do the
show again without me. So, here I am.
Wow. So what are you doing these days?
Bits and pieces. I tried to get back to my roots. I’ve been doing
a lot of dinner theater. Drive-in dinner theater. And I opened for
Truckzilla back in aught-seven. And then there was that sweet
Knight Rider gig.
That was you? I knew it! You were great in that. I just wish they’d had the good sense to give you a bigger part.
Heh. They originally scripted me in for three more scenes, but they got cut after they saw what I looked like in a bikini.
So, the bit where KARR turned into a giant robot, was that your idea?
Ironically enough, no, they had that in mind right from the
storyboard stage. Originally, they wanted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
for the part, but he couldn’t fit into the costume. I was as surprised
as anyone else. I thought it was going to be a non-transforming
So what else are you doing these days?
Well, I’m doing a lecture circuit in the fall, motivational speaking to the auto industry. I auditioned for the next season of Power Rangers, but then I heard they finally got canned.
You know, they’re still making it in Japan, if you were willing to take a gig over there. I bet they’ve got a lot of work for a giant robot.
Not Japan. Not after Kiss Players. Never again. Other than that, I’m just trying to keep busy until Transformers 3 starts filming
So you’re doing Transformers 3? Even with Michael Bay?
(Shrugs) It’s a living. ‘Sides, it’s got its up-sides.
Two words, kid. Megan. Fox. She can give me a Lube Job any
Uh. Okay. So, um, are we cool?
Yeah, we’re cool. Just lay off on the movies. We all know they
suck, you don’t got to be ignorant about it.
Riiiiiight… Well, okay then. I guess I’ll see you later?
Later kid. And hey, can you do me a solid and shut the door when you go?
Um. Sure. Why?
(Sheepish) It’s just a little awkward. The other day, your missus happened to, um, walk in on me.
Walk in on you?
Well, uh, I was, uh, kind of… You know. Uh…