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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

jamie kennedy

X'd

Having treated myself to a weekend's blitz of Jamie Kennedy's X-ing practical jokes, I find myself walking around in a state of all-round suspicion. Even a passing cop car looked fake and I was preparing some suitably sceptical line in case he swung round on me and delivered some hardball line about my broken tail light.

Worst was trying to negotiate Safeway without calling the bluff on every helpful employee who asked if I'd found everything OK. Yerss, right, mate - not falling for *that* one!

Moral: a full season is a *trifle* more than a mature adult should be able to take at a single sitting, even tho' I interspersed the charades with the Sally Potter/Tilda Swinton Orlando and Robin Williams' Final Cut.

I must say that taking on a Kennedy marathon is made considerably easier by any recent work by Williams. He is a most sinister actor with a menacing screen presence that leaves me needing strong drink and frivolous companions - the perfect prep for watching the ebullient JK "X" the unsuspecting.

Kennedy is a very bright lad with a talent for accents and the most brilliant and extraordinary disguises that *ought* to win his crew 1st prizes across all categories. He also has a talent for creating original characters, such as odious fathers and greasy hoodlums - and not a bad line in oafish Brit rock stars.

Speaking of the odious father, the lad does not lack physical courage, such as when he plays the sports mad dad from hell and abuses his pretend (and very game) "son" in front of some pretty beefy (and increasingly riled) athletes. There are usually pals in on the joke so I assume they are ready to leap to Kennedy's defence if things get ugly.

I assume the Kennedy pranks are well known because of the number of victims who catch on so quickly at the dénouement when JK informs them that they have just been "exxed".

This brings me to a point about many of his japes, particularly those where a pal is being set up to be irked by some buffoon security police or waiter, or just the sexy Kathy Lee Gifford hitting on some innocent hunk and then leaving him with the bill for lunch as well as the champagne she originally sent over.

I remember reading in a critique of "Othello" (no less!) that there is a type of practical joke that leaves you knowing no more about the joker but a heck of a bit more about yourself. Some of the situations the Kennedy show dreams up are frankly incomprehensible to the point of cruelty - the mother who is led to believe her daughter is a strippper; the newcomer to Hollywood who is pushed around to accommodate a celebrity; the gentle sports giant who watches a young fan manhandled by an idiot dad.

All good fun, however - and the local TV Interviewer deserves an Oscar for the straight face he maintains while interviewing the Kennedy *parents* as well as a "hot mum" of one of this friends.


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