When I got home yesterday, I wanted to watch something funny to offset what could be an incredibly depressing day.
I landed on the Pilot for a new Amazon show “Highston.”
A show about a young man who forms real(ish) friendships with every person he sees on television. Written by Bob Nelson, the writer of The Academy Award nominated screenplay for “Nebraska.”
It was perfect. Totally absurd but oddly grounded. Mary Lynn Rajskub and Chris Parnell play the title character’s concerned parents who play to-
Okay, what am I Leonard Maltin?
Look, I like the show a lot. This was probably my ninth time watching it. When It first came out, it was the first show that grabbed me and I encouraged all of my friends, enemies and in-betweens to watch it in the hopes that I might have the gift of more episodes. I posted about it on Facebook probably three different times. I tweeted about it. I rarely tweet! But I wanted to do everything I could to put the word out.
My friends became annoyed with my obsession. Lesser viewers questioned my own sanity after meeting it with indifference. Mary Lynn Rajskub favorited one of my tweets about it.
Somewhere along the way, it got picked up for a full season at Amazon. And while I know I wasnt responsible for this, I feel a certain sense of pride in having been on board the whole time.
Highston is me. And by that, I mean, the character speaks to a certain demographic that I’m a part of.
He’s from nowhere. He has big dreams that his family doesn’t always understand. He’s trying to find his place in the world by learning from people who’ve found theirs. They just happen to be in his mind.
The fucking pilot has Flea and Shaq in it! The pilot! This show made me very disappointed in my own mind. My imaginary friend as a child looked like Dough Funnie with Bob Ross’ hair.
Mary Lynn Rajskub and Chris Parnell are perfect. They’re supportive of Highston, but they’re also realistic about his issues. Brutally honest, and socially ignorant.
Curtis Armstrong is his uncle Billy. He is probably more deserving of the Highston’s presumed fate in the institution, but is old enough to be labeled a “harmless eccentric” and not a “freak.”
Highs ton’s brother is… there. I guess. Nothing against the actor, or the way the character is written. I just learned nothing about him in the first episode. He basically serves as the purest representation of “normality” in Highston’s world. It seems from the bit of screen time, that he is just a guy… I do have a theory. That maybe the brother is some kind of psychosis that the rest of the Liggets family shares.
It’s a really great show. If you haven’t seen it, watch it…
I wrapped up the tenth viewing, and my girlfriend’s first, and I said,
“This may sound ridiculous, but I’m going to ‘secret’ this thing. I’m going to put my head up in the clouds for a second and just throw the dice. I’m going to write to Bob Nelson, and beg him for an audition.”
Captain Ladyface, ever the pragmatist, replied, “Okay. You should totally do that.”
So now I’m writing this to you, Mr. Nelson:
I’m a standup comedian, sketch performer, and podcaster/ producer living in Columbus, OH. I have lots of acting experience. I’m in love with the material you write, and I humbly beg for a chance to be a part of it.
Anyone who knows Bob Nelson. Hell, if you know Curtis Armstrong, (who was brilliantly cast and headlined one of my favorite cartoons, “Dan Vs”) or Flea, (who made me want to learn the bass in high school) or Shaq, (a joke I have that references him, is probably my most beloved), Kurt Fuller (psych, wayne’s world, news radio), Lewis Pullman (the brilliant young actor who is our protagonist) or any of the other lovely people involved in this little show, please let them know that I would love a chance to read for them.