Memoirs are normally published by “has-beens”. This is a memoir... | Books / Reviews | Coagulopath

81sDTsMEk-L._SL1500_Memoirs are normally published by “has-beens”. This is a memoir by a “never-was” – one of the hundred thousand (mostly jobless) actors prowling for casting calls in the greater Los Angeles area.

Scott Palmer’s closest brush with fame was his appearance in the surrealist Adult Swim series Tim and Eric: Awesome Show, Great Job!, where he performed a skit about sitting on people. In this book, he talks about T&E as well as his adventures in things like car ownership, playing on Win Ben Stein’s Money, and generally being a not-even-on-the-alphabet-lister in Hollywood.

The book’s quite short, but it’s interesting, if only because Palmer has no interest in the usual structure of the book and fills it with all sorts of bizarre asides that probably wouldn’t have survived the red pen of an editor (to the book’s credit). He’s very candid and refreshing.

As Tim Heidecker said in a reddit AMA, they cast the show using traditional channels – but rather than the top of the pack, they use the bottom, as suits the show’s off-kilter aesthetic. As a result, they’ve collected an entourage of some truly bizarre actors – such as David Liebe Hart and James Quall, who are obviously a few sixpacks short of a beer. Exploitation? Maybe. These guys are all SAG members, getting paid the standard scale, aware that the show is a comedy, etc. To what extent they’re “in” on the T&E joke is debatable, but it’s not like they’ve been dragged from a psyche ward and shoved in front of a camera.

Is Palmer another guy like Quall and Liebe Hart? It’s hard to tell. There’s some signs that he doesn’t get what T&E is about (he complains that in the “I sit on you” sketch they used a take where he sings slightly flat), but again, he seems basically aware of what he’s doing. The way he tells it is that he’s pretty much a minder for Quall and Liebe Hart – helping them find their way around, keeping them out of trouble, etc.

Unfortunately, there’s often a lot of trouble, and Palmer falls prey to it as much as anybody. After multiple donation drives online, he’s had to retire from acting. A 9 to 5 career is not sympatico with last-minute casting calls. This is regrettable, but inevitable. Silliness is always transient and short-lasting, otherwise it’s insanity or manipulative calculation masquerading as silliness. Best of luck to Palmer in whatever he does after this, I guess.

It’s always interesting to see how people react when their main claim to fame is something odd or embarrassing. Peter Mayhew played Chewbacca. Doesn’t matter what else he did, doesn’t matter what else he wants to do. They might as well carve “Chewbacca” on his tombstone already. Scott Palmer doesn’t run from it. T&E is likely to remain the apex of his existence on earth. Rather than run from it, he’s chosen to own it. Respectable. Plus, he’ll sit on you.