Rob Corddry doesn’t get enough respect. He is among The Daily Show’s heavily influential “Indecision 2004” class, which includes such comedy luminaries as Steven Colbert, Steve Carrell, Ed Helms, and, of course, host Jon Stewart. While all of these men have moved on to star on their own, Corddry has been relegated to doing yeoman’s work in bit parts, ranging from Old School to What Happens In Vegas and Blades of Glory. So a bit of a mixed bag there.
The role that finally gave him an ability to showcase his talents more fully was the criminally underrated Harold and Kumar: Escape From Guantanamo Bay. In the film, he plays the aptly named Ron Fox, a medium-ranking Homeland Security suit who takes a run with the big boys and takes over a mission which he thinks is a terrorist attack. He perfectly displays the hubris and guile of a mid-2000s Bush supporter, long on fervor, short on rationality. How does he know it’s a terrorist attack being perpetrated by these two American stoners on a flight to Amsterdam? Because he knows it in his gut.
Ron Fox is a walking embodiment of Colbert’s term (and Webster word), “truthiness.” Truthiness is defined as:
a “truth” that a person claims to know intuitively “from the gut” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.
As you can see in the clip above, Fox doesn’t waste time finding conjecture or rifling through evidence. No, he just understands what he thinks he might know and acts on it 100%. It is a very smart reflection on the true danger of hard-right Republicans who just garble up enough buzzwords and fear tactics that they are conditioned to do this (note: any person who does this is scary, they are just the basis for this character). The scariest part is the self-righteousness, and that’s exactly what Corddry brings to the role to put his performance over the top…while actually keeping the character somewhat grounded. The fact that he believes everything he does so thoroughly makes the ridiculous racist and grotesque acts throughout the movie both plausible and palatable. This man actually believes he’s doing America a great service by going to these lengths.
That dedication is the difference between Champ Kind in Anchorman, who is clearly just a complete idiot with no redeeming value at all, and certain aspects of Michael Scott from The Office, when you can tell there’s an actual human being in there, however horribly misguided. It’s with this in mind that when Corddry reveals a bag of pennies to drop on a table to sucker some Jews into talking he unveils it like he’s a magician. Deep down inside, Fox knows this is going to work like gangbusters. Luckily for us, the joke’s on him cause he’s a complete fucking idiot. Then you stop and think for a second, “wait, what if this really happened? Could this have actually occurred?” And that’s the only time anyone will ever compare a H&K film to Dr. Strangelove.
I’d be remiss to not mention this movie as we are a day away from September 11th. This goofy film deals with a lot of the paranoia and fear that came out of the attacks and does so by poking at the reality while turning it into a joke. So tomorrow, be somber. But in the future, be sure to check this movie out as it’s surprisingly intelligent. I’ll have a post about it sooner than later, and we’d all like to discuss it, right?!?!?!
Thanks for coming out for a good week here at the blog. It feels like I’m starting to figure out the best way to use this space, and hopefully you feel the same, anonymous reader. Please keep coming back for as long as I give you a reason to. If you enjoy anything on here, please go tell your friends. The internet is your best friend, after all. If you have any other favorite parts of Corddry in this movie or otherwise, drop’em in the comments. Otherwise, have a good weekend, folks.