Monday, October 31, 2011

TRICK OR TREAT! IT'S THE TRICKSTER

Whoa.

When I watched the first episode for the fifth and final season of 'Chuck', I had no clue who this actor was in the opening sequence before the credits. I didn't even get that feeling of "I've seen this guy before." And if I'm not mistaken, he must have received no billing for the part - I watched the guest star credits and the names of Richard Burgi, Craig Kilborn and Ethan Philips jumped out at me, but not this guy's.

Because of the accent, I assumed he was a German-born actor. And thinking back on what he looked like without visual aids, at best I thought he could have been William Forsythe. (Seeing a picture of him, however, dispels that notion. It's all in the nose.)

It wasn't until I read the review of the episode by Alan Sepinwall that I learned who it was.

Have you figured it out?
It's Mark Hamill, cousin to Luke Skywalker (according to 'The Muppet Show'.)

Confession time: I immediately fell back on my old standby of insult humor - posting to Facebook that if he should ever appear in a "Star Wars" movie again, Hamill will probably have to play Tattooine. Several friends joined in with Jabba jokes and a 'Simpsons' quote about playing the role of the Death Star.

To be fair, I did acknowledge that I certainly have no right to point out how heavy somebody else is, but still......
I also posted that maybe he could play the role of Oliver Reed in a videography someday.

But once I got over the shock of how he's aged during these years when he's mostly dedicated himself to voice-over work, my mind then thought of ways to expand the "life during prime time" for his 'Chuck' character, Jean-Claude.

As you're probably aware, the following is pure conjecture on the part of Toobworld Central.....
Ian Keefer was a troubled teen who grew up in Elm Ridge. There he witnessed the death of an FBI agent, burned alive in a barn by a woman conducting experiments to stop the aging process.

Two weeks later, Ian was in the local mental institution where he got the chance to see 'The Magician', Anthony Blake, perform a magic act in which a woman disappeared in a ball of fire. This triggered the awful memories and left him hysterical. But with the help of the local sheriff, Anthony Blake was able to uncover the truth of Ian's trauma and bring the mad woman scientist to justice.

Ian Keefer's doctors were convinced that they could get him the help he needed for a full recovery now that they knew the truth about the root cause to his mental anguish.
As it turned out, Ian's mind was still a dark morass and he turned to a life of crime, operating under a multitude of guises - as a doctor in Seattle, a lawyer in Des Moines..... He almost won election as Mayor of San Antoine in 1988. Under six different names, he was wanted for murder in six different states.

And in Willow Haven, he was wanted for crimes committed while he was posing as a magician......
Having seen Anthony Blake in action inspired Ian to pursue his own career in magic once he was cured - or believed to be cured, at any rate - and released from the sanitarium. After decades of practice, he performed his own stage act as a cover for the crimes he committed.
But he also assumed the alias of James Jesse and became known as the costumed villain (or if you prefer, freak) Trickster. In Center City, California, the Trickster became the nemesis of the superhero known as 'The Flash' and engaged him in battle at least twice. (At one point, he confronted Barry Allen while in disguise as an FBI agent - using the very identity of that FBI agent he saw burned alive back in the 1970's.)
Although he was ultimately captured, "James Jesse" eventually escaped incarceration

As such, he was one of three headliners invited to a weekend charity event to fight world hunger - along with Alexander the Great and Maurice Gillette.
Simon the Sorcerer & Maurice Gillette
When Alexander the Great was murdered - shot to death while in a coffin that had been underwater for two hours - Simon the Sorcerer was one of the leading suspects. However, he was cleared of suspicion by the Chief of the L.A. Homicide Department Amos Burke and his son Detective Peter Burke. The Burkes were so focused in figuring out "Who Killed Alexander The Great", that they never even considered that another crime could be happening right under their noses.
The so-called Simon The Sorcerer was at that charity event more for a heist than for hocus pocus: he was going to abscond with the money raised to fight world hunger. And if Amos Burke didn't follow his own rule (known as a 'Burke's Law') - "Never call your captain unless it's murder" - maybe they would have been able to stop Simon's scheme (which all took place after the episode ended, by the way.)
But then, Amos Burke wasn't at the top of his game anymore. At his age, the signs of Alzheimer's were already beginning to show themselves. After all, had his memory been sharp enough, surely he would have remembered that he solved the exact same style of murder thirty years before. Only the victim's name had changed - back then Burke was trying to figure out "Who Killed Merlin The Great". But it was the same scenario and the second murderer, in a similar situation, must have studied the details of that original case. (As did another copycat killer who was eventually done in by Harry 'Blacke's Magic'.)

Simon the Sorcerer continued through the 1990's using his magic act as a cover for his crimes until circumstances eventually pointed him out as the culprit. Feeling the heat, Ian fled the country to a nation without an extradition treaty with the United States. (I'm sure we could find a suitable country to use from the list of candidates in 'Mission: Impossible' that would fill the bill.....)

And from there he would have finally landed in another country where he adopted yet another persona - that of Jean Claude, an international playboy and leader of a vast criminal organization. There he grew heavier and even developed a slight accent as he enjoyed his indolent life-style.  He even changed his ways - as far as his criminal modus operandi was concerned - to become more of a dealer in stolen items rather than pulling off his heists as a one-man show.  He built up his criminal empire so that he had a cadre of henchmen working for him.
As Jean Claude, he slipped back into the United States to conduct his nefarious schemes, such as stealing a priceless vase which had a microchip imbedded within it.

And that's how Ian Keefer - AKA James Jesse, AKA Agent Bob Bondicott, AKA Simon The Sorcerer, and AKA Jean Claude - soon crossed paths with 'Chuck' Bartowski and the rest of the Carmichael Industries team of spies for hire........
SHOWS CITED:
'Chuck'
'The Magician'
'The Flash'
'Burke's Law' I
'Burke's Law' II
'Blacke's Magic'
'Mission: Impossible'
'The Muppet Show'
Trick or Treat!

1 comment:

Robert E. Wronski, Jr. said...

Boo. Hiss. To your comments about Mark Hammill getting fat. Lots of people get fat when they get older. I'm an example of that. Don't give in to the Hollywood pressure that places the young and thin on a pedestal.

Hammill has done pretty good for himself considering he was typecast. He used his infamy in a certain genre and made a career from it.