Diminutive actor Gary Coleman died yesterday at the age of 42. I sat down with the surly star for a posthumuous chinwag:
Me: Thank you for taking the time, Mr. Coleman.
GC: Please, call me Gary. And you’re welcome. I’m just glad somebody remembers who I am!
Me: Of course I remember you. You played Willis on Diff’rent Strokes.
GC: No, I didn’t.
GC: That was Emmanuel Lewis.
GC: Verne Troyer.
Me: The idiot from Jackass?
GC: That’s Jason “Wee Man” Acuna.
Me: The Oompa Loompa from Tim Burton’s Chocolate Factory movie?
GC: Deep Roy.
Me: Kramer’s midget friend?
GC: Danny Woodburn.
GC: Warwick Davis.
Me: That creepy guy in the red room in Twin Peaks?
GC: Michael J. Anderson.
GC: Kenny Baker.
Me: That angry elf from Bad Santa?
GC: That’s Tony Cox! What, do all black people look alike to you? You’re a fucking racist, man!
Me: No, I’m not! I even said Emmanuel Lewis earlier and he’s black!
GC: Yeah, but he and I are actually the same person, so I let that one slide. You’re totally a racist.
Me: I swear I’m not. See, there’s this thing I do where I tease my interview subject by pretending to be unaware of who they really are, and I was naming all types of tiny actors, and then you were supposed to get all exasperated and tell me that you didn’t PLAY Willis, you played Arnold Jackson and “Whatchoo talking about, Willis?” was your catchphrase. Then I was going to laugh because I finally got you to say the famous catchphrase that you’ve notoriously refused to say because you’re a cantankerous obnoxious person.
GC: What if you ran out of actors of my stature before I got exasperated?
Me: I’m surprised it took this long, actually, but if I ran out of names, I’d start on objects, like a fire hydrant, a Ken doll, or a pair of fat man’s pants. Then, I’d go surreal and start naming things like a leprechaun or a coffee pot. And I would have totally broken you by then.
GC: And why exactly do you do this?
Me: Because it’s funny, man.
GC: But, you’re supposed to be interviewing me, and finding out about my life. I mean, I’m dead now, and there will never be another story about me doing anything ever again.
Me: That would be true, except you haven’t done anything with your life since Diff’rent Strokes.
GC: That show destroyed my life! They worked me 15 hours a day, my parents stole all of my money, Mr. Drummond touched me in my no-no place, and I died broke.
Me: I have heard about the tragedy . . . what did you just say?
GC: “I died broke.”
Me: No, before that.
GC: “My parents stole all of my money.”
Me: After that, but before the other part.
Me: I think that I heard you say that Mr. Drummond touched you in your no-no place.
GC: No I didn’t.
Me: I think you did. Do you still call it that? Your no-no place?
GC: Yeah. I know it’s immature, but . . . I died a virgin.
GC: I was very embarrassed of my no-no place, so I would never let anyone get intimate with me.
Me: Why were you embarrassed?
GC: I am NOT getting into this with you.
Me: Hey, you’re the one who wanted the real interview instead of a light airy mock interview.
GC: Sighhh. Well, the problem with dwarfism is that affects many parts of your body. And as a kid, you know, I would compare myself with my dad all the time.
GC: Well, unfortunately, even by the time I hit puberty, I just wasn’t really developed “down there”. And it never quite grew the way it was supposed to. *starts to sob*
Me: Oh, man, I’m sorry to hear that. I’m sure it wasn’t that bad.
GC: *sobbing harder* It was, it was! You just don’t understand, so I’ll have to show you.
Me: Now, that’s not nec– (Gary Coleman stands up and pulls down his shorts)– OH MY GOD.
GC: See? *sobbing harder* And it’s pretty much the same size hard! It just lies there, a tiny 10 inch long penis. I’m deformed!
Me: Yes. Ahem. Deformed with a 10-inch penis. Poor you. I’m so sorry for you.
GC: Thank you. *cries and leaves the room*.
Enjoy this interview? Check out my other dead (mostly) celebrity (mostly) interviews (actually written by me!):
Casey, aka Moosh In Indy
Zelda Rubinstein and J.D. Salinger
Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett
Martin Luther King, Jr.