Scary Crispin Glover

I have spoken to Crispin Glover (Or Crispy, as I will often refer to him.) on several occasions by phone at my work. I didn’t know who he was at the time. His name was a bit unique and sounded familiar, but I didn’t place it.

We spoke for over a half hour on the first occasion. He was ordering something and wanted to get it right. He didn’t seem too strange to me. The next time he called, he was angry. The product he received was not what he expected it to be and he wanted to return it. I guess that with all of the options we had discussed, something got lost in translation. I called him back the next morning to tell him that we would allow him to return it and he became irate. Evidently I had awoken him.

Mad Crispin

Then a year later he called back to order some more. He didn’t remember me I suppose because he was nice, but I remembered the name. That night my wife and I were watched Charlies Angels and as the credits rolled, I saw the name and it all came together for me. I laughed out loud and told my wife what had happenned. I couldn’t believe that I had spoken to George McFly.

Since then I have been interested whenever his name has come up and the more I learn about him, the weirder he gets.

Think McFly Think

Crispy was an only child. His Parents were both actors and they moved to LA when he was five. He went to Mirman School for the academically gifted as a child and went into acting.

He appeared in several different tv shows as a teen but he din’t gain any notoriety until his role in Back To The Future. I think that this is where most of us first saw him.

His quirky portrayal of George McFly was unique and endearing. I think most of us could identify with the geeky outcast high schooler that is preyed upon by the cool guys. Crispy wasn’t the first actor to portray such a role by far, but he owned it. In my opinion, the character of George McFly was one of the best things about that movie.

McFly. What a crack-up!

When the sequels came out, though Crispy wasn’t in them. The story was that he wanted too much money. Crispy says that it is more complicated than that, but chooses not to get too specific on the subject. However, in the second film, the producers decided to hire another actor and put prosthetics on him to make him look like Crispin Glover. This ticked him off. He sued the producers including Stephen Spielberg and he won.

He had his famous appearance on David Letterman around this time:

The thing is that he appeared as the character Rubin Farr from the film he was doing called Rubin and Ed. He was dressed in odd 70’s style clothes and platform shoes and acted very erratic. The thing was, that no one told David Letterman that he was doing this. He came off as if on acid or something (which is still a possibility) and ticked Dave off when he made a karate kick at his head. Dave took a commercial break and kicked him off the set.

What noone knew is that Crispy was ahead of his time with that appearance. Actors do this kind of thing all the time nowadays. When Sacha Baron Cohen did his Borat Film he went on all the talk shows without breaking character as his Borat persona. Will Ferrell does it for his comedic films as well. To this day, Crispy refuses to admit that it was him and not the character Rubin Farr that showed up on Letterman’s show that day.

Rubin Farr burying a cat in the desert

After that appearance, he went into a self-imposed leave of absence from Hollywood. Where he could have used the fame caused by his role as George McFly to land some good high paying parts, he chose to appear only in minor roles in obscure films. Instead he focused on making bizarre records and art books. He claims that he feels guilty appearing in mainstream pictures. Whenever he did show up in mainstream movies, he stole his minor scenes with his manic energy and odd charisma.

Here is a clip from a music video he directed for his album “The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be ” Warning: Disturbing imagery here. I find it funny, but unsettling. “Clowny Clown Clown.”

Crispy says that his inspirations come from directors like David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick and a bunch of obscure indy film makers that make stuff the mainstream public can’t stomach. His personal works sure show it. If he isn’t fettered by a sane director or script, he goes right off the deep end.

Here he reads a excerpt from his book “What it is and How it is Done”

During his time away from mainstream movies he began work on a feature film of his own. It is a film called “What is it?”. It starts mostly mentally handicapped people and is a surrealistic nightmare. He worked on it for ten years, and used the profits from his film parts to make it. He has not released it in theaters and only shows the film in small screenings around the country where he presents it himself along with readings from his books.

Crispy has recently decided that appearing in mainsteam films shouldn’t make him feel “guilty” because he can use the profits to fund his own pet projects. No word yet on which pets will be starring in these projects. However he has completed the sequel to “What is it?” called “Everything is Fine” That stars a serial killer with cerebral palsy that is irresistible to women in his own mind. He wants to show that even handicapped people can be bad people. Yay.

So having delved a bit into the mind and past of Crispy Hellmaniac Glover, one has to ask. Is he for real? It is hard to say.

Is he putting on a front and is actually an Andy Kaufmanesque comedian, putting on a show with his own exotic brand of humor and laughing at us while we look at him in confusion? He may be. In interviews, he seems to delight in the reactions that people have to his work. He points out how his stuff has spread on Youtube and laughs about reactions to his Letterman appearance, saying that he won’t confirm or deny that he even appeared on the show. Here are a couple more clues to suggest that this may be the case. Link, Link.

Creepy Crispy

Could it be that he is a mentally sick person or on drugs or both? He seems to speak disdainfully of the idea that he is on drugs, but he never denies it. Or is he simply one of those odd independant film maker elitists that create crap just to get a rise out of people because they figure that the only way to be heard is to yell really loudly? I don’t know the answer and I won’t be seeing his self directed films, but I know that I won’t be able to resist enjoying his work in mainstream films.

At any rate, here is one last weird vid. It is a music video for a cover of Michael Jackson’s song “Ben.” Crispy recorded it for the sound track to the Movie Willard that he starred in. (And did a great job in by the way.) Warning: Disturbing imagery and it gets a bit risque. But I can’t help but enjoy his rendition even if the video is bizarrely crappy.