Honey badger doesn't give a shit, but Randall, the badass-fabulous voice behind "The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger" (more than 42 million hits since it was uploaded to YouTube in January of last year), definitely does.
The son of a cameraman for the granddaddy of all nature shows, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, Randall grew up fascinated by animals.
"My papa was always on the road, and he would come home with hours and hours of footage. And my parents would encourage me to describe what I saw on screen. Growing up in that world, I always loved animals."
Basically, as Randall tells it, the honey badger video is his family's fault. For which we'd just like to say, "Thank you, Randall's family."
(About the family's last name: He's not telling. Randall -- the alter-ego of comedian and writer Chris Gordon -- says that he dubbed himself "the Cher of wildlife narration...only because my last name is horrid." )
Pre honey badger, Randall was kicking around Los Angeles dabbling in things like acting and manuscript editing, but he didn't love either. He was "horrible" as a background extra, he says, because he kept staring at the camera and was always getting in trouble for it. And the New York City native says he couldn't handle the script editing -- "I had always wanted to be the next Tennessee Williams. I wanted to be a playwright. My heart does still lie in theater."
He knew he wanted to do something with animals, but was too "terrified" for most of the obvious jobs. "I don't have the moxy to be a vet," he says.
And then he saw the honey badger video, and everything fell into place.
Randall says that with the popularity of the honey badger video, there were several projects under discussion, but that he liked the idea of a book because "it's more immediate. You pick up the book and bam, you get the information." Other projects are still on the table, including a wildlife documentary starring Randall himself.
His mission, he says, is to help animals.
"I really want people to know that we are not alone on this planet, that we are here on this Earth right now with a lot of different species and animals that need our help. Even in our backyards, here in the U.S., there are so many kill shelters."
He gives props to organizations that are trying to spread a similar message, like PETA, but he says his approach is different. "There's a recipe between education and humor that just hasn't been touched upon. For years it's been very serious. It doesn't have to be that serious."
When he started doing the videos (honey badger is one of several), he saw himself as remaining somewhat anonymous. "I have always believe that a true narrator should be heard and not seen," he says. But the book tour has changed that.
Randall says people are sometimes surprised by the face behind the voice.
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"I don't think people are expecting that I'll have a mustache and these chops I've always had. I've had people say, 'I thought you were black,' or 'I thought you were Spanish.'"
Randall understands the phenomenon. "I thought Casey Kasem was 6 foot 8 and gorgeous, and I saw him and I thought, 'What the hell's that?'"
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