Sunday, April 10, 2011



JESSE: Back around the time of Laugh A Little I weighed somewhere in the ballpark of 230 pounds. That's right. I was a great big fat ass. I was so fat that breathing was a chore for me. I ate anything I wanted no matter how life shortening or calorie-oriented it was. I never did an ounce of exercise (as long as you don't count lugging around all that equipment on the Laugh A Little sets and the long walks to and from work). Back then I had no problem with my lifestyle. I was happy and was having no immediate health problems. I mean, come on, I was under 20 and that meant I was invincible.

In case you're wondering why the hell I'm telling you all of this it's just to give you a few clues about how preposterous it was that I would audition for the role of Robin in the movie Batman Forever.


I was sitting in the cafeteria with two of my friends, Lance and Chris. Well, they weren't really my friends. They were friends of Dave Patrick, whom I occasionally came to the lunchroom to see. Lance was sharing another inane story about him and his cousin. Lance's cousin was a minor god to Lance. He was always getting Lance into some kind of boring adventure.

Lance was telling me about how he and his god cousin were being chased by a real mean ass Chihuahua while Chris, a devil-worshipper with a huge love for Cannibal Corpses, was taking his mid-day nap. This nap would prepare him for his little after mid-day nap, which was a precursor to his nap a little later in the day, which would then directly lead to a really good sleep for the night. I was contemplating whether or not to shove my spork into my eye socket rather then listen to another minute of Lance’s chatter when Dave Patrick walked in.

Dave sat down next to me with a newspaper. I was a bit perturbed by this since Dave with a newspaper meant a sign of the apocalypse. He threw it in front of me and pointed at an article. I took one look and then said, "Don't worry, Dave, I wasn't enjoying these delicious mashed potatoes and gravy that you flung your paper onto."

Dave picked the paper up out of my lunch, wiped it off, and handed it to me. "Look, they're doing auditions for the role of Robin in the new Batman movie."

You might remember Batman Forever as the movie where Joel Schumacher screamed that he had a hard on for Batman and he wouldn't mind having anal sex with Robin either. I had read rumors in the trade magazines that they wanted Marlon Wayans for the movie. Later, in a stroke of pure idiocy, Chris O' Donnell would get the role. Which brought up the question: What the hell was Batman doing with a 23 year old ward?

I read the article and handed it back. "Yeah, and what's your point?" I knew what the point was; I just wanted to hear it.

"I'm going down to try out for the role of Robin," he said with stars in his eyes.

Even though I thought it was a cool idea I knew there wasn't much chance in hell of Dave being cast in the part. But, at the very least, he could tell people he'd auditioned for the role of Robin. Heck, why couldn't I go down and audition for the role myself? What a bold piece of casting I would be. A 250 pound bald guy with a high pitched voice would definitely throw those casting bastards for a loop. "What the hell, Dave," I said, grinning mischievously, "I'll go down and audition with you."

After Dave finished laughing at me I told him that I didn't expect to be cast but it would be funny to say I did. Of course, there was also the outside chance that the casting director would say no to the Robin gig but yes to some other part. You never know what might happen unless you take the chance. Heck, maybe I could form some connections for us down the road. I told Dave I would scout it out and let him know if it was on the level or not. Dave nodded his head in agreement.

The auditions were at the Embassy Suites downtown. So I decided to cut the rest of the day from school. I would go downtown, hit the comic book shop and grab a bite of lunch since Dave had just ruined mine. I left Tech and walked downtown to—appropriately enough—Downtown Comics. I read through a bunch of comics, especially those about Batman and Robin. I spent about an hour there and actually bought some comics, none of which were about Batman and Robin.

I arrived at the Embassy Suites and approached the sign in desk where a lovely young lady stood. I explained to the young lady my reasons for being there, in case she mistook me for some homeless beggar looking for a handout. A true professional, she managed to look at me without bursting into laughter. With nary a snicker in her voice she politely told me to have a seat in the lobby. As I sat down I heard the lady call over a co-worker. These are her exact words: "Fat boy over there thinks he can be Robin."


I walk up to the front desk with every ounce of charm oozing through my body. The attendant looks at me, immediately impressed and just a little dazzled by my magnetic personality. "You must be trying out for Robin, the Boy Wonder".

I wink and say, "I am a wonder in one department, if you know what I mean."

She leads me to the back room. We fight to get all of our clothes off. Then we make love like rabbits after they've taken a dip in liquid Viagra. After a long session we leave the back room. She looks at me and says, "You shouldn't play Robin, you should play Batman, 'cause you sure as hell ain't no boy."

I give her a playful peck on the cheek. She makes the telephone impression with her fingers and mouths the words "Call me." I wink, assuring her I would, even though we haven’t exchanged numbers or names. I sit in the lobby, cool as a cucumber, and wait.


I waited for about an hour for the casting agent. Two other young men had walked in to audition. One was a blonde kid who was a bit hyperactive. He sat there with his parents, talking a mile a minute and none of what he said was interesting. He just kept going on about himself to his parents. I waited for his Father to slap him and say "I helped give birth to you, you dumb shit. I know who the fuck you are." Sadly, this never happened.

The other young man had brown hair and was also brought by his parents. With the exception of the Mother they remained quiet. She would talk to the attendant every five minutes, constantly asking when the auditions would start.

The casting agent finally came to the lobby. She apologized for being late and handed out applications. It had the usual questions you'd expect to find on an application, but there was an additional line for size measurements. I had no clue what these were. I wanted to write ‘fat’ on each one and leave it at that.

The casting agent gave us some time to fill these out. She then took the blonde motor-mouth’s application and looked it over. He went into a long monologue about why he should be Robin. The casting director had him stand up while she took his measurements. While this was taking place he bragged about how good of shape he was in. I just zoned it out and finished my application.

She next measured the quiet boy. His Mother sold up his high points while she did so. The agent seemed impressed. She then asked the young man a question. He looked at his Mother who translated all of this into sign language. He answered the question through sign language to his mother. The agent was still quite excited and started a whole conversation. I was puzzled by all of this. I know he had the build but Robin should be able to hear, shouldn't he?

This kid could kick the living shit out of me and, most likely, do everything else in the world better than me, yet, how could he play Robin? I could see Batman and Robin climbing up the side of a building. Batman goes into the peculiars of the case. Robin just keeps climbing, not even noticing. Batman starts yelling and turns to Robin to ask why he's ignoring him. Robin lets go of the rope to answer and falls to his death.

I know Marlee Matlin has made herself a career in show bizz but she always plays deaf people and she had the added benefit of being able to talk. I know I sound like an asshole but there's no way he could be Robin. Now, if someone wrote a role that suited his handicap that would be perfect. Call me an asshole—

JEREMY: Asshole.

JESSE: —but I will say this. I don't think the kid was all that interested in the whole thing in the first place. To me it seemed as if his Mother was the one who was all into it. He looked as if he wanted to be somewhere else all together. I will also say that he suited the role of Robin better than I did, and that's the truth.

It was finally my turn. She gave me a strange look as she approached, as if she would rather piss on a downed power cable than look at me. She took my application and glanced over it. She found a problem and said, "What high school plays have YOU been in?"

I looked at her like "What, a fat guy can't be in a high school play?" Now, I had never been in a high school play but she didn't know that. "Well, I played Romeo in Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth in, well, Macbeth," I said, lying through my teeth.

She gave me another look. I don’t know if she saw through my ruse or just couldn’t imagine someone casting me in those roles. She then came to my measurements, one of which I had forgotten to fill in. She said, "Well, all of these other measurements are okay but you left out your neck size. What's your neck size?"

By this point I was pretty pissed from all these looks she kept giving me. "It's 12 inches," I said, beaming.

"12 inches is your neck size?" she replied.

"Oh no,” I corrected, “I thought you said my dick size."

The security guards escorted me out of the Embassy Suites. One was holding my backpack while the other had me by the arm. Once I was off the property they handed me my bag and gave me a stern warning that I was never to come back again. I just gave them a "so what" look and headed off. I walked through the crisp, sunny day knowing I blew my chance at some connections but at least I could say I tried out for the role of Robin. Two weeks later Chris O' Donnell got the role.

Let me just say this, I never wanted the role of Robin. I never liked Robin. He was just there to make Batman look softer for the kids. I like Batman better alone, brooding and ready to kick some ass. The biggest reason I didn't want to play Robin is best told by this picture:

Robin is extremely gay in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin.

Next: Blood Pudding


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