Widgets Magazine

A crazy talk with Randall

Courtesy of Colleen and Keith Begg

With over 34 million views on YouTube within a year of its upload, “The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger” has done everything from spark water-cooler conversation to inspire the nickname of a Heisman Trophy candidate. The video couples National Geographic footage of a honey badger with hilarious narration by a man who simply goes by “Randall.” Its success has led to a publishing deal for Randall, who stopped by the Stanford bookstore yesterday to sign his debut book “Honey Badger Don’t Care: Randall’s Guide to Crazy, Nastyass Animals.” Viewers are left curious, however–who exactly is Randall? Our requests for official photos of the man behind the video were met with simply more high-quality photos of honey badgers. Intermission sat down for a Q&A with this incognito character to answer this pressing question. It must be mentioned, however, that Randall is (very likely) the fictional brainchild of another man: comedian Christopher Gordon (or at least, so we suspect). It quickly became evident that although Randall and Gordon were both (inevitably) present during the interview, Randall was the one willing to share his thoughts.

 

Intermission: Who is Randall?

Randall: I [Randall] was born on a tiny island known as Manhattan. I went to St. Olaf College for a while, where I studied theater. I grew up with a love and a deep affinity for animals. My papa was the cameraman for Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom,” so since a very early age I was exposed to and always loved animals. The playwriting thing wasn’t really working out, and I had to do something, so I just fell back on my natural talent for narration. I mean, ever since I was little I’ve been narrating things.

 

Where did your inspiration for the honey badger video come from?

In the ‘90s, I met my assistant, and we worked off Broadway together. Years later, he showed me that video, and I just thought it was amazing. So, it was just one of those things that was like, this is a no-brainer! I’d say about 85 percent of that was just natural reaction to what was going on. It just caught on! It suddenly became my mission to educate people through humor about animals. The take-home message is that we’re not alone on this planet, and there’s got to be a better way to get this message out.

 

How did this book come about?

For years, I noticed that a lot of wildlife, nature and animal picture books weren’t telling their readers the real story about these animals. I said, ‘You know what? It’s about time someone writes a book about wildlife nature and just tells it like it is.’ It was just sort of natural. The video took off, and I saw this as a great opportunity to expose other crazy, nastyass animals to the public. I think people questioned whether or not the transition would be a smooth one, you know, how do you take someone’s voice and then put it into a book? I said, ‘Don’t worry about that, stupid, please. Let me just write this thing!’ So, Andrews McMeel believed in what I was here to do, and the rest is just history! The book is out in stores…and I’m just so thrilled!

 

Is it a children’s book?

I have a very salty mouth. Writing this book, I tried so hard to censor myself, and I was having a really hard time doing it, and I realized I’ve just got to tell it like it is. My goal was kind of to make a “tell-all” about these crazy, nastyass animals. It’s like a gossipy animal book. Initially, I think the adult is my reader, but, looking ahead I am planning on doing something for the kids at some point, in the “Randall” form.

 

Any thoughts on Tyrann Mathieu, the LSU cornerback and Heisman candidate nicknamed “The Honey Badger”?

When I found out that [Mathieu] had adopted that nickname, to me, it made sense. Once I saw him play, there wasn’t a lot I could do in terms of being upset or angry, I just totally agreed with that nickname. He’s amazing! I think I reached a whole new level of viewers with the collegiate folk, so for me, I think it was great exposure for both Mathieu and myself.

 

What is your spirit animal? What animal embodies “Randall”?

I’d probably have to say…a lion. I really relate to and adore and worship big cats and cats in general. Lions, to me, are fantastic, and I think they represent me best just because they sleep like up to 14 hours a day, and I think that’s fabulous! And everyone listens to them! I’ll take it, I love lions!

 

Have you seen the LSJUMB mascot, “The Stanford Tree”? Any thoughts about that?

I had no clue! I think that’s amazing! I think that embodies California fairly well. That really speaks volumes about the kind of university Stanford is. It seems like every single mascot is either a bird or some crazy animal, so I think it’s good to just focus on nature and have it be a tree. Yes. I love it.

 

Is there a reason the honey badger just does not give a shit?

The reason why the honey badger doesn’t give a shit, is because…it doesn’t have to. They’re about the size of a little Jack Russell, and they have to deal with so much in their environment that there’s really no reason for them to give a shit. I think even a lion would feel guilty about eating a zebra, but honey badger will feel no remorse about demolishing a little fox’s family.

 

Also, as a honey badger, you’re just kind of raised with that mentality. First off, your father leaves. Boom, off the bat, you’re a baby honey badger raised by a single mommy, and your mommy doesn’t really give a shit about you either. She’s just kind of dragging your ass along, you know? She’ll throw you down in a burrow while she goes hunting, and before you know it, you’re a teenager, and now you’re really alone! Why should you care?

 

Given your theater career, have you considered creating a Honey Badger musical?

I don’t know who in their right mind would invest, but it depends on who you cast. Out of the gate, I would pick Charlie Sheen, but I don’t think he can sing a lick. I think the best choice, which was actually suggested to me at a book signing in Santa Monica, would be Hugh Jackman. Oh, my God, he’d be perfect! He sings, he dances and he’s Wolverine!

  • Sid Luscutoff

    Next best choice may be this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xafu9Lwn8gs

  • Ramonaconley

    You get better all the time!!!  I got my two honey badger tees….so happy and I’m 60.  Your sense of humor is right up my alley.  Keep it up and do a opossom please!  Love ya.  You have made me laugh more than anything in years!