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TED RAIMI HIGHLIGHTS AT VALLEY FORGE 10-04-97




BRET RUDNICK:





[01] No one knew what to expect with Ted Raimi's appearance. There was some pre-convention controversy surrounding Ted's appearance, namely rumours that several attendees were going to walk out on him when he took the stage. I was certainly hoping this would not happen -- it is immature behaviour unworthy of Xenites. News flash -- Ted Raimi is *not* Joxer. He is an actor who portrays that character and does not himself have any influence over either the longevity of the character or the frequency of his appearances. Whether or not one likes Joxer, Ted Raimi is very hard not to like, for he seems to genuinely like his audience.



[02] It was gratifying to note, at least from what I saw, that no one was rude when Ted made his appearance. There were a (very) few empty chairs in the front rows during his appearance, but I saw no sign of a walk-out.

[03] Ted was introduced, but missed the stage. That is, he ran in front of the stage, then beside it, jumped up onto it, and did a few pratfalls before coming to grips with the microphone, but the audience loved the performance, judging from the cheers.



[04] Ted greeted the audience, and asked if everyone was having fun. "Everyone looks like Xena," he squinted as he scanned the audience. He commented that earlier, someone who "was all Xena-ed out" tapped him on the shoulder and said "Battle me!" He replied that he didn't think Xena would battle him per se, but he'd find some evil guys for her to take care of.



[05] Ted said he loved to appear at conventions and meet fans, and noted there were a *lot* of people there that day. As part of his intro, he compared the equestrian skills of Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor to his own. He said they both knew a lot about horses, but he only knew two things -- "diddly" and "squat". Lucy and Renee may have grown up around horses, but he didn't see his first horse until he was 13 at a county fair, because he grew up in the inner city of Detroit.

[06] There were numerous declarations of love for Joxer as well as the work Ted did on SEAQUEST.



[07] A little girl asked Ted to sing the Joxer the Mighty theme song. He couldn't remember the words but someone from the audience provided him with a lyrics sheet. Being a good sport, he did sing the song, complete with audience participation. He confirmed that he was in fact the composer of that tune. At the time, Josh Becker, director of FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS, told him "We need something that's going to annoy Gabrielle." While they were thinking of what to do 15 minutes before the scene was shot, Ted started humming a nonsense tune. Josh Becker said "Stop humming that stupid song!" Ted's eyes lit up and he said "Hey!", recognizing that was just what they needed. He said it was his favourite Joxer episode, too.

[08] Ted mentioned that he and Bruce Campbell have been friends for many years back in Detroit, since he was about 11 years old. Bruce in fact babysat Ted for a time.



[09] Someone asked what was the ethnic source of the name "Raimi". Ted explained it was an Americanised Dutch name. It was originally Raejenzeritz (or something very close to that). To make it easier in America, the family changed that to Raimi. He said his family origin was Dutch with a little Hungarian.

[10] Ted said that the name "Joxer" came from a Eugene O'Neill play and R.J. Stewart used it.



[11] Joxer's "evil brother" is named "Jet", and will wear a motorcycle-esque leather costume. Ted will also be playing the role of Joxer's sister. Joxer will sing in THE BITTER SUITE.

[12] Ted acknowledged there are still strong feelings about the Joxer character, and that while some people are warming up to Joxer, there are still some that would like to see bad things happen to him.



[13] When asked what he'd like to see happen with Joxer in future, Ted said he'd like to have Joxer have at least *one* romance on the show. When the audience pointed out Meg could fit that description he said "Hey, that's not a bad idea!"



[14] Ted said he's been on the unfortunate end of star-stalking; mail stalkers, people hanging around outside his house, etc, and that he's had to change his telephone number as a result. He said it was part of what comes with being an actor sometimes, and it's not pleasant, but it does happen.

[15] Joxer's armour is indeed a pounded pasta strainer. If you could see his costume up close you'd see the words "made in Korea" a lot.



[16] In response to a question about whether Joxer and Gabrielle would end up together, Ted said he thought Joxer had a big crush on Gabrielle, but he probably doesn't even know what real love is, certainly not for Gabrielle. He said Joxer has "hearts in his eyes" for Gabby, but probably would have a hard time being serious about it. He said Joxer would certainly fight for her, perhaps even kill for her, and pointed out in COMEDY OF EROS he was prepared to do just that.



[17] It was Ted who came up with the gag of having the little knife when Joxer was trying to "abduct" Gabrielle in CALLISTO. But they didn't work out the details with the prop people ahead of time, so it took many more takes than normal to do. In fact, they almost had to lose that bit because it was taking so much time.



[18] Ted answered a "boxers or briefs" question as "boxers only".



[19] Ted has written a script for Xena and will soon "pitch" the story to the staff on the show to see if it can be done or not. He said the story is basically about Xena and Gabrielle come to a town where the people are being kidnapped one by one but no one seems to care. He said it was a very dark story, rather than a comedy.



[20] Finally, Ted commented that New Zealand is a beautiful country, but sometimes he has trouble with the local dialect.

[21] With that, it was time for him to go. Who would have thought an hour would pass so quickly?







ANGELA LESA WHEATON:





[22] Time for Ted!!! When he came out, he was playing up the Ultimate Stooge act by bumbling and falling *a lot*. Once on stage, he said that he knows 2 things about horses: "Diddly" and "Squat". He said if you see Joxer leading the horse and looking back a lot, it's because he's worried the horse is going to bite him or something. A group sang 'Joxer the Mighty' to him and he was also asked to sing it. He seemed *quite* surprised to be asked and he said he would, but only if we said, "Bom, Bom" at the end of the song. We of course obliged!!! He wrote the song 'Joxer the Mighty' when Josh Becker asked him to come up with something that would irritate Xena and he thought, "What's more irritating than a dumb song?"

[23] He was 12 when the movie Evil Dead came out and it was his feet being stabbed by a pencil and his hands grabbing Bruce from the floor. Raimi is an Americanized version of his real last name: Rajenvertz which is Dutch and Hungarian. The name Joxer came from a Eugene O'Neill play. Bruce Campbell babysat Ted when he was little!!! When Ted was 11 years old, they watched the Texas Chain Saw Massacre. In XWP "King of Assassins" he got to wear leather as his twin brother Jett and actually liked being in a different costume for a change. He mentioned that he thinks of his Joxer costume as being like a Fred Flintstone costume.

[24] One of his upcoming projects is a movie called BETWEEN THE SHEETS which is a "sexy farce comedy". He's also working on another movie project of his own. He wants Joxer to have his own Joxette. Many yelled out .."What About Meg?" He liked that idea, but said he didn't know if Lucy would go for it. His favorite XWP episode is "For Him the Bell Tolls". From the ages of 18 to 22, he had vocal training. He can play the guitar. At one point two members of his fan club came on stage to give him his own badge. He said, "Look at me! I'm a member of my own fan club!!!" Everyone laughed! It looked like he really liked one of the women and even chased after her a little bit as kind of a tease.

[25] He mentioned that he's had some fans of the show that *really hate* him and that he gets some strange fan mail and some people follow him. He said jokingly, "Do you have my laundry list?" He was 14 when CRIMEWAVE came out and he enjoyed being in the movie. In an upcoming episode, he will play Joxer, Jett, and an "Unnamed actor will play Joxer's sister." Joxer's costume has a pounded pasta strainer in the front. Joxer would kick Salmoneus' b*tt and would kill for Gabrielle. During the XWP episode "Callisto", the bit about Joxer coming out with the tiny dagger to go after Gabrielle was Ted's idea, but it took about ten takes to get it right.

[26] Someone asked him if he wears Boxers or Briefs. Quite red faced, he said Boxers. He's working on a script for XWP in which people are being kidnapped from a town and no one cares and that it's up to Xena and Gab. to find out what's happening and that it's *not* a comedy. He wrote SeaQuest DSV's episode "Lostland". He also said that he should come out with a Kiwi translation book. 'On your Mark' is a common US film-making term, but in NZ they say, 'Are you on your Posey?' Posey meaning Position, Cosi meaning costume, Breaki meaning Breakfast..



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