Whoosh! Issue 55 - April 2001

By Sheri Morrison
Content copyright ©2001 held by author
Whoosh! edition copyright ©2001 held by Whoosh!
1579 words

Editor's Note:

Sheri Morrison is the president of Club Ted, the Official Ted Raimi Fan Club.

Ted Raimi (01-02)
Joxer (03-04)
Beyond Joxer (05-10)

Will the Real Ted Raimi Please Stand Up?

Ted Raimi

For my next trick, I'll make all my bad scenes disappear!
Ted Raimi at the 1998 New York City Xena Convention, Photo courtesy of Debbie Cassetta

[1] Ted Raimi. The name used to ring nothing but "who the heck is that?" bells among most people. However, a few of my friends actually knew who he was. Granted, they were die-hard EVIL DEAD fans that knew everything there was to know about those films, including the fact that Sam Raimi's little brother made an appearance. Nevertheless, I was happy enough with them knowing that back then.

[2] If this were a cheesy movie, we would be doing a flashback right now to those days when I was a fledgling Webmaster and decided to devote my time and web space to the lesser-known actor. However, since it is not, I will just go on to say that I never dreamed that Ted Raimi would achieve the kind of popularity that he has today. It seems that we have one person to blame for that: Joxer.


That Ted Raimi is a really handsome guy!
Joxer, a character for all seasons. Literally!

[3] I know what you are thinking. Joxer? JOXER?? Nevertheless, it is true. Whether you hated Joxer (shame on you), or whether you loved Joxer (what a scary thought), or whether you were in the category of most of us and just tolerated him, everyone was talking about him. How many times did the Joxer haters and the Joxer lovers go to war on the newsgroups and mailing lists? How many hours were spent creating "I Hate Joxer" web sites, only to give the character himself an even stronger foothold within the following of XENA? It seems that good publicity and bad publicity only equal more publicity. So the more we heard about Joxer, the more Ted Raimi's name came to the forefront. [Note 01]

[4] I remember a fan asking Ted Raimi which of all his characters he liked most. Regretfully, and in true Raimi fashion, he never really answered the question. He did, however, run off into a description of Joxer by saying that he was a "guy". Much unlike the Joxer of many fan fiction writers, Raimi said that his Joxer drinks, chases women, spends an inordinate amount of time at houses of ill repute, and generally acts like the kind of guy who may have a heart of gold, but who definitely has some questionable morals. (Stop threatening me with those tomatoes, people). I think it was at that moment that I got a picture of a Grecian Al Bundy.

Beyond Joxer

[5] I would have to say that Raimi's popularity has definitely grown rapidly in the last few years. His fan club site gets more and more hits every day, and it is deluged by a never-ending pile of email containing questions, some I dare not answer. Someone recently sent the club an email asking me (and I am only assuming they thought I was Ted. Really, I look nothing like him, and I drive a much cooler car to work) to make sure that Sam directs SUPERMAN. Now, though I would love to see that happen, I am not sure even TED could make that one a reality. If I had a dollar for every time someone wrote to ask me if Ted was single or not, I would be a rich woman. (I know that this little tidbit probably requires that a few of you suspend reality for a moment, but I swear that it is true). The letters in my "Ick!" file are just more than I would care to dump on you, the defenseless reader.

[6] In addition, just for the record, seeing Raimi slip into a "Joxer" moment during dinner is quite funny, but unnerving. I was recently fortunate enough to share Chinese food with Ted at UncommonCon in Dallas, Texas. Though most of the dinner was spent in quiet and intelligent conversation, it was fun to see Ted give his liaison to the event a hard time by breaking into a bit of Joxerness. If you have ever seen FORGET ME NOT (63/317), let us just say that seeing Ted go into his "ultimate power" routine in real life was well worth the trip to the restaurant. He is a seriously funny guy.

[7] If you were to ask me (and even if you did not), I would say that there is a little bit of Ted in every character he plays. He likes to have deep and insightful conversations, like Tim O'Neill of SEAQUEST DSV (TV, 1993-1995). (Ted is the only guy I know of who can slip religion, law enforcement, and "Hard Boiled" into the same conversation). He trips over a nonexistent bump in the carpet that will make you swear you are watching Joxer in action. (Although the paper airplane fight that he had with the BABYLON 5 (TV, 1994-1998) people at his recent convention appearance was quite Joxeresque also).

[8] However, the bottom line is that Ted Raimi is most definitely, Ted Raimi. He is that guy you grow up living next door to all of your life, that guy you never realize is a total prince until it is too late. He is the guy in your chemistry class who always helped you finish your test, instead of being concerned about making his own "A". Ted is the guy you could always count on to help you move your three hundred-pound couch down three flights of stairs when all of your other friends deserted you. He is though, in every way, just a person. He has his flaws, albeit the normal human ones. Nevertheless, he is a person with a huge heart and a great sense of humor. (I would note here that he is the kind of person every mom would love, but my mom is a bigger fan of "The Bruce").

[9] Though he does a great job with his characters, going so far as to reduce viewers to tears when Joxer took a sword to the midsection in EVE (111/521), he has said many times before that he is not, nor will he ever be, a Method actor. He does not think of himself as Joxer, and he most definitely is not his character [Note 02].

[10] A Raimi is a Raimi, is a Raimi, but there is only one Ted Raimi. After having kept up with him during a weekend convention, trust me, one is enough.


Note 01
Just for informational purposes, color me a SEAQUEST DSV (TV, 1993-1995) fan. My interest in Joxer was simply a by-product of my already deeply rooted love of Tim O'Neill.
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Note 02
Executive Editor's Note: "Method Acting" is Lee Strasberg's bastardization of Constantin Stanislavski's early ideas. Though the two acting teachers are often thought of as advocating the same techniques, they did not. Strasberg's "Method", taught at The Actor's Studio, was particularly popular among American film actors of the 1960s and 70s. It had a nasty penchant for driving actors to nervous breakdowns and years of therapy because they were required to spend an inordinate amount of time drudging and dredging in their own psyches in an effort to completely and naturalistically embody their character's emotional life in performance. The work was intense to watch, but often at the expense of actor sanity. And a film actor only needs one "good" take, but stage actors-who have to do 8 shows a week, sometimes for 3 years or more-often found the "Method" less effective or even more psychologically debilitating. The primary argument against the "Method," however, is that the focus is almost solely on the actor him/herself-not the character, not the text, not the dramatic action, not the fellow actors, etc., and the work was often seen as merely self-indulgent. Consequently, the "Method" lost some of its resonance and preeminence in later years as other less invasive acting techniques, including the one that Stanislavski REALLY espoused, emerged.
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morrison Sheri Morrison

I am rich and famous, and I am only writing this article as I ran out of hundred dollar bills to light my cigarettes with and became bored. No? You are not buying that? Okay, I will tell you a bit about myself if you insist. I am slightly older than a teenager and infinitely younger than "older than dirt". That is as much as you are getting there. I love to write (it is my not so secret passion), but there are those nasty bills to be paid, so I work for a municipal government as an enforcement official. (That is just a lovely way of saying .. cop.) No seriously .. that is what I do for a living. And how can I quit when Ted has a serious habit of making off with my badge and harassing the local waitresses? You just cannot pay for that kind of fun.

Favorite episode: (40/216)
Favorite line: Joxer: "I'm not drunk! I just trip over things like that!" THE PLAY'S THE THING (85/417)
First episode seen: CALLISTO (22/122)
Least favorite episode: The one where Joxer dies. I have blocked out the name. In fact, I have blocked out the entire fifth season. I am going to go and pout now.

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