”Honey badger” narrator is a YouTube sensation on a mission
If you haven’t seen the laugh-out-loud ”Crazy Nasty-ass Honey Badger” video yet (17 million YouTube views and counting), then you are seriously missing out, stupid. At least that’s what Randall would tell you. (Scroll down to see the video) The part-bitchy, part-disgusted and all-fabulous host of a series of narrated wildlife and pop culture videos has become a phenomenon. Randall’s hilarious, over-the-top narration will leave you quoting lines for days.
“Jesus Christ, lizard!” Randall exclaims as a lizard runs across water to escape a predator. As a fierce honey badger faces a giant cobra, a hive of bees and other beasties, Randall’s narration ranges from amazed ”Honey badger doesn’t give a shit!” to a disgusted “Ewwww” as the badger chows down on a fresh kill.
As amusing as it is to listen to Randall’s snarky narration, the videos actually teach you something. Honey Badger may not care, but Randall does. He’s an animal lover, and his Twitter feed is full of calls to help the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other organizations.
Randall’s repertoire of wildlife videos includes, “The Miracle of the Daffy Jesus Lizard, “Gang Flamingo Versus Team Baboon” and ”The Slow-Ass Sloth.” They’ve led to a gig as a featured blogger at Huffington Post. Most recently, he worked with Orlando Bear Bash 2011 to create a hilarious promotional YouTube video that treats big, hirsute gay guys like exotic wildlife.
“Nothing can stop the honey badger,” says Randall in one video. And nothing seems to be able to slow down the quirky narrator, except maybe exhaustion.
”Frankly, I’ve just been going crazy,” Randall says in his trademark Charles Nelson Reilly meets Tony Soprano New York-ese. ”In this day and age, if you don’t tweet every three seconds or you don’t do Facebook posts, people think you’re dead. It’s unbelievable!”
We caught up with Randall, “no last name, please” from his home in Los Angeles in between projects to discuss politics, new endeavors and of course, the infamous honey-badger.
Erik: Where did the idea to narrate these wildlife videos come from?
RANDALL: Ever since I was little, I enjoyed narrating things. My father was a camera man on Wild Kingdom. So, I grew up watching this rich, unadulterated footage for the show. I was always wondering, ‘Who is that voice I hear?’ I was attracted to the idea of watching this animal footage and being able to narrate it. Even at that early age I was like, ‘What a profession that would be!’ Then I started writing and acting. And one day, it just hit me. ‘This is such a no-brainer. This is it. Now is the time to just start narrating footage of these animals.’
Besides narrating videos, what do you do?
I also write, but my focus is narrating things. I’ve been swamped. I’ve been getting a lot of offers to do promotional videos and what not. It’s keeping me busy.
How did you get involved with narrating the Orlando Bear Bash promo?
They approached me and I said “absolutely.” I thought the idea was fantastic – having this video that starts out with real bears and goes into the Orlando Bear Bash. I thought it was genius. Anything I could do to help. So, they sent me the material and I went to town.
You said your background is writing and acting. Where did the funny come from?
Growing up, I did a few Off-Broadway comedies, but mostly I acted in dramas – a lot of esoteric, weird mumbo-jumbo stuff, and produced experimental plays. I guess the humor didn’t come about until I started doing these videos.
Besides wildlife, you’ve also created videos narrating ”The Pigs of Wall Street” and other distinct groups like ”Gunnery Sergeants.” Any plans to create more videos narrating ”nasty” people?
“The Pigs of Wall Street” was to show that we’re all animals. Really, we’re no different than, say, whales or monkeys. I wanted to show range; that in addition to animals, I can do pop culture. When Huffington Post offered me the opportunity to be their contributing blogger, I jumped at it. I wanted to show that I am capable of doing newsworthy things. As much as I am thrilled with the attention that the honey badger video’s gotten, it’s important for me to start branching out. There’s more to me than just the honey badger.
Do you plan on doing more animal videos?
Oh, yes! Absolutely! I’m actually shopping an original show to different networks. The format of that show is pretty much animal-based with some pop culture thrown in. Humor with some education thrown in. That’s really what I try to do – inform people.
Your animal videos really do educate. I didn’t know anything about some of those animals until I watched your videos.
Thank you! Some of them are just disgusting, aren’t they? You know, I love all creatures big and small. Going back to the “Wall Street” video, it’s just an analogy. There’s so much going on in the world, but when you look around you realize we’re all animals, surrounded by other animals.
And sometimes a little comic relief is just what’s needed, like your “How to Have an Affair” video.
[Laughs] All I can say is, “What are people doing?!’ That Anthony Weiner is crazy. I am trying to add a little comic relief. We need to laugh and not take everything so seriously.
Of all the videos you’ve created, why do you thing “The Crazy Nasty-Ass Honey Badger” is the breakout hit? I know people who’ve watched it a hundred times.
I think because everyone wants to have a little honey badger inside them. They want to have the potential to do what they want, take what they want – to not give a shit.
The message of “The Honey Badger” that I didn’t realize at first, is really just about seizing the day. Here’s an animal that doesn’t care. It’s going to do what it wants. I think a lot of people respond to that, just like everyone was drawn to Charlie Sheen for fifteen minutes after he lost his marbles. I think that people were like, ‘Finally, there’s an animal that’s just as crazy and eccentric as we are.’ It blew people’s minds. They were like, ‘What is this animal doing?!’ I get so many messages from people that never even knew what a honey badger was prior to seeing the video. So, for me, I see it as ‘mission accomplished.’
Incidentally, there’s so much I failed to mention in that video. It is actually really difficult to kill a honey badger. Spears and arrows don’t pierce their thick skin, which is insane. They’re pretty much indestructible. The only way to kill one is to club it or shoot it in the head… and that’s just crazy.
How has your life changed since you introduced everyone to the honey badger?
Once that video started getting millions of views, my life definitely changed. I’ve started freelancing more, and cleaning up a few scripts. I’m thrilled to be getting recognition for my skills.
[The fans] are amazing. They inspire me. I get emails and drawings from children. I got this one email from this lady who said her husband just died and my videos are the only thing that cheers her up. I just feel it’s my duty to respond to everybody. It keeps me going.
YouTube has become such a great tool for creating a world out there. I’m just so grateful for that. Ten years ago, I would never have been able to do something like this. Now, instead of having to bust my hump to get myself out there and shamelessly promote, the attention gotten to a point where people are approaching me. It’s amazing. It’s completely changed my life!
To be clear, Christopher Gordon, who runs your YouTube channel, and Randall are two different people, right?
Yes. We are two completely different people. We get that a lot. He’s my assistant. We actually met in New York years ago. Then, we reconnected here in California. He’s the one who introduced me to the honey badger video.
You asked us not to print a photo, and few people know what you look like. Do you get recognized by your voice when you go out?
I get recognized by my voice. I’m not exactly the quietest person in the world. I’ll be at a bar and someone will hear me and shout, “honey badger!” It’s really funny.
My thought process is that a good narrator should be heard and not seen. So I like being mysterious. I want people to focus on what I’m saying, and not what I look like. I get emails asking why I don’t just show my face but they’re missing the point. Eventually I’ll reach a point where I’m comfortable letting folks know who I am, but for now I just prefer to be anonymous. The same goes for my last name. You have Cher, you have Twiggy, and I’m just Randall!
What: Randall’s Wild Wild World of Animals
Originaly posted by Watermark