Jerk with a mullet: The Danny McBride movie guide
Danny McBride plays the kind of guys you'd never wanna hang out with, but it sure is fun watching him annoy and torment others in the movies, even if he's only making a cameo.
Danny McBride in "Your Highness" (Universal Pictures)
As Kenny Powers, the insufferable washed up, redneck baseball player at the centre of HBO's "Eastbound & Down," Danny McBride has created a character whose behaviour somehow manages to be even more amusingly loathsome than his hideously permed mullet. Chauvinist, liar, egomaniac, lazy manipulator, emotional child, reckless partier, terrible dresser -- he's got a-hole down to a science. Now, with the release "Your Highness," from Universal Pictures, McBride takes his first starring role in a Hollywood movie, as -- you guessed it -- an arrogant lout with an awful coif.
In fact, over the past five years, McBride has steadily built a career playing a jerk with a mullet (or similarly terrible haircut) in a bunch of comedies. His parts may not always be large, but they're always memorable. If you can't get your fill of the performer sporting bad hair and even badder behaviour, seek out these films and see him at his hilarious worst.
The Foot Fist Way (2005)
Although sporting a shaved-short look, McBride created the prototype for Kenny Powers when he co-wrote and starred in this indie film about a self-obsessed yet self-unaware Tae Kwon Do instructor named Fred Simmons. Full of half-baked wisdom and bad advice for his students, he's forced to man up when he brings his martial arts hero to town only to find the even bigger jerk sleeping with his wife. Much ego bursting and bruise-making ensues as Simmons learns a few lessons in humility and desperately tries to look cool in a karate stance.
Hot Rod (2006)
McBride's first Hollywood role saw him cast as Rico, the dumpy, boogie van-driving sidekick to aspiring stuntman hero Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg of "Saturday Night Live" fame). Though the movie didn't do much for its star's career, it obviously didn't hurt McBride, who has a few memorable scenes in the film. The best one sees Rico losing his temper after one of Rod's stunts goes awry and beating a neighbourhood man with a plastic traffic marker, before dumping garbage on him and -- for good measure -- stealing his hat.
Drillbit Taylor (2008)
This is another minor film with a stand-out turn from McBride, this time as one of the homeless buddies to the title character (a low-rent life coach/bodyguard played by Owen Wilson). McBride plays grubby, long-haired Don, who isn't above impersonating a teacher and sees himself as a self-styled ladies man among the hobos. The classic lack of self awareness that McBride brings to his characters is in full comedic effect here.
Appearing in a large but uncredited cameo, McBride shows up as a security guard at George Lucas' ranch, where a group of obsessive "Star Wars" fans break into the private offices in an effort to see "Episode I" before it hits theatres (yes, a big fat waste of time in retrospect). As head of the security team that catches them, McBride's power-tripping tough guy is tasked with testing the intruders' knowledge of the series to prove their true fanboy status and thus ensure that they're worthy of an advance screening. His "bad cop" demeanour is made funnier when his questions begin to take on a twisted sexual nature. Just what is a "Mississippi Handbag" anyhow?
Pineapple Express (2008)
McBride steals the show in this stoner buddy comedy starring Seth Rogan and James Franco, as Red, a sometimes backstabbing but ultimately lovable drug dealer. Sporting a fluffy mullet that would make Dog the Bounty envious, and getting shot numerous times through the film, Red perseveres in the end to help out his new found buddies, and thereby make up for almost getting them murdered. There's nothing a pancake breakfast at the end of a shooting spree can't solve, right?
Observe and Report (2009)
McBride again appears onscreen with Seth Rogan in this "Taxi Driver"-influenced dark comedy about a mentally unstable mall cop who goes way overboard in policing the retail space. The film was written and directed by McBride collaborator Jody Hill (co-creator of "The Foot Fist Way" and "Eastbound & Down"). This time McBride's character, "Caucasian Crackhead," menaces Rogen's character as an armed crack dealer from the barrio. Turns out his gun's no match for a police baton, however, and he ends up lying in the dust, a crippled mess.
Due Date (2010)
This buddy comedy by Todd Phillips, director of "The Hangover," stars Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis as a couple of polar opposite men forced together on a cross-country road trip. When they unsuccessfully try to retrieve a money transfer, they anger business owner Lonnie (McBride), a wheelchair-bound war veteran with a very weird helmet-mullet. He rolls up on them -- literally -- and beats Downey Jr's character to a pulp. That's what ya get for keeping a man from his dinner reservation at Chilis.
Your Highness (2011)
McBride is re-teamed with his "Pineapple Express" costar (James Franco) and director (David Gordon Green) in "Your Highness," a -- get this -- medieval fantasy stoner comedy. As the jerky Prince Thadeous, he reluctantly joins a quest to save a fair maiden, in the process he tries to steer clear of mythical creatures, attempts to use magic to his advantage and, naturally, gets high. His demeanour is repugnant, but his mullet can only be described as resplendent.