The Sad State of Randy Quaid

Vanity Fair goes deep inside Randy Quaid’s seeming psychosis. Funny and heartbreaking at once.

Halfway through the Vanity Fair profile of Randy and Evi Quaid, who have ‘escaped’ to Canada in order to evade supposedly murderous Star Whackers, I was laughing. Evi talks about how Madonna tried to steal Randy away from her, promising a threeway with Jennifer Grey*. The antics of the Quaids seem funny and weird and goofy.

But then you get towards the end and the sadness of the whole thing comes down on you, especially as Quaid speaks in private to reporter Nancy Jo Sales about his wife. It’s obvious that he’s somehow caught up in her delusions, and that he knows that but doesn’t know how to get out of it. He’s trapped in there with her, and it might have been exciting for him for a while  but now it’s wearing on him. He wants to settle the madness, get out of the problem, and move on and work again. It’s sad to hear that he no longer talks to brother Dennis (seemingly because of Evi) and that he’s resentful of being stuck with the legacy of the Vacation films.

As I read I began to wonder if Randy isn’t stuck inside some crazy actor’s fantasy, one where he gets to be the leading man in a tale of intrigue and danger. It’s like he got into a role and could never climb back out of it.

The profile is terrific and in-depth. It also includes some truly odd aspects of what was already an odd case, such as Evi and Randy’s proposed reality show about the Star Whackers which might see them actually killing someone. Click here to read the whole thing.

* Which seems hard to pass up. Back in the day.