Randy Writes a Novel

Randy the Puppet addresses the audience from behind his desk in Randy Writes a Novel at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row.

By Andrew Andrews

Randy is famous in Australia. He’s performed at the Sydney Opera House, been nominated for two ARIA awards and had his own television series. Now, he’s written a novel (Walking to Skye) and would like to share it with you. But despite decades of experience in front of an audience, he just can’t summon the courage to begin the reading—because even though he recognizes that taste is so subjective, he’s afraid you might not like it. And if nobody likes it, then all of the years he’s put into it have been for naught.

So instead of the reading, Randy slips into his normal stand up routine: bantering with the audience, asking people where they’re from and what they do, and recalling antecdotes that, as far as we can tell, will vary from show to show the way any good comedian chooses his bits by the crowd’s response. Tonight he relayed his experience with "self-checkout rage" while queued at the CVS behind four people who had never rung up their own purchases before, thrilled us with an incredible tale about picking up a bookshelf that he bought on Craigslist from a guy who had just broken up with his wife, and subjected us to a bit of a diatribe about why he’s chosen to be vegan, lightening the mood by recalling his experience explaining that position while on tour in Texas. And while we suspect he hasn’t changed anyone’s dietary habits, at times he was so convincing that we forgot we were listening to a puppet!

And that raises a question: if opinions really are like assholes (everybody has one), and Randy has his own opinions, is there truth to the joke that a puppet has a hand in its ass? We might never know, just like we’ll never find out whether—as Hemmingway might have said—Randy’s first draft is shit. But catch this show and you might very well learn Papa’s entire, unbelievable life story in three minutes. You could find out whether it’s impossible to jerk off in the reference section of the public library without getting caught. And Randy will almost certainly leave you pondering the significance of everything you do during that tiny hyphen that exists between the words “birth” and “death.” So find out what Randy has to share with you, then come back here and tell us what you’ve learned, and what new questions you have. Whether you think he’s more fun than a _____ of monkeys or a little too much like a grown-up Stewie from Family Guy, your reviews help others find out what to expect, and your ratings help us help you find future performances you’re sure to love!

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Andrew Andrews attended Randy Writes a Novel at Theatre Row in New York on Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 7:00pm to write this review.

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