It's his voice that gets you first: A high Stygian witch's cackle that delivers a halting jumble of phrases like toy blocks clattering down a stairwell. His name is the Famous Mysterious Actor, and he is, naturally, the star of the Famous Mysterious Actor Show. In the past year, the FMAS's goofball diversions at the Ash Street (from tinfoil time machines to fake commercials) have become an inexplicable hit in Portland. Each month, Famous and his friends introduce a packed house of beer-soused, candy-throwing fans to Portland's pop-culture makers, from Movie Madness' Mike Clark to Qaolin the Klingon. But the focus is always on Mysterious, sitting behind his stage desk.
A hyperactive man-child dressed in a lucha libre mask and winter parka with a voracious appetite for old movies, bling and sugar, Mysterious looks like Space Ghost, only weirder. He pokes Pixy Stix down the mouth-hole of his mask, makes outlandish demands and often punctuates the ends of his sentences with N'yek!--a sound that lies between a hiccuping grunt and Monty Python's "Knights Who Say Ni." To get at the man behind the mask, last week WW called the Mysterious Actor himself.
Famous Mysterious Actor: Why are you snooping around? Why do you want this "interlude"?
WW: Interlude? You mean interview? What exactly are you?
I am, I am the best entertainer in the whole world. I have a TV show and I talk to people who aren't as famous as me.
How did you get your own show in the first place?
Where are you from originally?
There's this cosmic showbiz stardust that joined up and formed an egg. I was hatched out of it.
OK, where'd ya get your mask?
I don't wear a mask. That's just what you look like if you're created out of the cosmic dust of stardom.
You wear a lot of bling on your show. Where do you shop?
Cutter's Bling. He's got his own store. And by store I mean van.
Who's gonna be on your show tonight?
Scott Allie. He writes the comic books. It's like, "Hey, let's go rob a bank." And Spider-Man is like, "Yo, robbers, catch these pies." And they'll go, "Yeah, I love pies." And one will say, "I'm diabetic. Let's take this loot."
["Diabolus"] Rex Church. He knows a lot about dogs, and he's got horns growing out of his forehead.
Who has been FMAS's best musical guest?
I like those boys that are called Hillstomp. They can't afford instruments. They play on buckets and a cheese grater.
What's the future of FMAS?
I want to get my own cable special so I can start swearing and bein' raw, because that's some of what my audience wants.
No...BURN! You thought I wasn't going to telephone-burn you. But I did. As a "stimulation" of this "interlude," you have to send me some candy.
Better send me a Whitman's Sampler so I can pick and choose. N'yek!
at Ash Street, 225 SW Ash St., 226-0430. 9 pm Wednesday, Oct. 6. $5. 21+. Visit www.thefmashow.com for more bling.
Mark your calendar: Famous and company are moving to the roomier Sabala's at Mount Tabor's Nov. 24.