1590 Goodlette-Frank Road, Naples, FL
Granted, the list of honey badger celebrities is a short one, but the man who ranks no lower than second on it was in Naples last weekend plying his craft.
Chris Gordon, a stand-up comic/actor turned videographer, spent the weekend at the Naples Zoo filming the zoo’s new honey badgers for a video to augment what is likely the world’s most viewed honey badger documentary, “The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger,” narrated by Randall.
Randall, the only person above Gordon’s on our hypothetical list, is a one-name wonder, narrating animal videos in an irreverent and often profane manner.
Randall’s animal videos like the “Slowass Sloth” and the “Gross and Disgusting American Bullfrog” have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube, but none are more popular than “The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger,” which at last count was close to 15 million hits.
Gordon’s work over the weekend will take form as a more family-friendly version of the honey badger film to bring the fearless, adorable creatures to a wider audience. “Randall tends to be a potty mouth,” Gordon admits.
Indeed, the “The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger” is not for the faint of heart, both because of its language and the vicious, voracious way in which the honey badger attacks prey ranging from mice to bee larvae to cobras.
“Honey badger don’t care. Honey badger don’t give a sh**. It just takes whatever it wants,” Randall narrates in a style that is part Jim Fowler, part Perez Hilton.
In Naples, Gordon said he got good footage of the honey badgers prancing, digging, sunbathing and generally being cute, which they are until they start tearing into something. “I wanted to pet them,” Gordon said. “They (zoo staff) said, ‘You can pet them, but you’re going to lose a finger.”’
“I got plenty of amazing footage of them eating some disgusting things, which I think Randall is going to go crazy over,” Gordon said.
Gordon and Randall _ Gordon insists Randall is a real person, not an alter ego invented by his performer’s imagination _ knew each other years ago in New York. More recently, they reconnected in California and were looking for a project to do together.
Gordon found a National Geographic documentary on honey badgers and showed it to Randall. “We were taken aback by how amazing these animals were and we were taken aback by how boring the narration was,” Gordon said.
They substituted Randall’s commentary for the original and it quickly went viral on the Internet.
Gordon says he edits the video and supplies Randall with facts about the animal in question. Randall watches the video once, then the second time through adds his commentary. “He tends not to write anything down, which is sort of amazing,” Gordon said.
What results is a narration that is as offbeat as the animals it describes. “Eww. What’s that a mouse? Oh that’s nasty,” Randall says as a honey badger pulls apart a carcass. “That’s how he talks, it’s unaffected,” Gordon says of Randall’s delivery.
The storyline covers the same material you’d expect in a typical documentary but does so in a unique way. For instance, explaining how other animals scavenge a honey badger’s kill, Randall announces, “Hey, look at that bird, it says, ‘Thanks for the treat stupid.’ The jackals do it too. ‘Thanks stupid, thanks for the mouse.’”
“Our goal here is to educate people through humor,” Gordon said.
Their piece on great white sharks has gotten nearly a million hits. The American bullfrog, more than 700,000.
But the honey badger leads the way. Gordon said the success of the video has opened doors for him in Hollywood, where he is still trying to make a go of it as an actor and comedian. There’s talk of a Randall’s Animals TV show. “There’s something to be said for having a video go viral,” Gordon said. There are T-shirt sales and an occasional product endorsement. “I feel very blessed we live in an age when you can post something like that on the Internet and it can be successful,” Gordon said.
Gordon said the honey badger video shot in Naples should be up on the Internet in a week or so.
Go to YouTube.com and type Randall’s animals in the search bar. The list of honey badger videos there is a short one.
Connect with Brent Batten at naplesnews.com/staff/brent_batten