So the other day I was online chatting with my buddy John.
I’m not sure I’ve ever talked about John on the site before, but I’ve known him for a few years and I’ve come to view him as a really good friend. We met as we share a love for pinball, and he’s been invaluable to me not only in finding machines for me (I’d have never gotten my Monster Bash or my Cirqus Voltaire without him!) but teaching me how to fix them when they inevitably break. The dude is seriously an egghead on all things involving the silverball. Over the years we’ve moved past pins, and talk about pretty much everything under the sun. I think he is awesome in every sense of the word.
Except in maybe his taste in television shows.
Because he is responsible for today’s induction.
John: “I’m bummed I have to work this weekend. I just got a 20 DVD set of Renegade.”
John: “You’ve never heard of Renegade? It was a pretty big deal back in the early 90’s.”
Me: “Um, no.”
John: “Just a sec.”
John: “Ok, back. Here’s what Wikipedia has on it: ‘At the peak of its syndication runRenegade was broadcast in nearly 100 countries and a dozen languages, achieving a noteworthy following as one of the most viewed world programs, rivaled in numbers only by the syndication powerhouse Baywatch.'”
Me: “Wow, bigger than BAYWATCH, you say.”
John: “It was huge. Can’t believe you never saw it.”
And that was that. I didn’t give Renegade another thought until the next day when John IM’ed me again.
John: “So I was watching Renegade last night.”
Me: “Huh, how about that.”
John: “It had Jesse The Body on it. He was the lead bad guy, and he did something that you may be interested in.”
Me: “Was it good?”
John: “No, definitely NOT good.”
Me: “Was it horrible?”
John: “Oh yes.”
Me: “Ok, I’ll look it up.”
Now when John said what Jesse did was “horrible”, a number of things went through my head. Maybe his acting was bad. Maybe the script was awful. Or maybe his character did something foul.
Spoiler alert: it was the latter.
Oh boy was it the latter.
So without any further adieu, let us examine RENEGADE: PAYBACK!
Our adventure begins with the gentleman to our right discussing how he has found a pair of evil dudes, men so vile that if he rats them out, he expects to get paid a ‘big time’ bounty (that’s what the show is about – bounty hunting).
I can only hope his payday allows him to keep that awesome hairdo.
Pretty sure it’s a Jheri curl.
So he turns to his partner and we learn…
…he’s a midget!
I know we’re only two images into this write up, but seriously, people, I want you to consider this.
We have a bounty hunter midget with a Jheri curl.
Oh, and one more thing.
He’s talking to LORENZO LAMAS.
(Who looks quite dreamy.And I say that as a raging heterosexual. That hair is just awesome. He kinda looks like Kip Winger!)
So the midget (who is named, and I am not making this up, LITTLE TOM) runs around the back of the building to delay the bad guys so that Lorenzo (aka Reno Raines aka Renegade) can sneak up on them.
And yes, your friend and mine, Jesse Ventura is the lead rudo.
We know this because he directly insults Little Tom, calling him a “little half-man mutant.”
I was about to say, “Jeez, that’s not very nice”, but before I can even peck those letters out on my keyboard…
…Jesse guns the sad little guy down in cold blood.
He pulls out a machine gun and blows the midget away.
The Body follows this up by kicking Lorenzo Lamas in the face, then beating him over the head with his gun.
Wait a minute.
Why did Lorenzo only get pummelled with a blunt instrument while the midget got a belly full of lead?
I’d probably say the hair.
That Jheri curl was awful.
Especially on a caucasian midget.
Reno’s partner, who is an Indian, shows up to help him out.
I was going to say how disappointed I was going to be if his name wasn’t Tonto, but then I found out his name is Bobby Sixkiller.
That’s awesome on every conceivable level.
I should note in addition to Bobby Sixkiller (!!!), there’s also a female partner in this group. Since the show takes place in the southwest (in the BADLANDS!), her name is Cheyenne.
This show gets more amazing by the minute.
I should also note that I mentioned I was writing about Renegade this week to our own Justin Henry. His response? “Mmm, Kathleen Kinmont. I’d like to give her the old pudding fountain.”
I have a sneaking suspicion he was referring to something not very family friendly, but I’ll pretend he meant this.
So Renegade tracks down Joe Don (that would be Jesse – seriously, Joe Don, like Joe Don Baker) to the town of Blue Water.
The populace, all 245 of them, just shake their heads at the sight of this city slicker (their words, not mine!) riding in on his fancy pants motorcycle.
The crusty old geezer at the end looks like he’s never seen something so appalling.
Now just imagine Pappy’s dismay when that green horn (again, not my (or Mike’s Check’s) words) winds up getting work at the local ranch, breaking in horses…
…and shoveling manure, which he does, filling a pick up truck full of it mind you, without getting a spot on his high falutin’ white t-shirt.
After his long day at work (it appeared he slaved for about 15 minutes), Renegade decides to take a break at the local watering hole which is named, and again I am not making this up, ROAD HOUSE.
God bless the guy and all, and I am sorry he passed away at such a young age…but if Patrick Swayze shows up, you guys are on your own.
Instead of getting all boozed up, he beats up some yokels with martial arts tactics straight out of the Ricky Steamboat playbook. I was holding out hope for a deep arm drag, but no such luck.
I am happy to report, however, that the two pinball machines (a Space Shuttle and a Police Force) were unharmed in this fight, which may be a first. Filmed bar fights always seem to wind up with these great devices smashed, so kudos to the Renegade team for leaving them alone.
Reno follows up his dung shoveling and fisticuffs with a makeout session with Joe Don’s ex-wife.
And hey, speaking of Joe Don, is Jesse ever going to show up again?
While Jess is still a no show, Bobby Sixkiller (SIXKILLER!!!) makes an appearance in a suit straight out of the Don Johnson catalogue.
And Cheyenne is in tow, no doubt pleasing Mr. Henry.
FINALLY Jesse makes his appearance at Road House, with his brother.
I’d mock them for wearing the exact same outfit (TWINKS!), but I wouldn’t want to upset them and have them possibly damage those pins.
Instead, they hunt down Bobby Sixkiller (SIXKILLER!!!) and Cheyenne, and beat them up in a quick fight.
Yes, Jess beats up the girl too.
Oh don’t look surprised – you think he’s above hitting a woman?
Dude shot a midget (with a Jheri curl!) at point blank range with a machine gun!
…which leads to a high noon fist fight.
Because they are both so mad, you see.
So mad they don’t want to shoot each other.
One Renegade Spinning Superkick later, Jesse is down for the count and promptly arrested.
Maybe instead of ramming him into a tree, you should have just shot the guy.
The day after I watched this, John IM’ed me again:
John: “I found something else you may be interested in. Also involves Jesse.”
John: “Yeah, apparently he was in Zorro the year earlier. Played a guy named Big Jim Jarrett.”
Me: “Did he shoot…or I guess this being Zorro, STAB…any midgets? You know, they call ’em ‘Minis’ down there.”
John: “Uh, I don’t think so. I gotta go.”
Me: “Ok. See ya.”