You may not have known his name, but you definitely knew who he was
January 10, 2015 9:23 PM   Subscribe

Comedian and actor Taylor Negron, dead at 57 from cancer You may remember him from such movies as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Better Off Dead, or The Last Boy Scout. You may also remember him from his work as a writer and producer, notably in The Aristocrats.

Taylor Negron had a long and fascinating career. One of cousins was Chuck Negron, the lead singer of Three Dog Night (he told a very interesting anecdote about that on a recent episode of Sklarbro Country). As a young actor, he took private lessons from Lucille Ball, appeared as a contestant on The Dating Game 9 times, and went on to star as a pizza delivery guy in three separate movies. He also appeared on television and the stage, and was recently working on a musical called Miserable Les.

Other links of note:
California Gothic - a performance at The Moth from December 2014
TEDx Talk titled "We Must Be", recorded in 2013
A tale of old Hollywood, recorded in 2011
Heartfelt mentions on Twitter, including Lizz Winstead, Patton Oswalt, Marc Maron
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit (88 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
.
posted by valkane at 9:25 PM on January 10, 2015


A great comic mind gone too soon.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:32 PM on January 10, 2015


the phrasing and pauses in his aristcrats joke, so genius
posted by PinkMoose at 9:42 PM on January 10, 2015


.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:45 PM on January 10, 2015


.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:47 PM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


this was complete genius
posted by PinkMoose at 9:52 PM on January 10, 2015


Better Off Dead... such a great cameo.
posted by fusinski at 9:53 PM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Madamina at 9:53 PM on January 10, 2015


When that waste of skin from Sons of Anarchy went on his murder rampage and killed what the media was simply calling an "81 year old woman", Taylor beautifully described who exactly that woman was. R.I.P.
posted by anazgnos at 10:03 PM on January 10, 2015 [41 favorites]


He told a great story about getting a monkey on The Moth's holiday podcast. I had no idea he was sick. Such a memorable performer.

.
posted by Mchelly at 10:11 PM on January 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


He played a lot of stereotypical gay characters before gay characters were given worthwhile scripts.
posted by reiichiroh at 10:15 PM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:19 PM on January 10, 2015


.
posted by riverlife at 10:30 PM on January 10, 2015


I still sometimes greet my brother with his stilted "Hey Motherfucker" from The Last Boy Scout.

.
posted by zinc saucier at 10:40 PM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just re-watched the wonderful, under-rated 'nothing but trouble', in which he plays a wild Brazilian millionaire.
posted by growabrain at 10:43 PM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I met Taylor a couple years ago at a dinner party a friend was having. At one point there was just about six of us sitting around a kitchen table, and he began to tell the story of coming home one day to discover his neighbor had been horrifically and bizarrely murdered, and he managed to convey what an awful shock and trauma it was, and yet it was one of the most hilarious stories I've ever heard. Everyone in the room was howling with laughter, tears running down our cheeks, but he wasn't playing for a cheap laugh at the expense of the victim- this hilarious, crazy story about finding a dead body and then having to go do standup at the improv a couple hours later. But it was told with respect. I still am in awe about the guy's ability to tell a story, the ability to make you laugh while telling you something completely chilling. He was smart and empathetic and warm and charming. I saw him a couple months later in a hardware store and to my surprise he remembered me, and even pointed out that we had another mutual friend. Sweet man.
posted by kingv at 11:16 PM on January 10, 2015 [37 favorites]


I've always liked his Busted in Miami story. "You will pay mighty for the little giant."
posted by jjwiseman at 11:23 PM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


.
posted by daq at 11:26 PM on January 10, 2015


.

I was singing his name all last month, as Stefon's 12 Days of Christmas has entered heavy rotation in my Christmas caroling. "4 coked up frogs, 3 French hens, Taylor Negron, and a human parking coooooooooooooooone."
posted by katemonster at 11:38 PM on January 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


I still giggle at "How to Pick Up Trashy Women."
.
RIP
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 11:47 PM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


He loved what he did and he always looked like he owned it.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 12:02 AM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


.

I think he might have been my first recognizable recurring character actor/cameo guy - I remember him from sitcoms I can't remember the names of. So good, so talented, and by all accounts the nicest most down-to-earth guy on the planet.

Fuck cancer.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:05 AM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


He played a lot of stereotypical gay characters before gay characters were given worthwhile scripts.

To be a stereotype, there has to be more than one of you. There was only one Taylor Negron.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:30 AM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:56 AM on January 11, 2015


A deep cut from one of my favorites, Punchline.

Too soon. Fuck cancer.

.
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:56 AM on January 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


.
posted by dogwalker at 1:38 AM on January 11, 2015


I loved him in Friends. (prev)
posted by Meatbomb at 2:53 AM on January 11, 2015


.
posted by heatvision at 3:07 AM on January 11, 2015


Damn. I remember seeing him on late night stand up shows when I was young, and I always loved his comedy. I always perked up a little when he showed up in a movie. It didn't matter if the movie was good or bad, his scenes would always be worth watching.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:13 AM on January 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:42 AM on January 11, 2015


One of my favourite character actors. I always looked for him. RIP.
posted by h00py at 4:29 AM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


.

Slacks.
posted by dannyboybell at 4:34 AM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


.
posted by drezdn at 4:36 AM on January 11, 2015


Awww , damn.
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:21 AM on January 11, 2015


.
posted by fatbaq at 5:27 AM on January 11, 2015


His last xojane essay
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:01 AM on January 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


.
posted by humanfont at 6:03 AM on January 11, 2015


He wasn't gay? I mean, TAYLOR NEGRON WASN'T GAY?? Wow now I'm impressed! He was one of the people I studied for being so openly gay when I was a confused and closeted bisexual kid in the 1980's.

Thanks, Taylor. You made a difference in my life. Great work!

And oh yeah

*
posted by Mike Mongo at 6:15 AM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


He played a lot of stereotypical gay characters before gay characters were given worthwhile scripts.

That's a wordy way of saying "He was a character actor in the '80s."
posted by Etrigan at 6:27 AM on January 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


.

You don't want carpet. You want an area rug.
posted by rmxwl at 6:34 AM on January 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


He was a nonconformist comic when that type of comedy wasn't popular. He was an amazing storyteller, and he seemed to take his small amount of "that guy" fame with grace. I just loved his energy. RIP.
posted by xingcat at 6:35 AM on January 11, 2015


Great great comic persona. He will be missed for damn sure.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:39 AM on January 11, 2015


In that XOjane article he refers to his "pansexualality." So, like, Andy Dick before Andy Dick.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:50 AM on January 11, 2015


I wish there was an SNL just for middle aged character actors. Imagine Luis Guzman, Catherine O'hara and Vincent Schiavelli running a sketch? They'd kill it.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:57 AM on January 11, 2015 [23 favorites]


.
posted by Ickster at 6:59 AM on January 11, 2015


.
posted by allthinky at 7:11 AM on January 11, 2015


.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:59 AM on January 11, 2015


.
posted by condour75 at 8:12 AM on January 11, 2015


.

Cyrano has been done to death in Hollywood, but never better than this
posted by any major dude at 8:15 AM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


He was so slimy in "Better Off Dead" that I thought he must have been Teflon-coated. Perfectly executed!
posted by wenestvedt at 8:41 AM on January 11, 2015


.

From parents who have pronounced "area rug" in Taylor Negron's voice for 20 years and children who laugh every time.
posted by VW at 9:21 AM on January 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


"On Bewitched, first you had Dick York, then Dick Sargent. YOU DON'T SWITCH DICKS MIDSTREAM!!"

RIP, you funny bastard.
posted by jonmc at 9:22 AM on January 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


.

I still sometimes greet my brother with his stilted "Hey Motherfucker" from The Last Boy Scout.

So you do know that his mom is your mom, right?
posted by hal_c_on at 9:25 AM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


.
I have liked him for years. Seeing the original clip from Fast Times... he had such a tiny part? But he's remembered for it. He had a singular presence. I heard The Moth thing last week and wondered what he was acting in and when he'd be seen again. Sad news.
posted by readery at 9:25 AM on January 11, 2015


.

He freaked me out in Last Boy Scout. Wasn't he on an E talk show too? So long ago...
posted by aerotive at 9:37 AM on January 11, 2015


I also remember his hilarious turn as the mailman in How I Got Into College. One of the best parts of a mediocre flick.
posted by jonmc at 9:42 AM on January 11, 2015


The FPP title was absolutely correct, but I'm sorry he is gone so soon. I did instantly recognize him. And thanks to the link to his essay about Catherine Davis.
posted by maxwelton at 10:02 AM on January 11, 2015


.
posted by the sobsister at 10:04 AM on January 11, 2015


katemonster: "I was singing his name all last month, as Stefon's 12 Days of Christmas has entered heavy rotation in my Christmas caroling. "4 coked up frogs, 3 French hens, Taylor Negron, and a human parking coooooooooooooooone.""

That bit was the subject of one of my favorite moments in the long-running fight between John Mulaney and Bill Hader to get Bill to break during the Stefon bits. Usually John just changed or added some bit at the very last second, but he didn't have anything ready for that one, so he just printed out a picture of Taylor Negron, signed it, "Thanks for never making fun of me on Saturday Night Live, Love, Taylor", and handed it to Bill right before he went on.

Other than that, I'll always remember Taylor Negron's guest appearance in the Encyclopedia Brown TV series that ran on HBO in the early 90s. He was an entertaining villain right out of the Scooby Doo school, complete with wearing multiple ridiculous costumes to scare people off of the property (uh, spoiler alert, I guess).
posted by Copronymus at 10:15 AM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was SO saddened to hear this news. He was always instantly recognizable, and always hilarious. Fuck cancer, indeed.

.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 10:19 AM on January 11, 2015


.
posted by cazoo at 10:28 AM on January 11, 2015


He was great in Better off Dead, but I didn't fully appreciate him until the wholly underrated Last Boy Scout. His performance is wonderfully creepy and just - off. It makes Milo a particularly villainous.

[One thing I've always found sort of interesting is the number of comedic actors they opted to use throughout that film in distinctly non-comedic roles. I'm not sure what the person in charge of casting was thinking but it certainly worked. ]

.

posted by quin at 10:34 AM on January 11, 2015


.
posted by dbiedny at 10:49 AM on January 11, 2015


I used to get him confused with Bronson Pinchot. I wonder if Pinchot could play him in a biopic.
posted by klangklangston at 11:07 AM on January 11, 2015


.
posted by librosegretti at 11:21 AM on January 11, 2015


It sounds weird to say this, but he was really funny in Biodome.


"We were watching that."

"I'll put it right back- I want to see if the sniper shot that clown at the mall."

.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:28 AM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


It sounds weird to say this, but he was really funny in Biodome.

The two main characters in Bio-Dome were named Bud and Doyle and Taylor Negron's character calls them Bob and Darryl the whole time and that's the funniest kinda thing to me.
posted by dogwalker at 11:38 AM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


"I can't go to the bathroom. I hurt my bladder rollerblading."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:44 AM on January 11, 2015


.
posted by mkim at 12:01 PM on January 11, 2015


.
posted by Splunge at 12:16 PM on January 11, 2015


.
posted by Renoroc at 12:19 PM on January 11, 2015


I'm feeling sick and watching Friends reruns and just saw his name flash across the credits as Alessandro from Lebanon who hires Monica as head chef.

.
posted by discopolo at 12:43 PM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


R.I.P, Brad.
posted by mrhappy at 1:14 PM on January 11, 2015


He was the best thing about Die Hard 12.
posted by I-baLL at 1:45 PM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


He had the best line in the otherwise odious "Nothing But Trouble."

During a car chase - "Man, you have a BMW. Act like it."
posted by Thistledown at 2:19 PM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Michele in California at 2:36 PM on January 11, 2015


The man was a constant puzzling delight. Godspeed Taylor, you helped keep it weird.
posted by Divine_Wino at 2:58 PM on January 11, 2015 [2 favorites]




.
posted by krix at 4:31 PM on January 11, 2015


Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:05 PM on January 11, 2015


That's the Water Pik.
posted by hearthpig at 5:24 PM on January 11, 2015


Speaking of Lucille Ball, dude was such a good writer. That and the previously linked eulogy to Catherine Davis really won me over to this "That Guy" who passed away too soon.

.
posted by aydeejones at 5:30 PM on January 11, 2015 [5 favorites]




So sad. Fast Times and Better Off Dead and a million other funny bit parts.

.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:27 AM on January 12, 2015


And the Kardashians are all still alive, right?

I never knew of him before I saw his fairly brief bit in The Aristocrats, which PinkMoose mentioned. Brilliant. "Have you ever seen a starfish eat out another starfish? It takes forever, but they get it done." (not quite quoting right)

There are some great clips on Comic's Comic.
posted by anothermug at 6:55 PM on January 12, 2015


.
posted by On the Corner at 1:35 AM on January 13, 2015


Lengthy piece on Taylor Negron on Grantland by Alex Pappademas
posted by larrybob at 11:45 AM on January 13, 2015


I remember a hilarious story he told at UnCabaret about this older gay neighbor of his who had been a friend of Judy Garland (Negron lived in a house where Judy had once lived) going to a talent show that Lorna Luft's kid was in.
posted by larrybob at 12:24 PM on January 13, 2015


« Older There's a camera in the fuel tank of this rocket   |   MH17: Searching for the Truth Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments