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Monday, February 21, 2005

Leslie Jordan

Last night I snorted sharply several times in succession (closest I can come to laughing when I'm alone) watching Boston Legal. I love Leslie Jordan, here playing Bernard Ferrion, an anxious and fastidious 50-something "serial killer." That's James Spader's hyperbole: Ferrion hasn't exactly earned the appellation yet.

Bernie had lived with Mother, a "cruel hurtful" woman, all his life. But one day she got on his last nerve and he hit her with the cast iron frying pan and he thought she was dead except she didn't die till AFTER she zestfully outed him as her attacker. James Spader got him off, no worries, and felt kindly towards him, thinking the killing was a one-time-only impulse, so was genuinely horrified when Bernie then whacked the elderly next door neighbor, fearing she had witnessed his first crime. Spader gets him off again but tells him never to return.

Nevertheless, Bernie, a very lonely guy at loose ends now without Mother, shows up at the law office again and Spader asks in high dudgeon: "Bernie, who have you killed this time?!"

Spader's secretary, taking pity on the killer, decides he should come to church with her and get saved. He tells her he is Jewish but she says nonsense, there has never been a Jewish serial killer, and he says well, there was Berkowitz, but she says no, Berkowitz was adopted so he was one of us. Then she opines: "if you are out there murdering people, on some level you must want to be Christian!"

Leslie Jordan is the greatest. I hope they bring him back again and again. He actually talks like a southerner. From the Hey, It's That Guy website:
Leslie Jordan is small, southern, and fey, sometimes all at the same time. He plays characters with names such as Ernie, Shelby, Lemar Samuels, Tot Dixon, Emmet Lefebvre, Beverly, Truman Fipps, and Iggy.

(Note to expectant parents: this is a representative sampling of the names that, as Hollywood has scientifically determined, possess a whiff of southern-fried effeminacy. Proceed at your own risk.)

Leslie Jordan is a delight. (You'll notice that only tiny people, and usually tiny, southern people, are referred to as "a delight," e.g. Reese Witherspoon.)

Leslie Jordan is aware of his tiny, fey southernness. He once appeared as "Preston LeRoy" in a play titled Southern Baptist Sissies.

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At 7:01 PM, Blogger TaraMetBlog said...

That's so funny that you posted this, because I've always liked him too. I was also watching Boston Legal last night.

I remember him from that bad 80s movie Ski Patrol and his TV appearances are always funny. I liked watching him and Karen fight on Will & Grace episodes.


At 8:36 PM, Blogger SC&A said...

Good writing makes a difference- that and the fact that you have to wonder, if off the east or west coasts, anyone 'gets it.'

By the way, William Shatner is fantastic- he was made for this role.

Denny Crain.

At 8:50 PM, Blogger melinama said...

Yeah, I think this is the best role Shatner has ever done. I grin nonstop while he is onscreen.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger SC&A said...

Grin? Shatner cracks me up!

That scene where he shoots the whack job with a skeet gun was insane! I laughed for a week- PULL!

At 11:59 PM, Blogger kenju said...

Leslie was in a movie I saw last year called "Sordid Lives". I suggest you rent and view this little gem which I think will become a cult movie eventually. He is amazing in his role as an over the top transvestite. Supporting cast includes Beau Bridges and a few other well-knowns whom I cannot remember right now. This movie is both hilariously funny and surprisingly sad, evoking deep feelings.

At 12:01 AM, Blogger kenju said...

P.S. I fell asleep watching (or trying to watch) Boston Legal and I am furious with myself. It is a great show, as are all of David Kelly's programs.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

Leslie Jordan is delightful, on a show that is full of wonderful characters. I count on Boston Legal for at least a couple of laugh out loud moments each week.

The chemistry between William Shatner and James Spader is phenomenal. And Candice Bergen has added an extra zing since joining the show. Shatner and Denny Crane are a perfect match; the role uses all of the characteristics that often make Shatner annoying to their best advantage. And I think this is the best work that Spader has done since Sex, Lies and Videotape.

At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would pay cash money to see a play called Southern Baptist Sissies.

Jordan must be a favorite of David Kelley's. He had a recurring role on Boston Public as a science teacher who eventually resigned in shame because he was busted for trying to hook up via an internet chat room with what turned out to be high-school girls.

At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am ever so excited because I actually met Leslie tonight at my work place and he gave me his autograph. He is exactly in person as he is on TV. I couldn't believe it. He has soo made my day if not many....

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know Leslie from home town, and he is quite the gem! So funny and down-to-earth, I just saw him a couple of weeks ago in "Like a Dog on Linoleum" his one man show. It's coming back next year and can't wait to see it. Spoiler alert - he'll be back on BL in the new season. Can't tell you what happens, but his character is back!

At 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honey, I went to Dalewood Jr.High in Chattanooga, Tennessee with Leslie Jordan. We used to walk home together. He was just as funny then as he is now.
Leslie was a decent guy. He suffered greatly at the hands of some of the bullies at that school. Bless his heart, he always managed to get by on a laugh. By God, I hope he wins that Emmy!

At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch as Leslie Jordan and Baton Bob- the street performer-turned-superstar from Atlanta- duke it out for Gay Games Glory! Check it out at

This is from Laugh Out! You can find out more at


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