The central thesis of this visual diary is that every time Carl Weathers appears in Arrested Development, I am amused to a point of uncontrollable giddiness. I use images as evidence. I’m not only referring to the brilliant construction of pseudo “Carl Weathers,” a good-natured but impossibly cheap mentor to Tobias Funke whose most useful professional tip is how to milk craft services for all their worth on a Showtime movie called Hot Ice starring Anne Archer (“never once touched my per diem). That’s reductive. Every time Carl Weathers appears on screen, even if he is just listening to someone talk, it’s one of my favorite moments in the history of the art; its a lot better than all that Brunelleschi’s Dome bullcrap, for instance. From the second he appears walking into a Super Shuttle carrying an umbrella even though it is raining, Apollo Creed reinvents himself as a guy who seemed at once proud of his success and gloriously willing to make fun of himself. As Tobias explains he does not have the training to be an actor, Carl’s eyes move to the logical side of his brain. In addition to scheming against the airlines via a scheme that the wrong guy discovered, Weathers now realizes how he can dupe this Nelly out of 1100 dollars.
Does Carl Weathers like ham? No, he loves it.
As he watches one of George Sr.’s “idiot video tapes,” his skeptical yet earnest curiosity makes for one of my favorite shots of the entire series. Just look at him, ya’ll.
“Oh hey Buster!”
According to the work of the legendary acting coach Sanford Meisner that I did not read and know very little about, “joy” is one of the hardest emotions to express naturally as an actor. To that, I give you Carl Weathers explaining his recent realization that Burger King lets you refill your soda as many times as you want.
As a director, Carl manages to balance the colossal ego and relenting desire for verisimilitude of Tobias with looks like these
Let me be clear. No one is making fun of Carl Weathers. Weathers brief yet memorable (and in my case, sadly, life-changing) appearances in Arrested Development show an untapped comic potential that he was never able to explore. With the exception of Happy Gilmore, where he’s wonderful, Weathers never got the ability to show the clear gifts of comic timing and reaction that he shows every second he’s on screen. The man had a fine career: as Apollo Creed, he was the perfect fictionalized and more conventional version of Muhammad Ali. In Predator, he’s the ideal institutional foil to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mercenary. But whenever I need to feel better about the world, I watch one of the three episodes (“Public Relations,” “Marta Complex,” “Motherboy XXX”) in which Carl is featured. I can’t wait to see him in the reboot. Let us now praise Carl Weathers.