Has Brent Spiner Gone Andy Kaufman?

Illustration for article titled Has Brent Spiner Gone Andy Kaufman?

Look I know that Brent "Data" Spiner has always been into light jazz (his album "Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back" attests to that), but somehow things have gone a bit deep endy with his new album "Dreamland." As the incomparable Ed "Bat Segundo" Champion already revealed in his amazingly demented interview with Spiner, the actor is a little obsessed with his presence online. Apparently he reads the comments people make about him on YouTube (enough to drive even the thick-skinned mad), and he's got a big new website he just unveiled called The Real Brent Spiner. Mostly the site is to support his new album, and that's where things go Andy Kaufman. If you'll recall your pop culture history, Kaufman was a popular comedian in the 1970s who was on the TV series Taxi, and for his only starring film role he played a robot accountant in the obscure but amazing Heartbeeps (one of my favorite robot romance movies ever). After playing a robot, he became notorious for taking method comedy too far when he got into wrestling. Nobody was completely sure if Kaufman was joking or serious when he became a full-time wrestler who always fought ladies — but he died before anybody could figure it out. Watching Spiner's "making of Dreamland" video on his new site (you can find it by clicking on the "video" link), I started to get an Andy Kaufman feeling. Is Spiner serious about this, or is it a method comedy joke? I mean, I am totally excited for him to delve back into the cheesy singing — that's a win, as far as I'm concerned. But there's none of the "yes I'm sort of kidding" stuff that went into his album Ol' Yellow Eyes. It seems like he's playing this one pretty straight. Which confuses me. And, admittedly, makes me want to stab my eyes out too. Spiner's character Data was always one of my favorite characters on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The guy is a good actor and looks pretty damn Edward Nortony when it comes down to it. I wish this guy would get some weird roles in cool indie flicks or on Fringe or Sarah Connor Chronicles instead of doing CDs that make me . . well, worry a little bit about him.



Oh, he's fine, Annalee. He's just an old musical-theater queen, like lots of other actors we admire... except he publicly embraces it.

Dive into any dozen genre actor bios and you'll find musical theater and/or dance training. Like what's-his-name who's playing Spock in the new movie.

That said, regarding the "concept" album? It's a good thing he's so pretty.

The boy's just restless, looking for another good character part to play.