Why I’m Obsessed With… Ken Marino
You might not be able to place the name, but you’ve no doubt seen Ken Marino. The actor, who stars as Jake on the NBC sitcom Marry Me, has popped up all over the place since he first appeared on MTV’s ’90s show The State. On Marry Me, Marino plays the laid-back, affable fiancé of drama queen Annie and gets plenty of opportunities to let his quirky flag fly. Exhibit A: He gives furniture military designations (“Hello, commodore sofa.”). Marino has paid his dues in guest spots and recurring roles, and I hope Marry Me sticks around long enough to give him the recognition he deserves. Here are some of my favorite times that Marino showed off his wacky brilliance.
My Favorite Line: “I wanna dip my balls in it!”
Why he was so awesome: In a recurring sketch, Louie is the guy who always thinks his catchprase is appropriate. Jesus isn’t too amused when Judas invites Louie to the Last Supper. Louie whips everyone into a frenzy as they present him with food and drinks that he can — yes — dip his balls into. Ping-Pong balls, that is. More than twenty years later and the sketch is still funny.
Character: Victor Pulak, a camp counselor, is desperate to sleep with fellow counselor, Abby Bernstein.
My Favorite Line: “Wait for me, Abby Bernstein!”
Why he was so awesome: The hair. Need I say more? Well actually, yes. Marino’s awkward Victor delivers a heartfelt rendition of “Danny’s Song” at the wrong moment. Too bad Abby Bernstein is — well — free with her love and doesn’t even remember his name at the end. I’d wait for you any day, Victor Pulak.
Character: Professor David Wilder
My Favorite Line: “Bad news, you are obviously a writer, which means the torture has just begun.” (Okay, so I was an aspiring writer majoring in fiction writing in college and I really connected with this). “The problem with your story, Joey Potter, is that it ends at the very moment it should begin.”
Why he was so awesome: He gave Joey a C on her story. Imagine someone not fawning over Little Joey Potter the second they laid eyes on her. Sure he went on to be a quasi-romantic interest but he ended things to her dismay in order to protect his career. Marino easily played a dreamboat college professor. He escaped out the window from adoring female students à la Indiana Jones. Well played, sir.
Character: Vinnie Van Lowe
My Favorite Line: “Private eyes are watching you…Hall and Oates, Veronica. They wrote the song and now you are living it.”
Why he was so awesome: Marino portrayed Vinny, a shady private detective who passed on cases and occasionally worked with Keith and Veronica Mars. Van Lowe was smarter than he looked. Even Veronica gave him credit when she attempted to bug his office with a pen. He quickly found it and used it as a prop to mock Veronica with an ass-slapping Hall and Oates burn. Marino was taunting Veronica, but treating viewers.
Character: Mark Orlando
Best Line: “I’m looking for someone who can make me laugh, but isn’t afraid of robots.”
Why he was so awesome: Dim-witted, but handsome (like many Bachelor contestants), firefighter Mark Orlando was looking for love. Marino reveled in all the usual clichés, giving out a “hose” to the ladies he wanted to keep seeing, going on one-on-one dates, proposing at the end to one “lucky” lady. Marino perfectly played Orlando as obtuse. When asked if one of his dates made him feel like the only man in the world, he replied, “No, I don’t want to be the only man in the world. That would mean the human population is in danger and I don’t perform well under pressure.” He was also oblivious to Vivian’s pregnancy and didn’t figure out that “exotic” contestant Ken Jeong’s Ballerina wasn’t quite the lady he imagined. Burning Love in general is brilliant but Ken Marino was on fire as Mark Orlando.