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“Star whacker”? On the odd case of Randy Quaid, Lloyd Braun…and Seinfeld?

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Randy Quaid is being roundly ridiculed by the media and pop-occulture for supposedly outing assumed Hollywood insiders for allegedly taking over properties and finances with an oft end towards having the celebrity taken out—yeah, taken out, capiche? as in whacked—so that the handlers can take over that which they left behind.

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A very telling statement by Randy Quaid is as follows, “How many people have you known personally who have died suddenly and mysteriously in the last five years?” and holding back tears, continued, “I have personally known eight actors. All of whom” now fighting back tears, “All of whom I have worked with and was close to - Heath Ledger, Chris Penn, David Carradine among them.”

And then came the statement which some see as turning him into a sentimental guy making a powerfully good statement, into a crazed conspiracy nut, “I believe these actors were whacked and I believe many others, such as Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Mel Gibson, are being played to get at their money.”

He referenced “A small network of individuals” including Lloyd Braun, Quaid’s ex-attorney.

But he was not merely shooting off assertions; he made specific reference to legal documents (referring specifically to racketeering) pertaining to his personal property, finances, etc. Thus, an actual journalist could thereby begin to track down the facts of the matter. And yet, most media sources are taking the view which was taken by a reporter just as soon as Randy Quaid was done speaking. The reporter asked something to the effect of whether he was crazy.

An ABC News interviewer stated to Randy and Evi Quaid, “With all due respect” which is when you know you are in for it, “some people will watch this and think; what are they talking about, they’re crazy, this is not possible.” Well, that is partly because the interview segment did not include any journalistic investigation whatsoever.

Lloyd Braun is the executive of BermanBraun, runs a celebrity gossip website, is also a former Hollywood producer and executive with ABC/Yahoo. Whilst working with Quaid, Braun administered over 25 contracts, home purchases and other personal and business deals. A lawsuit filed by Randy Quaid again Lloyd Braun states, in part:

“From the early 1990s to the present, Braun continues to have access to the Quaids’ most confidential information, and he continues to receive money from them for his services. Among other services, Braun was to provide the Quaids with advice, negotiate contracts, and otherwise represent the Quaids. At all times, Braun was to protect the Quaids’ interests. Braun received payments on behalf of Randy Quaid in connection with profit participation for prior work performed by Randy Quaid.”

When this story came out, the name Lloyd Braun rang a bell and, oh yes, it was on Seinfeld! On the TV show Seinfeld, George Costanza has continued, and unpleasant, run-ins with a certain Lloyd Braun. The character Kramer was based on Larry David’s real life neighbor and many other characters were based on real life personages. Likewise with Lloyd Braun who, whilst an entertainment lawyer, had as a client the very same Larry David.

In the Seinfeld episode Serenity Now, the following exchange takes place as Frank Costanza, George’s father, hires Braun to sell computers:

George: What is Lloyd Braun doing here?

Frank: Your mother recommended him.

George: Yeah, of course she did. That's all I ever heard growing up is 'Why can't you be more like Lloyd Braun?' Did you know he was in a mental institution?

Frank: I didn't read his resume.

Well, Frank had been using a stress releasing technique whereby when he got stressed, he would say “serenity now” and calm down:

Lloyd: You know, you should tell your dad that 'serenity now' thing doesn't work. It just bottles up the anger, and eventually, you blow.

George: What do you know? You were in the nut house.

Lloyd: What do you think put me there?

George: I heard they found a family in your freezer

Lloyd: Serenity now. Insanity later.

In the end, George wins a salesman battle against Lloyd but, in reality, George was just pulling a fast one on good ol' dad and was simply taking the computers and storing them in Kramer’s apartment. When Kramer eventually blew from having serenity now fail, he destroyed all of the computers in a fit of rage:

Frank (to George): You single-handedly brought Costanza and Son to the brink of bankruptcy.

George: Well what about all the Lloyd Braun sales?

Frank: He's crazy. His phone wasn't even hooked up. He just liked ringing that bell.

In the episode, The Gum we learn more about Lloyd Braun:

KRAMER: …Listen, you guys haven't seen Lloyd Braun, have you? I'm supposed to meet him here.

GEORGE: Lloyd Braun? What d'you have to meet him for?

KRAMER: Well, he's using his connections in the Mayor's office, to uh, get the theatre landmark status.

JERRY: I thought he screwed up the Dinkins campaign [Braun’s bad advice, caused the Mayor to lose his reelection campaign].

KRAMER: Well, he did. You know, after that, he had a nervous breakdown? Had to spend a few months in an institution.

Here comes the most interesting part as George is considered to be paranoid/crazy for identifying Braun as being behind much mischief in a series of odd coincidences:

DEENA: You're probably wondering why I wanted to see you again.

GEORGE: Well, you know. It's understandable.

DEENA: I'm glad you feel that way. Because since my father's breakdown I uh, become very sensitive to the warning signs.

GEORGE: Warning signs?

DEENA: Nervousness, irritability, paranoia.

GEORGE: What? What're you talking about? I'm not the one with the problem. Lloyd Braun was in the nuthouse, not me.

DEENA: Yet again, taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others.

GEORGE: All my friends do that.

DEENA: George, I'm only trying to help. I'm concerned. George? George, are you listening to me?

GEORGE: You see that woman on the horse?

[Ruthie Cohen is passing by on horseback]

GEORGE: She stole twenty dollars from me. Yeah, I might've gotten it back, but Lloyd Braun interfered!

DEENA: So again it all comes back to Lloyd.

GEORGE: Hey! Hey, you! Come back here!! Don't gallop away!!

Ruthie is the cashier at a coffee shop and George believed that he gave her $20.00 and she gave him the wrong change; but, in the end, he was mistaken.

After George’s car catches fire:

DEENA: So, you want my father to pay for this?

GEORGE: You saw him. He was fiddling with the engine. God knows what he did there.

DEENA: And I suppose Lloyd Braun had something to do with it too.

Later on:

GEORGE: I know. Don't you see? He [Jerry pretending to not know George] was doing it to fool Lloyd Braun!

Later still:

GEORGE: Look, Deena, I know you think I'm crazy, but I'm not. This is just a series of bad coincidences.

DEENA: I don't know, George. I don't know what to believe.

GEORGE: Believe me, I am not crazy.

DEENA: Well, I guess it's possible.

In the end, George ends up in a nut house. It is very interesting that the fictional story is about Lloyd Braun’s bad advice and manipulating Frank’s computer company with George ending up lock up as crazy. In real life, Braun’s alleged manipulations are leading Randy Quaid to be thought of as crazy/paranoid. Just what did Larry David know that he would concoct such as scenario during his 1990s AD show Seinfeld?

Lastly, as an example of the death of journalism, note a CNN report which begins with the statement of Quaid’s about there being “a malignant tumor of star whackers in Hollywood and has Jane Velez-Mitchell stating:
Or is he perhaps whacked? A bizarre claim by actor Randy Quaid…Randy and his wife, Evi, arrested after allegedly squatting in and trashing their former California home. Also accused of skipping out on a $10,000 hotel bill, which was eventually paid. If you ask them, it`s a conspiracy to kill them….Are they saying all of this with a straight face?

Straight out to Bonnie Fuller…Bonnie, are they crazy or are they crazy like a pair of foxes?

[Bonnie] I think they`re crazy. I think that they can say it with a straight face because they believe it. They truly believe that they are being tracked by star whackers. And, you know, I talked to a doctor about this, and I believe that what happened is that it was first Randy Quaid who became paranoid, and apparently, it goes back to an episode, I think, around 2007, where he was having some other troubles. And his wife just, you know, in order to be closer to him, kind of bought into it. And now they both believe it.

So, Jane Velez-Mitchell did not speak to the police or lawyers who are working the specific claims but rather, spoke generically to a doctor—so much for journalism.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: They`re both drinking the same Kool-Aid.
FULLER: They are
if I was Dennis Quaid [Randy’s brother], it was my brother, I`d be on a plane up to Canada and try trying to get him into some very serious therapy with his wife. I mean, they need treatment, serious treatmentbehaving like a whack job?

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