Eric the Actor Negotiates for His ‘In Plain Sight’ Role Live on the Air

Wack Packer demands, among other things, protection from Albuquerque werewolves

December 8, 2011
Photo: The Howard Stern Show

Howard got “There’s Something About Mary” screenwriter and “In Plain Sight” show runner John Strauss on the line to discuss his protracted negotiations with Eric the Actor. John laughed that Howard was right that negotiations would be tough.

“Howard, I’m glad you’re enjoying it,” Strauss said. “You were absolutely correct.”

John said the show was rapidly approaching a casting deadline and he must have Eric on board soon: “There have been nights, literally, where I’ve awakened in the middle in the night wondering if this was really going to go down.”

Eric called in to say he was available for most of the episode’s 10-day shooting schedule–except for the second day.

John said that could be an issue. “If you want to wait until we get a little closer, we can do that,” he told him.

John also promised to pay Eric for his travel time (two days each way to drive from Sacramento to Albuquerque) in addition to his one day on set: “It works out to about $3,000.”

Eric would also get rerun residuals, but the payment for that is up to the Screen Actor’s Guild and not the show.

Hollywood’s Littlest Hardballer

The Wack Packer wasn’t sure if he could drive his own van: “My dad’s a bit of a ‘mileage nazi’ with this van. Driving would be ok, but we’d somehow have to avoid using the van that we’ve got.”

Flying didn’t sound like an option either: “Airlines like to have 30 days notice if a passenger is traveling with oxygen.”

John put travel aside, continuing down Eric’s list of demands, and said they couldn’t promise Eric an on-set masseuse. “Is that a deal-breaker?” he asked.

Eric said he’d just have to be careful with his hip.

The Rider Falls

John also wasn’t sure if–as Eric requested–the set would be near an Arbys or McDonalds: “We don’t know where the particular location will be…but this is New Mexico, not Somalia. Chances are there will be a McDonalds or an Arbys somewhere.”

Eric tossed out the demand, as well as his request that, in case his role recurs, the show relocate to San Francisco–Eric claimed those items were written into his rider by Johnny Fratto, his manager, with only passive consent. John continued to deny Eric’s more ridiculous demands, like a “co-star solo card” during the show’s opening credits, explaining that the show doesn’t even grant that billing to its Emmy-winning guest-stars: “We will try–try–to give you some sort of front credit. But a solo credit is unlikely.”

John added that there were no five-star hotels, like a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton, in Albuquerque, but there is a Hyatt Regency downtown.

But Hey, Free Pepsi

Howard asked if Eric’s would be granted a limousine, and John answered flatly: “No.”

John also refused Eric’s input when it comes to the script, storyline and his blocking. But John was willing to provide Eric with another of his requests: four 20oz Pepsi-Colas. Even better, John said the show had no surprise plans to blow up Eric’s character: “Currently that’s not part of the storyline.”

The Werewolves of Albuquerque

Asked why he’d requested protection from werewolves on set, Eric explained that Johnny Fratto had convinced him there were: “We Wikipedia’d that and there actually are legitimately werewolves in Albuquerque.”

John laughed that he had zero knowledge of any werewolf-related deaths in New Mexico: “Not to my knowledge but [that’s] very difficult to put in writing because, obviously, they don’t exist.”

Howard thought Eric had finally made it: “He’s a regular George Puny.”

John, exhausted, asked if he could hang up: “Can I get back to running my show now?”