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And all he wants, it seems, is a little acceptance. A little understanding. Not even respect, really. Just a little understanding. An acknowledgement that while his particular brand of bombastic background music is perhaps not everyone's cup of tea, that doesn't necessarily mean that he should serve as the pet fool of hip culture arbiters everywhere.

The risks of toadying to such arbiters are twofold, however: one, they will interpret his heavy-handed attempts at "coolness" as simply a very bad implementation of their own studied posturings, and their contempt for him, fueled by the realization that he's not so different from them after all, will multiply exponentially. And two, he may acquire a habit he finds hard to break.

Indeed, the latter already seems to be happening. In a GQ article also published in August 1995, Tesh's tendency for making the inappropriate remark escalates noticeably. Consider the following excerpt from that article, wherein the author relates a behind-the-scenes exchange at an E.T. taping:

Mary lowers her voice...and declares, "The daughter of Marlon Brando was only 25 when she hung herself on Easter Sunday."

A disembodied voice from the control room shouts, "It's hanged."

"Does it really matter?" someone else on the set asks. "Can't it be hanged or hung?"

Tesh stands up, points to his crotch. "It's gotta be hanged," he says. "I'm hung. She hanged."

Elsewhere in the article, Tesh proves that this mind-boggling exclamation of tastelessness is no fluke by offering some frat-boyish thoughts on fatherhood: "Well, it hasn't helped with the sex life. I get no time on the breasts anymore, 'cause the baby's always there."

The sheer boorishness of these exclamations--especially the first one, given its context--indicates something pathological at work. Such expressions may have started as a rational attempt on Tesh's part to cultivate a new "hip" persona, but he seems to have lost control over his ability to monitor himself. It's as if Howdy Doody has suddenly turned into Andrew Dice Clay.