Much like the Mets front office, the producers of 24 really seem to get off on filling their roster with B list talent. To prove this point, I give you exhibit A to your left: Peter MacNicol. You may remember this illustrious actor from Ally McBeal. Or better yet, as the character of Janosz from Ghostbusters II. He was Vigo the Carpathian's henchman. A brief Ghostbusters related sidenote: Vigo was born in 1505 and died in 1610, who at 105 years old finally died by being poisoned, stabbed, shot, hung, stretched, disembowled, drawn and quartered. Not exactly a man of the people. He was also known as Vigo the Cruel, Vigo the Torturer, Vigo the Despised, and Vigo the Unholy. And Vigo the Butch, according to Peter Venkman.
Anyhow, getting back to Peter MacNicol, let's take a peek at these dynamite lines that only a master thespian could bring to fruition:
"You know, Dana, there are many perks to being the mother of a living god."
"Soon, the city will be mine and Vigo's... mainly Vigo's."
And my personal favorite: "He is Vigo! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!"
Don't get me wrong, back in the day, Ghostbusters was pretty much the tits for a 9 year old with a penchant to wear a tan jumpsuit with his name sewn on it and trap ghosts in a proton particle field. I was a Ghostbuster for 7 years running as a child. And if that damn suit and proton pack still fit, I'd go to work dressed as a Ghostbuster. To hell with corporate casual.
Anyway, my theory is that the ad wizards at 24 most likely saw Ghostbusters II and drew the logical conlusion that the ability to take orders from a painting adequately prepared Peter MacNicol to take orders from the character of Wayne Palmer. Unsurprisingly, they were 100% correct. Much like Bush family, the law of diminishing returns applies directly to the Palmer family as well. So Peter MacNicol's character, Tom Lennox, faces the tough job of looking at the second African American president in US history (and this one has a fabulous goatee!) without cracking up. Moderately hard, but not too demanding for a seasoned actor like MacNicol.
On a side note, I'm able to suspend disbelief and accept that in the 24 universe, the American people would elect two black presidents back to back. But one with a goatee? Not a fucking chance. Granted, most of my political knowledge is gleamed from reruns of the West Wing on A&E, but I'm still positively certain that tacky facial hair and public leadership simply do not mix.
So on 24, Peter MacNicol's character Tom Lennox mostly seems to enjoy pouting and also usurping President Wayne Palmer's power by setting up detention camps behind his back, which if I'm not mistaken, is more of a job for the Secretary of State then a lowly chief of staff, but hey, its 24, so who's counting really? Even more intruiging is the fact that Peter MacNicol isn't the only Ghostbusters II alumni to grace 24 with their presence. Indeed. See picture above on the right. You were probably wondering what the deal with that was, right? Well I don't know how to insert pictures in the body of a text just yet, so go ahead and fellate yourself cupcake. Ahem. Anyway, remember the judge from Ghostbusters II? He was the guy who had this fantastic line:
"If my hands weren't tied by the unalterable fetters of the law, then I would invoke the tradition of our illustrious forbearers, reach back to a purer, sterner justice, and have you BURNED AT THE STAKE!"
Then the Scoleri brothers appeared and all hell broke loose. That was Judge Wexler, aka Harris Yulin, who also played a member of President David Palmer's administration in the second season of 24. He bowed out of season two after a brief torture session ordered by POTUS (what's the matter Mr. SecDef, can't take a little Gitmo style aggressive interrogation?) Good thing it wasn't Kiefer doing the interrogation: that would have been biblical. You know, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together-mass hysteria. Good times all around.
FYI, for more 24 related goodness, check out this gravitas filled resource.