How do we know when the end times are upon us? Well Lou Diamond Phillips getting work is an excellent sign. Let me take you back several years. Picture this scene: a few friends and I are sitting around watching the first season of 24 on tv. For whatever reason, Kiefer has decided to break into a secret maximum security prison (conventional logic really doesn't apply to the character of Jack Bauer: he's a sheer force of nature). Suddenly, a vaguely familiar face appears on screen. We all lean closer and squint at the screen. Is that? Yes, it is! It's goddamned Lou Diamond Phillips! And he's not dead as we all had previously thought!
So in our continuing examination of B-list celebrity 24 cameos, we proudly present Lou Diamond Phillips. Getting him on the show must have been tough. Real tough. I imagine the conversation went something like this:
Producer 1: Ok, we're coming up on the end of the season and we need some star power, you know, some real razzle dazzle to portray the role of Prison Guard #2.
Producer 2: We already cast Cerrano from Major League as a presidential candidate. How much more razzle dazzle do you need?
Producer 1: How about Lou Diamond Phillips?
Producer 2: You mean that guy washing your car right now?
Producer 1: Yes, that's our man! Get that bastard in here immediately!
And the rest is history. Of course, giving Lou stage directions must have been really difficult. If you're a television show director, how do you channel the brilliance that is Lou Diamond Phillips? Probably by saying something like this: "Ok, Lou, remember in "La Bamba" when your plane crashed? Well imagine Riche Valens actually survived. And now he's out for revenge. Act mad. Under no circumstances are you to make eye contact with Dennis Hopper. Now here's a weapon--follow Kiefer, he'll know what to do."
Note to the reader: I have no idea if they actually showed Riche Valens' plane crash in "La Bamba," nor do I have any desire to find out. I've never seen the movie. When they stop playing that godawful "La Bamba" song at weddings, perhaps I'll rent the movie sometime. Until then, my silent war of attrition continues...
On a side note, how hard is it to not crash a plane anyway? Last season on 24, Kiefer managed to land a large airliner on roughly 20 feet of LA freeway using only his man purse and some well timed gravitas to coerce the pilots to land the damn thing. In my humble opinion, there's really no reason for our nation's best and brightest musicians to continue to senselessly perish in this manner. What a waste. But anyway, getting back to Lou...
Oddly enough, Lou Diamond Phillips somehow survived that season one episode, which is extremely rare for a 24 cameo to do. Pretty much the only person guaranteed to make it through an entire season is Kiefer Sutherland of course. Mostly because minor quibbles like bullets, heroin addiction, nuclear explosions, nerve gas exposure, horrific torture, and heart attacks seem to make Kiefer angry rather than deceased.