Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Diary Of A Vehicular Manslaughterer

In honor of the Monday premiere of Disney Channel's newest original movie, Dadnapped, I'd like to take this opportunity to honor one of the film's stars, Mr. Phill Lewis. Actor, comedian, and apparent manslaughterer.

Now, I'd like to preface this post by stating that I take death very seriously. Someone actually died at the hands of this post's subject, so I do not take that death in vein. Life is so unbelievably fragile. Who knows when a drunk future Disney Channel star will run you over and kill you?

So here's what happened. I'm cruising the interwebs looking for some new shit to think about, when I decide, "You know what I want to do today? To hell with going to a club and trying to hook up with a woman. I'm going to Wiki some Disney Channel stars."

And that's exactly what I did. One of my favorite, if not my #1 favorite, current Disney Channel star just so happens to be one of the oldest. Actor Phill Lewis, who portrays the character of Mr. Moseby on the painfully unfunny The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and it's even more unfunny spin-off The Suite Life On Deck, is easily the funniest motherfucker on both of these shows. But this isn't all that surprising when you consider Lewis's credentials.

The dude has done stints on everything from Scrubs, to The Wayans Brothers, Friends, Ally McBeal, and even Buffy. Point is, the guy has done some legitimate shit.

I know a lot of people will say, "But if he's a quality comedic actor, why the fuck is he doing Disney Channel crap?" Well, simply put: it's a paying job. The acting profession is a difficult one, in the sense that actors don't necessarily have guaranteed work just sitting on their table. Most actors, the kind who pop up from show-to-show, are constantly auditioning. They're simply trying to find a job. And when their well dries up, and they aren't getting many offers, they have nowhere else to turn for money. So it's either waitressing, or selling crack. Whichever comes easiest.

So for a guy like Phill Lewis, why not take a job like Zack and Cody? It's a constant revenue stream for him, and he's consistently getting paid. It's every actor's dream.

Now, here's where things get dicey. As I mentioned earlier, I decided to Wiki Mr. Lewis just so I could find out anything interesting about the guy. I mean, anyone who's able to bring genuine laughs to a Disney Channel show has got to be some sort of angel sent from the heavens above, right?


Apparently, Phill Lewis killed someone:

"Lewis was arrested in late December 1991 for an incident where he was accused of driving while intoxicated, and hit a pedestrian in Potomac, Maryland, 21 year-old Isabel Duarte of Bethesda, who would die from her injuries."

I couldn't believe it. Mr. Moseby? A killer? I did some more research outside of Wiki World, and as it turns out, the story is true.

So I began asking myself whether or not the dude did some major jail time for it. And guess what? He didn't.

Lewis was sentenced to five years in prison, but would only serve one year. This was because Lewis was involved with a prison theater group which had done a lot of good for the local community. The judge let him off the hook, and Lewis returned to the world a new man.

Now, look, I know what you're thinking: "But Anonymous Blogger, how the fuck did this guy get off that easy?"

To be honest with you, it makes no sense. If the story is as true as it seems, Lewis was directly responsible for this woman's death. By all technicalities, he killed someone. And it wasn't so much a freak accident in the sense that she wasn't looking, or he wasn't looking. The guy was apparently drunk.

But he only spends one year in jail? One year? I won't get into the legal jive, but it seems pretty fucked up from my vantage point.

So as the story goes, Lewis went back to acting, building up a strong collection of TV credits, before landing his current job as Mr. Moseby. What I find most interesting is that Disney actually hired this guy knowing what he had done. This is not to say he was a serial manslaughterer or something of that nature, but Disney took a chance on a guy with a pretty dark blemish on his life story.

So what are we to make of all this?

For one, I find it flat out hysterical that a rather unknown black comedian was able to beat the justice system this damn hard. So take that, supposed racial discrimination against black celebrites and black people in general!

On the other hand, how fucked up is it that a guy can run somebody over, but only spend a year in the slammer?

I guess I should be thankful that the justice system got this one wrong. Otherwise, Mr. Moseby would never become the man he is today: the Disney Channel's brightest light.