Actor Gary Busey rose to fame in the late 70s for his Oscar-nominated portrayal of singer Buddy Holly in The Buddy Holly Story (1978). Since then, Busey - who turns 72 today - has amassed over 100 film and TV credits. But he's best known for bizarre antics like his tumultuous appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice in 2013, which featured him impersonating The Cat in the Hat, telling fellow contestants that he can see farts and making unreal comments like "I'm the angel of silk. Let me take you inside and you'll feel like you're 5,000 miles past heaven."
But that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his strange life and work. Here are the five best moments of Busey doing what he does best: being Busey.
1. A rambunctious goat once got him fired
As a kid growing up in Oklahoma, Busey briefly had a job taking care of hogs during feeding time. After loading the trough, Busey was charged with one specific and extremely difficult task: keeping the goat Charlie from hooking up with the pigs. Yes, Gary Busey was once a professional goat cockblocker.
"This is true, this is true," Busey insisted during a 1990 appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. "It was a hard job. To keep a goat from penetrating hogs is not anything I'd recommend anyone do."
And to demonstrate that point, Busey retold the story by impersonating the goat himself - complete with hand gestures to simulate the goat's erection flapping in the breeze - and using Dave's desk as the poor pigs that Busey failed to protect. We wouldn't be surprised if Letterman torched the entire "Late Night" set afterward.
2. Disneyland also fired him
Before Busey appeared in films, he was a struggling musician in a band called Carp, whose first big break was playing rock music on the Tomorrowland stage at Disneyland. But the gig was short lived because the band was canned for rowdy behavior. More specifically, they turned soda bottles into Super Soakers.
"We didn't have enough money to buy park food, so we decided we'd bring our own cans and bottles of pop on dry ice," Busey told Arsenio Hall back in 1991. "So halfway through the show, we realized these things were exploding. And we'd go [imitating cracking open bottle and using it as a firehose]. And just hose down our buddy....And we had these battles. And they fired us."
3. Stealing the director's chair
For the documentary Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride (2006), director Tom Thurman wanted to talk to the actors involved in making movies based on Hunter S. Thompson's life and work. That led him to meeting up with Gary Busey, who had a small role as a lonely highway patrolman in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998).
What should have been a quick chat turned into an elaborate scene because Busey insisted on directing the interview as though Thurman had casually stumbled upon him at home. The segment ended up having numerous stops and starts as Busey gave directions to the director.
"Slow down with your talking," Busey told Thurman at one point. "Don't make it an interview. Talk to me like you're personal."
After a few takes, they finally played the scenario to Busey's liking - except for the dog getting on Busey's nerves by barking offscreen.
4. Getting dumped on beach day
Off-putting as his unpredictable behavior is, Busey has made a career out of bizarre antics. Aside from reality TV, he's appeared in commercials such as a 2011 ad for a Pittsburgh Kia dealership, which features him freaking out about his fictional coworkers going to the beach without him. But there's no way of telling if Gary's parodying himself or just being Busey.
5. Busey's musings on Hobbits
Perhaps Busey plays up his odd behavior for commercials, but there's no denying that he was being genuinely strange. in the following clip, which surfaced on BuzzFeed in 2013 and features his musings on hobbits.
"Little hobbits with their pointed ears," he says to the camera while lounging on a grassy hill. "Not very big. Wide underwear but very short 'cause their legs aren't long. And I don't know what their male or female apparatus is like, but you know it's got to be working in some way because there's little hobbits coming from birth."
He returns a few more times to the issue of hobbit anatomy before ending the clip saying, "Pray for the best, prepare for the worst. Here comes the hobbits."
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