Saturday, April 10, 1999, 12:24 AM

Over a month ago, Internet Gadfly and the creator of the Weekly News Update Cory!! Strode vanished. He still maintained the Weekly News Update, but it was mailed by him to the armadillos who toil for him at Solitaire Rose Productions vast grounds. They would then type it up and mail it to his tens of fans. OK, only one person reads it all the way through, but they don’t admit it, and it’s mostly because they’re bored.

Last weekend, he was discovered laying face down in a puddle of his own sick in a cheap Mexican hotel, broken liquor bottles lying all around him, a painted burro in the next room, and pictures of Parker Posey taped to the windows so as not to let in light. He was brought back by helicopter, and immediately given a complete blood transfusion. Now he sits down with Barbara Walters for his first interview since his harrowing ordeal. The room was small, had no windows, and while Cory!! talked with Barbara he frequently nibbled on a mix of his own making of orange marshmallow peanuts, gin and mint leaves that he said his doctor had told him he had to eat to regain his strength.

Barbara Walters: You were missing for over a month, Cory. Why? What made you run away?

Cory: Before we even start, I would like to warn you that I will not cry. In every interview you do, you get the subject to cry like an emotional gerbil, and that won’t be happening with me. You can ask anything, and if I don’t want to answer it, I’ll lie like the last woman I spent an evening with.

That being said, I had to get away. I was given three horrible pieces of news that broke my spirit. First, J. Peterman declared bankruptcy and it looked as though I might have to buy clothes from actual retail stores. Then, the SF Channel (who are all a bunch of lousy rat-bastards and deserve nothing but our contempt) announced that they would no longer be picking up Mystery Science Theater 3000, and I would have nothing to lift the gloom that comes from being me. Finally, I ran out of Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch, and there wasn’t any more in the house. I had to get away.

Barbara: Isn’t that a bit drastic?

Cory: No. Drastic would have been if I would have done what I first wanted to do, which was to swallow a lot of raw popcorn and lay on the radiator until I exploded like a human jiffy-pop.

Barbara: Coming back from the ordeal you have gone through, you had to have gone through some changes. How are you different now?

Cory: I have a deep fondness for painted burros now. It’s really too personal to get into, but Pepe...if you’re listening...I didn’t forget. I’ll never forget.

Barbara: Many people were worried about you. Why did you turn your back on those who love and care about you?

Cory: Where were they when I needed them? My hands were shaking and no one brought me fresh hooch with shaved ice. My heart was breaking and no one would give me Parker Posey’s phone number. My favorite refrigerator magnet fell on the floor and no one picked it up for three whole days. You say that they care about me, but I now know the truth. They are all a pack of vultures, circling, waiting for me to slip up so that they can push me out the door, take my comics and jump on my bed. And don’t think I don’t know who ate all of my strawberries! I’ll find out who ate the last of the strawberries if it’,s the last thing I do in this life!

Barbara: How will this change your work?

Cory: It won’t change it at all. I will continue to put the same slap-dash, half-assed effort into everything I do. My fans demand nothing more. If they are reading my stuff, you know that they aren’t looking for quality.

Barbara: You dress in black all the time, you sound depressed most of the time, and you hate the rest of the human race. Are you "goth"?

Cory: No. First, I’m not a big enough fan of The Cure, nor do I want to make my hair look like Robert Smith’s. Second, I find that I have a major difference with goth people...they don’t like people and wish to die so that they aren’t around them. I don’t like people and want -them- to die so that I don’t have to be around them. I make my way through my day with a sense of ironic detachment, and when I return home, I scrub off the feel of human contact with SOS pads dipped in Borax. Finally, there is nothing in the goth lifestyle that allows me to drink as much as I do. You don’t see a lot of people dressed like The Vampire LeStat with a Guinness in one hand and a bottle of single malt Scotch Whiskey in the other and those are important parts of my lifestyle, such as it is.

Barbara: Then, what do you call your lifestyle?

Cory: Pathetic.

Barbara: Of all the beers out there, why would you pick a classy beer like Guinness to get drunk on?

Cory: I am a classy guy. The classiest you will ever meet in your misbegotten, sad little life. I hated beer with a passion when I was just starting out with my drinking. Sure, I’d tasted it, but it was offensive to my taste buds. A few years ago, I discovered Guinness and my life changed.

All other beers tasted like vaguely beer flavored water that had already been through a horse once. Sure, it takes longer to get dangerously inebriated on it, since it doesn’t match the alcohol content of something like Whiskey, Everclear or Sterno, but there are times I want to take more than five minutes to get drunk, and that’s when I have Guinness. That, and I can drink it all day at work, and most people can’t tell I’m drunk until I pass out, mashing my face into my work keyboard. (Spits out a "m" key) It’s been a rough week.

Barbara: There are some people who are kind of amazed that you were missing, and didn’t realize you were gone. What message do you have to those people?

Cory: Two Words. "Bite" and "Me" Start reading the damn Weekly News Update and paying attention. There will be a quiz later and the people who fail will be forced to watch the sit-coms on UPN until they apologize. Lousy Rat-Bastards.

Barbara: How have the voices in your head helped or hindered your career?

Cory: The voices tell me that they have helped me, but I don’t trust them. They also tell me things I don’t think are true, such as:

People really like my writing, a restraining order is a way that women show that are interested in starting a long-term relationship, or that my parents are proud of me.

There have also been a few questions where I get my ideas and I would like to clear up that mystery. I have a muse. I keep her chained up in a pit I dug in the yard, and every Sunday, I ask her for an idea or two for the Weekly News Update. She spits at me, calls me names and swears vengeance.

It reminds me of being married.

Barbara: Any connection to your disappearance and the world wide Guinness shortage?

Cory: I did that? Um, I mean, no. I do not drink as much as people say that I do. OK, I drink more, but I’m sure I can’t measure up to the consumption of a Don Johnson or Robert Downey Jr. It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying because it gives me something to shoot for.

Barbara: Did you know that Serbs don’t like Guinness?

Cory: Good. More for me. That and it’s yet another thing I don’t have in common with mass murderers and human filth.

Barbara: Cowy, is it twue you were kidnapped and depwogwamed, and now dwess like evewyone else in comics, i.e., badwy?

Cory: (Stand up and does a quick turn. Cory is wearing J. Peterman black wool slacks, where the pants legs break a mid-calf, a black vest, low slung Doctor Martin shoes, and a white Calvin Klein shirt) I am physically incapable of dressing badly. I issue a challenge to anyone who feels they can take my title. Bring it on. I have defeated all of those who have come up against me. Send your rumpled suit wearing, Wal-Mart shopping, Polyester Hagar slacks buying, tube sock sporting, no fashion sense losers who are still wearing clothes their mommies bought them up against me and I will crush them with an Italian Blazer. Is there no man here with the guts? Is there no man here with the heart? Is there no man here at all who can give me a challenge?

Face me, if you dare...Survive IF I LET YOU!!!

Barbara: Will you ever run for public office?

Cory: No. I wish to be awarded public office due to my fitness for office, but boredom with the election process. As people realize that the election system is too corrupt for true leaders to emerge, they will turn to me in droves. And since I will not be able to run for President for a few years, I must wait. I know there are those who say I should start on a smaller level and learn the job, I think we have been shown that it doesn’t take much to be President. You have to give vague answers and read speeches like Reagan. You have to be willing to do whatever you’re told by the business leaders who paid for your campaign like Bush. You have to give the press a series of scandals Like Clinton. I am fully committed to all of the qualities embodied by these so-called great men and more. I will let you all know, however, that if I do run for office, I will use the slogan, "Vote For Me And No One Gets Hurt."

Barbara: What kind of scandal would you like to have?

Cory: One that hasn’t been tried before. Some of the ones I have toyed with are: Giving the Colonel’s secret herbs and spices to the North Koreans; Hiring assassins to take out those who cancelled Mystery Science Theater 3000; and being caught in bed with an inflatable amoebae. Failing that, an old-fashioned sex scandal with an intelligent redhead who is worth talking to for more than 15 minutes would be nice. (closes his eyes and starts to daydream) I’m sorry Pepe, but I have to move on. You’ll understand. You always did.

Barbara: Cory, if one has a sea shell themed bathroom, what type of scented candles do you suggest?

Cory: I suggest that you go to the store and pick out a number of brightly colored scented candles, most in flower scents that match the décor of the room. You should also make sure you get a bunch of potpourri that accentuates the scents you have chosen as well a decorative containers for all of them. Then, you should bring them home, take a long bath while listening to Michael Bolton and put on a nice housedress. If you are a guy, this goes double for you, since you are obviously a woman trapped in a guy’s body, and need to find a nice man and settle down. However, if you have any testicular fortitude, you would take all of those things, put them in a big bag, place them behind your car, and drive back and forth over them until you either run out of gas, or blow out your transmission. Wuss.

Barbara: And how much should I expect to pay for them?

Cory: Your masculinity.

Barbara: What are your favorite tv programs on Lifetime Channel?

Cory: I’ll watch a Pam Dauber movie, as long as the sound is all the way down, if I am allowed to shout at the screen, "Where’s Mork?" I’ll also watch a Melissa Gilbert movie as long as the sound is off, and she’s got her hair red, is wearing a mini-skirt and Doctor Martin’s boots. I find though, that Lifetime doesn’t meet my entertainment needs, seeing as how I have a penis. I can spend hours watching re-runs of old game shows and betting on the outcomes with my friends, a tape sent to me over a year ago by David Watkins that features redheads....nothing but me my most enjoyment...oh my dear sweet God....

What was the question? Oh, TV....Other than that, I spend most of my time watching any channel showing explosions, car wrecks, animals eating each other, or guys in tights beating people up.

Barbara: Do you know any good restaurants in the twin cities area where kids eat free?

Cory: That would be anyplace I don’t go, since anyplace that advertises that children eat free has two things I don’t look for when I go out to eat.

One) Food that appeals to children, and not sophisticated men about town on a futile quest to impress his redheaded date who merely wants to see how long she can get free meals without ever having to do more than shake hands. The record is three years.

Two) Children.

I have also found that the hard liquor selection at those places leaves a lot to be desired, and since I rarely ingest solids, I do have my health to think of.

Barbara: Do you know what the Rock’s got cookin’?

Cory: A deep seated desire to be like me. Which he can never be, since I am better on the microphone, and look better when I’m stripped down to my trunks. He wishes he were me, and I wish I was whoever Laura Prepon is sleeping with. It’s a strange world.

Barbara: So, if I dwyed my hair red would you be interwested in me?

Cory: Let me check, has hell frozen over? Has Nipsey Russell been named Poet Laureate of the United States? Am I drinking a non-alcoholic beverage?

Barbara: Why are you asking those questions?

Cory: Because, when the answer to all of them is yes, I would be interested in a exploitative, mealy mouthed, amazingly without journalistic ethics, pseudo-journalist who’s biggest claim to fame is interviewing Elizabeth Taylor when she was the size of a mini-van and asking people what kind of tree they would want to be. Just because you are dying your hair instead of making yourself interesting will not work. I have high standards, and whoever I allow myself to be interested in will be of such high caliber, I will not be in their league. Oh, and you’re too damn old.

Barbara: If you could be any kind of tree, what would it be?

Cory: What kind of lame, stupid question is that? You have a reputation as a serious journalist, and one of the best interviewers in the world and you ask that? Maybe YOU should have died in the 80’s instead of Gilda Radner. That’s the deep, insightful stuff ABC is paying you millions for? I get asked better questions before I’m put in the drunk tank Saturday nights. What kind of tree would I be? If I were a damn tree, I wouldn’t have a brain, and it wouldn’t much matter would it? Then again, if I had to be a plant, I would want to be a pussy willow.

Barbara: People also want to know, is there someone special in your life?

Cory: (misting up a little bit) Not any more...not since the border guards told me Pepe had to stay in Mexico. Damn You Barbara Walters! I said I wouldn’t cry!

(Cory then motions for one of his servants to come over)

Servant: What can I get you, sir?

Cory: Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, preferably Springbank Campbelltown.

Servant: Anything to go with that?

Cory: Yes, a very big glass.

Barbara: Are you connected with the recent attack on the Serbs?

Cory: We should have followed the Genocide Treaty that we signed back in 1947, and I am glad that we are finally living up to our obligations, albeit reluctantly, and half-assedly. I know that we only will get involved if oil is at stake, one of our businesses who contribute a lot of money to political campaigns are in trouble, or we get a chance to make a foreign leader a bad guy, and Yugoslavia only has bad cars and people who hate each other to export, but it’s about time we did something. While George Bush, who was supposedly so damn great at foreign policy, was President, he would rather save a bunch of rich Arabs who give money to companies of friends of his than to try and save a few hundred thousand people’s lives in Sarajevo. Those deaths are on the souls of Bush and Former UN Secretary General Do-Nothing Do-Nothing Galli. If we stand by and do nothing, those deaths would be on our souls. We are the last remaining super-power, and yet we want to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that there’s nothing we can do and the rest of the world hates us. When our troops went in to Bosnia, they were greeted like heroes, which they were, for stopping the worst crimes that can be committed against people. Now, when those crimes are being done, we turn our backs unless they have money for us. We get more outraged over a crack-head breaking into a car and stealing someone’s car stereo than when a leader of a country uses his military to systematically kill an entire race of people.

Shame on us for ignoring them in the early 90’s. Shame on us for not getting involved sooner. And Shame On Us for threatening to use force for over a year, letting Milosovic prepare to kill again. And Shame on the people in our government who are falling onto this because of party lines and not what is right. People who supported an attack on Iraq because George Bush was the one who proposed it, and now say that we should not attack Serbs because Bill Clinton is the one who proposed it show themselves to be people without heart. Automotons who base their innermost convictions on which way the wind blows. Please, take their names down. Remember them, and in 2000, make them pay by making them get new jobs. I can respect someone who takes a moral stand, even if I don’t agree with it, but a moral stand requires thought, and the ability to stand for it no matter what. These liars say that they stand by their convictions, and their only conviction is to their party and against their political foes. They should hang their heads in shame, and resign over something like this, not affairs they have had.

"Better the pride that resides in a citizen of the world
Than the pride that divides when a colorful rag is unfurled." -Neil Peart

No, there’s not a joke here, but I get so mad at my fellow Americans when they are so shallow and blind that they think it’s someone else’s job to stop mass murder. Those people in power who say that we have no business saving lives and don’t comprehend the values of compassion, honor and empathy need to check their humanity at the door and are kindly requested to join the animal kingdom, because I don ,t want to be considered part of the same species as you. If we have it in our power to do it, it is our obligation. If you have the power to stop an evil act and choose not to, it makes you just as damned as those who commit the evil act. We said, as a planter in 1947 after seeing the horrors of the Holocaust, Never Again. Why have we allowed it to become Here We Go Again? End of mini-rant, and this interview is over.

Thank you for watching 20/20, and if you made it to the end of this monstrosity, you deserve a bag of candy. I’m got giving you one, you understand, I just think you deserve one.

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