If you haven't watched Jury Duty on Amazon Prime yet, I give it my highest recommendation.
If you're unfamiliar, here's a rundown of the show before I get to my point (I won't spoil anything specific). The show follows a sequestered jury as they deliberate a trial over a couple weeks, however, the trail is 100% fake. Everybody in the show is in on it except for one person named Ronald, who they elect as Jury Foreman. The show is essentially one big prank on Ronald (Ronald is told the camera crew is just filming a regular documentary about what it's like to be on jury duty). They go through the whole trial with cameras following them in and out of the courtroom the entire time. Tons of insane, borderline unbelievable stuff happens, and Ronald completely takes the bait. As soon as the trial is over, they reveal to him that the whole thing was fake, and everybody except for him is an actor.
One of the actors in the show is James Marsden, who plays himself. If you don't recognize the name, you'll probably recognize his face.
Naturally, Ronald recognizes James Marsden. It becomes a really cool thing for Ronald to be on a jury panel with a big Hollywood actor. The rest of the actors on the jury are playing fictional characters. All just regular non-famous people with made up names.
I have zero problems with the show. It was a fantastic show, and I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. I wish there were more episodes. Except for one thing… I'm still shocked that they got away with this. The disrespect that the Jury Duty producers showed to one of the "random actors" was alarming. That actor is Kirk Fox.
Kirk Fox is one of the random jurors in the show, and not for a second did the Jury Duty producers think Ronald might be familiar with his work. Maybe I'm wildly underestimating how famous Kirk Fox is. 40k followers on both Twitter and Instagram isn't huge, but he was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno for christ sakes. That's not nothing. Sure he's not the main character in anything major or anything, but he's been a character actor in 100 different shows. You might know him from playing Sewage Joe from the Sanitation Department in Parks & Rec.
He has also been touring stand-up comedian. He's a regular The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. I've stumbled upon him as a podcast guest on a handful of shows, I know he's been on Kill Tony multiple times. Here's a clip from his stand-up special.
I know these aren't like major credits or anything. I'm not saying he's A-List. But what makes Jury Duty casting Kirk Fox such a slap in the face is the level of risk they're taking. They already have James Marsden on the show. If Ronald recognizes another actor, it's game over. The entire show is fucked. There were SO MANY moments in the show that were so unbelievable, where if they weren't careful, it would blow their cover. If they didn't get this show to the finish line, if Ronald realizes that this entire thing is a prank, the show is completely ruined. All that money wasted. All the hard work that was put in ends up on the cutting room floor.
When the producers chose to cast Kirk Fox, they were basically saying, "Yep, there's not a chance in the world this guy knows who Kirk Fox is. Kirk Fox is a nobody. We're not even worried about it. I'm sure this guy hasn't watched Parks & Rec. I'm sure he doesn't like stand-up comedy, or listen to podcasts. I'm sure he doesn't watch Dr. Phil."
"Put that washed-up-has-been Kirk Fox on the jury panel. Promise this guy wont recognize him."
Poor Kirk Fox. He was great on the show. He made the show better, and it all worked out in the end, so apparently the producers were right. Maybe I've just so happened to stumble across Kirk more than most people, but as soon as he popped up on the screen, I said, "That's Kirk Fox." I swear to god I knew Kirk Fox's name before I knew James Marsden.
I just can't get over the risk that they took to cast him. They were so confident in Kirk Fox's lack of notoriety, that they risked the entire show by casting him. The whole show hinges on Ronald not figuring out what was really going on, and they took a pretty fucking recognizable actor in Kirk Fox, threw him on the panel and said, "We are confident he won't know this schlub." Consider this a Kirk Fox appreciation blog. I love your work Kirk. You were great in the show. I'm sorry they disrespected you like that.