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Wake Up With R. Lee Ermey 'Mail Call' Outtakes

It’s with a heavy heart that we fill a parting glass to R. Lee Ermey. On a personal note, my son’s platoon on Parris Island was the 3092, the same one Gunnery Sgt. Hartman trained in Full Metal Jacket. As in the Pvt. Joker line, “the recruits of Platoon 3092 are salty. They are ready to eat their own guts and ask for seconds.” Which according to him, gave the Drill Instructors incentive to kick their asses extra hard. But beyond Ermey’s unforgettable, career-defining role in that one (for which he didn’t even get an Oscar nomination, which is the worst injustice in the history of awards), he did much more. He was the voice of Sarge in the Toy Story franchise. The police captain in Se7en. The sheriff in the recent Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboots. And a million TV shows, not the least of which was as the host of Mail Call, which has long been a staple at Stately Thornton Manor.

I doubt anyone is going to invest the near one hour running time on this. But if you do nothing else, give yourself the first few minutes just to see him talk after sucking helium and tell me R. Lee wouldn’t have been a blast to work with. Hilarious. Profane. Self-effacing. And always, totally, the genuine article. A total original who is already missed because there will never be another one like him. Rest in peace, Devil Dog. ‘Rah.

@jerrythornton1