Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rave: How do you talk to an angel?

There are few people in this world that I would really, truly be starstruck by. I think we all know about my fangirl obsession with Roberts Blossom, but this young man could possibly be even higher on my list of "people I would like to share a McFlurry with". Ladies and gentlemen I am, of course, speaking about Ray Pruit of Beverly Hills 90210 fame.

Behold, Ray Pruit in his Texas tuxedo*:

*[after posting this entry, I was angrily accosted by more than one of my friends, who insisted this was, in fact, a "Canadian Tuxedo". After much diligent research I have found that they are both valid descriptors of Ray Pruit's glorious ensemble. I also found out about the "Guido Tuxedo" which is equally excellent]

For the uninitiated (ie. rejects) who don't know, Ray Pruit ("one T. It's all my momma could afford") was a musician/carpenter who foolishly allowed himself to fall for Donna "helmet hair, franken-boobs" Martin. Donna would play games with Ray's working class heart, one moment telling him she liked him, the next going on dates with other dudes. Ray even brought her both the largest and smallest pumpkins from the lot where he would sell seasonal merchandise. He then smashed them all to pieces when he found out that Donna had flown to Catalina Island with Casper. The pumpkin smashing was a mere hint at the awesomeness that was to come, namely Ray introducing Donna to a flight of stairs.

This is my personal favorite of all the archival Pruit footage available on the interwebs. Even the "blurb" setting up the scene is amazing. To wit: "Donna sasses Ray, and Ray won't have any of it. He reminds her who is in charge, and hilarity ensues".

Highlights: "Why are you so mad at me?" to which Los Pruit retorts, "Because you make me mad". Tell her, Ray.

Also, I want to be friends with whoever made this epic video and decided to put their own genius touch at the end.

Ray was quickly hustled off the show after that and never worked again. As many of us know, the stigma of being a woman abuser can be quite devastating for one's career (see: Brown, Chris and, my own personal favorite, Gary A-Busey:

Imagine my surprise then, when I ran across this excellent interview with Larry Mollin:

Mollin was the writer-producer during 90210s glory days (1993-1997). He details all the behind-the-scenes details with the reckless abandon of a man who is both unafraid of libel charges, and aware that Aaron Spelling is dead. The interview itself (which I urge you to read) drops some bombshells as big as Dylan McKay's forehead.

(Speaking of Dylan, the moment I officially became a die-hard Mollin fan was upon reading that he was responsible for "the whole action thing with Dylan in Mexico." Bravo, sir!)

There are many highlights in the interview (including why Brenda left) but none were bigger than his revelations about man-of-the hour Ray Pruit.

When asked about his biggest regret, Mollin reveals that it was firing Ray Pruit (no I am not going to use his real name. his real name to me IS Ray Pruit)!

Mollins waxes nostalgic and recalls, "That was such a sad time. That came out of the season 5 finale, too [where Ray pushes Donna down the stairs.] We had this whole plan. He was going to go to rehab because he was an abused child. We were going to redeem him because we liked him. He was a wonderful kid. Jamie was a dear guy. We liked him. He was a great worker. But that episode happened and there was a lot of mail to the old man–“How can Donna be so stupid and be with this guy?”–so we came in to start the new season, and he goes “You have to get rid of him.” And we go, “What are you talking about?” He said, “You have to get rid of him. Everyone thinks Tori’s stupid.” There was no arguing with him. That was all he cared about. So we had to fire him. It was just devastating that I had to tell him that... We left him as being a beater, which stayed with him, unfortunately. People thought he was a beater. It was just terrible. I just always felt really bad about that."


Ray was going to redeem himself! He was abused as a child! All he wanted was love.

Imagine, if you will, this parallel universe of a rehabilitated Pruit. Perhaps he would have led a support group for other victims of abuse at the Peach Pit. Nat would've been cool with it - I mean, come on, he let Color Me Badd in there.

( A whole separate post is needed to discuss the amazingness of the above video)

Ray could have been the one to take Donna Martin's virginity instead of David "Wiggedy Wack" Silver. He coulda been a contender.

But, alas, we live in a Pruit-less world. A world where light-wash denim is unacceptable. Where children will grow up never knowing exactly how to talk to an angel, and where I am the only bidder on a signed Ray Pruit headshot on Ebay.

Yes, of course I won it:

I demand vengeance. Spelling is dead! The truth shall set us free.

1 comment:

  1. Katie Craig I am in my parent's TV room in lovely Worcester MA reading this and guffawing with laughter. Tears are forming in the corners of my eyes. It's only a few moments before my dad stumbles in here in his Boston Bruins tshirt and puppy-print flannel PJ pants and yells "CAN YOU PLEASE BE QUIET I HAVE TO WORK TOMORROW!" but it was worth it. so worth it. - brooke D