An Open Letter to Jeff Daniels

Jeff Daniels at PaleyFest

Hi Jeff (I hope I can call you Jeff like you’re my best bud),

I’m not your biggest fan. I like your work, and enjoy your appearances, but I wouldn’t call myself the kind of guy who just watches a film or show because you’re in it. I just thought I’d write you, a pretty cool dude, an open letter. Sometimes a man gets the itch to write to a celebrity, and you just happen to be that celeb, the guy I used to call “Jeff Dannels” when I was a child who’d never heard the name “Daniel” before.

First I would like to say that I really enjoyed you in those movies where the dumb guys hang out and go to places. Dumb and Dumber is a well-regarded classic, Jeff, but Dumb and Dumber To was even better; the jokes were better, the boy who had the dead parakeet was back (my favorite part), Kathleen Turner looked as good as she did in 1981 during her Body Heat days, and that shaggy sheep-dog van was as good as ever.

I also want to cover some of my other favorite films of yours: you were awesome in that movie about the leopards that stalk a village in Costa Rica. I honestly thought you’d get eaten, but then you pulled off that single shot that killed all of the leopards in a single line. I also thought you were incredible in that movie about the apocalypse, where snowmen turned into warlords because of a sentient lake that splashed up over the snow. Your voice acting as Chief Snowman Rick was chilling and gave me nightmares about that movie for a week. Thanks to that one jarring murder scene involving the naked Olsen twins and candy, I will never look at Red Vines licorice ropes the same way again.

And who can forget your role as Agent Mold in that movie about three FBI agents stuck in Antarctica trying to track a killer who had a cave of Incan artifacts hidden there? Your portrayal of a man with chronic dyslexia, bipolar disorder, a masturbation addiction and Tourette’s combined was really convincing and affective. It’s really too bad that Agent Mold didn’t wind up having sex with Julia Roberts’s character Agent Scold in that makeshift igloo made of frozen urine, but I suppose the lack of romance and sex cemented the film’s unwavering pessimism.

For some reason, I can’t find any of the films mentioned above or remember their titles. However, I feel your weakest role has to be as that angry dude in Newsroom. He’s always angry. Always. Like, the guy is never happy. I don’t get it. Why is he always whining and moaning? Even when he drinks he’s an unpleasant bastard. I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched more than the first two episodes, but I know that character is a complete piece of shit throughout the series. It’s just too weak of a character. Plus, that writing had to be some of the worst you’ve ever come across. It’s a shame your amazing career has resorted to spouting crappy fast-paced dialogue from that hack Aaron Sorkin. A real shame.

I hope you can triumph someday, Jeff, because you’re a man with class. You’re a man whose life’s philosophy I don’t know, but I’m sure you’re a stand-up guy who goes to the bar every Friday to buy everyone a round of beers just because. I’m sure when you show up wearing a flannel jacket and modest torn jeans splattered with paint from helping the crew on a movie set, everybody in there looks in your direction and raises their beers, saying, “Hey, Jeffy,” as golden rays of light shoot over your shoulders to frame your perfectly tall head.

I hope to meet you someday, and shake your hand for a full hour as you look into my eyes and touch my soul with those blue babies, no homo.

Now here’s a letter that I wrote to you when I was five for a class assignment. I thought the teacher would mail the letter to you, but she didn’t, and instead Child Protective Services took me away from my dad. So here it is for you to read, thanks to the easily traveled Internet tunnels:

a kid's letter to Jeff Daniels

Thank you for touching my life, Jeff. You’re a deity among Homo sapiens to treasure for eons both past and future. Shine on.


Sardonic Cynic

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