Why not take a moment to appreciate Richard Splett, who is one of the best characters on Veep? He’s unfailingly nice, cheery, and I would call him every day just so I could listen to his outgoing message, which is amazing.
I remembered how great I think Richard is when on a recent episode he told Katherine that he inherited a distaste for butterscotch but also a love of saying the word “butterscotch” from his father, so, obviously now I need to spend a bit of time explaining how awesome he is.
I found a channel on Youtube called “Splettnet” which is entirely devoted to posting strings of clips of Richard in the show. After watching these videos I’ve pulled out two key moments, both from Season 5, that highlight how funny it is to have a character like him along for the ride on a show that’s mostly full of horrible, horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE people.
In this scene Amy and Dan are yelling at a staffer about getting something filed asap. Amy says, “You need to file this at the couthouse in exactly seventeen minutes!” while pointing frantically. And then Dan says, “Yeah, and if you miss the deadline find a rattlesnake and shove that up your dickhole cause it’s a lot more fun than what I’ll do to you.”
And then Richard, from behind them: “And drive safe!”
Dan and Amy being angry and stressed out and awful is funny on its own but it just gets that much funnier when it’s punctuated with Richard just being cluelessly nice in the background.
Here, Bob, who ends up walking out of the meeting due to senility (of course) says, “I think the last time [I saw you] was at your ski cabin with your wife!”
And other dude replies, sleazily, “I’ve still got the cabin.”
So Bob laughs, Dan looks more than comfortable laughing, and then there’s a shot of Richard’s face as he works out what sleazy guy means and it’s just gold. If I had to translate it into text I might say it’s something like this: “Huh? Oh – oh. Uuugh.”
My favourite Richard moment ever is early on in this season where everyone is frantically trying to determine what to do about recounts, and then Richard blurts out the entire procedure, because as it turns out, he has a doctorate in constitutional law. Also he has one in veterinary medicine, his fall-back.
And at that moment he gets a promotion and everyone realizes that he actually does have value, and how can you not love that? Of course, the point of Veep is mainly to laugh at awful people doing really important jobs awfully, so I realize that characters like Richard can’t have moments like this all the time, but I’m just glad he got one. It’s great.
All political shows, comedy or otherwise, need a Richard-type character. Imagine Richard making these faces and sweet comments in and around all of the illicit, unhealthy, self-destructive sex all the characters on Scandal are having.
Oh also imagine if there was a real-life Richard tagging along after Donald Trump. I’d like to believe someone as pure as Richard could continue being endlessly cheerful even around that mess. And then when the chain of impeachment happens it could be President real-life Richard Splett, and everything would be at least 1000x better.