I’ve touched on it before when I posted about his stage show, and a lot people in and around LA already know about it, but I’m not sure most people (myself included) understood the full extent of Val Kilmer’s Mark Twain ambitions. That’s right, Val Kilmer, when he’s not cutting off clumps of his own hair with a knife onstage at rock shows, has Mark Twain ambitions. The subject recently came up in Vulture‘s interview with Up in the Air writer (the book, not the movie) Walter Kirn, who’s apparently good friends with Kilmer.
Oh, Val Kilmer. Here’s a tip: His real ambition, and what he’s putting all his time and money into — and this is no joke, because he’s good at it — is to be this generation’s preeminent Mark Twain impersonator. He wants to succeed Hal Holbrook. It’s actually kind of staggering, because no one really knows what Mark Twain’s voice sounded like. There are some descriptions but no recordings.
So he’s developed a show that he puts on somewhat spottily and informally around Los Angeles, where he wears $3,000-worth of prosthetic makeup, and he’s actually awesome at it. He wants to make the same kind of transformation that he did with Jim Morrison when he did The Doors. And as a friend, I think if he can just get a grip on his flakiness, he could really make a splash with this. It sounds a little eccentric, but he’s got a lot of material, because it’s not just old Twain, it’s the drunken, sad, regretful, pensive character that we’re not used to.
That’s right, Val Kilmer has written, produced, and finances his own one-man show that he performs in character as Mark Twain. This show, how awesomely Val Kilmer is it? Well, and I don’t mean to talk out of school, but I’ve heard tell, the thing has Batman Forever jokes. Delivered by Val Kilmer. As Mark Twain.
Here’s a particularly colorful account of one of the shows from Tumblr WalkersWheelhouse, who called it “truly one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen.”
- Right off the bat, Mark Twain Val Kilmer makes a Batman Forever joke. You know, because we were in the Hollywood Forever Cemetary. You can just picture him writing it and being like, “I can’t NOT make a Batman Forever joke! People will be expecting it!”