This is one of two entries on this list where the appearance seems to be nothing more than camp for the sake of camp. Warhol was a guy that thought a can of soup was artistic, so lord knows what he thought about Gopher, Doc, Captain Stubing, and Isaac. The Love Boat had more guest stars in its day than Entourage, but none were as weird Warhol. Seeing a counter-cultural icon on what was perhaps one of the most mainstream and mass-marketed TV shows in history was beyond bizarre. I guess maybe that was the point.
Yeah, let’s take the most intolerant character on television and drop him off with a singing, dancing black Jew with a glass eye. What could go wrong?
Well, not much went wrong, actually. Though the clip doesn’t offer up much context, not much is needed. The 70’s and 80’s were an era in which guest stars didn’t need a reason to appear. Joe Namath dropped by The Brady Bunch and Nancy Reagan would swing on by the Drummond’s place to tell Arnold to not smoke crack. (Apparently, Willis and Kimberly didn’t get those instructions.)
The clip here is actually fairly good-natured, and despite the preconceptions that people have about the Archie Bunker character, there was a sweetness to him, as evidenced here.
In some metaphysical Franco world on mirrors, lasers, and bended light, this cameo makes complete sense, as do the myriad other projects that he has undertaken for the sake of weird.
But in my world, which we will call “actual Earth” for the sake of clarity, Franco’s appearance on the show makes no sense. Say what you will about the duty of an actor to investigate his place through self-referential contexts and the zeitgeist of man, the guy that hosts the Oscars shouldn’t be in soap operas.
Except for maybe Billy Crystal. He should probably be on soap operas.