It seems that Keanue Reeves has gotten bored with his, er, talent still unrecognized by the members of The Academy, and has decided to pursue car racing. Luckily for us, it doesn’t seem to be anything too serious or anything approaching long term goals, because normally, when actors want to be race car drivers, it’s a pretty bad deal.
In this particular instance, Keanu reeves will be taking part in this year’s Toyota Pro/Celeb Race at the Long Beach Grand Prix. Most of the time, it’s people you’ve never really heard of, and if you have, you probably should be broadening your horizons and reading less checkout stand mgazines. Most of the time it’s “celebrities” such as Drew Lachey, John Salley and the executive producer of Ratatouille. (Although Ratatouille was a kick ass movie, and amazingly well done, and anyone involved with it, or any other Pixar product walks on frickin’ water as far as I’m concerned.)
At this years race, celeb drivers will include the likes of Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody, Luke Wilson, Jon Hamm (who?), Tim Daly (is he still acting?), someone named Tyson Beckford, poseur “comic”Carlos Mencia, Raven-Symone (no idea who he/she/it is) and Alex Trebek (Trebek?!), and others.
I guess this will keep all of the dim-bulbs in one place, and will hopefully keep them from pursuing any further racing. Hopefully.
Racing is an odd sport in a number of ways. One of the most intriguing oddities is that, unlike say, baseball or football, if you\’re an amateur, and not even a talented amateur, and you have the scratch, you can actually buy your way into the sport. It has been this way for decades, the first guy I ever noticed was this Grand Prix driver from the 50s by the name of Prince Bira. Indeed he was a prince, and from Thailand no less. Everyone seemed to like him, mainly because he stayed out of the real racers way on the track and was fun at parties. Nice guy, but Prince Bira was slow.
Now, this is not to say that every wanna-be racer with money and fame is a hack. As a matter of fact, there have been two actors that have done quite well – OK, one and a half. Specifically Paul Newman and Steve McQueen. Paul Newman was serious. You underestimated him at your own peril, and he won repeatedly, being the oldest guy to ever with at the Daytona 24 hours. McQueen, who most of you know from the movie Le Mans as well as other cinematic classics, was OK, but never really one to worry about. Yes, he did get a class victory at Sebring one year, but other than that, you could put him in the talented amateur class, sort of like Dr. Dickie Thompson.
This brings us to the other actors who thought they could be race drivers.
Dick Smothers, of The Smothers Brothers, had a lot of money from his TV show and a great desire to go racing. Turns out he was pretty mediocre, but it could have been worse. He could have been that other guy from Wham!, Andrew Ridgeley. After Wham! broke up (and what’s with the exclamation point for God sake?), Andrew thought he\’d be a rally driver, and ended up crashing away all of his savings. Frankie Muniz from \”Malcolm In The Middle\” is in the midst of trying to get people to take him seriously on the track, but with little success. And Jason Priestley from Beverly Hills, 90210 almost came to a very sticky end when his Indy Pro Series car crunched the outside wall and cracked his skull open.
Money can you into the game, but it can\’t make you a winner, let alone competent.
This year’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity race that will take place on Saturday, April 18th.