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Randal Graves, is a clerk at RST Video, located next door to the Quick Stop convenience store in Leonardo, New Jersey. Randal is a prime example of the typical slacker: He works in a dead-end job, has no respect for customers, and arrives at work late every day. He periodically closes the store (during work hours) to chat with his best friend Dante Hicks. Whereas Dante believes that title dictates behavior, Randal does whatever he pleases. He is the Deuteragonist of Clerks and Clerks II and a supporting character in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

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Randal Graves
Series: View Askewniverse
Alias: DarthRandal
"The Butch" (according to Jay's rumor of Randal and Dante getting married)
Occupation: Co-Owner/Manager of the Quick Stop and RST Video store
Mooby's restaurant clerk (formerly)
RST Video store clerk (formerly)
First seen: Clerks
Last seen: Clerks II
Created By: Kevin Smith
Actor: Jeff Anderson

Films

Clerks

In Clerks, Randal first appears being late for work and hanging out with Dante in the Quick Stop, neglecting the customers at RST Video Store. During their conversation, Randal reveals to Dante that his high school girlfriend Caitlin Bree, with whom he has been having early morning conversations, is engaged to be married. Randal later insults a mother and her baby by reading out pornographic movie titles in RST. Randal (bored that nothing interesting happens) closes the video store to talk with Dante about whether or not the contractors working on the second Death Star when it was destroyed at the end of Return of the Jedi were innocent victims. Randal opens the video store again only to close it again after annoying a customer. Randal goes back inside the Quick Stop only to find a guidance counselor looking for the "perfect dozen".

Learning that he is stuck working the store all day, as his boss went to Vermont, Dante convinces his friends to play hockey on the store roof, though the game is cut short; twelve minutes in, an enraged customer shoots their only ball off the roof and into a sewer. Reopening the store, Dante finds another of his ex-girlfriends has died and her wake is today. Randal talks him into closing the store again and going to the wake. The visit is catastrophic, with Randal and Dante running out to escape in their car. What happened inside the funeral home is not shown, but a subsequent conversation between the two reveals that Randal accidentally knocked over the casket by leaning on it.

After spitting water in a customers face, Randal convinces Dante to give him his car keys so he can buy a pornographic movie at another video store. Around this time, Dante gets fined because of Randal accidentally selling cigarettes to a 4 year old kid.

When Randal returns to the store, he finds out that Dante had asked Caitlin Bree out for a date and that she accidentally had sex with a dead man in the bathroom.

Randal tries to give advice to Dante about how he needs to make change in his life but Dante says that he can't. Randal then decides to help Dante by telling Veronica that he left her for Caitlin. However, Randal was unaware that Dante reconsidered his decision to leave Veronica for Caitlin.

Veronica angrily breaks up with Dante, telling him that Randal informed her.

When Randal enters the Quick Stop after closing RST, Dante attacks him and the two fight, making a mess of the store. Afterward, they lie on the floor exhausted. Dante claims that Randal does nothing for him but make his life miserable by getting him fined, offending his customers, and ruining his relationship. Randal loses his temper and verbally explodes, saying that Dante deserves the blame, as Dante closed the store to play hockey, closed it again to go to the wake, and closed it yet again to try to hook up with his ex-girlfriend, cheating on his current one in the process. He then says that Dante came to work of his own free will and "overcompensates for having a monkey's job". He claims Dante thinks he is more advanced than the customers and storms off with "if we're so fucking advanced, what are we doing working here?" leaving Dante speechless on the floor.

They reconcile and Dante says he will try to talk to Veronica, visit Caitlin, and possibly get some direction in his life. The film ends with Randal walking out of the store, popping back in briefly to toss Dante's sign at him stating, "You're closed!"

Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie

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Randal is briefly seen getting kicked out of RST by Jay and Silent Bob so that they can use it as their hideout.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

Randal 2

Right: Randal

Randal, like Dante, plays a brief role early in the film in which the two clerks have Jay and Silent Bob arrested for loitering in front of Quick-Stop as well as for selling drugs in front of the store. As a result, a restraining order was placed on Jay and Silent Bob, who were not allowed within a hundred feet of the store. He also made a comment on MoviePoopShoot.com about Jay and Silent Bob's upcoming film.

Randal later appears in a sequence where Jay is imagining a world where super evolved monkeys annihilate the human race, there is a line that says: "In this world gone mad we won't spank the monkey, the monkey will spank us". A reference to the popular "In Soviet Russia" joke. As Jay says this, the movie shows Randal getting shot by monkeys while wearing a CCCP (Soviet Union) hockey jersey.

He later appears with Dante watching the news where they see Jay and Silent Bob being falsely accused of being the leaders of the C.L.I.T.

He and Dante attend the Bluntman and Chronic movie premiere, where he claims that was worse than Clash of the Titans (1981). He also reminds Dante to renew the restraining order cause he's going to "blast" the movie on the internet.

The Flying Car

While in traffic, Randal tries to convince Dante about what it would be like to have a flying car and then tries to convince Dante to do several ridiculous things if he were to get one.

Clerks 2

On the morning the Quick Stop burned ten years after the events of Clerks, Randal arrives uncaringly to the destruction of the store. When he meets up with Dante who is sitting on a fire truck, he comes to the realization that he accidentally caused the fire upon leaving the coffee machine on overnight after closing. His only reaction is one of dismay over not being able to have a place to conduct casual sex while his mother is home. This results in them working at a Mooby's restaurant.

A year later Randal and Dante drive to Mooby's and discuss about Dante's last day of living in New Jersey, moving to Florida with his new fiancee Emma Bunting. Randal even suggests going as far as spray painting "Eat Pussy" on the side of the restaurant as a reminder of Dante's final hour at his old hometown, ironically done so by Randal himself. They even stop at the burned-down Quick Stop, left abandoned and boarded up with a heavy display of graffiti. Upon arriving at Mooby's, the routine goes as usual with Randal preparing breakfast meals and manning the drive-through with the inclusion of heckling a disabled man's blog, "flaming" the man's message board and addressing him as "Crippie Boy". This goes into a mild argument with Dante while drawing comparisons between Anne Frank and Helen Keller, Dante continuously correcting Randal. Emma arrives shortly after this, making out with Dante on the counter with Randal claiming that her actions were all part of her having an "unnaturally large clit". Randal questions Dante's sexuality and Emma being a woman despite her clitoris size, by which while the three are outside Emma flashes Randal her chest. She threatens to show her "cooter" until Randal walks off back to the restaurant. Elias arrives shortly later, happy about the upcoming live action Transformers release and is interested in making a site in preparation for the premiere. Randal and Elias go into a debate about Transformers, the former thinking that Elias's religious background forbade him from watching the franchise. However, the latter explains about his bible camp activity and concludes that Transformers a gift from God. Randal ends up frightening Elias as a retort, using King Diamond's "Welcome Home" and "The Invisible Guests" with Jay and Silent Bob appearing from a drive-through window to join in.

The restaurant's manager Becky drives in, and when Randal sees Dante wave to her midway into cleaning the windows and door he suspects the two have something going on. Dante dismisses this, but it later gets into a conversation while Becky walks in during Dante's rebuttal, and after Randal puts on his defense he gets sent to fill the napkin holders by Becky, a job he claims belongs to Elias, on account of comparing vaginas to anuses. Meanwhile he and Elias get into another debate, this time about Lord Of The Rings while a customer comes in for an order. This becomes a nerd bash between the Rings and original Star Wars trilogies. Randal makes his own summary of how the Rings movies progressed, which is countered with the Rings films being a more prestigious achievement. Randal retaliates with his own version of a Return Of The King ending, criticizing the multiple arc conclusions, and the customer vomits at the homoerotic scenario that Randal projects. He announces his victory to Dante and Becky at the manager's office, asking about a mop and bucket before getting even more suspicious toward the pair from a smell inside the office. He returns a few minutes later to tell Dante that Emma came back.

While Dante is outside with Emma, Randal prepares his friend's going-away present: a donkey show. As he looks up a website belonging to Kinky Kelly and The Sexy Stud, Elias peeks and has his phone used by Randal to call up the performers all while concerned by the lack of photos featured on the site. Randal dismisses this while addressing Elias's own sexual inactivity. Elias backs up having a girlfriend, much to further rejection from Randal, and brings up the trolls called "Pillowpants" for the excuse of avoiding premarital sex and "Listerfiend" for no kissing. Randal brushes this off as former classmate Lance Dowds enters the restaurant, which he promptly gives Lance's high school initiation story that earned him his "Pickle Fucker" nickname and goes domestic terrorist with giving Lance a urine-spiked drink and a fly-garnished burger. Randal is shot down twice as Lance hands over the food and drink to Jay and Slient Bob, and slams both Randal and Dante upon learning the pair working at Mooby's before leaving. Randal takes off with Dante in tow to calm down at a go kart attraction, and while they drive back to Mooby's Randal apologizes for his breakdown, stating his own concept of centering himself, and indirectly shares his displeasure of Dante leaving.

The duo return just as customers wait in line at the front counter, including an impatient wife and her husband. Randal accepts the blame while he exclaims that whatever he does is building up to a better situation, much to Becky's surprise to Randal's recent misfortune, and suddenly sets off a heated tantrum from the wife all because of saying "porch monkeys" despite Randal's inability to acknowledge it as a racial slur. Randal backs up his experience of being called such on account from his grandmother, him having stared at the neighbors on her porch and since saw it as a term to address ALL lazy people in general. He goes to "take it back" by taping up "Porch Monkey 4 Life" upon the back of his uniform top and calls a customer's son just that.

After the disaster while Becky teaches Dante to dance on the roof, Jay and Silent Bob's boombox playing The Jackson 5's "ABC" outside, Randal sways his head side to side while reading a magazine and even went as far as "wrangling" upon the counter. He is later playing solitaire as Dante returns but suddenly shoots his cards across from him, hitting and knocking a customer over upon hearing the news of Becky's pregnancy from a one-night stand two weeks earlier. They take this outside and Randal tries to wrap the situation around his head, recalling the past situation with Veronica and Caitlin despite Dante being considered as a "chud". Dante pleads Randal not to share the news to anyone, but blurts this to Becky as soon as she steps outside. She runs off and Dante attempts to follow with encouragement from Randal just as the truck for the donkey show comes up. Within the hour Randal closes Mooby's with Elias to have the stage set up for the show, lamenting his past with Dante and his future without his only friend.

Randal welcomes Dante after he returns and introduces the show. As the performance progresses, he starts to feel uncertain about it as the pimp performs with the donkey. He finally gets confirmation that the donkey IS Kinky Kelly and the pimp IS The Sexy Stud. Like the others, he cannot look away and watches with surprise and curiosity. He gets apprehended with Dante, Elias, Jay and Silent Bob, and The Stud by the firefighters and police as they surround Mooby's.

The group gets held at Leonardo Borough Hall, and upon Randal asking about prison cell construction Dante nearly attacks Randal and again "passes the buck" about how his life is ruined from Randal's antics. Randal points out that Dante continued to work at Quick Stop till the place burned down, went to college and dropped out, and got his own manager pregnant while engaged to another woman. Dante lets out his frustrations by saying he was through with "scraping by with the bare minimum" and plans to work things out with Emma, leaving a moment of hesitation for Randal who sees this a pushover move with Dante taking in the standards and expectations of others. Randal sums up his friendship and his future without Dante, and in the end he concludes that if Dante had this ambition to leave then he would not have bothered to even start the friendship on account of how he hated people and how everything seems stupid to him. In an addition Randal points out that Dante should take control of his life with what make sense to him, including what he would do if he was Dante by saying he would buy the Quick Stop and re-open it. Dante reminds that neither him or Randal have the money to buy the store, but Jay chimes in with saying him and Silent Bob got it from their Bluntman and Chronic royalty money. They give it under the condition that they would stand in front of the store without any hassle and not get busted by the cops. As Dante feels uncertain, looking forward for so long to start a new life, Randal ultimately confesses to Dante that he has always been his best friend and holds a strong brotherly love with him.

Randal and Dante are released, the latter proposing to Becky, and the pair purchase the Quick Stop. Months pass with the store being renovated and Elias recruited in to run RST Video, and it opens again with the iconic bed sheet and shoe polish sign at the front made by Dante. At the end the pair stand together at the Quick Stop counter, proclaiming that it is "the first day of the rest of [their] lives".

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot

Randal does not appear in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, but is mentioned by Dante at the beginning of the film when Dante offers to tell the police where Randal is, implying that Randal has, for undisclosed reasons, gone into hiding since the events of Clerks II.

Television

Clerks: The Animated Series

Randal is often depicted in Clerks: The Animated Series with a porn magazine. His love life is nonexistent in the show (at least in a romantic sense). The few relationships he had never lasted. In Episode 5, it's revealed his ex-girlfriends were subsequently so fed up with men after dating him that they became lesbians.

Personality

Randal's life centers on movies, video games and pornography. Randal is usually quite rude and disrespectful (mainly to customers) and doesn't really seem to have much care about what others think about him. He regularly arrives at the video store at least 15–30 minutes late and charges late fees to customers who have been waiting for the store to open. Oftentimes, he ignores customers' requests to recommend a movie, explaining that he does not meddle with other people's affairs (except perhaps those of Dante). He has been known to order porn movies for the store in front of children, spit water in customers' faces, and intrude on private conversations about sex.

Randal's behavior at times appears contradictory; for example, he says that he hates people but loves social gatherings, and says, "This job would be great if it weren't for the fucking customers." Such behavior spills into his relationship with Dante, whom he often coerces into highly unlikely, theoretical situations by manipulating him into feeling guilty. Randal goes off on an analytical theory of something outlandish, before going to the complete opposite. He might also perhaps be the worst confidant of all time, frequently causing an uproar in Dante's personal life by spilling secrets to those he shouldn't.

He often quotes dialogue and discusses films, goes to other video stores to rent porn. In Clerks II, it is stated that many of his sexual exploits are with "barely legal pussy" (18-year-old girls), thanks in no small part to their willingness to take part in taboo sexual acts (such as what he and others refer to bluntly as ass-to-mouth). As evidenced in a scene in Clerks II, Randal's favorite band is King Diamond and he is a fan of 80s speed metal and black metal, and dislikes other music, such as the band The Time. He is a fan of the novel Catcher in the Rye because it "recognizes the sheer volume of phonies in the world" [1]. Randal is also a fan of the Star Wars trilogy and Ranger Danger, and heavily despises the Lord of the Rings and Transformers.

Relationships

Dante Hicks

Despite his insulting ways, Randal truly cares for his best friend Dante. He even once said to Dante's ex-girlfriend Caitlin "Hey Caitlin. Break his heart again, and I'll kill ya. Nothing personal." Which Caitlin remarks he has always been very protective of Dante. Randal sees Dante as the "counterbalance" to the former's hatred of other people. Randal only goes to Quick Stop instead of staying in the video store to talk to Dante about whatever comes to mind. Randal does his best to offer whatever advice he can to Dante though Dante generally doesn't take it because of Randal's rather rough way of putting it. Randal has also attempted to do favors for Dante, although they often backfire. For example, in Clerks II, Randal set up a donkey show as a going-away gift for Dante, who was to move to Florida with his then-fiancee, Emma. However, the show results not only in Dante and Randal getting arrested, but Jay and Silent Bob, as well as fellow employee Elias, are arrested as well. The arrest led to a near-breakdown in their friendship.

He is also frequently the cause of the problems that he and Dante get into much to Dante's constant chagrin. The animated series shows this at least once per episode and that Randal is responsible for several of Dante's ruined relationships. This trait reaches its apex in the third episode of the Animated Series where he almost gets Leonardo Leonardo destroyed by the U.S. Air Force after he mistakes the villain's food poisoning for deadly motaba virus.

Brodie Bruce

Randal is related to Brodie Bruce of Mallrats. The two share a mutual "Cousin Walter," who is known for performing bizarre sexual acts, such as masturbating on a crashing aircraft and eventually killing himself while attempting to perform autofellatio. Both Brodie and Randal also mention stories regarding their grandmother. Brodie once mentioned she became a lesbian on her sixtieth birthday, while Randal mentioned that she used racial slurs in front of him as a child. The latter scenario influenced Randal into using the term "porch monkey" in front of an African American couple while working at Mooby's. However, Randal did not know at that point that he used a racial slur and claimed he used the term "porch monkey" to refer to lazy people of all racial backgrounds in general.

Reception

The character of Randal was mostly praised by critics and audiences and is mainly considered one of the best characters in the View Askewniverse. Chris Smith in The New York Times described Randal as a "smart-ass", while multiple reviewers have described him as a "super slacker". In the first film and the cartoon. Peter Travers who had given Clerks 4 out of 4 stars, praised Anderson's "deadpan comic brilliance"

Trivia

  • One of Randal's ancestors, who was Scots-Irish, immigrated to New Jersey in the 17th century.
  • it is implied he has a budding sex life, despite his overall pathetic existence; he frequently has girls over to his house, and brings them over to the Quick Stop when his mother is home.
  • Randal's house in Clerks II is the same house that Kevin Smith grew up in.
  • Kevin Smith's good friend, Bryan Johnson was the basis for Randal.
  • The role of Randal was written for Kevin Smith to play. However, Smith at the time found it difficult to direct, memorise his lines, and work in the convenience store all at the same time so he decided to play Silent Bob instead and cast Anderson to play Randal. 
  • Anderson auditioned for the role of Jay, and based on this audition, Smith was so impressed that he offered Anderson a lead role as Randal. 
  • People tend to misspell his name as Randall. 
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