10 Best Acting Performances in Skate Videos

By: | Tuesday, July 22, 2003 //

Acting in a skateboard video is about as crucial as the plot line in a porno. While they may not be winning Academy Awards any time soon, over the years a couple of key performances remain steadfastly implanted in skateboarding’s collective consciousness. In no particular order, here are our picks for the 10 best acting performances ever seen in a skate video.

Jason Jessee as Jason Jessee in jail
’89, Santa Cruz, Streets on Fire
Arrested for skateboarding, and seemingly condemned to death for his crime, Jason plays out the last days of a caged freebird. Rife with escapist delusions, including Natas and Claus Grabke, Streets on Fire is more Last Temptation of Christ than Shawshank Redemption. The prison setting ultimately serves as a backdrop to the deeper question posed by the film, namely, can a claymation skit hold water.

Mark Gonzales as a retirement home orderly
’99, Chocolate, The Chocolate Tour
Under the direction of Spike Jonze, Mark Gonzales turns in a riveting guest appearance in Girlfilms fourth installment as an uptight retirement home orderly. Bent on evicting the aging Girl retirees if they fail to make rent, Gonzales’ character ultimately gives The Chocolate Tour its sense of “save the orphanage” theatrical urgency. Gonzales also serves up a pleasant side dish of comic relief by combining his signature idiosyncrasies and spontaneity with some unapologetic method acting.

Orb as skate-star map salesman
’87, Powell Peralta, The Search for Animal Chin
“Buck Chin the realtor? Nancy Chin the manicurist?” His on-screen minutes may have been minimal, but Rob “Orb” Fladden’s rendition of a skateboard-star map salesman in Animal Chin remains one of the more quotable segments in skateboard videos to date. Beyond sending the Bones Brigade to Chinatown, and handing them a deflated beach ball, Orb coined the go-to remedy line for uncomfortable silences at skate-related events during the late ’80s: “Maps to the Skaters’ Homes!”

Rick Howard and Tony Fergusson as the Russell Casting Agency
’95, 411, Best of 411, Volume 1
Before the glitz and glamour of Yeah Right! or Harsh Euro Barge, Rick Howard and Tony Fergusson honed their acting skills in “independent” venues like this ’95 411 skit introducing Eric Koston’s “Best of Profile.” Playing the roles of Russell Casting agents, the two embark on an epic journey of desperation and self-induced bicycle accidents to find fledgling star, professional “boarder” Eric Koston. While they never do catch their man, they ultimately learn a much larger lesson along the way-wigs make people laugh.

Tommy Guerrero as Tommy Guerrero
’87, Powell Peralta, The Search for Animal Chin
Lance Mountain deserves an honorable mention, but Tommy Guerrero up and steals the show. From “SSSick” to “Dude, he’s got his own milk carton,” Tommy’s lines became instant classics the second he uttered them. He also sounds like he’s going through puberty on half of them. Pick up the Chin DVD and relive Tommy. If you aren’t stoked on his getups alone (all white!), or his lack of teeth, he’s got the beatbox rap track for the knockout punch.

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