Last Tuesday, the actor G. Clay Higgins of Port Barre, Louisiana recorded a new digital episode in his ongoing “Captain Clay” series, in which a comically aggressive, disgraced former police officer offers his commentary on the catastrophic impact of the Coronavirus global pandemic. Watch it here.
The performance is vintage Captain Clay, who first became a comedic sensation nearly a decade ago when he introduced the character with over-the-top, mealy-mouthed rants satirizing the ubiquitous CrimeStopper videos.
Fans of the series know that Captain Clay was forced to resign from the police force, though Higgins decided to take a risk with the character. In a subsequent season, Higgins made international headlines in an episode in which the emotionally stunted Captain Clay decides to record himself delivering a cringe-worthy lecture on contemporary geopolitics while taking a tour of Auschwitz, the Nazi Concentration Camp in Poland.
In some respects, Higgins’ Captain Clay is similar to the scatological, bigoted egomaniacs portrayed by Sasha Baron Cohen, but Cohen is more careful to maintain levity. There’s nothing necessarily redeemable in Higgins’ Captain Clay. Rather, he has fashioned the character as an archetype of the Trump era: Brutish and belligerent, a vainglorious man whose understanding of American values consists of vapid platitudes about democracy and threats of violence.
In his most recent commentary on the Coronavirus pandemic, Higgins uses Captain Clay to deliver a provocative performance about the kind of thoughtless, indignant, and anti-social absurdity that has become emboldened in the aftermath of Trump’s election.
As state officials scramble to mitigate the spread of the virus and implore residents to stay at home in order to limit exposure, Captain Clay wanders around the parking lot in front of a strip center on Johnston Street in Lafayette, angrily denouncing the state’s governor for hurting small businesses, describing the pandemic in the coded language of racial slurs, and offering a flimsy argument about the Constitution that seemed to be more informed by the Police Academy trilogy than any class in law school.
Then, in an exclamation point at the end, Captain Clay becomes emotional when describing how the business behind him was forced to cancel in-person interviews with four job applicants as a result of the executive actions that placed restrictions on movement and gatherings as Louisiana prepares for a deadly pandemic. Captain Clay was standing in front of Tansations, a bronzing and tanning salon.
In addition to his career as an actor, Clay Higgins is also a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives.