“Stiller does try to play a straight man,” says Cote.
“Yeah,” Ballard replies, “not really. He’s just taking the zany self-abuse character and putting it out front.”
The elevator car stops to admit another man, a stranger. There are acknowledgement nods all around.
“I mean, a dog biting him on the crotch?” Ballard continues. “Like five minutes of it, facial expressions and all?”
“That’s not straight,” Cote concedes.
The car stops again; there are nods; the stranger exits.
“Probably a bad place to come into that conversation,” says Cote, after a while.
“Yeah,” says Ballard. “Now that was a straight man.”