“Dude, Where’s My Common Sense?”

By TV critic Kevin McDonough:

‘Locked Up’ explores limits of dumb dude routine

April 25, 2012 12:55 PM

Is tonight’s “celebrity” edition of “Locked Up Abroad” (10 p.m. on National Geographic) a cautionary tale? Or a comedy? It’s hard to turn a series all but based on “Midnight Express” into a sitcom. But it’s not impossible.

Erik Aude

Tonight’s tale is narrated and re-enacted by its subject, actor Erik Aude, best known for his supporting role in “Dude, Where’s My Car?”

This “Locked Up” arrives at a grim Pakistani prison, where Aude is beaten and brutalized. His path to prison is like something out of a stoner comedy called “Dude, Where’s My Common Sense?”

According to Aude, he was on the brink of post-“Dude” stardom when an acquaintance asked him to fly to Pakistan on his behalf and bring back some “leather goods.” Sure, dude, why not? What could go wrong?

Aude’s gullibility would be off the charts at any given time, but his friend asked him to fly to Pakistan in the teeth of post-9/11 tensions. American forces had just invaded Afghanistan, and extremists had recently executed journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. Any “tourist” with half a brain would avoid the region. But Aude didn’t seem to have that problem.

Armed with a blind ignorance and gung-ho spirit befitting a slapstick comedy fall guy, Aude also goes jogging in the heart of a Pakistani city teeming with anti-American hatred. And then he proceeds to hit on veiled women, because, he explains, he could still see their eyes. And they were hot!

After this absurd setup, the rest of “Locked Up” is a bit of an anticlimax. After police inform Aude that he is carrying opium and not leather goods, we settle down to the usual grim tale of arrest, incarceration, torture and painful extraction that allows him to live to relate his incredible and completely avoidable tale of misfortune.

  • LOVE_LOCKEDUPABROAD

    My husband and I watched this, and for the first part, I was irritated and yelling “omg, how can you be so dumb?”

    But like I told my husband, some people are somewhat dim.  DIM, not evil. 

    Anywho, what he lacked in brains, he made up for in SPADES in heart and in character.

    And there is nothing “dumb” about heart or character.

    I think we need more people of personal pride, and with enough respect for themselves to not cave into anything that compromises their values.

    There are plenty of smarty-pants out there.

    Not a lot of good character.

    Just my humble opinion, for what it is worth, which is very little in the grand scheme of things.

    • Well, Love_LockedUp, you’re not alone. I think the show is one of the Channel’s most popular. 

      And while I agree with you that personal character matters, it still seems like this is a bizarre way to demonstrate it.

      Thanks for your note… and for stopping by. 

  • Cutlass

    What a bad ass. Loved this episode

    • Hanna

      more like. a dumb ass

  • Charleygirl

    Ok. I almost didn’t beleive he was innocent, but then I heard his mom speaking, at the end of the show. Wow, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Perhaps he suffered some sort of brain injury, when hit by the bus as a child. Of all places to travel to for leather goods. Pakistan? Really. Ok, maybe you think you’re above the law or you’ll never get caught. Or perhaps you don’t value your head, like I do.
    Common sense says the expensive trip, and a payment, is not equivalent, to a suitcase of leather. It doesn’t make sense. This guy is an idiot.

    • Abdullah Shahzad

      ‘Pakistan? Really.’
      Funny how a couple of American’s get in trouble in Pakistan and you paint the entire country as medieval. While the USA has tortured more than a 1000 inmates in Guantanamo many of whom were from Pakistan without even proper proof and no one’s pointing fingers towards American being unsafe.
      Normal people live in Pakistan, and they live really happy lives mind you. The world tends to forget that.

      • Hanna

        totally agree. This idiot ridiculously exaggerated how awesome he was when he beat up people and bribed the guard. Even more ludicrous was how he went jogging in the bazaar and shamelessly flirted with local girls in purdah.

    • Sherry Aude

      Charleygirl,
      Thank you for your comment. When Erik asked for my permission to work for this man “Rai”, part time, I remember telling him, “Those people hate us”. This was before 9/11. However as we have learned, when one lives in a protective bubble, one is ripe for the picking of wolfs n sheets clothing. When Erik told this man, ” I wouldn’t allow him to go”, the scumbag kept after Erik to have me call him. ( let me interject something here, unbeknownst to this man, I had only recently resigned from the LASD. ). When I finally called him, I remember asking him, “Why don’t you Fed-Ex them”? To which he replied, “These r my samples that I show to my clients, so I need someone to go. Inspect. Them to make sure there r no imperfections”. Then he went one step further, to show u just how evil this man was and how crafty, as I didn’t pickup any red flags. He asked me, “How old r u”? Which as you can imagine took me by suprise. I asked, “What’s that got to do with anything”?, “Well, maybe you would like the job”.

      Now remember I had just resigned from the LASD and had I even the slightest inkling that drugs were involved, I would have taken the job, set up a sting on both sides of the Atlantc, as some of my dear friends were Vice as well as the head of the Drug Enforcement Dept. and busted this ring wide open on both sides.

      As you may recall, with the grace of God, I was able to find out this mans real identity and with the help of the DEA, Customs Department, Glendale PD as well as the US Assistant Attorney’s office, we found this creep and his boss. They both went to jail.

      In closing, the only reason Erik finally consented to do the show is to Edcate people an if by him reliving his nightmare, it saved one person from falling prey, it felt it was worth it.

      Respectfully,

      Sherry Aude’

      • Hanna

        TLDR. Maybe Erik should consider cultural sensitivity training, because his narration was rife with stereotypes and narcissism, which only furthers misunderstanding between cultures.Educating people is one thing but being an egotistical bigot while doing it doesn’t help much.

  • Lauren

    This episode was so laughable. He didn’t seem genuine at all to me. He came off as some guy with a huge ego so he twisted the story to make it work for him. “They were all my women that day.” “I wasn’t in prison with them. They were in prison with me.” “If I was going to be hanged I was going to go down John Wayne style.” Give me a break. And you’d think that because he is an actor and he lived through those torture scenes first hand that’d they’d come off as believable, but even that seemed exaggerated and poorly acted.

  • Christopher Mackin

    This is clearly a bad action movie script he wrote that he wanted NG to produce and air for him.

    Are we really expected to believe that after he nearly beat to death one of the most nefarious guards, the warden of the Pakistani prison would fire that guard immediately upon hearing from the American prisoner that the guard was trying to get money from him?

    Really?

    Anyone who can think will have a hard time believing large sections of this one.

  • THEONLY1

    What an egotistical idiot; now we know where the term, “ugly American” comes from. FYI, I am an American, too and ashamed to be from the same country as this “dude.” I am shocked that he would go on TV and brag about what a total douchebag he is.

    • Hanna

      It’s alright. You guys aren’t all that bad,

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