Ash vs Evil Dead treated its audience to one of television’s most sudden (and violent) endings in the final moments of “Last Call.” As shocking as it was, however, the second season’s third episode stands out for an entirely different — and far more positive — reason: the onscreen reunion of longtime friends and collaborators Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi. Ever since the latter’s older brother, Sam Raimi, directed both in 1981’s The Evil Dead, the pair has become virtually inseparable in front of and behind the camera. Hence why the showrunners’ decision to cast Ted as Ash’s longtime friend and lone Elk Grove supporter, Chet Kaminski, makes so much sense.
“Chet is a guy who is from Elk Grove, this little town in Michigan he and Ash both grew up in. Ash has very little motivation to do anything, but Chet has even less,” Raimi tells us. “He’s the sort of pal you would never, ever want to bring home to your parents, but the kind of guy you’ve always wanted to hang out with after your parents go to sleep.”
To date, Raimi and Campbell have co-starred in everything from Sam’s Spider-Man films to the hugely popular ’90s series Xena: Warrior Princess. These were generally minor, supporting roles played by both or either, but with all the fanfare generated by Ash vs Evil Dead‘s second season on Starz, Chet will hopefully stick around long enough to egg on Ash for several episodes. Besides, as Raimi puts it, “While many people in Ash’s life believe he is responsible for the murder of those kids back in the ’70s, Chet’s one of the very few people who stands by him. He’s is a good guy to have around, even though he’s completely useless.”
“Useless” may or may not be an apt description of Chet. Per fellow cast member Dana DeLorenzo, who plays Kelly Maxwell, “entertaining” may be a better word as having Campbell and Raimi together on set was more “like ‘The Ted and Bruce Show'”: “I cannot wait for you guys to see season two just for the two of them, because you can’t fake that kind of chemistry. Off set they were doing impressions constantly, like when it was lunch. Sure we work hard, but they knew how to keep us entertained. Especially at poker night’s at Bruce’s house. Or billiards nights. It was a show within a show.”
Nor is this any different from their days on Xena, as confirmed by the warrior princess herself, Lucy Lawless: “It’s always been like that from the start. Dinner at one of our houses is just like a Stooges movie the whole time. The conversation is just non-stop banter. I invited this girl who was a stand-in from Xena to come to one of these dinners and she was appalled. She wanted to ask me, ‘So Lucy, tell me about your studies…’ And they were like, ‘Bah!’ They completely drowned out any intelligent discussion. Anyway, she didn’t ever come back to our dinners.”