Randall "Randy" Disher is the Chief of Police in New Jersey and a former lieutenant in the San Francisco Police Department and serves as second-in-command to Captain Leland Stottlemeyer of the Homicide Detail. He is portrayed on the series by Jason Gray-Stanford.
Randy Disher was born on July 19, 1959. In "Mr. Monk and His Biggest Fan", it is mentioned that Randy was born in San Diego, California. Earlier, in the season 5 episode "Mr. Monk and the Leper", it is revealed that he suffered from an extreme case of acne (he even tries to get rid of that photo from Dr. Polanski's office in the course of the episode). He attended Temple University in Pennsylvania, and apparently joined the police force in Philadelphia shortly thereafter, in or around 1998. He was promoted to Detective Sergeant on that force, before moving to San Francisco about two years before the series started. Among his cases in Philadelphia was the investigation of the mysterious death of Darlene Coolidge's newlywed husband, which comes back to haunt him in "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding".
After joining the SFPD, he is promoted to Lieutenant, and becomes Stottlemeyer's right-hand man. However, he did speculate on the motive on the crimes committed that were usually farfetched and don't even fit, causing Stottlemeyer to usually get cross about them and react sarcastically. Eventually, in 2006, he became fed up with this when he tried to report a crime that he did actually witness during a trip to the Dentist and was laughed at where the Dentists were attacked by an ex-cop and current criminal named Dennis Jardeen demanding where "Barry Bonds" was and stating that "he" was worth $13 billion (The fact that he was partially sedated when he witnessed it didn't help his story either), and quit the force. He managed to rejoin when they discovered he was completely correct in what he witnessed (exempting that what Jardeen was mentioning was actually "bearer bonds" and not "Barry Bonds".)
There are also times where Randy has shown himself to have some common sense, such as in the episode "Mr. Monk and the Captain's Wife" when, during an investigation of a sniping that resulted in Stottlemeyer's wife being hospitalized from hitting the truck after the driver was sniped, Stottlemeyer was becoming increasingly unhinged and trying to exact justice, or rather, revenge on the the suspect(s), an anti-scab union, with Randy pointing out that the union may not be responsible, citing some evidences to the contrary such as the shooter being barefoot, as well as pointing out that Stottlemeyer's unhealthy obsession with the case involving the sniping is also causing several police cases to pile up without being reviewed, as well as telling him that beating up the person responsible, Evan Coker, is going to cause him to lose his badge.
In 2009, Randy and Sharona Fleming begin dating, long-distance. Later in that year, he accepts a job as the Chief of Police in Summit, New Jersey, and moves in with Sharona in Newark. Before going, his friends all wish him luck. With a hint of nervousness, he asks his longtime captain if Stottlemeyer thought he was ready for the responsibility. Stottlemeyer says he didn't have to think anything: he knows that Disher is ready.
He and Sharona later hired Monk and Natalie to act as temporary police officers at Summit, due to the police force experiencing a shortage as well as the local government undergoing an immense scandal requiring him to act as temporary mayor due to the arrests of several key members of government for various crimes.
Randy is characterized as a naïve, loyal, overly ambitious but not necessarily bright assistant to Stottlemeyer. His far-fetched theories and comments about the cases Monk works on are a running gag of the series. Apart from his extremely ridiculous theories, which often involve defying the very laws of physics, Disher appears rather competent within his own range of abilities. He has proven himself to be trustworthy, courageous, and capable of providing valuable insights into the cases they tackle. Also a running gag is the awkwardly ceremonial way in which he delivers news to Stottlemeyer, asking him to guess what it is or sit down for it. His personality has dramatically changed throughout the years. Originally, he was not only skeptical of Monk, but he seemed to find Monk a joke. One could assume that he was jealous of Monk, by his actions toward Monk himself and to the captain about him. However, he was still bumbling, as he gave Monk his gun during a frantic scene in "Mr. Monk and the Candidate". He was also known to drink on the job when he becomes intensely stressed, as evidenced in "Mr. Monk Gets Married" when Randy Disher grew stressed in regards to his mother marrying a significantly younger antiques dealer, marrying him after the second date, and then claiming they have marital problems necessitating a visit to a marriage counseling house shortly after their marriage, all while his mother was neither beautiful nor does she even have a lot of money, thus drinking some alcohol while hiring Monk and Sharona to take the case in regards to finding out what the antiques dealer is up to while inebriated.
It is revealed in one of the Monk books "Mr. Monk and the Blu Flu" it is shown that Disher has the best convictiona and closure rate. Mainly because Capt. Stottlemeyer gives him normal and not high profile cases. Also strangely he is often used to be a female impersonator, such as in "Mr. Monk and the Kid" and "Mr. Monk and the Three Julies," though Sharona saw through the former instance.
Like Stottlemeyer, Disher used to be wary of Monk's abilities, but as the series progressed, he came to admire and respect them.
During his life, Disher loses his entire life savings during a trip to Las Vegas ("Mr. Monk Goes to Vegas"), acts once as Natalie Teeger's bodyguard ("Mr. Monk and the Election") and helps Monk find clues for the Trudy Monk case by traveling to New York with him ("Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan"). Randy argues regularly with (but is also not-so-secretly attracted to) Monk's first assistant, Sharona Fleming, and he maintains a friendly, professional behavior towards Monk's second assistant, Natalie Teeger. He seems to always harbor crushes on Monk's assistants. For instance, in "Mr. Monk and the Paperboy", he writes a personal ad fitting Sharona's profile, which he tries very badly to hide from her. In "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend," Natalie mentions to Randy at one point that she and Monk have news. He thinks that she means to say that she is in love with him, and Natalie is left in a dumbstruck state while Monk explains to Randy their theory that Linda Fusco killed her partner.
His lack of luck getting dates is so notorious that when he does get a girlfriend, nobody believes him. In "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month", he shows the cast a generic picture of a woman. Sharona confirms that it was included with his wallet. They dismiss his claims that his girlfriend is a wallet model named Crystal Smith. It is revealed that Randy was telling the truth. (Monk: "Mr. Monk and the Employee of the Month")
The Randy Disher ProjectEdit
In high school, he was part of a rock band, The Randy Disher Project, which he resurrected with his fellow bandmates in 2006. (Monk: "Mr. Monk Goes to the Dentist") The band created a music video entitled "Don't Need a Badge", trying to justify Randy's leaving the police force. The band broke up and Disher returned to the SFPD shortly afterwards. The song was reprized in 2007 (Monk: "Mr. Monk and the Really, Really Dead Guy"). Disher was placed as a decoy to try to attract the attention of the perpetrator, playing the erstwhile rock song (while forgetting most of the lyrics) with the instruments of a one-man band. Stottlemeyer hated the the song, however, due to it also insulting him, and also hinted that the first person to attack Randy Disher while he was singing might actually be him rather than the killer during a FBI-conducted sting operation. Further, in 2007, Randy climbs the stage in a rap club, shouting: "If you enjoyed that, check out therandydisherproject.com!". (Monk: "Mr. Monk and the Rapper")
Background Information and NotesEdit
- In the pilot episode, Disher is credited as Lieutenant "Deacon."
- Disher is usually seen driving a 2003 tan Ford Crown Victoria with a Mars light attached to the inside rearview mirror, but he mentions in "Mr. Monk Can't See a Thing" that he also drives a Ford Festiva.
- Disher is allergic to cats, as seen in the episode Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny.
- When the first two letters of Disher's first and last name (Disher's original last name being Deacon), are paired with the first two letters of Leland Stottlemeyer's first and last names, the result is Lestrade. Lestrade was the police contact in many of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.
- Disher is left-handed.
- In "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever", Disher claims to have no uncles, only aunts (disputing a fortune cookie). However, in "Mr. Monk Visits a Farm", Disher inherits a farm from his Uncle Harvey, implying that one of his Aunts married or came out as a transman. Or maybe Uncle Harvey was just a missing relative.