And, if he passed through one scene and spent, say, 40 seconds on screen, we would have chuckled and moved on with our lives. But he sticks around. And around. It's not that the rest of the entire movie was about Ruby Rhod and nothing else... it just felt that way.
We knew we were in trouble when the guns start blazing and it becomes apparent the screeching comic relief is going to hang around for the pivotal action scene. During the battle with the aliens, Rhod's role expands from flamboyant and mildly amusing radio show host to incredibly loud and useless sidekick. Check the scene out below, for instance, featuring Chris Tucker's lungs drowning out a bomb Bruce Willis sets off.
Or, let us transcribe it for you:
Rhod: "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeee!!!!" Cough, cough, cough. "Whu-whu-whu-whu-whu-whu-WHATCHUDOIN'?!?!?"
Korben: "Count to 10."
Rhod: "CUBBEH! WAS THAT A BOMB?"
Korben: "Shut up and count!"
Rhod: "ONE TWO THREE-HUH-HUH FOUR HUH-HUH FI-HUH-IVE SIX SEVEN EIGHT NIIIIHUN-HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!!"
(Screech continues for approximately 27 minutes.)
This is how he spends roughly 84 percent of the film.
Not only is his screeching irritating to listen to, but the scene itself is really the pinnacle fight of the movie, so you'd think there'd be some kind of drama or sense of danger required. It's exactly the wrong time to have comic relief front and center, though there's probably never a good time to for comic relief that could have been swapped out for a car alarm for many scenes without us noticing.
Holy shit, we almost wrote a whole entry about The Fifth Element without using this image! That was close.