Friday, January 12, 2007

Nerds And The Big Bang 12.07.99

The career of a Tinseltown star is not unlike the life of any other celestial body. Celebrities begin as a swirling mass of inert gasses, and while many of them remain gaseous suspensions, most experience a Big Bang-type catalyst--say, a stellar performance--that propels their luminescent personages into the public eye. From there, a miscalculated axis rotation can send the burgeoning stars spiraling out of orbit, where they’ll remain in the Neverwere Nebula as so much space dust. The lucky ones go supernova, exploding in a film that has universal appeal and astronomical box office receipts. They may achieve stasis, but even with equilibrium, there’s a danger that the fickle audience may grow weary. Their tolerance reaches critical mass and our little glitterati disappears into a black hole, a gateway to the Where-Are-They-Now? parallel dimension.

In 1984, an $8 million teen sex comedy with a cast of relative unknowns grossed $60 million. It truly was a Revenge Of The Nerds. The future looked promising for the actors who played the title nerds and their athletic rivals from Alpha Beta fraternity. In fact, Anthony Edwards’ star is still shining brightly. However, most of the nerds burned out quickly or simply faded away.

Curtis Interruptus

Star Stuffs: Curtis Armstrong a.k.a. Booger
Big Bang: Risky Business -- Miles
Meteoric Rise: Better Off Dead -- Charles, One Crazy Summer -- Ack Ack
Supernova: Revenge Of The Nerds
Stasis: “Moonlighting” -- Herbert Viola
Critical Mass: Revenge Of The Nerds II, III, and IV, Nerds in Paradise, The Next Generation, Nerds In Love, respectively
Black Hole: Spy Hard
Parallel Universe: Made-for-TV Movies


Star Stuffs: Timothy Busfield a.k.a. Poindexter
Big Bang: Revenge Of The Nerds
Meteoric Rise: “Trapper John M.D.” -- Dr. John McIntyre
Supernova: “thirtysomething” -- Elliott Weston
Stasis: Field Of Dreams, Sneakers, Quiz Show
Critical Mass: The Skateboard Kid, Little Big League,
Black Hole: First Kid
Parallel Universe: Made-for-TV Movies/radio talk show host in Sacramento

Fear Of A Black Hat

Star Stuffs: Larry B. Scott -- a.k.a. Lamar
Big Bang: A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But A Sandwich -- Benjie
Meteoric Rise: “St. Elsewhere”
Supernova: Revenge Of The Nerds
Stasis: The Karate Kid, SpaceCamp
Critical Mass: Iron Eagle
Black Hole: Another Stakeout
Parallel Universe: Producer: The Cheapest Movie Ever Made

Bloodsportsmanlike Conduct

Star Stuffs: Donald Gibb a.k.a. Ogre
Big Bang: “Alice” -- Moose
Meteoric Rise: Meatballs, Part II -- Mad Dog, “1st & Ten” -- Leslie “Dr. Death” Crunchner
Supernova: Revenge Of The Nerds
Stasis: Lost in America, They Still Call Me Bruce, Amazon Women on the Moon
Critical Mass: Jocks -- Ripper
Black Hole: Breakfast Of Aliens
Parallel Universe: Shill for Isuzu Outback

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