I'll never forget seeing Rodney Dangerfield LIVE at The Celebrity Theatre at the height of his popularity in 86/87. His energy was off the charts, sweating through his shirt as he fired off jokes at an amazing pace for his age. The man was hilarious. And so is his best film from 1986, BACK TO SCHOOL.
Rodney stars as Fat Guy (this was back in the wonderful years when we could all laugh at ourselves) Clothing Magnet Thornton Melon. Hard working and rich beyond his wildest dreams, Thornton loves his job and his customers.
When his son Jason (Keith Gordon) starts struggling at college, his Dad decides to attend college with him, setting up one of the funniest film comedies of all time.
Thornton proceeds to expand adjoining dorm rooms into a massive bachelor pad where Oingo Boingo performs at night.
His teachers range from the insane Sam Kinison "He's a great teacher. He really cares! About what I have no idea....."
to sexy Sally Kellerman as Diane, the English teacher he instantly falls in love with in his first class.
Ned Beatty is hilarious as Dean Martin, whose eye is on all the Melon grants to his funding and Paxton Whitehead is memorable as the stuffy business professor who Thornton one-ups at every turn.
Rodney and six other writers create a fast-moving, fun comedy that gives Rodney plenty of chances to be himself while also creating a warm and lovable character that everyone will root for in every scene.
By the time Rodney is doing the triple-lindy dive in the college swim match championships and cramming for a verbal exam from all his professors, your face hurts from laughing.
A very young Robert Downey Jr brings plenty of laughs as Jason's twisted best friend Derek.
Bob Saget was originally up for the role of Professor Turgeson, but its hard to imagine anyone but Sam Kinison in the role. Every line delivery from Sam is flawless and fall down funny.
By far Rodney's best film as a lead, Back to School is a perennial favorite that gets funnier with time. A classic comedy that graduates with an A.