I heard about the sad news this morning watching CNN, and I just sort of caught my breath a little bit. Not so much for the loss of the man itself, although it is certainly a tragedy that anyone should die so young, but rather for the loss of someone who's work meant so much to me as a true force in my development as a person, and certainly the development of my warped sense of humor. I LOVED John Hughes movies...still do! My DVD shelf is packed with no less than 8. Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Uncle Buck, Weird Science, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Some Kind of Wonderful, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Pretty and Pink.
So, to honor the man that did so much to mold me into the warped individual that I am today, I thought I'd rattle off my top 5 John Hughes movie characters of all time. With a slight twist, though...these are the supporting characters! No far picking "The Geek" from Sixteen Candles, or "Del Griffith" from Planes Train and Automobiles...anyone can do that! Thanks in no small part to Mr Hughes, I'm not just anyone!
OK...picking 5 was a buster...so I had to run the list to 6....and yeah...the quotes are from memory.
HONORABLE MENTION! - Grace from Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Lets face it...in high school, we always knew that the front office staff was wacky and deranged in their own right...and who demonstrated that better than the pencil-stuffed haired, Wite Out sniffing Grace. "They think he's a righteous dude!"
5th place...from the Breakfast Club...Carl the Janitor! In high school, we also always knew that the cleaning crew filtered though our lockers and garbage and lived vicariously through us students, and Carl was the creepy epitome of that fear. "I am the eyes and ears of this institution."
4th place - Long Duk Dong from Sixteen Candles. There's nothing really to say about this guy. There were characters sprinkled throughout Hughes films that were pretty obviously stuck there for comedic value only, and while Dong here started that way I'm sure...he didn't finish that way! In fact, you could argue that he doesn't belong on a list of supporting characters. "Whassa Happenin' Hot Stuff?"
3rd Place - Owen the Wichita driver from Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Just dialog...that's all you need... "You the shower curtain fella? I'm ta take you to Wichita to catch a train? People train don't run outa Wichita, people train runs outa Stubville. THNGT! THNGNGT!!"
First runner-up! Retainer Girl from Sixteen Candles! Joan Cusack does an excellent job in this pseudo cameo supporting role as the poor kid with the retainer. We all knew somebody who struggled with all kinds of head gear and braces and crap like that, and Cusack's character reminds us of how funny and sad and easy to pick on those retainer-wearers really are.
First Place, part A - Chet from Weird Science! "Good Morning, Turdbrain!"
and part B...CHET the flat-topped boil-crusted toad-beast-thing!
Possibly one of my favorite characters in all of movie-dom. Farty and squirty and generally disgusting, Chet-toad gets my nod for the top supporting character from the Hughes Catalog. "How ya doin', Dudes?"