272. Spaceballs

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Movie: Spaceballs

Release Date: June 24, 1987

Director: Mel Brooks

Starring: Mel Brooks, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten, George Wyner, Joan Rivers.

Tag Lines: “May The Farce Be With You.”

“May the Schwartz be with you!”

“Once upon a time warp in deep space, the struggle between the nice & the rotten goes on…”

“Revenge of the Schtick.”

Relevance: I don’t exactly recall the first time I watched ‘Spaceballs,’ but I knew right from the start it would be a movie I would watch repetitively throughout my existence. It made me laugh, and if something makes me laugh I keep it in my life. Super silly, ridiculous, weird and absolutely one of the best parodies ever made. As both a Star Wars and comedy fan, Mel Brooks created a movie that got me through high school and college and provided endless quotable moments for me and my friends.

I probably first watched it sometime in 1988 via VHS rental from our local Blockbuster. If you have been following this blog you probably know who in my family loved the movie and who didn’t. For those of you just joining in, my dad was a huge fan of silly comedies. My mom, not so much. So ‘Spaceballs’ was definitely a father-son bonding type of film. We watched it, and laughed to the point of tears falling down our faces. When it was on HBO, we watched it again, and laughed just as hard if not more the second time. And every time it played on HBO, just like every other film from the 1980’s, we watched it over and over again. It is a movie that seemed to get better and better with each viewing.

I owned the movie on VHS and took it away to college with me. Over my four years of college ‘Spaceballs’ became a drinking game, a canvas for acting scenes or just plain laugh fests for my friends. There are so many times we quoted this movie. However, there is one scene that we referenced countless times just to make each other laugh. Arguably the alien popping out of the guys stomach à la ‘Alien’ singing “Hello! Ma Baby” is the funniest scene in the movie. Debatable I am sure, but for me it is the crème de la crème. Any fans of Saturday morning cartoons, especially “Looney Toons,” like us knew the Michigan J. Frog reference. So every time we entered or left a room, it was singing and dancing to this song. No matter where we were…in the dorm room, in the dining hall, in the classroom…there were no limits. This went on for months. Years even. And we didn’t care. We just laughed.

‘Spaceballs’ was not a huge box office hit and did not receive favorable reviews from critics, but over the years has garnered a cult following. It is a Mel Brooks’ classic, which he is no stranger to as he has directed, starred and produced some of the funniest films ever made. And I am a fan of most if not all of them. This is the first of four Mel Brooks’ films that will be featured this year on my list of most influential movies. May the Schwartz always be with him.

Today’s Thoughts: Since my husband is also not a fan of “silly” and my son (who is a fan of “silly”) was sleeping, ‘Spaceballs’ was watched alone today. So today, I laughed alone. And I laughed quite a bit.

I probably haven’t watched the movie in a few years and it was a great friend to spend a few hours with as I social distance from my “real” friends. A friend that will always make me laugh, no matter what. The silly quotes are endless. “Funny, she doesn’t look Druish.” “She’s a bass.” “I knew it. I’m surrounded by assholes!” All of them made me laugh out loud and at the same time made me miss my college days.

“Hello! Ma Baby” is still the best scene in the movie. Hands down. However, the scenes with the wedding minister, played brilliantly by Ronny Graham, a Mel Brooks’ staple, have to be a close second. They are some of the funniest moments thanks to his delivery and facial expressions. What a treat to watch great comedic performances. Comedy ain’t easy, but to a professional like Mr. Graham, it seems effortless.

I know that over-the-top silliness makes some people like my mom and my husband roll their eyes, but if you are not one of those people, watch ‘Spaceballs.’ I promise it will make you laugh.

Ways to Watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, Hulu, DVD Availability.

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