BUELLER? BUELLER?

By Judy Berman

Playing hooky. Taking a mental health day off from work. Did you ever wish you played it like Ferris Bueller? Breaking all the rules. Cool, charming and utterly over-the-top outrageous. That escapism appeals to me.

What would that innocent-looking scamp be up to today? Maybe he’d kick it up a notch when he ditches work.

A short clip of an ad that will run during the Super Bowl on Feb. 5th is already teasing the audience about the prospects of a grown-up Bueller. Matthew Broderick, who played Ferris in John Hughes’ 1986 film, will be 50 in March. (The complete ad was released Monday, Jan. 30th, after I wrote this. Its link has been added below.)

Broderick is at it again. Just like Bueller did in the opening of the movie, Broderick opens the curtains and looks directly at the camera. He confides to the audience, “How can I handle work on a day like today?”

I skipped work once when I was about 21 at my first job. Like Bueller, I also headed downtown. No, I didn’t jump on a parade float as Ferris did and serenade the crowd with Wayne Newton’s “Danke Schoen” or The Beatles’ version of “Twist and Shout.”

But there was a crowd. It was lunchtime, and among those milling about the shoppers was my boss – an older gent.

We briefly exchanged glances. I had on shades and a white winter parka. I continued walking with my friends, hoping – no, fervently praying – that he’d think he must be mistaken.

When I returned to work the next day, my boss never quizzed me about my absence. We never talked about this. But I didn’t repeat that escapade ever again in ANY of my jobs.

I still aspire to be Ferris, to have his savoir faire in dealing with a snooty waiter at an exclusive restaurant. Or in putting one over on the school dean as Ferris did to his, Edward R. Rooney, played by Jeffrey Jones. Rooney is bound and determined to catch Ferris and end the teen’s deception once and for all.

Ferris wasn’t the only one in the film milking an opportunity. He convinced his best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck), to let him borrow his Dad’s prized convertible, a 1961 Ferrari GT California. (“The insert shots of the Ferrari were of the real 250 GT California,” Hughes explains in a DVD commentary, according to Wikipedia. “The cars we used in the wide shots were obviously reproductions. There were only 100 of these cars, so it was way too expensive to destroy.”)

Someone as devious as Ferris couldn’t wait to get his hands on that hot convertible’s steering wheel. The teens – Ferris, Cameron and Ferris’ girlfriend, Sloane Peterson (played by Mia Sara) – dropped the car off at a parking garage. Then, a scheme worthy of Ferris quickly unfolded. Ferris and friends barely had their backs turned when the garage attendants peeled out of the garage and took the rare car for a joy ride. As they did, Yello’s “Oh, Yeah” blared thru the streets.

An enviable heist. It was returned unharmed. But the garage attendants had racked up several hundred miles on the odometer.

Ferris, whatever you might be up to, I hope it’s another glorious romp. If it is, I’d love to be along for the ride.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-14. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Photo: of Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferris_Bueller

Yello’s “Oh, Yeah” music video:

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Yello+Oh+Yeah+Ferris+Bueller+video&mid=EAB5AA7D103A829F7731EAB5AA7D103A829F7731&view=detail&FORM=VIRE1

The full ad was revealed Monday, Jan. 30th. (This is in no way an endorsement of any product. The reveal is just to show you what will be on Super Bowl on Sunday that was the subject of my original blog.)

http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=699644

D’oh, A Simpsons Marathon Challenge

By Judy Berman

Irreverent underachiever Bart Simpson and his Duff-beer guzzling Dad, Homer, would love this: a contest to watch The Simpsons’ shows and break an old Guinness World Record.

It’s a call this couch potato finds hard to resist. A chance to win $10,500. Starting Feb. 8th, in Los Angeles, contestants in The Simpsons Ultimate Fan Marathon Challenge will watch up to 500 continuous episodes of The Simpsons in an attempt to break the current record of 86 hours, 6 minutes and 41 seconds.

The 500th episode, “At Long Last Leave,” will air Sunday, Feb. 19th (8  to 8:30 p.m. ET/PT) on Fox. In this show, “the Simpsons are evicted from Springfield and join an off-the-grid community outside of town. But when Homer and Marge try to sneak back into town,” they are met with hostility.

The scrapes and shenanigans that The Simpsons get into are legendary. In the 23 years it’s been on the air, they’ve skewered the classics of Edgar Allan Poe’s, “The Raven,” (in “Treehouse of Horror“) and parodied “Goodfellas” (in “Bart the Murderer”) and “Citizen Kane” (in “Rosebud”).

But some of their finest hours were when they were just being themselves. Bart, in a role that Ferris Bueller would have loved, slips away from a class field trip and sneaks into the television show where “The Krusty the Clown Show” is taped. This is where, in “Bart Gets Famous,” he makes the catchphrase, “I didn’t do it,” said after he trips over a prop and nearly causes a disaster. The audience went wild, and Bart became an instant celebrity.

My youngest daughter, Jenn, swears she never had a social life in the early 1990s when The Simpsons’ shows ran on Thursdays. Her duty? She had to stay home and tape the shows for me. As Bart would say, “Don’t have a cow, man!”

I was hooked from the beginning of the show. That’s when Bart’s chalkboard punishment was on display (“The Boys’ room is not a waterpark”). Then, he’d jump on his skateboard, survive several close calls and make it home before Dad. After the family all jumped on the couch, the real fun began.

What keeps viewers returning? The show’s never boring. In a parody of “Dallas’ Who Shot J.R.,” a cliffhanger in May 1995 arranged a similar fate for the despicable CEO of the town’s nuclear power plant. “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” kept viewers in suspense until the show returned in September. The infamous chalkboard read: “I will not complain about the solution when I hear it.”

So, let me check. Just how long do I have to watch to win? More than 86 hours? Ay, caramba! Not even for Bart.

Photos: Who Shot Mr. Burns? (May and September 1995)

For more information on the contest, go to The Simpsons’ official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/thesimpsons or visit http://www.thesimpsons.com/ to receive news updates, including the exact date and time for open registration.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-14. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.