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, 2011-15. 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.

Yello’s “Oh, Yeah” music video:


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.)


  1. When spring breaks here in the northeast, I get a very, very bad case of spring fever. The only cure is playing hooky whether from a job or chores and having a ball. I am eagerly anticipating 2012’s attack which I am assuming will be early with the mild winter we are having. Your blog has made my mouth water in anticipation!

    1. Kate, I’m glad my blog has unleashed your inner wanderlust rebel. I’d pack my bags and join you – if it hadn’t been for that incident so many years ago where I nearly got caught. That cured me. (Believe that and I got some swamp land I’ll sell ya’ at a prime rate.)

    1. But, then, he’d have a different set of folks chasing him down. Instead of the school dean tracking him down, it might be disgruntled fans that expected him to be on stage. Hiding in plain sight would no longer be an option.

  2. I worry that if there’s a sequel, it’ll be lame, especially with Mr. Hughes gone. But I’d probably see it anyway. About your day off from work: My guess is that with sunglasses and a winter parka, you were safe.

    Great post, Judy.

    1. I’ve just posted the full ad – it does a spoof on many of the key scenes in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
      About my day off: Charles, I hope you’re right … that I really did pull off that scam. Thanks for the compliment and for visiting my blog.

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