Wednesday, August 20, 2008

movie characters...


I recently bought a used copy of 'National Lampoon's Bagboy' on DVD-- I keep holding out hope that the National Lampoon name will be attached to a good movie again, so I pick up most of their films (didn't know until this film that a company just leases the name to anybody-- but this movie was actually made by NL).
It's not a bad movie at all really, but as with most NL movies it would have been better with an R-rating, but that is neither here nor there.
The film is about a young man who dreams of winning the national grocery bagging championship (which actually exists believe it or not-- that is right up there with competitive air guitar in my book) and his struggle to the top...
What prompted me to write about the film was a particular character, a millionaire who likes to challenge baggers in his own home and gamble on it. He says in the film that he likes man on man competition and that his former passion was bowling until an unfortunate incident with an Amish bowler. Rob Moran (who is one of the producers of 'Bagboy') reprises his role from 'Kingpin' (although I don't think the name is the same), making this film an unofficial sequel to the Farrelly brothers comedy or at least sets it in the same universe, and makes it one of the few times an actor has played the same role in more than one unrelated film... at least in modern movies.
Michael Keaton did it in 'Jackie Brown' and 'Out of Sight', both based on Elmore Leonard novels-- when Quentin Tarantino aquired the rights to 'Jackie Brown' he also gained the rights to all of Leonard's books, and when producers who wanted to make 'Out of Sight' went to Tarantino for the rights, he insisted that since Keaton's character appeared in both novels, they had to let him play the part. They begrudgingly agreed, but he is uncredited in the second film...
Kevin Smith's characters Jay and Silent Bob (played by Jason Mewes and Smith) appeared in 'Scream 3' apparently-- I wouldn't know, having only watched the first 'Scream', which simultaneously breathed life into and killed off the horror movie genre, but that is a whole 'nother story...
It's debatable that Dennis Rodman played the same character in the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, 'Double Team' and in his own film, 'Simon Sez'. Even though the characters had different names and occupations (one was an arms dealer that helped the government, one was a government agent), the similarities are striking, especially the fact that each had a team of monks helping him...
Sean Connery played James Bond in six canon films and in 'Never Say Never Again' which is not part of the series and is supposedly a remake of 'Thunderball'. Not sure if that counts or not... Also not sure if parodies count, but John Hurt reprised his role from 'Alien' in 'Spaceballs', more or less. And Robert Patrick played his 'Terminator 2' character in 'Wayne's World'.
Rob Schneider plays the same character in 'Waterboy' and 'Little Nicky' (I think... it was another Adam Sandler movie anyway). And Blake Clark played Farmer Fran in 'Waterboy' and the same character in 'Joe Dirt'. Also Carl Weathers returned to his role from 'Happy Gilmore' in 'Little Nicky'.
Dan Aykroyd plays a Ghostbuster in 'Casper'.
Another that doesn't quite count (because one was a serial and the other a TV series) but I'm going to add Noel Neill playing the second Lois Lane on the 'Adventures of Superman' television show after having played her years earlier in the 'Superman' serial(s). And while I'm throwing out TV series, Richard Belzer played the same character in 'Homicide' and 'Law and Order', which has to be a rarity, an actor playing the same part in two different TV shows that didn't involve a true spin-off-- apparently he also played the same character on 'The X-Files', 'The Beat', 'Arrested Development' and...................... 'Sesame Street'.
Buddy Ebsen played Barnaby Jones in the 'Beverly Hillbillies' movie.
An odd one is Lisa Kudrow's character(s) on 'Mad About You' and 'Friends'. She played a waitress named Ursula on 'Mad...' and Phoebe on 'Friends', but originally the two characters had nothing to do with each other-- eventually the TV execs thought about it though, and since both shows were set in New York, they declared Ursula and Phoebe to be twins and started crossing the shows over.
I know there are other examples I can't think of right now, Sherlock Holmes possibly-- anyone have any others? Sequels and spin-offs don't count. Also cross-over shows shouldn't really be part of this list.
Update: Just found one that sort of counts, I guess. Daniel Roebuck played Morris Green in 'The Devil's Rejects' and provided the voice for the same character in the animated film 'The Haunted World of Elsuperbeasto' according to his official website... I don't recall his character in the Rob Zombie film and have never even heard of the animated movie.
Another TV show one-- Sherman Hemsley played George Jefferson on the 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' a couple of times. And Michael Richards played Kramer on an episode of 'Mad About You', but he was playing a version of Kramer that possibly was supposed to be the basis for the character on 'Seinfeld', because Paul Reiser asks him whatever happened to Jerry who lived down the hall and Kramer said he was making a sit-com (but in the 'Seinfeld' series, there was a storyline where Jerry was making a sit-com, so it could be in reference to that, but I don't think so).
George Wendt and John Ratzenberger played their 'Cheers' characters, Norm and Cliff, on 'St. Elsewhere' and 'Wings', not counting their spin-off appearances in 'Frasier' and 'The Tortellis'.
Can't recall (and don't feel like looking up) the other show that took place in the same town as 'Green Acres', but I remember Sam Drucker (I think that was the character's name) being in more than one show. Minor update: I remember now (I think)-- 'Petticoat Junction'. And for that matter, 'The Beverly Hillbillies' crossed over...

4 comments:

MSC said...

Here's another from Mad About You -Carl Reiner recreated the character of Alan Brady from the Dick Van Dyke Show (he was just as irascible on "Mad" as he was in the earlier series)

Lisa_mynx said...

I don't remember that... cool

I'm more interested in film appearances of characters than TV though-- any others?

MSC said...

Vincent Vega, the hit man portrayed by John Travolta in "Pulp Fiction" is the brother of Vic Vega, the character played by Michael Madsen in Tarantino's earlier film, "Reservoir Dogs" (it was originally supposed to be the same character but Madsen had other obligations and couldn't play the part)

In Eddie Murphy's "Coming to America", veteran actors Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy make a cameo appearance to reprise their roles as Randolph and Mortimer Duke from Murphy's earlier "Trading Places".

That's all I can think of off the top of my head - I'll let you know if I think of anything else.

lisa_mynx said...

The Vega brothers don't really count because Tarantino sets all his movies in the same universe already (look at all the appearances of Michael Parks-- same character in 'Dusk Till Dawn', 'Kill Bill', 'Grindhouse'), but at no time do Vic and Vincent appear in the same film... Directors like Tarantino and Kevin Smith keep their movies together even if they aren't sequels.

I did think of another one-- Rodney Dangerfield appears in 'The Onion Movie' as his 'Caddyshack' character...