Tag Archives: Willie Garson

The Set of 400: #269 – My Favorite Non-Scranton Scranton Cameo

Today! Because sometimes a bowler just has to face the music –

 

Kingpin (1996)

Directed by the Farrelly Brothers (x3)

Starring Woody Harrelson (x4), Randy Quaid (x2), Bill Murray (x4), Vanessa Angel, Chris Elliott, Willie Garson (x3), Googy Gress (x2), Lin Shaye, William Jordan, Prudence Wright Holmes, Richard Tyson, Zen Gesner

The Farrellys direct precursor to There’s Something About Mary, Kingpin is cut from very much the same cloth, with slightly lesser results. However! While I recognize it seems borderline insane that the four current Two-Timer directors are Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Paul Thomas Anderson, and the Farrelly Brothers, rest assured, this is their last appearance on the list. Dumb comedies are only gonna rise so high! Or are they?

No, I recognize Mary as the superior film, to be sure – I guess I just got a little tired of it, as it became this giant, omnipresent comedy two years later, endlessly referenced and pointed back to for years to come. And this largely swallowed Kingpin, a movie I much prefer for two big reasons – 1) the fact that Woody Harrelson’s broken bowler Roy Munson is so defeated by life that he ends up in Scranton, PA to start the film (Shoutout, hometown!) and 2) Bill Murray is beyond words amazing as the villain “Big Ern” Ernie McCracken. Like a lot of ’90s comedies, it’s pretty mean-spirited in retrospect – not just Big Ern being a complete asshole, but the movie’s general take on everybody – but I think it works better than some because there is a genuine relationship that forms between Munson and Randy Quaid’s backwards Amish bowler Ishmael, so that the overarching takeaway feeling from the film is positive, as opposed to pitiable.

Bowling pals!

But yes, Big Ern is the greatest

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The Set of 400: #313 – My Favorite Comeback in Sports History

Today! Because they’re here, every April, they’re here. 1:05 or 7:05, there is a game. And if it gets rained out, guess what? They make it up to you. Does anyone else in your life do that?

Fever Pitch (2005)

Directed by the Farrelly brothers

Starring Jimmy Fallon, Drew Barrymore, Willie Garson, Ione Skye, JoBeth Williams (x3), Lenny Clarke, James Sikking, Siobhan Fallon (x2), Andrew Wilson, Jack Kehler, Maureen Keiller, KaDee Strickland, Evan Helmuth, Johnny Sneed, Johnny Damon, Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon

And sometimes the movies on this list aren’t going to be about the movie at all. Okay, that’s not entirely fair. Fever Pitch is a perfectly fine movie. But there was a certain serendipity in the production of the film that makes it a classic in my estimation. You see, it was filmed during the 2004 baseball season, so they had no idea the Boston Red Sox were going to finally win the World Series that year. The movie – probably rightfully so – was supposed to end with them losing, as they had done for the previous 86 years. In 2003, the Red Sox were devastated in the ALCS by the Yankees, losing in Game 7 in extra innings, so why would anyone assume they’d finally get to the mountaintop in ’04? Continue reading

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