I recently plowed through all three seasons of Arrested Development on Netflix, and was surprised to see an episode built around a (stolen) gag from a minor comedy from 1986 -- the fondly remembered Savage Steve Holland comedy One Crazy Summer. The set-up involves Japanese businessmen, a real estate deal, model homes, and a guy in a giant animal costume. You can probably fill in the blanks from those ingredients alone.

In One Crazy Summer, maniacal tow truck driver Egg Stork (Bobcat Goldthwait) is put in charge of a trailer full of movie props and costumes for the upcoming rabid dolphin movie Foam. He can't resist trying on a Godzilla costume, but finds himself trapped inside due to a faulty zipper. Meanwhile, not too far away, evil land developer Aguilla Beckerstead is showing off his new development, in the form of a large model, to interested Japanese investors.

Egg runs over to the Beckerstead's, looking for his friends to help him out. As he hides in the bushes, Aguilla's elderly father tosses a cigar into the darkness, which just happens to land in the mouth of the suit. I think we can all see where this is going. Egg freaks out, in true Bobcat fashion, when his costume begins to fill with smoke, and he comes screaming out of the bushes, tromping all over the miniature city to the utter delight of the Japanese.

When I was eleven, this might have been the single funniest thing I'd ever seen. The gag still hold up pretty well today, due to Goldthwait's original screeching, uncontrollable persona. Without his unique presence, I can't say that Arrested Development improved on this joke in any way.
categories Cinematical