Saturday, January 24, 2009

Give John Candy his star


While I'm in a VOLUNTEERS mood...

I ran this before a couple of years ago and it still hasn't happened. There should be a star on the Hollywood Walk-of-Fame for John Candy. Local LA disc jockeys have stars. If you don’t live in the 310 area code do you have any idea who Johnny Hayes is? He has a star.

From what I understand you offer to pay the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce a certain amount of money. It used to be $20,000, I’m sure it’s gone up. The committee then votes. But again, Johnny Hayes has one.

To nominate John Candy here's where you go. If ever a star deserved recognition it's John. Especially now since his body of work is fading into DVD and VHS remainder bins and the TBS late night movie package.

I was privileged to work with John on VOLUNTEERS. He was a true comic genius. "Tom Tuttle from Tacoma" was a two-dimensional character until John got ahold of him. He had that rare ability to play silly and real at the same time.

Doug suggested we get up a grassroots campaign to get John Candy a star. Finally, a cause this election season I can get behind.

Here's an example of John's work from VOLUNTEERS.

Late in the movie. Lawrence Bourne (Hanks) and Beth (Rita Wilson) are rallying the villagers to blow up the bridge they built for the Peace Corps. Tom Tuttle (Candy) has been away, brainwashed by the Communists. He enters the hut with a stick of lit dynamite.

TOM
Fools! Yankee imperialist swine, running dog, lackey, capitalist vermin, foul-breathed counter-revolutionary terrorists. You didn't really think I was gonna let you get away with this? The word of the people will continue to march over that bridge long after we have become specks of useless matter carried on the wind.

LAWRENCE
Tom, guess what? It's my birthday. Can I blow out the candle?

TOM
I'm not afraid to die. Not for a cause. Sure, there'll be stuff I'll miss. Tuna casserole with little potato chips on top. I love those. And Sandra Dee. I've never told anyone, but I like Sandra Dee. And some day I would have gotten her. And she would have left Bobby Darin for me. But now that can never be. Happy birthday, Larry.

(They grab the dynamite stick and put it out.)

LAWRENCE
Bring him over here. I'm gonna light this and shove it down his pants.

Beth leans over Tom and slaps him lightly in the face.

BETH
Tom... Tom, what's wrong? Why did you try to kill us?

TOM
We must unite with the masses. The more of the masses we unite with the better.

LAWRENCE
Here, let me try.

He slaps him hard.

TOM
(singing) America, America, God shed His grace on thee...

Lawrence slaps him again.

TOM
The people's army must become one with the people so that they see it as their own army. Such an army will become invincible.

Lawrence slaps him again.

TOM
(singing)... And crown Thy good with brotherhood...

BETH
Those days he spent in the jungle ... something must have happened out there.

Lawrence slaps Tom.

TOM
Stop! Stop it! I'll read the book, I'll see the film, I'll wash the people's truck. I'll do whatever you say... It's the commies. The commies made me do it. They want the bridge. They used me. Y'see, they wouldn't let me get any snooze time in, they kept talking... they never shut up ... I challenged myself to resist, but who was I kidding...?

BETH
Tom, what are you talking about?

LAWRENCE
Let me hit him again.

TOM
The commies... They're gonna come. They're gonna take over the bridge and the village... And I did it for them. (sobbing) How's that gonna look on my resume? "Peace Corps 1962, turned village over to Communists" ... Who's gonna hire me?

32 comments:

wlbjr said...

Easily the best comic supporting actor of his day. A true genius.

Word Verification
poorl: an above-ground spa

Question Mark said...

It's shocking that Candy doesn't have a star. Here was a guy who was good in literally everything he was ever in and always elevated the material no matter how good or bad it was to begin with. Candy was one of the top stars of the best sketch ensemble ever (SCTV) and a true comedy legend.

VP81955 said...

My favorite John Candy film is "Only The Lonely," where he proved he could play romantic comedy effectively -- especially considering he didn't possess the body type you'd associate with a leading man in that genre.

He was really charming in that film, better than Martin Short was in "Cross My Heart," the romcom he made with Annette O'Toole. In fact, Candy's right up there with Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day," and that's saying something. He definitely deserves a star.

WV: "whosorts" -- if you're doing it chronologically, putting "Substitute" after "I Can't Explain," but before "I Can See For Miles."

The Milner Coupe said...

If you'll put up a special PayPal account button, I'm sure your readers could pony up five or ten bucks a piece to right this wrong.

Word Verification
weernit: how we'll pay for John Candy's star

A_Homer said...

IF any of his fellow-travellers from SCTV or SNL have stars, then really NO reason why John shouldn't have one. (I still can't believe Martin Short was on "Actors Studio"... ) The problem for Candy and the other SNL /SCTV alumni is that there is no "star" recognizing their kinds of talents. They have to prove themselves in film, which is a limited form for them. Watch Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Belushi, Martin Short, Eugene Levy and the others in SCTV / SNL, and then on film. BIG difference. I saw Candy on Larry King once, where King was just throwing out celebrity names for Candy to riff impersonations off - it was incredibly precise, PLUS being comic. The guy was good.

the other emily said...

From the fine print on the nominating form:

Fans nominating celebrities have to have written consent from the celebrity and the original letter must be sent in with application.

It is understood that the cost of installing a star in the Walk of Fame upon approval is $25,000* and the sponsor of the nominee accepts the responsibility for arranging for payment to the Hollywood Historic Trust, a 501(c) charitable foundation.

jbryant said...

A_Homer: Pretty sure the Walk of Fame stars are given for film, TV, radio, recording. That's why DJs with no film or TV work can have stars. So even if Candy had never made a feature film, he'd be eligible for his TV work. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding your post?

VW: spins - what John Candy does in his grave, knowing he still has no star on the Walk of Fame.

A_Homer said...

jBryant - Ok, true I guess I should recall how the stars concept has changed since the Hollywood Stars / films idea. I had just went to look at the wiki on SCTV and I recalled such consistent great work over years on so many levels. So I thought why isn't that enough for some marker of recognition, it was groundbreaking work, where Candy and the others could have been recognized.

Like I prefer Eugene Levy, Martin Short or Moranis's work there, at that starring scale, rather than the most of what comes later in cinema as second / third bananas most of the time.

A_Homer said...

jBryant - Ok, true I guess I should recall how the stars concept has changed since the Hollywood Stars / films idea. I had just went to look at the wiki on SCTV and I recalled such consistent great work over years on so many levels. So I thought why isn't that enough for some marker of recognition, it was groundbreaking work, where Candy and the others could have been recognized.

Like I prefer Eugene Levy, Martin Short or Moranis's work there, at that starring scale, rather than the most of what comes later in cinema as second / third bananas most of the time.

Roger Owen Green said...

So when we launch the campaign, which version of I Want Candy should we use as the theme song, Bow Wow Wow or the Strangeloves? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Want_Candy

Doug Thompson said...

I agree totally Ken. John Candy was my friend for over 17 years. We did a lot of radio work together. ALong with a lot of radio commercials in his early acting days here in Toronto, we created 3 radio series together, 2 in Canada and "Radio Kandy", which ran on over 200 stations in the U.S. for 2 years (in 1989 and
'90). So John has a history in radio, television and films and ABSOLUTELY deserves a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Part of the problem is that the studio usually gets behind a star, pays the fee and surprise, surprise (as Gomer Pyle used to say), their new movie comes out right around the time the star is dedicated. Maybe we should get Andrew Alexander (owner of SCTV) behind this. By the way, John DOES have a star on Toronto's Walk of Fame, plus, in 2006, he had a Canadian stamp issued with his picture on it. I still miss him everyday.

Anonymous said...

Love John Candy!! Every so often, I gotta rent some SCTV. Still makes me laugh.

I'll go vote.

Mich

C. Miller said...

WV=tokin

What I was doin when I first saw Volunteers.

C. Miller

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Hooray for Doug Thompson's idea and I hope powerful folks can get together and honor the man whose character in "Uncle Buck" knocks me to the floor whenever I watch him vacuuming Frosted Flakes off his sweater as he reclines on the couch watching TV.

And I'm sure it wasn't just me who thinks that Candy's greeting to Steve Martin on the airplane in "Trains, Planes and Automobiles," was hilarious in reflecting corporate minutiae when Candy extends his hand and introduces himself, thus:

"Del Griffith, Director of Sales, American Light and Fixture, Shower Curtain Ring Division."

Candy's a treasure!

Corinne said...

I'm so glad someone brought up "Only the Lonely," in which both Candy and co-star Maureen O'Hara (who never seems to age) are a treat to watch.

I wish I could find "The Last Polka" on DVD, with Candy & Eugene Levy as the Schmenge Brothers. I wanted to get that and "The Last Waltz" for my spouse for Valentine's Day. But I don't think it's even available as a video rental.

WV: auglyche - ugly argyle socks

Kirk Jusko said...

Speaking of Tom Hanks, Candy also played his bombastic pal in SPLASH. He was the best thing about that movie (well, there's also Darryl Hannah, but I'm talking laughs here)

Tallulah Morehead said...

"Corinne said...
I'm so glad someone brought up 'Only the Lonely,' in which both Candy and co-star Maureen O'Hara (who never seems to age) are a treat to watch."

That should be "seemed to age" as Maureen is gone now too. Lovely, wonderful actress. I just watched her screen debut, in Hitchcock's abysmal JAMAICA INN, (Hitchcock agreed that it was abysmal) a few nights ago, and she was just dazzling.

How odd that you happened to post this piece on darling John Candy on what would have been John Belushi's 60th birthday. (Candy would still be a youthful 58. Candy's birthday was Halloween, the night his mother gave out Candy!) As it happened, the one time I met John Belushi and John Candy was the same night, as it was on the set of 1941, a film they are both in. Sweet men both of them. And great admirers of each other's work. (I have video of Belushi praising John Candy.)

I wrote a piece remembering Belushi on his 60th birthday over on my flog.

Two of the funniest Johns ever, and believe you me; I've had some mighty funny Johns.

Cheers darlings.

gottacook said...

"Here was a guy who was good in literally everything he was ever in"... my god, I wish that were true. But I can think of a few films in which he was the lead actor (Going Berserk and Delirious) that were terrible in every respect, although perhaps he could have been good in those if they'd had decent scripts. Not even Candy could put across a line like Going Berserk's "Sure, I'm an asshole - and I'm loving it!"

Anonymous said...

I'm not certain John would be rolling over in his grave over not having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was a true Canuck, and he got his Canuck version. If he had lived long enough, he would have been a happy camper with the recognition and love from his fellow country folk alone. He didn't seek approval the way Hollowwood stars do.

A friend ran into him on the street up here in Tronna once while at the park. The friend was walking his dog when a car came to a stop in front of him, and to his amazement, out jumps John Candy of all people, on his way to play (I think) tag football on the grass with a bunch of his buddies.

Por example: My friend, a bit taken off guard and never one to be star struck, found himself at a loss for words. All he could fumble out with was something like, "I thought you'd be broader. You look bigger on tv." To which John quipped rather quickly and brilliantly, "Well, you need to buy yourself a wider tv, then!" before he sauntered off with his rat pack of friends.

Always the one to take the piss out of every joke or referrence to himself first, I think he would have been truly humbled by this campaign of yours, Ken. Thank you.

And when you're done getting John his star, please help me convince the CWoF that Lorne Greene, the great actor, broadcaster, dj and theatre teacher, also NEEDS a star of his own. I haven't been able to get anyone to listen to me in the last ten years up here. :-\

Stacey

Jim said...

I'm also a big fan of Only the Lonely, but I can't believe no one's mentioned Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The way the final scenes transform him from a likable, goofy buffoon into a poignant character.

The whole star thing is kinda goofy. You're always seeing people who've been established for decades getting a star, and they play up their excitement with good sportsmanship. Glenn Close got one just a few weeks ago, and I think it was Maury Amsterdam I remember getting a star just a couple of years before he died, some thirty years after The Dick Van Dyke Show ended.

Anonymous said...

I did the last on camera interview with John Candy a few short weeks before he passed away in Mexico. It was the set of a dreadful movie called WAGONS EAST. He didn't look well ... he was tired ... yet he took time to talk and was a pro. Sweet man, superb talent. Damn right he deserves a star. And he deserves never to be forgotten as well. But then again, ask someone of a certain age and they've never heard of Laurel & Hardy or Jack Benny.

Anthony Strand said...

Tallulah - I don't know if you're just doing a joke of some kind (which would be in rather poor taste), but Maureen O'Hara is still alive. Retired, but living.

Kirk Jusko said...

John Candy and John Belushi would be in their 60s if they were still alive? God! Whatever happened to the good old days, when only people like Danny Kaye and Milton Berle were in their 60s, and Candy and Belushi hadn't even hit 30 yet?

Speaking of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is there still a Grauman's Chinese Theatre out there? Are people still stepping in the cement? Just curious.

Rock Golf said...

As a fellow Torontonian, I agree. Hell, if just the co-stars he made look good ponied up a grand each, he'd make the $25K easily. Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Ally Sheedy. Then add directors like Ramis & Columbus & Hughes. Even Oliver North. Heck, even Wayne Gretzky would contribute. They owned the Toronto Argonauts together.

Tallulah Morehead said...

"Anthony Strand said...
Tallulah - I don't know if you're just doing a joke of some kind (which would be in rather poor taste), but Maureen O'Hara is still alive. Retired, but living."

My gracious, you're RIGHT! My grevious error. I thought I'd read she had died. Oh dear. Maybe it was me. Am I dead?

Anyway, I've seldom been as glad to be proved wrong. Thank you. And Mo darling, my apologies. Keep breathing. We all love you.

"Kirk Jusko said...
John Candy and John Belushi would be in their 60s if they were still alive?"

No. John Candy would only be 58. And since both Ken and my amanuensis Little Dougie are also 58, I think I can speak for all three of them when I say that being 58 is NOT being "in your 60s." Stop pushing!

"Speaking of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is there still a Grauman's Chinese Theatre out there? Are people still stepping in the cement? Just curious."

It's "Mann's Chinese Theater" now, but it's still there, and folks are still stepping in the cement, even when they put yellow tape around it.

Cheers darlings.

derby said...

I'm actually quite surprised he doesn’t have a star already. And while whatever meaning a Hollywood star might have had has been completely lost forever - John Candy does deserve the honor. This cannot be a world where Ryan Seachrest has a star and John Candy does not.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Anthony Strand may be confusing Miss O'Hara with the late Maureen O'Sullivan. We all do it.

I don't care about Walks of Fame, a bizarre concept (hey, have a tourist walk on your name!), but I'm delighted John Candy has a stamp. Much classier.

VW: Ramor. Gossip about his colleague Harold Ramis.

Tallulah Morehead said...

"Buttermilk Sky said...
Anthony Strand may be confusing Miss O'Hara with the late Maureen O'Sullivan. We all do it."

Anthony wasn't confused. I was. But I was not confusing Maureen O'Hara (Alive) with Maureen O'Sullivan (Dead). I certainly know the difference between the fiery redheaded Irish lass of HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY and MR. HOBBS TAKES A VACATION, and the older brunette mother of Mia Farrow, wife of Tarzan, and co-star of the Marx Brothers.

I was just plain wrong. This is, in fact, the second mistake I have ever made. The first was marrying Ernest Borgnine.

Cheers darling.

Megalion said...

Until Heath, John Candy and Madeline Kahn were the only losses whose deaths I really mourned.

And John Candy especially as I grew up watching his movies and love them all... from Splash to Planes Trains to Cool Runnings.

I live in Hollywood and would love to get a star here for him.

On the nominations page I see this notation: Posthumous awards require a five-year waiting period.

Looks like someone needs to contact them and find out how to handle the "letter of permissions" part too on these posthumous awards.

Anonymous said...

John was a great actor. I think some of the films were of a caliber that some over looked his talents. Plane Train and Automobiles is an example of how great he was. I completely believe and know that character. he plays it beautifully. He is sorely missed.

René Riva said...

Hi Ken.

Not until now, I read your post about a star for John Candy. If one deserves it, it's John. He was such a talented actor.

Compliments to you too for your wonderful work throughout the many years.

Best wishes,

René Riva

http://johnfcandy.blogspot.com

Krissy said...

It's dis-heartening that the "celebrities" of today are getting a star based on popularity rather than actual talent. I thought a Hollywood star meant more than that.
For me, John Candy was a big staple in my childhood. Saturday mornings were dedicated to "Camp Candy", and if a movie was on that he was in, I HAD to watch it.
Of my favorites were "Summer Rental", "The Great Outdoors", "Who's Harry Crumb?", "Only the Lonely", "Nothing But Trouble"...but the number one spot stands strong with "Planes, Trains & Automobiles".
His performance as Del Griffith was hilarious, heartbreaking, and so real...I just can't shake the feeling that the lovable qualities in that character were not very far off from who he really was.

Influenced by this post, I created a Facebook page of the same name. It may be a enormous and pointless feat, but I'm hoping to rally together as many people as possible who recognize John Candy as we all do.
If anybody deserves a frickin' star on that Walk of Fame, John Franklin Candy does.
RIP


http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=79200441741