The world lost Rodney Dangerfield 14 years ago today (October 5.) He was one of the most iconic stand-up comedians of all time, but let us not forget the magic he brought to the silver screen, particularly in 1986’s Back To School.
For those that haven’t seen Back To School (and shame on you if you haven’t), Dangerfield plays Thornton Melon, an over-the-top businessman that enrolls in his son’s university to help him achieve success, both in and out of class. Many may look to Caddyshack and Al Czervik as Dangerfield’s most iconic role, but when you look at the reasons below, you’ll realize that Thornton Melon is not only Dangerfield’s best role, but one of the best comedic roles, period.
(Warning: NSFW language ahead.)
He wasn’t afraid to face off against the most insane professor on campus
Due to serving in Vietnam, Professor Tergeson (played by the late Sam Kinnison in one of the best casting decisions ever) had more than a few issues, but even when he lost his cool, Thornton Melon fired back.
He hired Kurt Vonnegut to write his paper on Kurt Vonnegut
This is so brilliant and really requires no further elaboration.
He got Oingo Boingo to play his dorm party
It’s a college dorm party in the 80s with Oingo Boingo performing live! Who could ask for more?!
He helped introduce more people to Dylan Thomas
Some people (including this blogger) were first introduced to Dylan Thomas’s famous poem “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” via Thornton Melon, and they were never the same after his passionate reciting.
He made diving cool
Greg Louganis, who? Could he ever do the Triple Lindy? Don’t think so!
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.