Back to School (1986)

Back to School Quote: “Bring us a pitcher of beer every seven minutes until somebody passes out. And then bring one every ten minutes.” – Thornton Melon

Dick and Gene agree “Back to School” is Rodney Dangerfield’s best movie, but does it deserve mention among the greatest ’80s comedies? Not if you ask Ash.

This 1986 college classic, commissioned by a listener who himself is going back to school, reminded the Shat Crew that Dangerfield has crazy eyes, Robert Downey Jr. was an adorable little scamp, and Big D is oblivious to racism in film.

In this episode, we pay homage to Burt Young, learn how to tell if your child is lying, debate appropriate classroom behavior, discover a new kind of jock bully and ask the crucial question: “Where did all the college bars go?”

Plot Summary: “Back to School” Thornton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield) is concerned that his son Jason (Keith Gordon) is unsure whether to go to college, so the uneducated self-made millionaire encourages him by signing up as a student as well. As Jason tries to establish himself among his peers and make the diving team, Thornton falls for a pretty professor (Sally Kellerman) and gets others do his schoolwork for him. When the suspicious dean (Paxton Whitehead) finds out, Thornton needs to show he can get by on his own.

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3 Responses

  1. Marty says:

    I recently discovered your podcast and have been binge listening ever since. I was excited to hear your take on Back To School. As with other reviews I mostly agreed with your thoughts, and you pointed out a few things about the movie I hadn’t thought about. However, I was quite surprised that you made no mention of the late great Sam Kinison, who is responsible for one of the funniest moments in the film (IMHO). That aside, great work!

  2. Tabor says:

    I feel like Howard Hamlin (Better Call Saul) is the grown -up incarnation of the 80’s bully.

  3. Mark C says:

    No Gene, it was not “racist” when Rodney’s character calls the waiter Ramon and asks for a beer! As a Hispanic American who’s father is named Ramon, I found no offense. If it was meant to offend, the waiter should’ve said “That’s not my name”. Love you Gene but stop looking for “racism’ where it doesn’t exist! FYI… you guys saying he called him “Juan or Jose” was WAAAAAAY more offensive than what the character actually said. Love the show! Keep shatting!

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