A couple of weeks ago, while watching a UFC fight, I noticed that one of the fighters
looked like a character from the old Nintendo game, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. The
resemblance was uncanny. Inspiration hit me to write a “Separated at Birth” article
for that fighter and the Punch Out character, but then I started matching other
people with Punch Out characters and decided to do the full cast. Unfortunately,
I am not so brilliant that I am the first person to think of this article and ran
into no less than five others with a quick Google search. But fuck it, I love the
idea, I love the video game, so I’m doing my own.
I am going to do a little role playing here. I am the casting director for Mike
Tyson’s Punch Out, a new summer blockbuster to come out in 2012—hopefully before
the world explodes that year. Below is my wishlist for the film cast.
Why is it that when somebody sneezes, we feel obligated to soothe them with words
like, "Bless You,” “Bleshoo,” or serenade them with a German, “gesundheit.”
Do you know what gesundheit means? Did you even realize it was German? For those
that don’t know, gesundheit literally means “health.” A person who says gesundheit
is allegedly wishing you good health. Probably unknowingly. They probably just heard
their grandparents say that to them when they were a kid and it stuck.
I know the legends about the origins of blessing a sneezer, none of which are known
to be 100% accurate. My question is why do you, specifically, bless a sneezer? Politeness?
Habit? Are you truly blessing them every time they sneeze? Why only when they sneeze?
You don’t bless people or wish them good health when they cough. You certainly don’t
bless them when they fart, burp, or puke. Why is sneezing so different? Why is it
considered rude when we don’t habitually utter some nonsensical blessing after somebody
As promised, below are the Honorable Mentions to my Top Ten Biggest Childhood Crushes list. These
ladies all received consideration for inclusion in the top ten, but for one reason
or another, didn’t quite make the cut. I still feel like they deserve a little spotlight. There were a couple who were really close to making the Top Ten and I just couldn't pull the trigger and remove, say, Jennifer Connelly from my list.
Here are eleven other celebrities that I had huge crushes on back in the day with a Then
and Now picture.
I count The Karate Kid (1984) as one of my favorite movies of all time and a bona
fide classic piece of American filmmaking. It had everything: fighting, karate,
romance, simple yet effective storyline, laughs, endearing characters, catch phrases,
and a great ending. I have watched it hundreds of times and still make time for
it every couple of months. When Columbia Pictures announced that they were creating
a remake, my first reaction was why bother? The original was movie perfection. My
second reaction was a full-blown midlife crisis. Am I really getting so old that
my favorite childhood movies need to be updated? Then I realized that 1984 was indeed
a long ass time ago, which made it all the worse. Still, I was dismayed by the announcement
and immediately put up my wall of hatred. There was no way in hell I would ever
see this travesty. Damn Columbia Pictures and everyone involved!
Then I saw the kick ass trailer a few months ago before seeing Alice in Wonderland
at the theaters. I was charmed by the new sensei, Mr. Han played by Jackie Chan.
Jaden Smith cracked a few funny lines that made me laugh and showed some great kung
fu technique. Within minutes, my usually impenetrable wall of hatred crumbled to
I have been reading about Star Wars Weekends ad naseum on my Facebook news feed
the past few weeks. I’m a fan of Disney World’s Facebook page and as punishment
they spam me every day hyping their events, hotels, and restaurants. I finally decided
to take the plunge and see what this Star Wars Weekend was all about.
We arrived at Hollywood Studios just after high noon. This June day was blistering
hot and the air was drenched with humidity. I felt sweat beading on my back and
forehead the very moment I left the comforts of my ice cold car in the parking lot.
With Star Wars Weekend signage everywhere, I was excited about what awaited us beyond
the turnstiles in the park. We made our way through the gates and into the park
and…nothing. Same old Hollywood Studios as ever except there was a little girl dressed
as Padme wandering around with her parents. What a letdown. I knew the heart of
this event would be at the god awful Star Tours ride, but I wanted to make sure
that I had the Aerosmith ride FastPassed for later. So we went that direction first
and took care of business. Still, I wondered what all the fuss was about if this
event was only being held where a Star Wars themed area already exists. Hey
kids, it's Mickey Mouse Weekend at the Magic Kingdom! We wandered
the park, braved the heat, ogled at the candy store, and searched in vain for this
so-called Star Wars Weekend.
1—Kelly Preston (Space Camp, Twins): The first time I ever crushed on Kelly Preston
was when she played Tish in Space Camp. Admittedly, I was more focused at the time
on Lea Thompson, but I dug Tish, too. In their only head-to-head matchup, it's true that Kelly
Preston was out-hotted by Lea Thompson in Space Camp. However, that battle was unfair
for two reasons. First, I was biased and all about Lea Thompson going into the film;
I had been watching her for years in Back to the Future and never even heard of
Kelly Preston. Second, and more importantly, Preston had permed hair. I hated perms.
Probably 99% of the girls in my school at the time had perms and I absolutely despised
it. If Lea Thompson had permed hair and Kelly Preston had straight hair in that
movie, then I have to believe that I would have gone with Preston as the hottest—although
both would have easily been crush-worthy. Stupid perms. I was so happy when that
fad ended and all the girls went to straight hair in the early 90’s. It was good.
Then Jennifer Aniston went and ruined women’s hair again in the late 90’s with her
dumb hair cut that everyone copied.
Up until 1988, Kelly Preston was on my list solely for her role in Space Camp,
I was still all about Lea Thompson. Then came the movie, Twins. Kelly Preston’s
hotness hit me a Mike Tyson uppercut in Nintendo’s Punch-Out. Lea Thompson, immediately
and forever, was knocked out of the #1 slot, which Kelly Preston would occupy well
into my college days. I can still watch Twins and have a few “whoa” moments. Hotel
scene, Kelly Preston in lingerie: “Oh no! This bed is lumpy.”
Whoa. Check out
the video clip below.
2—Phoebe Cates (Gremlins, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Drop Dead Fred):
I am incredibly
tempted to lie and say that this is all because of the infamous, bikini-dropping,
pool scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It certainly makes for more titillating
fare. Unfortunately, I’m a terrible liar. Here’s a confession: I never saw Fast Times at Ridgemont High until I got the DVD my junior year in college. Had I seen
that movie at some point as a kid, I am confident that this Biggest Childhood Crushes
List would have Phoebe Cates at #1. Not only does it have the scene mentioned, but
she is completely at her hottest throughout the entire film. Phoebe Cates was never
my #1 crush as a child whereas many already mentioned on this list were at some
point. However, she was #2 for most of my childhood. “The girl from the Gremlins”
was the ace in my sleeve for my friends’ debates of hot chicks. It’s only fitting
that she’s #2 here.
Outside of Annie (1982) and Superman III (1983), one of my earliest memories of
going to a movie theater was seeing Gremlins in 1984. I remember wanting nothing
more than my own personal Gizmo to water and feed KFC to after midnight. As a 6
year old, Gizmo was my primary focus, but I was entranced every time Kate, played
by Phoebe Cates, showed up on screen. I had the tape after it came out on VHS, but
the movie creeped me out for a few years. Still I braved the inevitable nightmares
of Stripe eating me for two reasons: to imagine finding my own pet mogwai and to
eagerly watch for the lovely Phoebe Cates to pop up on the screen.
3—Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, Space Camp, Some Kind of Wonderful,
Jaws 3D): My crush on Lea Thompson began with Back to the Future.
I loved that movie.
Who didn’t? The movie was pure awesomeness and the girl, Lorraine Baines, was stunningly
gorgeous. The first time I watched it, I remember being completely floored by the
hotness of the 1955 Lorraine. I was shocked by the fact that the hideous, worn down,
1985 Lorraine could be so gorgeous 30 years earlier. It goes without saying that
I watched Back to the Future endlessly. I never watched the Back to the Future sequels
as much, however. While the stories in the
Back to the Future sequels were great
and I wasted many hours in toy stores hunting for the fabled Mattel hoverboard,
those films never measured up to the original for one reason: Not enough hot Lea
A couple of years after Back to the Future, I saw Space Camp.
Unfortunately, I never
caught this one in the theater. I had never even heard of the movie when some charitable
friends of the family, who were known to copy a tape or two, gave me the videotape
thinking I would be all about it. Oh, charitable- friends-who-shall-remain-unnamed-so-the-FBI-doesn’t-bust-down-your-door,
how right you were. But for all the wrong reasons. I popped the Space Camp tape
into my VCR and minutes later, there was Lorraine once again on my TV, looking all
80’s modern-like and even hotter than in Back to the Future. I could barely contain
myself. I didn’t think this level of hotness was attainable and, for a year or two,
Lea Thompson was alone atop my personal, Top 10 Hottest Chicks list. For those who
don’t remember, Space Camp was a preposterous movie about a group of misfit NASA
Space Campers who accidently get launched into space (or was it on purpose? The
plot thickens). Even as a kid, I thought the story was ridiculous. The movie sucked
ass. But I still loved it because it involved space, NASA, and Lea Thompson. As
a 9 year old, that was my recipe for an instant classic.
4—Alyssa Milano (Who’s the Boss?): While the previous two lovely ladies were from
personal favorite television shows and movies, Alyssa Milano starred on the absolutely
horrible 80’s sitcom Who’s the Boss?.
Yes, it’s true; Who’s the Boss? sucked and
had nothing on its chief rival: the vastly superior, cooler, and funnier Growing Pains. Wednesday nights in the late 80’s were couch potato awesomeness with Growing
Pains, Head of the Class,
and Wonder Years. Tuesdays, on the other hand, reeked
of raw suckage with
Who’s the Boss? and Roseanne. I could have been playing Nintendo
games, yet I religiously watched Who’s the Boss? every single week. Why? Because
5—Tamlyn Tomita (Karate Kid II): I was, and still am, an avid Karate
fan. To this day, I sit down and take in a Karate Kid movie every few months. As
a kid, that was more like every few days. To me, these films—especially the first
two—are timeless and never get old. I always had one problem with the first Karate Kid, though. I didn’t get what Daniel saw in “Ali with an i.” Oh sure, Elizabeth
Shue somehow went and became all hot by the mid-90’s (Leaving
Las Vegas and The Saint. Whoa!), but in the 80’s she was not that great. I never understood why Daniel
would go through all the pain and agony that came with dating Ali. But the movie
was awesome and watching Johnny get crane kicked in the face never got old, so I
turned a blind eye to the fact that I never bought into Ali. Karate Kid, up until
the release of Part II in 1986, was all about the fighting for me. How things would
In the mid-80’s, I really into fighting, wrestling, and martial arts—still am. I
took Tae Kwon Do classes because of Karate Kid and The Last Dragon.
My friends and
I re-enacted all the fight scenes from the movies. We played with shurikens and
nunchakus and, by some act of God, never seriously hurt ourselves. The holy grail
of my 3rd and 4th grade existence was a full blown ninja outfit. I begged and pleaded
my case, but my parents knew better than to buy me one. To compensate for our lack
of proper attire, my friends and I used to tie black t-shirts over our faces to
look like ninja masks and go wreak havoc in the neighborhood.