You thought you knew Rick Moranis? Sorry to break it to you pal, but you don’t.
In fact, here are 15 facts you probably didn’t know about him. Facts so good you could impress other dads at daycare pickup by slipping one of these bad boys into casual conversation. (“Oh, your kid likes teddy bears? Reminds me of when Rick Moranis voiced Mr. Cuddles the Teddy Bear in 2003 animated film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & the Island of Misfit Toys.”)
So many facts that next time you get in a Rick Moranis Facts-Off with your annoying neighbor who’s always trying to one-up you, you’ll be laying down cold hard Rickies (street slang for Rick Moranis facts) and ending with a mic drop.
Get a load of these Rickies. Take them in. Your prep for the next neighborhood Rick Moranis Facts-Off starts here. Godspeed.
1. Rick took a hiatus from acting, but he never really left.
There were rumors that work for Rick dried up and that’s why we hadn’t seen him on the big screen for a while, but c’mon, you know Rick better than this. He’s insanely talented and kept getting offers for roles left and right over the years, but Rick stayed home to be a single dad after his wife passed away from breast cancer.
In a Hollywood Reporter interview, Rick says he never really retired from the industry — he was just picky.
Although we didn’t see him on the screen for a while, Rick was always there. From 2001 to 2006, he voiced characters for three animated films and made a voice appearance in The Goldbergs to reprise his role from Space Balls, Dark Helmet.
2. His decision to be a stay-at-home dad wasn’t a tough one.
In an interview with Uproxx, Rick explains shifting his focus to his kids in a matter-of-fact, “duh, of course, my kids are the most important thing”-kind of way.
“Stuff happens to people everyday, and they make adjustments to their lives for all kinds of reasons. There was nothing unusual about what happened or what I did, I think the reason that people were intrigued by the decisions I was making and sometimes seem to have almost admiration for it had less to do with the fact that I was doing what I was doing and more to do with what they thought I was walking away from, as if what I was walking away from had far greater value than anything else that one might have.”
Other people might bat a few eyes at walking away from rising movie star fame, but not Rick.
When asked about walking away from a career in which he got to use his creativity every day, Rick said, “I didn’t walk away from that. I applied all of my creativity to my home life, to my kids, to my family. I was the same person. I didn’t change. I just shifted my focus.”
We love this guy and his attitude. We could all stand to be a little more like Rick.
3. He’s been confirmed for a “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” Reboot.
If you’ve been keeping up at The Dad then you already knew this one, and if you haven’t been keeping up with The Dad, why not? Well, good news: Rick is definitely on board for a reboot of “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” Honey, I’ve been overtaken by nostalgia. Honey, I’ve busted a tear from my left eye. Honey, he’s back.
Rick starred as Wayne Szalinski, an inventor dad who committed the biggest “oh sh*t” of our time by shrinking his kids with an experimental ray gun. At some point he accidentally sweeps up his tiny kids in a dustpan and throws them in the trash, but like, who among us?
The reboot, called Shrunk, will focus on Wayne’s son, who’s now grown. Apparently the “accidentally shrinking your own kids” gene is strong in this family since Wayne’s son does the ole shrinkaroo on his own kids. We can’t wait to see what Wayne/Rick/the OG shrinker has to say about that.
4. Rick released a comedy/country album called The Agoraphobic Cowboy.
What are you doing with the rest of your day? I just cleared my calendar to listen to The Agoraphobic Cowboy on vinyl while wearing assless chaps and pondering my fear of public spaces, and I invite you to join me.
If you approached me in 2005 and said, “Guess what Rick Moranis is doing right now?” I would say, “Tell me.” And then if you said, “He’s writing a country album called The Agoraphobic Cowboy,” I would say, “Yes, I believe you. That sounds like the most Rick Moranis thing of all time.” He’s since released another comedy music album called My Mother’s Brisket & Other Love Songs, so it looks like I’ll have to clear my calendar for tomorrow, too.
5. Seymour and his plant in Little Shop of Horrors would make a good Halloween costume for a dad and his plant-sized baby.
This isn’t really a fact, just something we noticed. Do you love Rick Moranis and are you looking for an easy DIY costume for Halloween? Do you have a baby without the job, income, or wherewithal to plan its own costume? No worries. Dress like good old Seymour Krelborn, one of our favorite Rick Moranis characters. Slap on some glasses and tape leaves onto that baby. Sing him Little Shop of Horrors original music like “Grow For Me.” Pray that he doesn’t grow too large and one day overtakes you.
6. Rick breathed life into his Ghostbusters character by improvising.
There is writing a good screenplay, then there is hiring a good actor that makes that screenplay come to life in ways you couldn’t have written.
Rick improvised scenes in Ghostbusters, most notably the one in which Louis welcomes a couple to a party by airing out all their financial details to other partygoers. Apparently the whole thing was Rick’s idea and he kind of just made it up along the way.
Director Ivan Reitman explained:
“Right away, Rick had all these wonderful ideas. I think it was his idea to play him as an accountant; he wrote that extraordinary speech when he is inviting people to a party at his house and he’s walking that incoming couple through. I had the joke of throwing the coat on the dog that’s in his bedroom, but that whole wonderful speech … Rick just made all of it up as he was doing it. All these guys were so, so good at writing.”
7. There was talk of a Space Balls 2, but it didn’t pan out.
The movie’s cult following urged the question: will there be a Space Balls 2? The answer was almost yes, according to Rick:
“It wasn’t a box office hit. It was a cult video hit, and MGM wanted to do a sequel. And my idea for it was Spaceballs III: The Search for Spaceballs II…But the deal he presented me, what he wanted me to do, was not workable. It was two or three years later…It’s better if I don’t get into the particulars of it…But I was unable to make a deal, and it would have been something I wanted to do.”
Son of a. We were so close to getting another Space Balls. Maybe someday.
8. Rick improvised the Spaceballs scene where Dark Helmet plays with dolls.
You know how your kid can just pick up some dolls and create this whole fantasy world? Your kid and Rick Moranis have that in common.
Apparently, director Mel Brooks came to set with the idea for the scene one day, told Rick about it, and Rick was like, say no mo’. The king of acting/improvising strikes again.
9. Rick Moranis would rather not fly.
Celebrities: they hate flying just like us! It’s not that he’s afraid of flying — Rick Moranis isn’t afraid of anything. He just hates the grossness of being stuck on a plane in a germ stew with a hundred other strangers and the inefficiency of it all.
“We started to hear the stories of people stuck on the tarmac for six hours,” Rick told Heeb Magazine. “If that happens to me, I’ll be on the front page of the New York Post the next day. I’ll fake a heart attack or melt down. So it’s better for me to stay away from airports.”
If he can drive there, he will. Say, Rick, I hate flying too, wanna road trip together?
10. Rick has dated here and there over the years.
Can you imagine going on a date with Rick Moranis? Apparently, Rick’s been putting himself out there a bit, just not on dating apps: “What picture would I use? The guy from Ghostbusters? I don’t think dating sites work for people with famous punims.”
Rick told Heeb Magazine he’d probably travel more if he had a lady companion, but hear me out, Rick. You don’t need a lady to travel with you. What about a dude’s trip? I know at least 10 dads who would love to go on a road trip with you (no airplanes, promise).
11. Rick is Jewish but non-practicing.
If you hadn’t guessed already, that’s what his comedy album My Mother’s Brisket & Other Love Songs is all about. Funny, lively, delightfully Jewish — it’s basically a musical manifestation of Rick.
Rick described the album:
“When I first began writing jokes and sketches with various Jewish partners one of us would inevitably stop at some point and announce, ‘Too Jewish!’ Too Jewish for the star, the show, the network, or the audience. The songs on this album are all in that category.”
If you want to wax poetic/comedic about silver Yiddish cups, a challah, and a very Jewish mother serving up some brisket, then take this one for a spin.
12. Rick’s kids didn’t care that he was famous.
Who, that guy? The guy who changed our diapers? He’s alright, I guess.
“My earliest memories were of being in public situations where people would get all excited because they were seeing a famous person, and my kids were just like, ‘Why are you so excited? It’s just him.’ They had a really good perspective on celebrity and fame very early on.”
But it sounds like his kids had a sort of indifference to celebrities and fame in general. About the time his five-year-old son saw Derek Jeter at a Knicks game:
“Derek Jeter turned around, recognized me, got kind of like, ‘Oh hi! Hi!’ And my son said, ‘Have you met Chuck Knoblauch yet?’ And Jeter looked at him like, ‘Who is this kid.’ But that was my son. He was comfortable around anyone, and I think the reason was, is because he just didn’t buy why anyone would get excited around me.”
I hope if I ever run into Rick Moranis, I play it as cool as his kids.
13. He “isn’t saying no” to performing his music live.
In an interview with Heeb Magazine, Rick said:
“I’m intrigued by the idea of playing this music live. I’ve never done that. To do a stage performance in a theater with this music, it might be enjoyable. I have no idea. I’ll see what happens. I’m not saying no to anything at this point, including all of the above.”
If we all start working on our Rick Moranis movie character cosplays now, we can be ready by the time you, me, and every dad we know turn up for the Rick Moranis live music function.
14. Rick was fired from The Breakfast Club.
First of all, director John Hughes, how could you. And second: guess the reason he was fired. You can’t.
Did you guess because he played the role of Carl the Janitor with a too-over-the-top Russian accent? Damn, how’d you guess that?
I’m now commencing my boycott of any The Breakfast Club rewatches and I invite you to join me. Rick Moranis belongs in any movie, in any role, even as a gimmicky Russian janitor, and it’s a cardinal sin to think otherwise. If I watch it now, all I’ll be able to think about is how much better it would’ve been with Rick Moranis.
15. His daughter is an architect and his son works in entertainment.
Talk about doing some hella fathering. Rick fathered these kids so good that they’re both doing super impressive things. Rachel, now 32, has multiple degrees in architecture, attended Harvard for grad school, and has co-founded multiple companies. Mitchell, also 32, has busied himself with all things entertainment biz: acting, screenwriting, producing, songwriting, you name it.
Looks like Rick stepping back from Hollywood to take care of his family paid off after all. We love you, Rick. Probably more than your own kids do. Okay, fine, it’s not a competition.
These crazy facts are a part of our dad trivia series, where we drop some pop-culture science you can impress your dad pals with at the next BBQ.
Check out our previous edition where we featured crazy Facts You Don’t Know About Gary Sinise.