Cast of Ferris Bueller Reunites, Stars of John Hughes Films Make Cameos

Ferris Bueller Reunion
(YouTube/JoshGad)

For a few months, Josh Gad has been hosting a YouTube show called “Reunited Apart” on which he gathers a bunch of cast and crew from classic movies to reminisce on camera about their experience during and after the making of the film.

An 80s kid, Gad has leaned heavily on 80s movies, hosting the casts of The Goonies, Splash, Back to the Future, and Ghostbusters (plus the non-80s Lord of the Rings), and having a blast doing it. It makes sense that the series would eventually tackle one of the most iconic 80s movies, and directors, out there, and last week, he finally called out “Bueller…Bueller” to bring together a collection of actos from John Hughes’ classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, as well as some special guests.

John Hughes helped define the 80s with his collection of teen comedies, including Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller’s. He passed away a few years ago, way too soon, but the mark he left has been indelible, and Gad and friends made sure to celebrate it.

Not only did the cast of Bueller show up, including, Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, and Jennifer Grey, and even Ben Stein (of the infamous “Bueller… Bueller…” roll call quote), and not only does Jake Gyllenhaal quiz them all on their knowledge of the film, but at the end of the episode, a whole collection of actors who appeared in Hughes’ films – Steve Martin, Michael Keaton, Chevy Chase, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, and more – showed up to recite some of their famous lines.

Check it out:

The Sandlot Cast Is Reuniting for a Special, Plans Disney+ Series

Sandlot Reunion
(YouTube/You're Killing Me with Patrick Renna)

It turns out that Josh Gad doesn’t corner the market on reunions of cast members from beloved flicks, especially ones that came out in the 90s.

Gad’s YouTube series “Reunited Apart” has focused mostly on classic 80s movies (with the LOTR episode being the one exception so far), but there are plenty of 90s movies that deserve to be celebrated too. One of those is The Sandlot, which is about a group of young kids bonding over baseball, Babe Ruth, and a scary neighborhood dog.

Recently, one of the stars of The Sandlot, Patrick Renna, who played burly catcher Hamilton “Ham” Porter, gathered his co-stars for a YouTube reunion. He also discussed plans for a new series on Disney+, where they’ll play parents with kids of their own.

“We all met on it, and all the guys are interested in it. The concept is we’re grown up and we have our own kids. And so it’s, there’s some cool angles to it.” It would take place in the 80s, Stranger Things style. More updates to come as the production ramps up!

While he awaits the series, Renna has been sharing secrets from the filming of the movie on his new series, “You’re Killing Me with Patrick Renna,” and after reconnecting with the cast during the movie’s 25th reunion, he finally coerced them to join him to reminisce about the making of the 90s favorite.

“We’re such great friends again, all of us, and it reminds me of what it was like filming the movie,” told EW. “We were such fast friends and they worked so hard to create that atmosphere. One of the deciding factors on casting any of us was that they would bring us out to make sure that we got along with the other guys. And because we were all such good friends in real life it showed through on the screen, and it’s just funny even 25 years later, we fell right back into it.”

Unfortunately, Mike Vitar, who played Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez, once again bowed out. “Anytime we do something I’ll send him an email and ask him and he’s usually like, ‘No, I’m gonna step back on this one,’ but he’s always really cool about it,” Renna said, but the reunion will be fun for fans just the same.

The reunion lands on July 15th. Check out the trailer:

‘The Wonder Years’ Reboot to Center Around Black Family in Alabama

The Wonder Years
(Warner Bros)

When I was a kid, people used to tell me I looked like Kevin Arnold. Kevin Arnold, played by Fred Savage, was the main character on The Wonder Years, a popular sitcom about a kid growing up in the late 60s early 70s. The wrinkle was that the show was narrated by that kid’s adult self, aka Home Alone‘s Wet Bandit, Daniel Stern.

The show offered a nostalgic look back at one of the most tumultuous times in recent American history, following young Kevin as he navigated junior high and high school, pining after his eternal crush Winnie Cooper, all while America dealt with the Vietnam War, the Summer of Love, and the Nixon Administration between 1968 and 1973.

The Wonder Years ran for six seasons and won many awards, including a Peabody and four Emmys. It remains a favorite of many guys my age who didn’t grow up in the 60s and 70s but could certainly relate to the growing pains of a young kid grappling with homework, big brothers, and puberty.

Of course, Kevin’s experience wasn’t exactly universal. And now ABC is moving forward with a version of The Wonder Years that centers around a middle-class black family in Montgomery, Alabama during the same time period. Lee Daniels, perhaps most well-known for directing Precious (Based on the novel Push, by Sapphire!), is shepherding the project. Fred Savage, the original star of The Wonder Years, will executive produce the show and direct the pilot.

Obviously, the focus on a black family will greatly alter the perspective of the show as will the southern setting. The Arnolds’ location was never revealed, as their town was meant to be a stand-in for a typical American suburb, but it’s not easy to understand that it didn’t reflect every American family’s experience. This new version of the classic sitcom will surely have a lot of interesting ground to tread, and access to this new viewpoint seems like a good idea given the events of the past few months.

Now, who wants to guess which actor will play the narrator?

Bryce Dallas Howard Talks The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda’s Soup [WATCH]

(Disney)

We recently sat down with Bryce Dallas Howard to chat about her new documentary, Dads—a film that highlights the joys and challenges of parenting through the eyes of six extraordinary fathers from across the globe as well as input from choice celebrity fathers.

It was Howard’s feature-length documentary directorial debut, but that doesn’t mean she is unfamiliar with sitting in the director’s chair. She also directed an episode of the wickedly popular Disney+ series, The Mandalorian – specifically, Chapter 4: Sanctuary.

Since dads (and plenty of non-dads) tend to be rather passionate about the galaxy far, far away, we didn’t feel right ending this interview without getting the inside scoop on her episode, Baby Yoda’s mysterious identity, and how it feels to be responsible for one of the most popular memes of 2019.

(Disney)

“I think it’s probably Baby Yoda who’s more responsible for that,” Howard corrected, humbly giving credit where it’s due. “Jon [Favreau] just really encouraged me to push the puppet and to see what the puppet could do and to have fun with Baby Yoda.”

Baby Yoda (aka, “The Child” to you sticklers out there) is one of the most popular characters from The Mandalorian and pop culture in general, and as it turns out, the showrunners totally anticipated that.

“Oh yeah, it matters where Baby Yoda is,” Howard remembers saying on set, anticipating audiences’ fascination with the pint-sized alien. “We can’t not have baby Yoda on camera and just assume people are going to be okay with that.”

“[Jon Favreau] is an improv guy,” she elaborated, describing how the famous soup scene came to be. “So he’s like, ‘What if Baby was there? What if Baby was drinking something? What if Baby took like a big, long sip?’ And then he’s like, ‘Do it with one hand, do it with two hands, do it…’ Just do it this way, that way.”

So, yes. That means, somewhere at Lucasfilm studios, there is an archive of dozens—if not hundreds—of clips of Baby Yoda sipping soup, each probably more adorable than the last. In fact, by taking that time to get the perfect shot, Howard set a new Star Wars record.

“Apparently, on my episode, there was a day where I shot more footage than any other film that Lucasfilm has ever done. There was one day on Rogue One with four units that came close. So there’s a lot of excess Baby Yoda footage.”

Howard claims she knows the mysterious green toddler’s identity, but when pressed, was less than forthcoming.

“Nope. I vowed that I was never going to use the name because if I use the name once on set, I would accidentally say it… Baby is ‘Baby.’ Baby is ‘Baby.'”

Looks like we’ll have to wait a few months for Season 2 of The Mandalorian just like everyone else before we get some answers.

You can watch our full Mandalorian interview with Bryce Dallas Howard below or check out the rest of our interview on fatherhood and Dads here.

24-Yr-Old Former Sanitation Worker Is Headed to Harvard Law

24-Year-Old Paid for College by Collecting Trash, Now He’s Headed to Harvard
(Twitter/RehanStaton)

Most of us, at one point or another, have been told that we can do anything we set our minds to. Now, this may be true in some cases – we can learn an instrument, become a better athlete, even get a decent job, assuming we’re willing to put in an insane amount of work. Even with all of the drive and effort in the world though, there are times that success just isn’t in the cards. Or, at times, success comes after many consecutive failures which makes it even more worthy of celebration. For 24-year old Rehan Staton, the sweetness of success could not have been any more thrilling because of just how many times it felt completely out of reach.

It all started when he was just 8 years old, far earlier than any of us should have to face the harsh realities of life. Rehan’s formerly normal household fell apart when his mom left and his dad moved out of the country. Suddenly, Rehan and his brother’s lives were turned upside-down. The brothers went from private school students to not knowing with any certainty where their next meal would come from. They went from a two-parent household to their father working up to three jobs at a time to try to keep a roof over the boys’ heads. In middle school, Rehan’s grades suffered severely due to stress at home and a teacher even offered to place the bright, but overwhelmed student in remedial classes.

This was not an option for Rehan’s dad, who knew his son was more than capable of keeping up with his peers. He got his son a tutor (an aerospace engineer who volunteered to tutor Rehan for free through the local community center), and for the rest of the year, Rehan was on the Honor Roll. His academic goals were secondary to his dreams of becoming a professional boxer, but in 12th grade, Rehan experienced yet another roadblock when he injured both shoulders. The frantic senior began applying to college since he was no longer able to pursue his boxing dream, but unfortunately, nothing panned out.

Rehan began working as a garbage man, but his peers quickly realized he had bigger dreams to realize. “It was the first time in my life people were lifting me up for the sake of lifting me up and not because I was good at sports,” Rehan recalled to CNN.

Rehan’s coworkers recognized his intelligence and wanted to help him reach his full potential. Eventually, word of his bright and gifted nature made it to the son of the owner of the company where Rehan worked. The owner’s son, Brent Bates, took a liking to Rehan and brought him to meet a professor at Bowie State University. Much like everyone else who crosses Rehan’s path, the professor was extremely impressed by the young man and even appealed to the admissions board to help him gain entry to the university. The universe finally gave Rehan a bit of good news, and he was able to begin working towards his undergraduate degree. To nobody’s surprise, he maintained a 4.0 GPA. He achieved so much success that shortly into his undergraduate career, Rehan set his sights on law school.

“Throughout my entire life … all the people in my life who I was supposed to look up to were the ones who always downplayed me and made me feel bad about myself,” Rehan reflected. “I had to go to the ‘bottom’ of the social hierarchy — that’s to say formerly incarcerated sanitation workers — in order to be uplifted.”

Rehan’s coworkers weren’t the only ones fully backing his academic pursuits, Rehan’s older brother Reggie even dropped out of school to help support his family and allow his gifted brother to focus more fully on his studies. Rehan transferred to the University of Maryland for his junior and senior year, and graduated in 2018. Invigorated by his success, Rehan began working in political consulting while studying for his LSAT and applying to law school. Finally, after all of the setbacks life threw at him, Rehan was accepted to not one, but multiple distinguished schools – he starts classes at Harvard Law School this upcoming fall.

Former Football Player Catches Toddler Thrown From Burning Apartment Building

Football Player Catches Baby
(Twitter/ChandranTheMan)

A former college football wide receiver made the biggest catch of his life over the weekend when he dramatically caught a toddler dropped from a burning apartment building.

Phillip Blanks heard the commotion outside the Arizona apartment building and quickly saw the fire. He didn’t even have time to put on his shoes, he just ran into action. He arrived on the scene just in time, to catch a toddler who was dropped from a third-story balcony in an attempt to save his life. Blanks was able to get there just milliseconds before the child would’ve crashed into the gravel below.

“It was all fast, it was a blur,” Blanks told MLive.com. “It was tunnel vision, I didn’t see anything but the baby.”

The video is heartbreaking but shows Blank’s heroics as he caught the falling 3-year-old. The child survived the blaze, as did as an 8-year-old girl as well. Tragically, their mother that helped them escape the blaze did not survive the apartment fire.

Blanks, who is currently a bodyguard, said his background is what helped him jump into action without hesitation. In addition to playing college football as a receiver at a school in California, Blanks served in the Marine Corps.

He told the Washington Post that his training taught him to “always be on high alert.” And he did credit his football skills in an interview with a local TV station.

“I know how to catch,” he said. “I learned how to catch a football. So I’ll give some credit to football.”

Ultimately, though, he deferred any praise, calling the real hero the child’s mother.

“She made the ultimate sacrifice to save her children.”

Father Figures: A Changed Man

“When we first met, we were both a mess, with little stability in either of our lives.

We have now been married for four years, and with two children. In that time, I have watched my husband blossom into the most beautiful person.

He went from the life of the party, short-tempered, with very little patience, to tea parties with our daughter. He gets up at 4:30 every morning to make it to work, then comes straight home and spends time with his family. He never asks for a boys’ night or time to himself because he gives whatever is left after the workweek to his wife and children.

He does the dishes, he folds the laundry, he writes sweet little love notes. He tucks our daughter in and dances EVERY single time she says, ‘Dance with me, Daddy!’ He hides his tired eyes and body from us and still offers to cook dinner when I’ve had a ‘rough day at home with the kids.’

He plays Barbies, sings Disney songs, rolls the ball and sits at the kid table while our children make pretend meals for him to gobble down. He gets up every Saturday and gets Mommy a coffee with our son, still a baby who wakes up at the crack of dawn, and he changes our son’s diaper late at night without waking the rest of us up.

He is the best dad and husband I could ever ask for. I see the weight he carries around, I notice the sacrifices and love he pours into our family each day. That is a love worth holding on to and showing appreciation for.”

– Allania Lathrop

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Far Side Creator Gary Larson Releases First New Comics in 25 Years

Gary Larson New Stuff
(Getty/Denver Post)

2020 already feels like a satire of itself, but there’s one key element missing – the cartoonish, offbeat, often animal-centered humor that only cartoonist Gary Larson can provide. The Far Side comics ran from December 31, 1979, to January 1, 1995 at which point the beloved cartoonist decided to retire. That is, until now. Much to the delight of his fans who have been subsisting on 25-year-old material, Larson added a New Stuff section to The Far Side website.

The website reads, “I don’t want to mislead anyone here. This corner of the website—“New Stuff”—is not a resurrection of The Far Side daily cartoons. (Well, not exactly, anyway—like the proverbial tiger and its stripes, I’m pretty much stuck with my sense of humor. Aren’t we all?).” Larson goes on to say that he became exhausted of the deadline-oriented process of cartoon creation. The only time the cartoonist has taken on a drawing project since has been Christmastime, where he would draw a holiday card from himself and his wife. After years of frustration with his perpetually clogged pen, Larson discovered digital art using a tablet – and his inspiration, along with his passion for drawing, returned.

So now, fortunately for us, we get to join Larson as he dives into the world of digital art. We are invited to watch as he experiments with a new medium, and we will be gifted an array of new content. There is no timed schedule for the release of Larson’s new comics because as he stated, the formerly schedule-driven artist is enjoying the freedom of drawing for the sake of drawing.

Fans are ecstatic, obviously.

And so are we. Welcome back, Gary – you could not have chosen a better time.

Theater Student Wows Entertainment Industry With Incredible Visual Effects

Julian Bass Effects
(Twitter/thejulianbass)

One of the great benefits of social media and the rest of today’s easily accessible technology is the opportunities afforded to regular joes. Thanks to the internet and smartphones, we no longer need big bucks to create a dream project, and thanks to Twitter and Instagram and TikTok and the like, it’s easier than it’s ever been to get exposure for those projects.

Create something clever and blast it out online and people are going to see it, and if it’s good and someone enjoys it, they’re going to make sure other people see it, with nothing more than a click of a button. Suddenly you can go from making stuff in your bedroom for your friends to getting hired by Lucasfilm or Pixar or Marvel to make stuff for them, and for the world.

That may be exactly what’s about to happen to Julian Bass, a 20-year-old theater student in Atlanta who created a fun visual effects video displaying his skills and posted to Twitter in the hopes that someone – in his case, Disney – might notice it. Well, Disney noticed, and so did many, many other big wigs in the entertainment world. They’re impressed and for good reason.

In the video, which has over 20 million views, Bass stands in a room and suddenly, seamlessly, transforms himself into a Jedi, the animated character Ben 10, and finally, Spider-Man. It’s quick, creative, and you can’t see a single string.

Check this out:

The caption reads: “if y’all can retweet this enough times that Disney calls, that’d be greatly appreciated,” and while we don’t yet know if Disney has called him, they were among the people who noticed, via former CEO Robert Iger.

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn and Scrubs star and Garden State director Zach Braff were impressed:

Sony noticed:

Bass spoke to NPR about who else he’s heard from, saying, “The first one for me was The Lonely Island. And then I started seeing Josh Gad, Matthew Cherry. I saw Mark Hamill liked it. I mean if Mark Hamill likes it, I’m a Jedi now.”

Based on the supersized reaction his talents have caused – he’s also heard from HBO Max and Marvel co-president Louis D’Esposito – he may soon be a real Jedi, at least behind the scenes.

“Yeah to be a fan of something and then to see people want you to be a part of it, that’s a chance that I will not ruin for myself whatsoever,” Bass said. “If they pass on it, look, that’s OK, there’s plenty more opportunities. But I feel like I’m ready to take my shot and that’s truly what it’s all about right now.”

Students Inspire Their Bus Driver to Get His College Degree

Students Inspire Their Bus Driver to Get His College Degree
(Youtube/WSAV3 MASSBAY COMMUNITY COLLEGE)

In the midst of a pandemic, it’s often hard to find the motivation to get anything done. Some days, the bare minimum of putting on pants and doing the tiniest bit of work just has to wait until tomorrow. It’s possible though, that we would all get infinitely more done if we had a group of cheerleaders as motivating as these Massachusetts students.

Upon learning about their bus driver Clayton Ward’s love of history, the students said the very thing that pushed him to take a leap of faith. Ward recalled to CBS News, “Just talking with them a little bit about history … it inspired me, especially hearing them say, ‘You should be my teacher.'”

Ward came from a family of bus drivers and becoming one himself was somewhat of a natural choice. Ward never completed college, but it was something he’d kept in the back of his mind since he dropped out a decade ago. After that small push from his students, hearing them say they’d want him as a teacher, Ward went all in. He continued driving buses full-time but enrolled in MassBay Community College last May. Well, in just three semesters, this driven driver obtained his associate’s graduate (and made the dean’s list every semester). Ward isn’t hitting the breaks on his educational journey – in fact, he’s now headed to Framingham State to complete his bachelor’s degree.

Eventually, Ward plans to become a high school history teacher, just as his students had hoped. Although Ward’s graduation ceremony had to be done virtually due to COVID, the experience didn’t lose any significance. Ward is on the road to achieving his dream due to his hard work and perseverance, and in no small part due to the support of the students on his bus route.

“You guys mean so much to me”, Ward said in a message to the students who inspired him to follow his dream. “I thank you for every time we were able to talk. It gave me more of a drive, more ambition to go.”

Ward’s students gave him the push he needed to pursue teaching. Now, for years to come, Ward will be able to pay it forward by inspiring his very own students to pursue their dreams.