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Honey, We Love Rick Moranis: Celebrating the (Hopeful) Return Of Our Favorite Hollywood Dad and Nerdy Best Friend

By Rob Payne | Lists | May 16, 2013 |

By Rob Payne | Lists | May 16, 2013 |

If you’ve been alive for more than a decade, there’s a good-to-decent chance you’ve seen a movie starring one of the greatest comedic actors of his, or any, generation: Rick Moranis. For a period in the 1980s and early 1990s, the comedian was in just about every movie that children of all ages could watch and love. If you were actually a child in this period, like so many of us Pajibans, he was your more-charming, more-likeable Woody Allen-ish movie dad. If you were older, he was very easily your nerdy-in-the-classical-sense best movie friend. Even in movies or TV series that were wholly unremarkable or transparently awful — looking at you, The Flintstones, “Gravedale High,” and the later Honey movies — Rick Moranis was never not funny. Or endearing, or memorable, or worth the price of admission.

But in 1997 Moranis famously retired from acting. Six years after the passing of his beloved wife, Ann, he was a single father who just couldn’t bear the grind of both Hollywood and parenthood. One could argue that Moranis could have afforded hired help to assist in raising his children, but there’s a quiet nobility in abandoning a thriving career in favor of family that cannot be dismissed. In 2005, he explained himself thusly, retroactively making his impassioned pleas to save his crumbling marriage in Parenthood even more affecting:

“I’m a single parent and I just found that it was too difficult to manage raising my kids and doing the travelling involved in making movies. So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn’t miss it.”

As much as his fans would have loved to see the actor keep going, quitting just made perfect sense. But was then, and this is 2013. His children are grown and Moranis has been slowly reemerging into the pop culture arena, mostly by lending his voice to animated fare and releasing two comedic country albums. His most-recent will be available for pre-order on May 21st through his website, and that means we’ll likely see him on the talk show circuit leading up to the album’s release. Undoubtedly, the happily retired comic will be asked if he’s coming back to acting or not, and his response will likely be vague and indeterminate just because it’s always smart to keep your options open. But at least we’ll get to see Moranis on our TVs again, and that’s not nothing.

So, regardless of whether or not this signifies a real comeback or not — something we’ve been hoping would happen around here for a while — like friend-of-the-site Josh Kurp’s slideshow over on Uproxx, I just want to bask in Moranis’ former greatness. Without further ado, here are The Best Roles of Rick Moranis’ Career. Enoy(!):

Bob McKenzie (Strange Brew, 1983)

Louis Tully (Ghostbusters/Ghostbusters II, 1984/1989)

Seymour Krelborn (The Little Shop of Horrors, 1986)

Dark Helmet (Spaceballs, 1987)

Wayne Szalinski (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, 1989)

Nathan Huffner (Parenthood, 1989)

Barney Coopersmith (My Blue Heaven, 1990)

Danny O’Shea (Little Giants, 1994)

Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter, tumbls on the Tumblr, and his wares can be purchased here. He hopes Gene Wilder is next on the coming-out-of-retirement bandwagon.

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