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.”
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.