R.I.P. JOHN CANDY (1950-1994)
John Candy. The name alone puts a big white smile on your face when you think of him. The man died in 1994 and when that happened, Hollywood lost one of its most precious and most talented comedians in a very long time.
If the name doesn’t ring a bell – then it’s time to expand your knowledge …
Agreed, John Candy did perhaps not have the career of a Robin Williams nor the comical genius expertise of Charlie Chaplin, but one thing is dead-certain: John Candy knew unlike anyone else how to make you laugh.
His jokes were sophisticated, his sense of humor was like that of a child and always subtle when it needed to be! He avoided the shameless, low-skilled piss-and-poop humor seen in too many American comedies these days (yeah, Scary Movie and White Chicks – we’re looking at you!!) and on top of everything else, he was also a very amicable person to work with.
John Candy started his career back in 1972, but his big break wouldn’t occur until 1980 with the comedy-classic The Blues Brothers (I’m sure everyone remembers that phenomenal song ‘Everybody needs somebody’).
Before that, the corpulent actor – who weighed +130 kilos (300 pounds) pretty much all of his life – worked with Steven Spielberg in the film-flop 1941 and kept himself busy with bit parts and bigger parts in forgotten television shows.
John Candy wasn’t keen on being in the spotlight per se, as long as the movie and his character were funny enough. Proof of concept is National Lampoon’s vacation, a movie where he plays the part of a security guard in a theme park (he only appears at the very end for about five minutes or so).
1987 was the year that would forever transform John Candy‘s career and ultimately sky-rocket him into the A-list of Hollywood-celebrities and classic comedy actors.
First you had the more-than-words-can-say brilliant parody by director Mel Brooks in which the entire Star Wars-theme was getting a full make-over. John Candy starred and shined as Barf, the half-man/half-dog character. The movie was named Spaceballs and became one of the most successful spoofs to ever finds its way onto the silver screen!
Then he joined the ranks with none other than Steve Martin in a never-dying classic which is justly regarded as one of the all-time greatest comedies ever made!
Planes, trains & automobiles was both hilarious and heart-warming from the very first second all the way into the final minute, mostly due to the delightful chemistry between both lead actors.
If there is one movie John Candy should always be remembered for, it’s definitely this one! He plays his part so well you immediately fall in love with the character. Why there was never a sequel to this is as great a mystery as it’s a travesty.
Before the wonderful ’80s came to a close, John Candy had himself one more hit in the charming comedy Uncle Buck where he – wait for it! – played the part of Buck Russell, a friendly bachelor with little or no responsibility who gladly accepts to babysit the children of his brother – absolute fun from beginning till end!
But then came the ’90s and things didn’t go so smoothly anymore. His career took a serious nose dive and what was worse: his health went along with it! John Candy managed to grab hold of a small part (though very fun to watch!) as a Polka-musician in the comedy moneymaker Home alone.
He also found himself starring next to Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd and Demi Moore in the ‘Hotel California’-esque ghost-house movie Nothing but trouble where he fortified the casting by playing a double role.
After that it became increasingly hard to get any big roles in comedies. He amazed friend and foe with his eerie-sincere performance of a corrupt businessman in the gripping drama JFK, proving once again that top-comedians are amongst the finest people ever to embrace the art of acting.
John Candy would definitely end his career and life in utter beauty.
In 1994, the year where he came to pass, he played a lead part in the exceptionally entertaining sports comedy Cool runnings, a movie that tells the story of the very first Jamaican bobsled-team to enter the Olympics.
Not only is this movie based on real events, it’s a pleasure and absolute honor to enjoy – one last time – the stellar genius of one of the greatest and funniest character actors to ever have risen out of Canada!