Welcome to The Junkball 10, an occasional feature running down a random list of some of my favorite … or not so favorite … things.
The RoboCop statue saga playing out in Detroit has amused and inspired me because like most people, I’m a huge RoboCop fan and the story is wonderfully absurd.
There’s really no debating the greatness of RoboCop. There’s no way the movie would be broadcast on American Movie Classics and released as a Criterion Collection DVD if it wasn’t one of the best films of all time. End of discussion.
The only sensible thing to do now that a statue of RoboCop is going to be erected in Detroit is to brainstorm the other parts of America that should pay tribute to TV and/or movie characters.
1. San Francisco: Dirty Harry
I don’t know about you, but when I think about San Francisco and the movies I think about Clint Eastwood scowling, growling and kicking some serious criminal ass. Why not pay tribute to Harry Callahan with a statue? That’d make my day.
2. Texas: Walker Texas Ranger
Chuck Norris is undeniably bigger than life and since everything is bigger in Texas the only way to do this right is to build a skyscraper in Norris’ likeness. The Walker skyscraper would kick the sky’s butt if it dared challenge it.
3. Miami: Tony Montana from “Scarface”
The statue has to capture the signature “Say hello to my little friend” scene in the movie. Would any community really want to pay tribute to an over-the-top big screen cocaine cowboy? Probably not, but if Detroit can show RoboCop some love there’s no reason Tony Montana can’t enjoy being immortalized.
4. Milwaukee: Laverne and Shirley
I could just as easily have chosen Wayne and Garth from “Wayne’s World” or Fonzie from “Happy Days” but I’m in the mood to tip my hat to those fun-loving girls from Shotz Brewery. Now that I look back at the long-running sitcom I can’t believe Shirley dated a guy who called himself the Big Ragoo and sang a song called “Do the Carmine.” I don’t think she ever let him get past second base so if anyone was doing Carmine it probably wasn’t Shirley.
There are plenty of other options for TV or movie characters worthy of some respect in the Big Apple but some twisted part of me thinks it would be cool to see a huge statue of Bruce Willis’ unbeatable cop with a big plaque that says, “Yippee-ki-yay mother f%#ker!” The only other movie character I would deem worthy of a statue in New York would be Snake Plisskin from “Escape From New York.”
6. Chicago: Jake and Elwood from “The Blues Brothers”
Aside from Dirty Harry in San Francisco this was the easiest call on my list. For my money nothing says Chicago movies like Jake and Elwood Blues. My wife can vouch for the fact that “The Blues Brothers” is as close as I’ll ever come to liking something even vaguely resembling a musical. If “Sound of Music” had car chases, explosions and heavy drinking I might give it a chance.
Forget statues for a minute. The only way to do this right is to carve their faces into Diamond Head. It’d be the Mount Rushmore of Big Island crime fighters. If the people of Hawaii want to really be ambitious they can also carve in the likenesses of Rick, TC, Higgins and Danno.
8. San Diego (Close enough to Pacific Beach to work for the sake of this post): Hank and Britt from “Terriers”
Am I still annoyed that my favorite new TV show from last season died after drawing miserable ratings? That would be an understatement. I could have gone with “Simon and Simon” in this spot but I’m going to use this as an opportunity pay tribute to a brilliant, underappreciated show.
9. Los Angeles: The Dude from “The Big Lebowski”
The Dude abides … why not let him chill out in bronze for eternity? Until I finally get around to watching “Crazy Heart” I’m going to have to say that “The Big Lebowski” is Jeff Bridges’ finest performance.
10. Long Island, Harry and Lloyd from “Dumb and Dumber”
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about Long Island is iced tea. But the second thing that comes to mind is the timeless, moronic brilliance of “Dumb and Dumber.” Does it get any better than when they sing “Mocking Bird?”
Honorable mentions: Crash Davis from “Bull Durham” for Durham, North Carolina; Reggie Dunlop from “Slap Shot” for Johnstown, Pa.; The cast of “WKRP in Cincinnati” (or maybe just Lonnie Anderson’s cleavage) for Cincinnati; Raylan Givens from “Justified” for Lexington, Kentucky; Mork from Ork from “Mork and Mindy” for Boulder, Colo.