Happy birthday to Burt Young

My wife and friends could make a strong argument that I have an unhealthy love for the “Rocky” movies.  I’m a guy who spent more than a decade half-joking that someday I would name my first-born child Apollo because I liked the character played by Carl Weathers so much.

That’s right, I didn’t joke about naming my son Apollo, I joked about naming any child I had, boy or girl, Apollo.  Of course, my wife didn’t go for that* and my children owe her a debt of gratitude.

What better way to tip my hat to all things “Rocky” than by wishing a happy birthday to Burt Young, the man who breathed life into the character Paulie?

Who ever would have dreamed that the only key supporting character to make it from “Rocky” to “Rocky Balboa” would have been everyone’s favorite lovable buffoon?  I would have put my money on Talia Shire as Adrian but Sly Stallone stuck her 6 feet under for the final “Rocky” film.

My appreciation of Young also extends to his work in the Rodney Dangerfield comic masterpiece “Back to School”  Can you imagine that film without Young as the lovable buffoon bodyguard Lou?  The mere thought of a Young-less “Back to School” makes me shiver.

On top of the awesome acting, did you know Young paints?  Basically, there’s nothing the man can’t do.

Thanks for all the great work Mr. Young, I hope you’re partying like a rock star today!

* Side note to the whole “I wanted to name my kid Apollo Creed but my wife wouldn’t let me” thing: If we ever get a dog I have the green light to name it Apollo.  If we get a few dogs I also have the OK to name them after the immortal characters played by Patrick Swayze, Bodhi from “Point Break” and Dalton from “Road House.”

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