These stellar moments in cinematic history are brought to you compliments of the great comedic everyman, Jamie Kennedy.
Kennedy's start in Hollywood came in 1989, when he worked as an extra on the beloved film, Dead Poets Society . This marked the birth of a successful movie career that has displayed the prolific actor-comedian's amazing range.
He has serious screen-time with big-name hitters like Jack Black and Will Smith in Enemy of the State , as well as appearing alongside proverbial pretty boys like George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg in Three Kings . The '90s gave way to the new millennium, which brought with it a slew of character-driven films including Boiler Room (2000) and Sol Goode (2001) with Balthazar Getty and Johnathon Schaech.
Throughout the years, fans have watched his cinematic catalog grow, resulting in an army of devotees that have followed this star's career with a vengeance. After the release of 2003's Malibu's Most Wanted , Kennedy sealed his fate as one of the most quoted characters within a popcorn flick. (During the taping of his stand-up special, Unwashed , devout fans even yelled out lines of dialog from Most Wanted as he performed.)
This allegiance to his onscreen and onstage antics isn't lost on Kennedy. He is grateful to those that seek out his work and support it.
“The next two or three things coming out will make my fans think, ‘What the hell?'” he brags.
Kennedy, 36, has a lot on his plate these days. After a recent stand-up performance in San Francisco, he sounds a bit weary, like a rock star who's fresh offstage from the gig of a lifetime.
“[The] show was good,” he says, politely.
But this was just one stop on the road to his ultimate career aspiration. “Right now, I just wanna make a comedy name for myself.”
The next couple of weeks will be ripe with chances to do just that, with press junkets surrounding the release of this generation's ultimate homage to break dancing, Kickin' It Old Skool .
The movie tells the story of a young B-boy named Justin Schumacher who “busts” too funky a move at a 1986 talent show and winds up unconscious and in a coma for 20 years. His subsequent awakening gives way to a hilarious fish-out-of-water story, peppered with tender moments and pop-culture references a plenty.
“I thought it was a funny concept,” Kennedy relays. “I mean, who else out there is doing movies about break dancing these days?”
He raises an interesting point. Twenty-plus years ago, break dancing-theme movies were all the rage. Krush Groove and the short-lived TV series, “Graffiti Rock” were popular among urban and suburban youth. Kennedy even has a few favorites of his own, adding Wild Style , Beat Street and Breakin' .
Still, in the years that have passed, and even with a successful revival of '80s fashion and musical styles, this popular form of dance has more or less remained untouched. Its star is greatly aware of the excitement of such fare, citing the fact that heavily trafficked Web sites like MySpace and YouTube have already jumped on the promotion bandwagon.
Kickin' It Old Skool sounds like it was just as much fun to make as it is to watch. According to Kennedy, some funny behind-the-scenes moments took place that will surely wind up on the film's DVD.
“There was a scene when I get out of the bathtub naked during an argument with my mom and dad. I grab this Mr. Potato Head and use it to cover my penis, and I literally have to put my penis in it. But then the director said, ‘Your testicles are showing.' So I had to take all the guts out of the Mr. Potato head and stuff myself into it. But when the people who make the Mr. Potato Head found out about it, they weren't too happy and said, ‘You can't do that to Mr. Potato Head!' So the scene got cut.”
But this laugh-fest isn't the only trick up Kennedy's sleeve. There are a myriad of surprises coming our way.
He's in the Jessica Simpson vehicle, Blonde Ambition , which co-stars Andy Dick and She from She's All That (Rachel Lee Cook). Then, there's the fall network television lineup, which will showcase him in Fox's “Me & Lee?” as a dentist who gets a super bionic back from '70s icon, Lee Majors, a.k.a. “The Six Million Dollar Man.”
Television has been his milieu since the advent of his highly successful program “The Jamie Kennedy Experiment.” The show, which had a premise similar to that of classic programs like “Candid Camera” and later, “Punk'd” was groundbreaking.
Not since Eddie Murphy had another comedian successfully portrayed so many characters. During the show's three-season run on the bygone WB network (it now runs in syndication on cable's G4 network), Kennedy played pranks on unsuspecting victims by utilizing the wonders of prosthetic makeup and his spot-on knack for racial and gender mimicry. With his exuberant delivery of the show's catch phrase, “You've been X'ed!” he led the WB to its highest ratings in that network's history.
Lightning was bound to strike twice with Kennedy's mockumentary show “Blowin' Up,” which debuted on MTV in 2006. Loyal fans tuned in each week to see Jamie and good friend Stu Stone play caricatures of themselves, as wannabe rap stars seeking a recording contract. Actors like American Pie's Jason Biggs, “Full House” dad, Bob Saget and even Academy Award-winning rappers, Three 6 Mafia provided laughs in some of the more notable episodes.
Kennedy's a true fan of rap music's elite like Run DMC, LL Cool J, EPMD, Big Daddy Kane and Snoop Dogg, and it shows. The guy can flow.
Still, he laments that he and Stone were probably a bit too good at their portrayals. The show, which had a similar vibe to the widely popular HBO property, “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” blurred the line between fact and fiction. So much, that it was often difficult to tell which aspects of it were actually real.
“We had a song called ‘Rollin' with Saget,'” he says. “I mean, how serious is that?”
Ultimately, the show met its demise due to disappointing ratings as a result of poor promotion.
“The whole thing was that the show was great product,” Kennedy explains. “My fans loved it, but MTV didn't really market it. I worked so hard on it.”
One gets the feeling that Kennedy feels some frustration about his hard work not reaping greater dividends. Currently, there are other comedians who have achieved great fame and recognition with only a fraction of the skills and creative endowment that he has.
Which begs the question: Where does Jamie Kennedy see himself in 10 years? A guy with insurmountable talent like his, who has tried everything and still reaches for the top, has to have a master plan. After pondering this for a moment, he confesses, “Hopefully, doing movies, some drama, some thrillers and producing.”
If, in fact, acting continues to hold his interest, he's very honest about his intentions when it comes to choosing his parts.
“I sometimes take a job to work with somebody. Sometimes I take a part to get my name out there.”
Regardless of the catalyst or the overall genre that captivates his fancy, fans are sure to remain allegiant to his affable demeanor, razor sharp comedic style, urban-culture handsomeness and eagerness to make everything he's attached to funny. While nothing in life is guaranteed, one can still rest assured that this star will be slaving for your laughter, no matter how hard he has to work to get it.
Kickin' It Old Skool releases in theaters April 27.