Who’s the best character in “Caddyshack”? Yes, I know many out there will cite Rodney Dangerfield’s Czervik, Bill Murray’s Carl, Chevy Chase’s Ty, or … as some contrarians might say … Ted Knight’s Judge Smails … as the best character in the classic 1980 film comedy “Caddyshack.” But in my opinion, Smails’s obnoxious grandson Spaulding is the s–t! Spaulding is THE very definition of devolution. He’s rich, spoiled, obnoxious, out-of-shape, and incredibly stupid. He is literally the 3rd generation photocopy of a bad 3rd generation photocopy. And for the limited time he’s onscreen, he’s f–king hilarious. Major kudos to John F. Barmon Jr. for such a great performance. This is someone who took a nothing part and made it classic. Too bad I’ve haven’t seen Barmon do anything else. But his Spaulding is enough to warrant a NY Times mention once he eventually leaves our mortal coil. Raise a glass, motherf–kers to Spaulding Smails!
Spaulding gets drunk:
Spaulding picks his nose:
Spaulding places an order for lunch:
An interview with the real Spaulding several years after the fact:
Ahhh … the infamous Friar’s Club roast of Chevy Chase from 2002. Why infamous? Many people are of the opinion that this was the meanest roast of all-time. Marc Maron, one of the roasters, said it was one of the most depressing nights of his entire life. My opinion? I’m not sure why people think THIS is the meanest roast. The Comedy Central roasts of Flavor Flav and Larry the Cable Guy were 50x meaner in my mind. The difference may be that Chevy looks like he wanted to be anywhere else but attending that roast and Flav and Larry were eating it up.
To be fair, Comedy Central tried editing this into a “fun” 1 hour special. You can tell because they seem to use the same clip of Chevy smiling multiple times … albeit through gritted teeth. Chevy allegedly said “That hurt” before stalking off the stage, but that’s not on the special that aired. From what I understand, it wasn’t the jokes that upset Chevy so much but the fact that most of the people on the dais were people he never worked with or even knew him. For more context on the roast from Chevy’s perspective, you’re encouraged to read the 2004 article from “Entertainment Weekly” at the link below.
If this seems like a really bad attempt at avant-garde humor/entertainment, you’d be correct. Why am I posting it here? Because it’s an extremely rare debacle that involved a lot of famous people doing a favor for someone named David Jove. Jove was the producer of the infamous (and truly great) early 1980s hardcore punk cable TV show “New Wave Theater.” When that show’s host Peter Ivers was murdered in 1983, some of Ivers’ friends tried to help Jove get a new show started.
“The Top” is similar to “New Wave Theater” in tone, but with a lot more money thrown at it and a lot less balls and heart. Originally Chevy Chase was hired to host, but when he got stuck in the middle of a spontaneous slam-dancing session which he had no knowledge of, he fled the studio and the producers hired Andy Kaufman instead. This was Kaufman’s last live appearance and sadly, it’s not particularly good. Still, it’s a good example of what sometimes happens when the avant-garde tries to go mainstream.