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5 Fun Facts About Rick Moranis

Rick Moranis perfected the “geeky” role long before Sheldon Cooper graced our television screens. This goofy actor appeared in tons of nostalgia-packed films, including Ghostbusters, Little Shop of Horrors, and Spaceballs. Not to mention a reboot of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, in which Moranis is set to star after more than two decades away from the acting scene.

In his off-screen life, Moranis is has a lot in common with the lovable geeks he plays. He’s a talented actor who was always in it for the art (not the fame) and a devoted dad who left Hollywood to care for his children after his wife’s death. Beyond that, he’s also a musical comedian who likes to sing about cowboys and his mom’s brisket. Read on to learn a few surprising facts about the ultra-famous ’80s actor….

Photo: Flickr/Lauren Brown

He Began With His Own Sketch On Canadian TV

In 1980, Moranis began working on a CBC sketch comedy show called Second City TV. The show was legally required to devote several minutes of each episode to Canada-related content: local news, events, and other Canada-centric information. It made sense to most of the cast, but Moranis was less than thrilled by the prospect.

He and fellow actor Dave Thomas decided to introduce some satire to lighten up the dry subject. They improvised the fictional characters of Bob and Doug McKenzie, two brothers who embody classic Canadian stereotypes. Their sketch technically fulfilled the “Canada requirement,” and audiences fell in love with the wacky pair. The two went on to portray the McKenzie brothers in the 1983 film Strange Brew, as well as create a Grammy-nominated comedy album called The Great White North. That’s not bad for a couple of 20-somethings messing around on Canadian TV.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Alan Light

He Took A 20-Year Break From Acting

Moranis was one of the most recognizable actors of the ’80s, but he disappeared from the spotlight after his wife’s tragic death in 1991. As a single father of two young children, Moranis found it extremely difficult to balance parenthood and a grueling film schedule.

He took a hiatus from acting that was longer than anybody (including Moranis) anticipated. He told USA Today in 2005, “I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn’t miss it.” Even though fans longed to see him return to the screen, you have to praise him for being a good dad.

Photo: Flickr/BagoGames

He Turned Down The Ghostbusters’ Reboot

To the delight of ’80s kids everywhere, nearly all the original stars of Ghostbusters appeared in the 2016 reboot…except Moranis. He declined a cameo spot and the chance to reunite with Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Sigourney Weaver. Why? For one, he hadn’t acted for many years and was a devoted stay-at-home dad. He also told The Hollywood Reporter, “I wish them well. I hope it’s terrific. But it just makes no sense to me. Why would I do just one day of shooting on something I did 30 years ago?” Fair enough. Fans will have to sustain themselves on the original blockbuster film.

Photo: Flickr/M. Johnson

He’s A Musical Comedy Genius

If you think Weird Al is the best musical comedian, have you even listened to Rick Moranis? During his hiatus from acting, he released two comedy albums. The Agorophobic Cowboy was released in 2005, with 13 songs inspired by alternative country and bluegrass music. Moranis admitted that the album started off as a joke, but it became a little less funny when he received a Grammy nomination in 2006 for Best Comedy Album.

Moranis released another musical comedy album in 2013 titled My Mother’s Brisket & Other Love Songs. He’s stated that this collection relates to his Jewish upbringing. The deluxe pack even comes with its own purple yarmulke.

Photo: Creative Commons/reeteespsspc

He’s Going To Appear In Disney’s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Reboot

Besides a few voice acting gigs and a stint on The Goldbergs in 2018, Moranis has been absent from Hollywood since 1996. That’s why fans began freaking out when the news broke that he would officially come out of retirement to film Disney’s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids reboot. With Moranis reprising his iconic role as Wayne Szalinski, only one question remains: what nutty experiment has gone awry this time?

Photo: Flickr/Loren Javier

A Nostalgic Figure

Come on, what would all of these works be without Moranis? Okay, that’s an easy one to answer: less funny, less heartfelt, and less iconic. Now that his kids are all grown up (and not blown up), fans hope that they’ll see Moranis taking on more projects in the future.