is the new weekly series that turns the spotlight on wonderful and weird folks that
inhabit the world of some of your favorite films and, in the process, have
stood the test of time.
I got my idea for the inaugural installment after recently
watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, one of the most beloved films of the 80’s. The John Hughes film bursts with memorable,
quirky characters that are still quoted today.
But out of all of them, one truly stands head and shoulders above the
rest. Of course, I am talking about the
greatest principal to have ever run a school with an iron fist and Dirty Harry
sneer, Principal Edward Rooney.
As portrayed by one of the greatest character actors to have
ever worked in Hollywood, Jeffrey Jones, Ed Rooney is the principal we all wish
we had. Sure, he was an asshole that
followed the rule book a little too closely, but was so goofy and obnoxious
that you couldn’t help but root for the guy.
From being conned into offending “Mr. George Peterson”, to
being attacked by the Bueller’s Rottweiler, to getting the piss kicked out of
him by Bueller’s sister, to getting his car towed and then having no other
choice but to ride the school bus with the very populace he despises, Ed Rooney
continuously maintained an aura of superiority, even while on a mission to
prove that Ferris is on a first-class ticket to nowhere.
Admittedly, Ed Rooney’s partner in crime is his sweet,
surprisingly potty-mouthed, dimwitted secretary Grace (… GRACE!!!!!). Besides, if it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t
have known that the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids,
dweebies, dickheads all adore Ferris and think he’s a righteous dude.
All joking aside, Jones was great as Ed Rooney. He’s plays him as such a despicable schmuck
that you couldn’t help but like him and all his foibles. Even though the film carries a number of
memorable scenes, I firmly believe that almost all of Rooney’s scenes are at
the top of the list. Besides, he gives Clint
Eastwood a run for his money, while making the words “nine times” unbelievably funny.
Yes, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off may very well be John Hughes’
most accessible and beloved film from the 80’s, which is due mostly in part to
the colorful characters that populate the film.
And while he will forever be known as the man who gave a singular,
powerful voice to teenagers around the world (which can still be heard to this
day), in my eyes, he will always be the guy who created the principal I never
had, but wish I did.
Mr. Edward Rooney, I tip my hat to you. Thank you for the laughs over the years, as
well as being the only man I know to have turned down a Gummi Bear, while
ignoring crude graffiti such as “Rooney Eats It”, and taking it all in