It should come to no surprise to anyone that I love Rick Moranis, even if you only know me through my articles on this website. I’ve unveiled a few Junk Pile items indicative of this Obsession of the Day—nay, Obsession of My Life: Strange Brew Book, Little Shop of Horrors Trading Cards, and yes, even Honey, I Shrunk The Kids promo buttons. There’s more Rick Moranis stuff in my collection, but that’s another post for another Junk Pile (or 30).
Yesterday, it was announced on Rick’s official site that he’s releasing a new album, his first since 2005’s Agoraphobic Cowboy, but third solo album overall. Check out 1989’s You, Me, the Music and Me. You can also listen to his melodic voice and comedy stylings as Bob McKenzie on the 1981 album The Great White North Album and the 1983 Strange Brew Soundtrack. Rick’s new album, My Mother’s Brisket and Other Love Songs, will be available for pre-order on May 21, and you can bet I’ll be refreshing that website well into the night on May 20 to get me that pre-order.
Classic Michael McDonald impersonation!
But why do I love Rick Moranis so much? My penchant for nerdy guys in glasses is epitomized in Rick. This is a long-standing crush/appreciation of the man. I was faking sick in grade school so I could go home and watch SCTV reruns (this was in 1994-ish when SCTV was long gone and I was too young to get most of the jokes) and later constantly watching and re-watching Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves since that was the last movie he’d been in that wasn’t comprised of voice acting. He’s got a great voice, as we learned from watching Little Shop of Horrors and various SCTV sketches (Gerry Todd!) and his comedy is top-notch (Spaceballs, Strange Brew, Ghostbusters, and of course SCTV).
Before he was on TV, Rick was a radio DJ personality. Here’s his homage to the VJ. Whenever “Turning Japanese” comes on, this is the version I hear in my head.
My love of Rick Moranis really peaked in high school when I discovered eBay and was able to stockpile lots of rare Rick Moranis stuff—mainly press kits and promo items, which sounds small time these days, but back in 1997, those things were hard to come by.
Moranis’ likeness even made its way into a couple of my school projects, namely these two sketches from 2000. My high school art teacher gave me a 17/20 on the Little Shop of Horrors picture, saying it needed “more graded value and variety (hair)”. I followed that up with an improved 18/20 score on my Splitting Heirs portrait with the comment “The hair is much better”. Oh, what my art teacher must have thought of me…
My giddiness at seeing Rick releasing a new album came at a time when I was beginning to think this whole “retirement” thing meant “retirement” and not “eh, I’ll still do some cool stuff.” All had been quiet on the Moranis front for years and while there were rumors that he’d return for Ghostbusters 3, there were just as many rumors saying he wasn’t—and I wasn’t getting my hopes up. After all, he hadn’t participated in any of the SCTV reunions nor had he voiced his character on the Bob & Doug cartoon (subjecting us to Dave Coulier). He seemed happy staying out of showbiz.
Rick Moranis + Conan = Happy Linz. Definitely watch the interview.
Whether or not he’ll appear in GB3 (if that does indeed happen) is still up in the air, but at least we have another great album from him on the horizon. And although Conan is now in L.A. and Rick in N.Y., hopefully he’ll make the trek out to appear on Conan’s TBS show because Rick and Conan are magic together. Fun fact: Conan is another Obsession of My Life, so I freaked out when that show aired (my favorite author Sarah Vowell followed Rick’s performance. Mind explosion). They also have the same birthday. I’m just going to stop now.
Are you excited for Rick’s return? Leave some Moranis memories in the comments so we can reminisce!