If you were to ask me to compile a list of the greatest badass quotes in the history of cinema, there is one that would deserve special recognition for somehow managing to be both ridiculously silly and ridiculously cool at the same time:
“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubblegum.”
That immortal line was spoken by Roddy Piper in John Carpenter’s They Live, and although Piper passed away today, his legacy of kicking ass will never die. In that same movie, we are treated to one of the greatest fight scenes ever filmed, in which Roddy Piper and Keith David beat each other senseless because Piper’s character (who has the unbelievably fantastic name of “Nada”) wants David’s character (the less impressively named “Frank”) to put on a pair of sunglasses. Watch this majesty unfold:
I highly recommend picking up Shout Factory’s collector’s edition of They Live if you love Piper’s performance as much as I do. But, let’s not forget some other memorable work from the Hot Rod. Though it’s a bizarre trainwreck of a film, Hell Comes to Frogtown is an absolute must-see for Piper’s presence alone. He had a pair of amusing appearances on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as a deranged hardcore wrestler called Da’ Maniac that made me squeal with joy when I saw them. He also maintained a very consistent acting career, although the films in his repertoire aren’t the most recognizable titles. However, when those movies have incredible titles like Legless Larry & the Lipstick Lady, it’s impossible for me to deny my immediate interest in such a picture. And lest we forget, the man was an undeniable legend in the professional wrestling world, performing in one capacity or another for over forty years. If you can find a video of it, his match against Bret “the Hitman” Hart in WrestleMania VIII is one of my favorite matches of all time.
So today Chewers, I ask that you put on your favorite pair of sunglasses and pay respects to a man who will continue to chew bubblegum and kick ass long after we’ve all been forgotten. Let’s thank the universe that he was all out of bubblegum.
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