5 Historical Buddy Comedies We Desperately Want to See

History is full of unlikely, ‘Rush Hour’-like friendships
5 Historical Buddy Comedies We Desperately Want to See

The mismatched buddy comedy has long been a staple of Hollywood filmmaking, from the days of Laurel and Hardy to the Schwarzenegger/DeVito-starring Twins to every movie that pairs Mark Wahlberg with someone who isn’t a complete garbage person. While the buddy movie may have stalled somewhat in recent years, it turns out that history is full of real-life odd couples whose stories could easily be adapted into hit movies, such as the bizarro friendships of…

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Andre the Giant and Samuel Beckett

Long before he was palling around with Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride or trying to protect the ungrateful, ignorant masses from the hidden dangers lurking in Hulkamania, Andre the Giant was just a giant child in need of transportation. The future wrestler reportedly used to get rides to school from legendary playwright Samuel Beckett, who lived down the road from him in their shared small French village. Though, come to think of it, someone famous for penning a story about waiting around for a guy who never bothers to show up possibly wasn’t the best person to depend on for rides. 

While elements of this story have been exaggerated over the years, including false claims that Andre was too big to ride the school bus and was the only student who got a ride in the Beckett-mobile, the core element of the heart of the story that these two legends regularly shared a car together, is true. Although it has yet to be made into a movie, joining Wallace Shawn’s failure to pitch My Dinner With Andre The Giant in our disappointment at a lack of Andre films, the story has apparently been adapted for the stage.

Colonel Sanders and J. Edgar Hoover

Decades before he died and was resurrected as a cyborg killing machine, fried-chicken magnate Colonel Sanders reportedly invited J. Edgar Hoover to his 80th birthday party. Sanders was a fan and had previously written a letter to the FBI Director, praising his commie-beating efforts. In the invitation, which sits in Sanders’ FBI file, the former head of KFC tells Hoover, “I do believe that us folk can show those young people what celebratin’s all about.” And really, who wouldn’t want to see that play out in a movie?  

We’re still waiting on the FOIA to reveal if Hoover wiretapped Sanders to find out his secret recipe blend of 11 herbs and spices.

Larry Flynt and Jerry Falwell

We’ve already gotten one biopic about Larry Flynt, but why not let Woody Harrelson take another crack at the role for a movie all about the famous pornographer’s inexplicable friendship with televangelist Jerry Falwell? The pair met when Falwell sued Flynt for libel, but after The People vs. Larry Flynt came out, Falwell got back in touch and invited Flynt to appear with him on Larry King Live

The interview went so well that Falwell proposed touring together, staging “debates at colleges all around the country.” 

Presumably, bonding over both being terrible in totally different ways, the pair continued to be friends. They would even exchange Christmas cards with one another, which we’re assuming displayed two drastically different uses of candy canes.

Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla

Legendary inventor — and exploding car namesake — Nikola Tesla was laid up with cholera at the age of 17 and nearly died after being bedridden for nine months. Since he somehow couldn’t be bothered to invent himself a TV to pass the time, Tesla instead read the works of Mark Twain. When he met the author 25 years later, he recounted all this to Twain, aka Samuel Clemens, who was reportedly “moved to tears.” The two became pals, with Twain becoming a regular visitor to Tesla’s lab. Sadly, it’s too late to make the ideal dramatization of this story, starring David Bowie and Val Kilmer.

Although we did get one hell of a photo:

Wiki Commons

Bob Dylan and Tiny Tim

Long before he had a sleepover with Norm Macdonald, legendary musician Bob Dylan befriended another eccentric celebrity: Tiny Tim — not the Dickensian child who almost dies because his dad’s boss hates spending money, but rather, the novelty musician best known for singing “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” and getting married on The Tonight Show in 1969.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Tiny Tim recounted the time he was whisked away to Dylan’s place in Woodstock, New York, via limo sent under the cover of nightfall. The two hung out and chatted, and Dylan even invited Tiny Tim to a hockey game. If Dylan is to be believed, the two were actually old friends (which Tiny Tim, for some reason, never mentioned). In his book Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan described sharing burgers and fries with Tiny Tim in New York while they were both struggling folk singers. Which may not be true, but who cares? 

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this).

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