The Darth Vader Joke James Earl Jones Told to Crack Up ‘The Sandlot’ Kids
Patrick Renna is best known for his performance as the trash-talking, ‘smore-making Ham Porter in The Sandlot, which premiered 30 years ago this past April. In those decades since the release of arguably the greatest baseball movie ever made, Renna has had to field questions about the literal “inside baseball” of The Sandlot, and his behind-the-scenes stories are still as entertaining and endearing as the movie itself.
On the most recent episode of The Rich Eisen Show, Renna discussed his first and only experience with guest star James Earl Jones and the joke that Jones told to engrain himself in the memories of the aspiring pitchers and padawans of the Sandlot cast.
As Renna recalled, Jones’ performance was limited to a couple scenes with Benny and Smalls, so the rest of the kids in the cast didn’t get the honor of acting alongside such a powerhouse. However, Marty Yorke, who played the wisecracking third baseman Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan, had the courage to approach the A-lister and simply say, “You’re Darth Vader in Star Wars!”
“He looked at (Yorke) and said, ‘No, I am your father,’” Renna recounted. “That was it, that was the only time any of us talked to him. I didn’t even need to meet him after that,” he told Eisen.
Renna and the rest of his castmates are lucky that, of all the Star Wars stars they could have encountered, the jovial Jones was the one who took the role — imagine how scarring it would have been for Yeah-Yeah to have Han Solo tell him to fuck off.