'I'm sorry your mom blew up, Ricky' ... No sweat, Dan Schneider is doing great
Eighties fans probably know him best for playing Ricky in Better Off Dead, you know, the chubby kid who sat around crocheting all day and snorting nasal spray. But actor Dan Schneider found slightly higher-browed success in TV's Head of the Class too.
These days, your kids ought to be worshipping Schneider as well: He's the creator and brains behind Nickelodeon hit shows such as All That, iCarly and Victorious. The Onion's AV Club has a great interview with him. Here are some '80s-related highlights:
FIRST BIG JOB: "I went to this big casting call for the movie [Making The Grade]. There was a sea of teenagers. They were doing extra casting as well. It was this huge mob scene. I almost left, and this guy comes up to me and just sort of saw me and said, 'Hey, are you here to audition for the film?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Come with me.' I went and read with him, and he turned out to be the producer. He didn’t even know I had an appointment. He liked my face, I guess. He hired me for that movie, and I was supposed to work for four days on it. It ended up being four weeks."
ON HIS CELEB STATUS: "There’s an age group of people out there, though… I guess right now they’re probably 35 to 45. When they find out I was Ricky in Better Off Dead, they look at me like I’m The Beatles. It’s so funny. It was just this little movie I did in 1985. To this day, I hear about Better Off Dead at least every month. People freak out. Nobody gives a damn that I was in Head Of The Class, but when they know I was Ricky in Better Off Dead, they’re like 'Holy crap, man! You were Ricky.' They go crazy."
HIS EARLY START IN WRITING: "I actually wrote an episode of Head Of The Class. As a kid—I say as a kid, but I mean 21 or 22—I knew that actors on TV shows come and go. ... I used to write sketches. I loved David Letterman in the ’80s. I used to write Top 10 lists for him, and I faxed them in anonymously. I’m sure they threw them away."