Brainwaves: Everybody Wants a Piece of the Action!
Welcome action fans to a special edition of Brainwaves.
Earlier this week, David Letterman retired as a late night talk show host after a 30+ year career. Letterman even surpassed his hero, the iconic Johnny Carson, in terms of longevity. One of the segments that Dave popularized during his run in late night was the Top Ten list.
As an homage of sorts, I decided to share a Top Ten list of my own…
Top Ten People You Probably Never Knew Were in an Action Movie
10. Jay Leno – Who better to start my list off with than a former late night rival of Letterman, Jay Leno. Leno along with Pat Morita starred in the 1989 film, Collision Course. Leno plays a Detroit cop who teams up with a Japanese investigator to track down a stolen prototype supercharger. The film also starred such notable names as Chris Sarandon (Fright Night), Tom Noonan (Robocop 2) and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters).
9. Shadoe Stevens – Shadoe was really the inspiration for me compiling this list. When Matt Spector came to me a while back saying he wanted to review the movie Traxx for the site, I asked him who the star was and he told me Shadoe Stevens?!? I was taken aback. I knew Shadoe’s work growing up in the 1980’s from the American Top 40 Countdown on the radio and his work on Hollywood Squares but I never knew he was in an action movie! Shadoe became the first actor to actually post a comment on one of our reviews, he even shared a link to a re-edited version of the 1988 cult classic Traxx that you can check out by clicking here!
8. Shaggy – Another recent review on the site had me make another startling discovery. Mr. Boombastic himself, Shaggy has one acting credit to his name and that was in the Eddie Griffin action flick known as Blast.
7. Wyclef Jean – While we are talking musicians… a recent scan of upcoming movies on one of my favorite channels, Encore Action, I found that Wyclef is in the 2002 action flick, Shottas. And that was not his only action movie to date. He was also in a film called Black November that was based on a true story… that one is just asking to be a future True Action post!
6. Pitbull – Miami’s own Pitbull plays himself in the 2012 action movie, Blood Money. So that’s what he does when he’s not writing the official theme to the 2014 FIFA World Cup or performing at half time shows.
5. John Ratzenberger – The know it all mailman from Cheers and voice of many a Pixar movie does have some action credits in his filmography. Ratzenberger had small roles in Superman The Movie, Superman II and The Empire Strike Back.
4. Audra Lindley – Yes, Mrs. Roper was in an action movie. Lindley was in Jean-Claude Van Damme’s 1995 movie, Sudden Death. While she didn’t last long in that movie, it was still longer than her Three’s Company spin-off The Ropers.
3. Mario Lopez – I guess if Cody from Step by Step can star in three Kickboxer sequels, it only makes sense that Bayside High’s own A.C. Slater could dabble in the world of action entertainment. Lopez starred in the 2002 action flick, Outta Time.
2. Robert Englund – Like most of you, when I hear the name Robert Englund I immediately think Freddy Krueger. But, aside from his iconic role in the Nightmare on Elm Street series and other horror films, Englund has done some action in his career. In fact, in one of his earliest roles in the movie St. Ives, Englund plays a hood that gets the crap kicked out of him by Charles Bronson!
1. Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones – As a huge fan of Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo, I am ashamed of myself for not knowing that “Shabba-Doo” was in the 1995 action movie Steel Frontier. And if you have a very keen eye, you’ll notice he has a small role in Tango & Cash too!
So what does this list teach us? I can’t speak for you but it teaches me that the British glam rock band Sweet was correct when they sang that everybody wants a piece of the action. Whether they are a comedian, talk show host, radio DJ, musician, sitcom star, horror movie icon or breakdancer they have all been a part, at least in a small way, of action entertainment history.