Pop Culture Junkette

Addicted to pop culture.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Tom Hanks, A Great American

Ever since Bosom Buddies, I have been a Tom Hanks fan. (I haven't seen an episode of the sitcom since 1982, and I can't imagine it would still stand up, but when you are 10 years old, it was good stuff.) Since then, he has become a megastar in some films I really liked (Philadelphia, Apollo 13) and some not so much (Forrest Gump being exhibit A). (He also appeared on the Love Boat even before Bosom Buddies and had a great recurring role on Family Ties as Mrs. Keaton's younger and very troubled brother.) I have not seen his latest opus, and I don't think I'm missing a whole lot. Regardless, he is a very talented actor, who rarely makes a very bad decision regarding his career.

He also just turned 50, and what is he doing to celebrate, you ask? Why doing a tour of baseball stadiums across the U.S. As ESPN.com explains, he has already visited Camden Yards in Baltimore, PNC Park in Pittsburgh (a fantastic ballpark--if you are a baseball fan, you really must visit it), and, last night, he, Ron Howard, and Dennis Miller (Dennis Miller?) were at the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati (one of the few I have yet to visit). There are still more parks Hanks plans to hit on this trip although he won't say where he is showing up next.

He has strong baseball roots--as a kid he sold peanuts and soda at the ballpark then known as the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. I attended my first ball game there in 1975, but Hanks had probably already moved on to bigger things so I can't claim he sold me my first bag of peanuts (or perhaps I could!). As someone who has visited 29 ballparks, with Mrs. Bartender up to 20 and Isaac, Jr., already at 4 at less than 3 months of age, all I can say is, "Tom, I hope to see you at the game."

Update: Tom Hanks and Ron Howard are currently enjoying this afternoon's White Sox-Tigers game at Comerica. If they can hold off, I will be at the Jake in Cleveland next Saturday, but I have a feeling they will be back in CA by then.



Blogger Laura Holt said...

Bosom Buddies is actually still pretty funny. I caught some random repeats recently and enjoyed it almost as much as I did when I was young.

I really wish Tom would take a break from the big, serious movies and do a nice comedy. It's been too long since he's been in anything that's laugh out loud funny, and he always had great timing. For instance, I remember Volunteers very fondly.

7/20/2006 11:28 AM  
Blogger Red Fraggle said...

And I really did love him in A League of their Own.

I have been to Great American Ballpark in Cincinatti--definitely worth a visit.

7/20/2006 11:52 AM  
Blogger Sally-Anne said...

I was telling someone just this weekend about his guest role on Family Ties! I shall be forever haunted by the spectre of his alcoholic character chugging the vanilla extract from the Keaton family pantry.

7/20/2006 1:49 PM  
Blogger Isaac, your bartender said...

I'm glad to hear that Bosom Buddies still is pretty funny. One of these days, I may have to watch a few episodes. And if I remember the Hanks/Family Ties thing directly, he appeared twice as Uncle Ned, once when he was drunk and the other time when he'd embezzled money from his company, I think. "The eagle has landed; the fat man walks alone."

7/20/2006 2:49 PM  
Blogger Red Fraggle said...

If he's at the Jake this weekend, Gobo might see him!

7/20/2006 4:05 PM  
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