Respect the Weasel: 20 Years of Pauly Shore

The world has now endured Pauly Shore for more than two decades, as his comedy Encino Man inches closer to its 20th anniversary, released in May 1992. Let that sink in, old-timers. I have always seen the movie more as a documentary on how Hollywood discovered Brendan Fraser rather than a tale about some teens who discover a radical caveman in their backyard.

In his wake would come folks like Ashton Kutcher, Jack Black, Jamie Kennedy and Seth Green as pop-culture's pseudo-hipster oddballs, as Shore's film roles began to dry up and he focused on smaller appearances and stand-up work. But still, for my money, you can't beat his lingo and catch phrases. No one beats those. How can someone beat "weezing the juice" or his predilection for choice nugs, chillin' and grindage, bud-dy? I submit that no one can or ever will.

And here's the fun part: I have seen all of these legendary films at the movie theater. I paid to see them, and could maybe even produce ticket stubs if I tried.

Every Shore movie had these main things in common: Shore as the lovable outsider going up against hard-ass authority figures who grow to love him, plus a nasty female lead pressed up against a sweetheart of a girl. Almost always Shore would be vindicated or win the girl and the day. A lot of animal play, and each flick had its share of drug use, but it was never expressly seen, making the movies still sort-kinda-maybe kid-friendly.

Encino Man

The film that started it all for Shore, besides his MTV appearance and smaller roles in Lost Angels and 18 Again! , and of course For Keeps. Stoney and Dave find a frozen Brendan Fraser in their backyard and turn him into a high school hero, without a few problems from bully Michael DeLuise. You can spy Rose McGowan in the cast somewhere too.

Son In Law

As terminal college student Crawl, Shore must accompany his friend and righteous-Betty-with-sweet-nugs Becca, played by Carla Gugino, to meet her corn-fed family. There is a lot of barnyard humor, and at one point someone drugs Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. Also notable for Patrick Renna's turn as the ginger younger brother. You more than likely know him as Ham from The Sandlot, but you probably know him as pro wrestler "The Great Hambino."

In The Army Now

Was this a veiled push by the U.S. Army to get enlistment numbers up, or just an excuse to shave Shore and co-star Andy Dick's heads for fun? It was sort of like Stripes on whippets. I enjoyed this movie above maybe all other Shore flicks because of the twin talents of Lori Petty and Fabiana Udenio, who you may remember as the hot foreign chick in every film in the late '80s and early '90s.

Jury Duty

Shore's Tommy Collins has to serve jury duty on a high-profile court case à la the O.J. Simpson trial, which was still in progress at the time of the film's release. This one gets lost in the Shore shuffle, though, which is unfortunate, seeing that it features a fun role from Stanley Tucci and none other than Shelley Winters as Tommy's mother. Your hottie this time around is Tia Carrere, who is slumming after Wayne's World.


This was easily the most diverse of all the Shore-era films, centering on two stoners who get locked into the titular structure and must foil an evil renegade, William Atherton as a scientist. A pre-Jesus Stephen Baldwin plays himself -- basically -- and Henry Gibson comes around for a twinkle or two. Kylie Minogue is one of the love interests, and a pre-fame Tenacious D is seen playing an acoustic set in one of the college scenes. Yes, that's Joey Lauren Adams, a year from starring in Chasing Amy.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty