Big Man On Campus

The video release of this teen comedy-originally titled The Hunchback of UCLA has been delayed so long that its jokes seem as medieval as its story. I mean, gags about Morton Downey Jr? Puh-leeze. The brainchild of longtime TV writer-producer Allan Katz (he’s had a hand in everything from Rhoda to Roseanne), Big Man on Campus also casts Katz as Bob Maloogaloogaloogaloogalo oga, a wretched hairball living in the university’s bell tower. Assigned as a project in socialization to wiseass student Corey Parker (thirtysomething), Bob learns reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic, and falls in unrequited love — it’s not unlike Edward Scissorhands, but with bad jokes instead of artistry. Parker does his usual unfunny Matthew Broderick imitation, and ace talents Jessica Harper and Cindy Williams are wasted once again. But Big Man does have one thing going for it, and that’s Katz himself. With little more than a fright wig, a hump, and splendid comic timing, he gives this movie the ridiculous energy it needs — until you realize that his character is essentially goofing on the homeless and mentally ill. Then the smile freezes on your face. D+

Big Man On Campus
  • Movie