'Ferris Bueller's Day Off': Echoes in pop culture

March 8, 2013 

■ After playing at the introduction of Cameron's father's "so choice" 1961 Ferrari GT California, Yello's Oh Yeah became audio shorthand for anything desirable in films, TV and commercials including Michael J. Fox's The Secret of My Success, The Simpsons and Glee.

■ The 1960s hits Danke Schoen by Wayne Newton and Twist and Shout by The Beatles were revived for a new generation by their use in iconic scenes in Ferris Bueller, including the over-the-top parade scene. It is safe to say a lot of people probably remember Matthew Broderick lip-syncing Twist and Shout more than any Beatles performance of the tune.

■ Two bands named themselves after the film: ska purveyors Save Ferris, named after the slogan championed by schoolkids who thought Ferris was really very sick, and rockers Rooney, named after relentless principal Ed Rooney.

Ferris Bueller spawned two 1990 TV shows. It directly inspired NBC's Ferris Bueller starring Charlie Schlatter as Ferris and a relatively unknown Jennifer Aniston as his sister Jeannie. And it clearly inspired Fox's Parker Lewis Can't Lose, starring Corin Nemec as a smart-alecky teen who talks to the camera. Ferris was canceled after 13 episodes, and Parker ran three seasons, the last simply titled Parker Lewis.

■ Ben Stein is now known as a conservative pundit, but people became aware of him as a teacher in Ferris and for his marvelous delivery of one word, over and over: "Bueller? Bueller?" Really, more than 25 years after its release, many of the film's stars including Broderick and Alan Ruck, who played mopey best friend Cameron, say their Ferris parts were their signature roles.

■ Broderick and late director John Hughes publicly discussed possible sequels placing Ferris in college or as a young professional, but none emerged. Broderick himself starred in a Ferris-inspired TV commercial for Honda during the 2012 Super Bowl. Broderick calls in sick and then has a big day in a Honda CR-V, all to the soundtrack of ... you guessed it, Oh Yeah.

■ The movie had been out only a few days when I saw it, but we already knew not to leave until after the credits because of the scene afterward. Many movies have since offered a post-credits tag, but Ferris was one of the first, and definitely most popular.

RICH COPLEY, rcopley@herald-leader.com

SOURCES: Published reports

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