Happy Birthday, Farmer Ted

Greetings, fellow trackers.

Another day, another day closer.

Time is weird that way, huh? I know we’ve talked about the passage of time a lot in recent days, but man, it really does zoom along.

Years and decades race right by us, and before we know it, nearly 40 years have passed.

And during that time, so many of the films and shows from more youthful days have come full circle. (Yep, my daughters watch a lot of those same throwback shows with me, seemingly hanging on every line of dialogue.)

There are certainly several different gems to choose from, and anytime you’re enjoying stories that cross over generations, that’s something pretty special.

We’ve all got our favorites, but there’s one that just seems to get better with age. And incredibly, and when the calendar reads 2024 in a few short weeks, this classic will turn 40.

Yeah, I think that it’s fair to say that Sixteen Candles (1984) holds up for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the brilliant capturing of the teenage experience.

Thanks to the vision of the late, great John Hughes (1950-2009), the auteur of so many other teen-focused masterpieces (including The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Pretty in Pink), Hughes’ Sixteen Candles covers nearly every aspect of those at-times-awkward high school days, capturing it all in just a little more than 90 minutes.

Hughes, who lived in the suburbs of Chicago during his teenage years, often fashioned characters based on his own life experience. And he certainly gave us more than a few memorable ones.

Let’s see…

We’ve got:

  1. SAMANTHA BAKER (Molly Ringwald) – High school sophomore Sam, who pines for Jake, a senior and the ultra-popular big man on campus, must also deal with the fact that her entire family has forgotten her 16th birthday.
  2. JAKE RYAN (Michael Shoeffling) – The benevolent alpha male, Jake ultimately surprises us all with his own idealistic notions of true love.
  3. CAROLINE MULFORD (Haviland Morris) – Jake’s longtime girlfriend and consummate party girl, Caroline reminds us that popularity does occasionally make room for an anomaly.
  4. THE GEEK (Anthony Michael Hall) – Last name-less “Farmer” Ted, the interloper, the wannabe, “The Geek,” who finds himself in various social situations, all to simply hilarious ends. (Hands down, The Geek is my ‘fave. In fact, he’s probably one of my most-beloved film characters ever.)

So, if it has been a while since you last saw this comedic classic, you owe yourself a repeat viewing. And if by chance, you’ve never seen it, you’re in for a treat.

Before we wish each other adieu for the night, please join me in offering some 40th birthday wishes to the aforementioned Farmer Ted and the entire Sixteen Candles cast.

Hey, nothing wrong with being a little ahead of schedule, right? (-:

Until tomorrow,


@Copyright 2023 by John L. Fischer


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