The other day on Facebook, Jody posted a link to this Think Geek T-Shirt:
My first thought was “Ooh!” My second thought was “Lazlo Hollyfeld…” Even in my brain it was a reverent whisper. Lazlo is never far from the front of my consciousness. Appearing, and disappearing, in Martha Coolidge’s epic love letter to smart people, Real Genius, Lazlo was one of the, if not THE, best peripheral characters in Slumber Party Movie history.
A former student at Cal Tech (oops, I mean Pacific Tech), Lazlo Hollyfeld was the star super-duper smart guy until the pressure of all that crushing academia, and the weight of his own impossibly-smart thoughts, imploded in a freak-out break-down so severe, it made this one look like the world’s tiniest foot stomp from a mildly annoyed titmouse:
A break-down that sent Lazlo scuttling about the labyrinth of tunnels beneath Cal (I mean Pacific) Tech, like a less-sexy Phantom of the Opera or a slightly more-sexy Gollum*, scamming the good folks at Frito Lay and serving as a walking, skulking cautionary tale to the super-duper smarteratti upper level dwellers. Sometimes literally, as in this scene where Lazlo softly hammers home the lesson we should all learn from Real Genius (which is either “just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should” or “lasers are bad”).
And then there was WHAT HAPPENED to Lazlo. What? No, he didn’t become Uncle Rico. You’re thinking about what happened to Jon Gries, not Lazlo Hollyfeld–which was kind of a surprise and kind of not, as long as you paid attention to the trail of smarties that Coolidge left for us. Fair warning. Don’t watch the following if you want to follow that trail for yourself:
Which leads to the real super-secret message of Real Genius. Smart guys get laid too.
* My complete list of every character in pop culture by order of sexiness will be posted soon after my oft-rescheduled nervous breakdown.