Tuesday, April 20
Wonder Years go on in actor's basement.
For the past 13 years, Stern has retreated to the basement of his Encino home once a week to narrate his own versions of Kevin Arnold's continuing life.
Even though there's no more footage of the show available, Stern uses publicity photos of Fred Savage, Olivia D'Abo, Jason Hervey, Dan Lauria, and the rest of the Wonder Years cast as inspiration for the new personal tales. Stern spends about 2 hours 'prep time' to get his narration set up, and records each 'story' on tape for posterity.
"I use this old reel-to-reel tape recorder I bought at a Reseda garage sale back in '89." Stern elaborated. "It really gives me the nostalgic emotion I need to keep on narrating. Just one look at this old-timer, and well, I'm back at 516 University Avenue in Burbank." A small tear glistened at the edge of his eye.
"It's funny, because, now it's like 1989, Kevin's 31, and he's dating again. The whole marriage-to-a-porn-star isn't what it's cracked up to be. I suppose in some way, he still pines for Winnie Cooper, even though she's a lesbian who has crazy-bondage sex with Russian mail-order brides. And he's still a Jets fan living in LA, which doesn't make any sense. But I kept that. For continuity. "
Stern described 2001's killing off of older brother Wayne as one of his favorite 'episodes'. "It was like sweet, sweet revenge for Kevin." Wayne Arnold, who went on to become a pedophile serial rapist in Stern's robust imagination, was brutally murdered by one of his previous molestation victims. "The guy tortured him for, like, days on end. Bamboo in the urethra, stuff like that." Stern giggled enthusiastically.
Stern says he's not worried that his material might be considered "off-tone" for the nostalgic, homey bent of the ABC series. "So Paul Pfieffer is a horse-hung swinger now, so what? Like that couldn't happen if the show continued? I've taken this show in new directions that the suits at ABC wouldn't have dared! Dared!"
Stern, best known for his roles in high-profile comedies Home Alone and City Slickers, has had some more time on his hands lately, especially since his last project, Bachelor Party Vegas, went straight to video.
Stern said he hopes that perhaps his material could be utilized in a future Wonder Years reunion show.
"That would be boss."
And there it was.
at 11:14 PM