What People Said About Working With '80s Comedy Stars

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Vote up the best firsthand accounts of working with '80s comedy stars.

The 1980s were full of well-known comedies like Caddyshack, The Blues Brothers, and Armed and Dangerous that kick-started the careers of numerous comedic actors - or sent their careers into the box-office stratosphere. Opinions are mixed, however, about what it was like to work with them, either back in the '80s or in the following years.

Testimonials from fellow actors about John Candy, for example, focus on how caring and funny he was, but other famous '80s stars have reportedly been much less congenial. Funny on screen doesn't always translate to fun behind the scenes. Vote up the firsthand accounts of these performers that really leave an impression.

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  • Bradley Pierce was 13 years old while filming Jumanji with Robin Williams in 1995. In a 2020 interview with CBCListenPierce recalled Williams sticking up for him and the other young actors after they had spent a "really draining" week, eight hours a day, filming the monsoon scene in a rain tank.

    When producers asked the kids' parents if they could work overtime to finish the scene, Williams stepped in, Pierce said:

    [A]pparently he pulled the director and producers aside and said, "No we're not doing any extra time. You're gonna let everyone out of the pool now and we're going to be come back next week." For all the dollars that would have cost, nobody else could have stood up the way he did. In addition to being warm and generous and kind, he was also very protective of all of us. He told everyone, "We're done today, time to go home."

  • Eugene Levy Said John Candy 'Cared Deeply About People'
    Photo: Armed and Dangerous / Columbia Pictures

    Eugene Levy and John Candy worked on TV shows and in films together, including Armed and Dangerous and National Lampoon's Vacation. In a 2019 interview with the Canadian newspaper The Hamilton Spectatoractor Eugene Levy described his co-star and good friend:

    I loved John dearly... We were very, very close friends. I think I worked with John more than anybody else in TV, and on four or five movies. John was a lovely man, first of all, who cared deeply about people. And he was, I think, one of the most gifted comedic actors that honestly has ever been in the business. He made such an impact in his movies and people truly loved him... It always seems like John is still around. That's how much of an impact he made on your life, you know? You're still kind of waiting for a phone call.

  • Danny DeVito Said Robin Williams Made Him Laugh So Hard He Choked
    Photo: Death to Smoochy / Warner Bros. Pictures

    After they filmed 2002's Death to Smoochy together, Danny DeVito recalled co-star Robin Williams putting him in a hilarious but scary state:

    I’m not a great swimmer. I was in the deep end [of a pool] and he was holding court, and I never laughed so hard - I swallowed a big gulp of water and choked for five minutes. [After I was pulled out] everybody was laughing at me. It was pretty good. They did help me out of the pool. I don’t remember [the joke that made me laugh so hard]. He used to go off on rants. It could be airplanes, bicycles, anything. He was such a clown and I loved him for that.

  • Julia Roberts Said Tom Hanks 'Make You Feel Like There's A Reason You're On The Planet'
    Photo: Larry Crowne / Universal Pictures

    In 2009, the film society at the Lincoln Center recognized Tom Hanks with a gala night in New York. His co-star (Charlie Wilson's War, Larry Crowne) and friend Julia Roberts praised Hanks in a heartfelt speech:

    Tom can walk into any room and make you feel like you're in your living room, truly. Make you feel comfortable, make you feel like you have something interesting to contribute, make you feel like there's a reason you're on the planet. And that's a true gift. That isn't acting, and isn't, you know, dinner-party games; it's heart and it's compassion and it's soul. And he has that.

  • Priscilla Presley Said Leslie Nielsen Once Pulled A Whoopee Cushion Prank On Her 
    Photo: The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear / Paramount Pictures

    In an essay for Entertainment Weekly, Priscilla Presley paid tribute to her The Naked Gun co-star and friend Leslie Nielsen, who passed from pneumonia complications in 2010.

    Presley recalled how nervous she was the first day on set, and what Nielsen did when she met him:

    Leslie walked over to me with his hand in his pocket and asked how I was doing. I began to tell him, but Leslie was looking around making a funny face like he was smelling something. Then I heard this disgusting sound coming from, of all people, Leslie! I didn't know how to react. He couldn't have... could he? He saw the look on my face and started laughing. He took his hand from his pocket and pulled out this gadget that he carried with him all the time... his whoopee cushion.

    That prank broke the ice to a friendship I will always cherish. You'd never know he was as old as he was because there was always a kid inside ready to play.

  • Carrie Fisher Said Dan Aykroyd Once Had To Perform The Heimlich Maneuver On Her  
    Photo: The Blues Brothers / Universal Pictures

    Carrie Fisher and Dan Aykroyd starred together in The Blues Brothers in 1980, and after an incident involving Brussels sprouts and the Heimlich maneuver, the two stars ended up engaged.

    Fisher recalled the mishap in 2011 at Dragon Con

    I almost choked on some kind of vegetable that I shouldn't have been eating: Brussels sprouts! So he had to give me the Heimlich maneuver. He saved my life, and then he asked me to marry him. And I thought... wow, what if that happens again? I should probably marry him.