At a time when the news cycle is dominated by the continuing trainwreck otherwise known as the Trump presidency, it is with great sadness, but much deserved respect, that we carve a little space for the news of actor Stephen Furst’s passing.
The 63-year-old actor died on Friday from complications of diabetes.
Furst, of course, is best known for his career-defining role as Kent Dorfman in National Lampoon’s Animal House. The overweight “loser, ” and “real zero” was nicknamed “Flounder” by fellow Delta fraternity brother, John “Bluto” Blutarsky, played by John Belushi.
It seemed the lovable Flounder could do nothing right. When his brother Fred lent him his brand new Lincoln for the weekend, he was talked into letting a few of his older Delta House brothers use the car for a “road trip.” After the car is predictably wrecked, Delta’s loverboy and president, Eric “Otter” Stratton, played by Tim Matheson, tells Dorfman the cold honest truth. “You fu-ked up, you trusted us.”
It is at that point, when Flounder begins sobbing over what to tell Fred, that brother Bluto offers-up one of the most memorable lines in the entire movie. Shoving a six-pack into Flounder’s stomach, Bluto utters the immortal words: “My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.”
Perhaps one of the more repeated lines from the film is how Faber College’s Dean Wormer referred to Dorfman after informing him of his failing grades.
“Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son,” said Wormer, who went on to inform Flounder and a few of his fluncking Delta brothers that if they didn’t leave campus “Monday morning,” the local draft board would be informed of their eligibility for military service. It was at that point Flounder threw up in front of Dean Wormer. No, as brother Donald “Boon” Schoenstein, played by Peter Reigert, reminded Dorfman … “you threw up on Dean Wormer.”
As Animal House aficionados know, neither Dorfman nor any of his screwball Delta brothers are expelled from Faber. We learn Flounder goes on to become a sensitivity trainer later in life.
In announcing his death, Furst’s family wrote:
To truly honor him, do not cry for the loss of Stephen Furst. But rather, enjoy memories of all the times he made you snicker, laugh, or even snort to your own embarrassment. He intensely believed that laugher is the best therapy, and he would want us to practice that now.
With all that is going on in our politics these days, laughter is needed more than ever.
Photos | ew.com; nydailynews.com