5 Memorable Characters of Larry Hankin

Monday, May 24, 2021

I really enjoyed writing the feature last month about the "Five Memorable Roles" of character actor Ernie Sabella.  Based on the reception and website traffic, it appears many of you did, too! 

If you read my tribute to Mr. Sabella's career (which you can read by clicking HERE), you'd have read read that I enjoy watching the work of character actors over that of megastar leading actors or actresses.  There are many character actors whose work I enjoy, so, I decided to continue this series with another tribute to one of, if not my all-time, favorite character actors.    

His IMDB page reads like a list of television and film's greatest hits:  Laverne & Shirley, Family Ties, Days of Our Lives, Friends, Escape from Alcatraz, Billy Madison, Home Alone, Seinfeld, and many, many more.  This character actor has made a career out of leaving lasting impressions with just a few moments on screen and is easily one of the most recognizable "that guy" actors in Hollywood.  He can be hysterically funny or deadly serious. 

He's Larry Hankin.

When 90s Sitcoms Went to Disney World

Monday, May 3, 2021

Growing up, I was lucky enough to go to Walt Disney World fairly frequently. My Mom's parents lived near Lakeland, Florida, and we'd work in a visit to see Grandma and Grandpa for a day or two and then drive over to Orlando for the rest of the week at Disney World. It feels like we did that a lot growing up, close to once or twice a year until my brother and I became teenagers. Even though we never stayed "on property," we always had a lot of fun.  I remember my Mom buying the newest guide books every year and I'll always cherish the memories of my Dad and I spread out on the hotel room floor in some discount hotel in Kissimmee as we plotted out our day on the park maps inside those books.

Then our trips became sporadic, as my parents mixed in a few places that THEY wanted to go.  Then, of course, there was that last Disney trip as a family right before I went off to college.  My older brother had such a nasty sour attitude from not being able to spend his final spring break the way he wanted to that he ruined it for all of us.  Funny enough, though, if you ask him about it now, it was his favorite trip of all time and he doesn't remember being so moody.

My parents always emphasized the importance of vacations. They would always save their money to give us the experience and memories of vacation time rather than name-brand sneakers, frequent trips to the movie theater, or that big screen TV that some of our neighbors and friends would always have.  I've often thought back on all of those airplane rides and hotels in Orlando and figure it's one of the main reasons I've always wanted to be an airline pilot.  To be totally honest, I still get a kick out of landing in Orlando and seeing the happy faces of children and adults all decked out in Disney swag as they start their Disney vacation.  Of course, the group getting on the plane to go back home look run down and wore out, but that's half the fun of visiting Uncle Mickey and Aunt Minnie.  

My wife and I are still big Disney people.  We've gone several times since meeting back in 2004, including squeezing a quick visit to the Magic Kingdom at the end of our honeymoon when our cruise ended early.  We're eagerly looking forward to taking our Mickey Mouse-obsessed daughter to meet them in person when she's old enough to remember it.  

When we were home, I was also a kid who watched a lot of television and I was excited to notice a trend amongst the Friday night TGIF sitcoms of the 90s.  

Eventually, they went to Disney World.