Normally I have a very sweet disposition around children and can usually find a way to relate to them on some level, being an overgrown child of 31 myself. However, there are some kids–the bad seeds–that do their level best to annoy the crap out of me, to the point where I can’t help but fantasize about introducing them to my fist. Of course I would never do that, but if entertaining the idea makes me a horrible person, so be it. Also, hi, are you new here?
In the meantime I’ll safely take out my frustrations on the kids who annoyed me in the movies and TV shows I grew up watching. Here’s five child stars from the 80s who played the roles of bastard kids I want to punch in the face!
#5 – Billy Lombardo
It’s a shame Billy Lombardo quit acting after 1986’s The Money Pit, he was so good at playing the precocious teen pop star “Benny,” who, according to his manager Walter (Tom Hanks) was Billboard’s Artist of the Year. Benny himself, who last year alone sold a million records! His exchange with Walter is brief but easily one of the funniest scenes in the movie. Having more money than he knows what to do with, Benny spends his days lounging around his mansion while chicks wait for him in the Jacuzzi, berating servants, and getting waited on hand and foot by his mother–who is also his maid. His outright refusal to loan Walter money and subsequent temper tantrum that would make a 2-year-old proud reveals a spoiled-rotten but insecure little boy who could have benefited from a severe ass-kicking. This is not too far off from what I image Justin Bieber’s home life is like.
#4 – Emily Schulman
Small Wonder was a show FULL of kids I wanted to punch in the face, but the clear frontrunner was pesky next door neighbor Harriet Brindle, played by Emily Schulman. Twenty-four years later, I still can’t figure out how they were able to get her hair to look like a perfect bowl with two pigtails coming out of it, and sometimes still think about how if you chopped them off she’d totally look like a boy. Why do I still think about these things? That’s the real small wonder.
#3 – Jason Hervey
Jason Hervey is a pro at playing kids I want to punch in the face. Most memorable for his role as the obnoxious Wayne in The Wonder Years, he lived to torment younger brother Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) and welcomed every opportunity to ruin his life. However, his most punch-in-the-face-worthy role for me was in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure where he plays a child star (so meta!) named Kevin Morton in the midst of shooting what appears to be a heartwarming movie about a sweet, young orphan boy finding his parents–but when the camera stops rolling he unleashes a world of shit on poor director Jerry and his co-stars. His on-set meltdown is what I assume working with most child stars is like, and kind of makes me think hitting kids isn’t so bad. You don’t have to tell me I’d make an awesome mom.
#2 – Miko Hughes
Miko Hughes is another actor whose early career has included multiple bastard child roles, all of them worthy of a cold-cock. Most famously, Hughes was fond of pointing out that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina; arguably the most important takeaway from Kindergarten Cop. If you were a Full House fan, you might remember him as Aaron Bailey, the brattiest of Michelle’s school friends. At least in Pet Semetary you could claim self-defense as there are few things more threatening than a creepy baby returning from the grave with a vengeance and a really big knife.
#1 – Michael Oliver
Okay so Problem Child is from 1990, but my list would not be complete without Michael Oliver, better known as “Junior.” A poster child for red-headed stepchildren everywhere, the mere sight of him makes me want to plant my fist right in the middle of his ugly, freckled face. I can’t be alone in my irrational hatred, can I? Even though we’re kind of supposed to hate him, it’s gotta be a tough break for Michael Oliver, who’ll forever be known as that bastard kid from Problem Child. That kind of notoriety does things to a man.
Case in point:
If you never ask me to babysit your kids after this, I’ll completely understand.