Director Bob Clark and his son were both killed today by a drunk driver in Los Angeles. The driver wasn’t just drunk — he was also driving without a license. Tragic and senseless.
Clark’s early work includes the first two Porky’s movies and the 1974 horror classic Black Christmas, which was recently the subject of a remake. (Howard Stern has also been working on an updated version of Porky’s.) He directed Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton in Rhinestone and also helmed Turk 182!, an ’80s cult classic starring Timothy Hutton, Kim Cattrall and Robert Urich. More recently he did the Baby Geniuses movies.
My favorite Bob Clark movie is one of my favorite movies, period: A Christmas Story. Witty, weird and totally charming, it’s scene-for-scene one of the great American classics. Clark also directed its sequel, My Summer Story (aka It Runs in the Family), in 1994. Not many people have seen it, including me. I’ll be remedying that as soon as I can, and I hate that something like this had to happen for me to get in gear and finally watch it. Both films were based on the works of the late, great Jean Shepherd, who narrated both (and also provided the voice of Santa in the first). In fact, my friend Bob and I were just talking about Bob Clark a few nights ago, which makes this all the more sad and surreal.
So thank you, Bob Clark, for sharing your gift with a world that can always use a laugh. You’ll live on forever through your work.