No, I wasn’t drunk while writing this – though it may have helped! While it’s true there’s nothing funny about an alcoholic or alcohol addiction, it’s also true that being inebriated makes for some truly funny movie moments. I’ve chosen my favorite ‘booze hound’ films – where at least one character contributed much to the comedy color of the film – all because they were as drunk as a skunk.
Urban dictionary defines a booze hound thusly: “a person known for their uncommonly large alcohol consumption and the ability to function there after.”
If you’re filthy rich, why not be filthy drunk all the time. Lovable lush Arthur (Dudley Moore) boozes his way through one of the more playful roles in Hollywood history. His love interest Linda (Liza Minelli) meets his comic timing note for note, and by the time the credits roll, we’re hoping we can all go along on the honeymoon. This classic is being remade with brash comic Russel Brand in the lead. I wish him luck, but something tells me nobody will ever replace Dudley Moore as Arthur.
This is a scifi mutant bug flick – as humongous radioactive ants terrorize a city – however, it contains a gem of a booze hound scene. While questioning a pilot hospitalized after almost careening into “giant flying ants”, our lead characters encounter a real booze hound. This old timer (Olin Howlin) also appeared in the 1950’s classic The Blob. He wasn’t a booze hound in the Steve McQueen sci-fi thriller, but played the old man who became the Blob’s first snack. His comic demand of, “Make me a sergeant in charge of the booze! Make me a sergeant in charge of the booze!”, is almost as memorably fun as the big ants themselves.
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
Is Captain Kirk a booze hound, or a romance hound? Here, Counselor Deanna Troi gets so rip roaring drunk, she barely remembers why she got liquored up in the first place. While the adventure is loaded up with cool Borg, seeking to assimilate all of humanity, the scene with Riker (Jonathan Frakes), warp drive father Zephram Cochrane (James Cromwell) and Marina Sirtis as completely boozed up Troi steals the show. Frakes directed this memorable romp – my favorite Next Generation movie – and it’s clear he’s having a hell of a good time as he puts his co-star Sirtis through her inebriated paces.
Miracle On 34th Street (1947)
Santa Claus a booze hound? No, not real Santa, Macy’s fake Santa. When Edmund Gwenn encounters this boozy, jolly old elf, our memorable trip on 34th street begins. It’s nothing short of a miracle in conclusion. Without Macy’s first choice being a booze hound, the real Santa would never have been able to replace him and teach everyone – including co-stars Natalie Wood and Maureen O’Hara – just what it means to have a truly miraculous Christmas.