“Fast Times At Ridgemont High!” Why Jeff Spicoli Is High School’s Greatest Hit To The Head!


“Hey, Bud, Let’s Party!”

One of cinema’s greatest one-liners captured perfectly an age when growing up meant hanging out in a suburban shopping mall, trying desperately to impress a girl – or at least get high and cruise through life:


It was a time when getting high led to only one thing:

[Spicoli, talking on the phone, hits his head with a shoe]
Jeff Spicoli: That was my skull! I’m so wasted!

Time to celebrate one of the greatest movies ever about growing up in America…


“Fast Times At Ridgemont High”!

This 1982 film launched the movie careers of many of its young stars, and is one of the best comedies about the angst of growing up in America there has ever been!

“Fast Times At Ridgemont High” was directed by Amy Heckerling, who went on to make the classic teen comedy “Clueless” – she really knew how to capture the humor, warmth, angst and confusion of these “Times” in our lives…


The Movie Is Based On A True Story!

Writer/Director Cameron Crowe actually wrote the book – when he went back to school for a year in order write the real story of students at a high school in Southern California.

The resulting movie is an 80’s classic, introducing us to one of cinema’s most hilarious stoners – first, check out the trailer:


“Hey, Bud, let’s party!”

Sean Penn has never been better as Jeff Spicoli, who is always stoned and hilariously funny! , and the cast include Judge Reinhold, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and a very young Forest Whitaker…


It was also Nicolas Cage’s first film appearance…but it is perhaps Phoebe Cates who made film history thanks to one iconic dream sequence:


The Bikini Shot Heard Around The World!

Phoebe Cates admitted she was nervous to shoot this scene, but it has become an iconic movie moment.

This legendary scene begins when Phoebe Cates and Jennifer Jason Leigh are hanging out by the pool – and when Judge Reinhold comes home from work and goes to the bathroom, he begins to fantasize about Cates – who calls out to him as she gets out of the pool, before removing her top…


That fantasy leads to the moment in real life when she accidentally walks in on him masturbating to her!


“Jeez! Doesn’t anyone fucking knock any more?”

According to IMDB, Reinhold secretly had a dildo in his hand, so Phoebe’s shocked and disgusted reaction was real!

It’s a cringeworthy moment to be sure but that said, it’s also one of the funniest films ever, thanks to this guy!


Meet Jeff Spicoli!

Without a doubt, the most legendary character in the film is Jeff Spicoli!

As IMDB says:

“during shooting of the film, Sean Penn got so into character that he only answered as Spicoli. In fact, the door on his dressing room was labeled “Spicoli” instead of ‘Sean Penn’!”


Spicoli meets his match in Mr. Hand, plays beautifully by Ray Walston, who had a long career in movies and TV. Here is how they meet:

Jeff Spicoli: Hey, you’re ripping my card.
Mr. Hand: Yes.
Jeff Spicoli: Hey bud, what’s your problem?
Mr. Hand: No problem at all. I think you know where the front office is.
Jeff Spicoli: [stunned] You dick!


Here’s more from IMDB:

Ray Walston was at the time, best known for his role as Uncle Martin on My Favorite Martian (1963). Unfortunately Walston, like many actors of that era, was typecast in the role and couldn’t book serious roles until the decade ended. Walston said that after the release of this film, he’d be walking down the street and young people would see him and shout “Mr. Hand!”. Walston was grateful for that, as it finally meant that he had torn away from being only associated with playing Uncle Martin.


Even their relationship ends on a warm high note…”Fast Times At Ridgmont High” is one of the greatest “growing up” movies ever…

“Superbad” is another hilarious look at life in high school, and you can see the trailer and find out more about “McLovin'” as well – just click here:

Cameron Crowe

Crowe would go on to direct his own films, including “Jerry Maguire” and the autobiographical film about his own life, “Almost Famous.”


“Almost Famous” is one of the best films about the impact that music has on young people – and captures a great time in music history – because Crowe wrote for Rolling Stone as a teenager! See more here:


Also, why not subscribe and never miss out? It’s easy, and there are NO ads of any kind, just stuff I like, so click on the main page and “follow” me on the upper right!


Thanks so much for reading! If you liked this, please share on social media!

Let me know your favorite moments from “Fast Times!”


Categories: Art, Books / Media, Classic Rock, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Hollywood, Memoirs, Movies, Pop Culture, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

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18 replies

  1. Not a film I have watched and yes a very young Forest Whitaker…I am currently watching him in the Godfather of Harlem ..a fine actor 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mr. Hand was a pretty funny character in that movie. Wasn’t every teenage boy in love with Phoebe Kates?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t seen this movie in ages. Great post, John.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I loved that movie so much


  5. Sean Penn was very famous when I was young, John, but I have not seen this particular film.

    Liked by 1 person

    • His performance is one of the greatest comedic roles ever…really worth a watch…based on the NON_fiction book by Cameron Crowe, who went on to write and direct “Jerry Maguire” and others…funny film that is also serious at times…the real life of an 80’s high school student in “the valley” in LA…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It was and still is one of the funniest movies ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My stepdaughters (before Julie and I were married) were watching that on DVD one day, maybe 18 years ago. I sat down to watch it with them, but then had to go shopping with Julie. I think I only saw about 20 minutes of it, but they loved it.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Lisa’s Week In Review: 5/24/21 — 5/30/21 | Through the Shattered Lens

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