It’s hard to say how lucky we are to have John Goodman. An interesting fact I have just learned that I share now with you is that he missed the draft for Vietnam by being twelve pounds overweight . . . because the physical measured him at six feet tall, not his actual height of 6’2″. Think about that a minute. An error of two inches on the Army’s part. They told him to lose the weight and come back, and by the time he lost the weight, the draft was over. Between that and his addiction, we could easily have lost his presence in our lives, in one case before we even had it.
Apparently, John Goodman was a lonely child. His father died when he was young, and he was teased in school for being overweight. He was two when his father died; his younger sister was not yet born, and his older brother was sixteen. His brother left for college. Young John was involved in the Boy Scouts, at least in part in search of father figures. He played football and did some acting. He went to college on a football scholarship and got his degree in fine arts. An injury prevented his football career and probably cinched his career as an actor.
And my goodness what a career. Obviously Roseanne, but there’s so much else to talk about beyond that. Only Steve Buscemi ties him for Coens films, with six. (Wikipedia says five, but they’re missing Hudsucker Proxy, and Buscemi only ties if you count Paris je t’aime.) One hopes they’ll write a nice, juicy role for him that will finally win him an Oscar, really. Because beyond his work for them we have about ninety other movies, in all of which to my knowledge he’s done good, steady, serious work. Even the movies that didn’t deserve it.
A lot of the time, it’s good, steady, serious voicework. He’s done multiple movies for both Disney and Pixar. He’s been Santa in both a Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer movie and an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. And The Year Without a Santa Claus. And Futurama. He was the yellow M&M for a while. He was on Father of the Pride, a show I know one person who’s actually seen. There are quite a few movies in there that will be classics in time, I believe.
I’ll be perfectly honest, here—I’m not sure I’d want Dan Connor as my dad. I’ve never really cared for that show, particularly. But I wouldn’t mind John Goodman as my dad, from what I know, especially since he’s gotten sober. John Goodman has done several things over the years to improve his health. I hope this means he’ll live to get his well-deserved Oscar. He’s one of the few people I know who can go from genial to threatening on a dime, and he can fill everything in between just as well.