While combing through social media this morning, I realized that I missed a celebrity birthday yesterday.
76 years ago, on November 17, 1944, Danny Devito was born in beautiful and scenic Neptune Township, NJ.
Danny has been acting for over 5 decades, and I would say his crossover success makes him a household name… My kids recognize him from Jumanji and Matilda, everybody at Barstool blows him for his work in It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and old people (like me and Rear Admiral) remember him from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and Taxi.
I will say this about It's 'Always Sunny' which fans should recognize… Devito saved that show's life.
The first season had such low ratings that FX mandated the producers get a "name" actor or the network would walk away. Danny stepped into the role of Frank Reynolds, and the show's ratings immediately rose.
Here are a couple of other Double D facts…
- He is one of the Executive Producers of Pulp Fiction.
- His television production company produced Reno 911!
- He once was a voice-over in My Little Pony.
- The reason My Little Danny is only 4 feet, 10 inches tall is that he has something called Fairbank's disease, also called multiple epiphyseal dysplasia (MED), which is a genetic bone growth disorder.
- Over 60,000 people signed a petition to have him play the rebooted Wolverine character in the MCU movies with many fans citing Devito's natural height is closer to the 5' 3" Wolverine from the X-Men comics.
Now, here's the reason I am writing this blog…
Who do you think of when I say "Hollywood actor that has grown old gracefully"?
I just posed that question to 11 people in this room and I got 6 different answers (the only dupes were 5 Paul Rudds and 2 George Clooneys).
Not one person mentioned Danny Devito.
Here's Danny in 1978 playing the role of dispatcher Louie DePalma in the ABC sitcom TAXI…
Here's Danny 42 years later…
Comparatively, here's Paul Rudd in 1978…
You see my point here?… Because I am not sure I do, TBH.
But I think I am trying to say we often confuse "growing old gracefully" with "staying handsome"… And, as a result, we recognize wiccans like Rudd, Clooney, and Stamos as the Rosetta Stones for getting old.
Whereas, what I am trying to convey is that all of the diet, exercise, and human sacrifices that it takes for Elizabeth Hurley to remain so Elizabeth Hurley'ish might not be worth the effort compared to that of Danny Devito who has been operating at a VERY mediocre level for a VERY long time and seems like he is having more fun than Rudd, Clooney, Stamos, and Hurley combined… You can even throw in a perpetually handsome (but also perpetually hungry) Rob Lowe in that pile of frustrated sexy also.
Sure, being Ant-Man is cool… Owning Casamigos Tequila is profitable… Not being the "fat one" at the Full House reunion is wonderful… Posting bikini shots taken by your effeminate son is… Well… It's different, but also very cool, I guess.
But there is a TREMENDOUS amount of fasts… and boot camps… and coffee enemas… and pilates classes involved with all those situations.
Danny has been Danny since birth, and from the looks of it, it looks like the journey has been fantastic. And the only price of admission has been that he not die.
I'll sum up.
So if you are fashioning your life after Marissa Tomei's ability to fight off Father Time, I wish you nothing but the best of luck.
But when you feel like giving up, you can always find me coasting into my salad years at the bar wearing a rubber bracelet, proudly embossed with the letters WWDDD.
Happy belated, and take a report.