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John Goodman


  1. Joe Piscopo, Saturday Night Live, TV, 1980-1981.   Auditioned the The Not Ready For Prime-Time Players in the “so-bad-it's-horrible” 1980-1981 season - under Jean Doumanian.Goodman never really needed SNL. He became a top character star instead.
  2. Thomas Arana, Radio Flyer, 1991.   For $5m, helmer Richard Donner re-wrote and re-cast it on replacing the quickly dropped director David M Evans. Didn't   help!   The $41m concoction made $3.3m in two weeks.
  3. John Candy, JFK, 1991.
  4. Robin Williams, Aladdin, 1991.     Disney’s voice choices for the blue Genie included Goodman, Albert Brooks, John Candy, Matt Frewer, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Martin Short… As if anyone could match Williams’ dazzling 16 hours of improv. (So much ad-lib finished on screen, the toon was denied any adapted script Oscar nomination!). In typical whirlwind of manic brilliance (at union scale!), Williams used everyone from Ethel Merman to Groucho Marx, William F Buckley to Carol Channing, Schwarzenegger to De Niro!   “Good but not great,” noted Chicago critic Roger Ebert, “with the exception of the Robin Williams sequences, which have a life and energy all their own.” Indeed.
  5. Rene Russo, Lethal Weapon 3, 1992.   Well, she sure looked better! The switch was not by director Richard Donner but his clever   producer-wife,   Lauren Schuler-Donner.
  6. Dan Akyroyd, Chaplin, 1992.    Asked to be Mack Sennett but John   was still tied to TV's Roseannne.
  7. Jon Lovitz, National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon I, 1993.   Having lost the original, Goodman was hardly interested in the send-up.
  8. Tom Hanks, Forest Gump, 1995.   Author and scenarist Winston Groom was surprised when John was among earliest stars tossed around at casting conflabs.
  9. Willem Dafoe, The English Patient, 1996.    When Fox was interested in Anthony Minghella’s movie, it was less keen on Dafoe - suggesting Goodman, Danny DeVito or Richard Dreyfuss as David Caravaggio. At Miramax, Mingehella’s film won nine Oscars, including Best Film and Best Director.
  10. Rip Torn, Hercules, 1996.   James Belushi, John Goodman, Gregory Peck, Patrick Stewart, were in the frame to voice Zeus. Apart from Peck, they all went on to supply other voices for other Disney characters. Goodman, for example, was Pacha in The Emperor’s New Groove, 1999, and The Princess and the Frog’s Big Daddy, 2008.
  11.  Dylan Baker, Happiness, 1998.    “Compelling andinteresting materialbut...” All singing fromthe same hymn sheet (“I’m a father first and an actor second”), a dozen stars fled the therapist who proved to be a pedophile in the bleakly controversial script - by young auteur Todd Solondz. 
  12. Jon Voight, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, TV, 2004.    Goodman was booked elsewhere, so Voight put on the make-up to be 83 as Eddie, dying in trying to save a kiddy from an accident. He wakes up in Heaven where Jeff Daniels’ Blue Man explains how he will discover the meaning of his life.  

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