Published January 29, 2013
Lewis and Booger are back! Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong who created the legendary Lewis Skolnick and Dudley Booger Dawson in “Revenge of the Nerds” are now the hosts of “King of the Nerds” on TBS. The series follows 11 self-proclaimed nerds competing for a cool hundred grand to be crowned the greatest nerd of all. Carradine, 58, and Armstrong, 59 spoke to FOX 411 about all things nerd.
FOX 411: Were you a nerd growing up?
Carradine: Not completely. There were those odd times during kickball where you’re very worried whether you’re going to be picked last. My nerd credential seems to extend into the remote control model airplane field which I was really into as a young man and still have a lot of interest in.
Armstrong: I was really a bad nerd. In fact I am still really kind of a nerd. I was a book nerd probably most of all. I was obsessed with books and writers like Conan Doyle. I was a big Sherlock Holmes geek and remain so to this day. I was hopeless. I dream of being Sherlock Holmes.
FOX 411: Why do you think the movie is now a classic?
Carradine: I think because of the honesty of the embattlement. They were all very realistic people that simply had no idea that they were nerds.
Armstrong: I also think there were people who felt on the outside, which nerds tend to do. Watching that movie and the idea of these people who were totally inclusive was very appealing. These people would accept anyone into their group because they didn’t see them the way other people do and it was that kind of tolerance, that kind of inclusiveness which makes the film work as well. It’s still a funny movie but I think that really works in its longevity.
FOX 411: Curtis, have you had a day in the last nearly 30 years that you haven’t been called Booger?
Armstrong: Almost not. If I don’t leave the house my odds are pretty good. My family doesn’t call me that otherwise there’s a good chance that I will be called Booger or asked to belch.
FOX 411: Does that bother you?
Armstrong: Not really. I mean I can’t [belch on command] so it’s not even an issue. For an actor to have a performance that people remember is a big honor to be honest. Booger is as far from me as a person as it’s possible to be. I’ve always looked on Booger, believe it or not, as a pretty good acting job.
FOX 411: Bobby, do you still get recognized as Lewis?
Carradine: What seems to happen to me more often than not is people ask me to laugh. It’s happened in Italy, Switzerland, the Canary Islands. It has a wide reaching footprint.
FOX 411: Isn’t that great?
Armstrong: It’s a very nice thing and I will say personally every time Bobby does the laugh it still makes me laugh, after 29 years it still makes me laugh.
FOX 411: And Bobby, now you’re in the hippest movie of the year, “Django Unchained.”
Carradine: Well it was a fleeting appearance but it was certainly wonderful being on the set with Quentin [Tarantino] to observe close-up his process as a filmmaker. He was encyclopedic in his knowledge of everything I ever did. He told me he’s been working at it for 20 years to find the right spot to stick me in and he decided a hunchback tracker in “Django” was the spot I should fill.
FOX 411: Curtis, is there a movie that you wish people knew you were in?
Armstrong: The one for me is “Ray” playing Ahmet Ertegun. Usually I tend to pretty much look like myself. I’m not usually hard to recognize. “Ray” is the one movie where I had a role in which I was almost unrecognizable and I was really proud of.
FOX 411: Are you friends in real life?
Carradine: That’s how all this happened. The fact that we’ve stayed in touch over the years. Every once in a while we get together for a meal. We’ve remained friends which has been really nice.
FOX 411: What’s your advice to nerds?
Armstrong: It’s different now as opposed to our day. There was not this massive Comic-Con things and different conventions. Now there are places where nerds can get together and share their interests. If you’re a nerd and feeling on the outside go to the internet, go to a convention, go where you’ll find people with the same interests.
Carradine: You’ll feel included. And believe in who you are and don’t give up!