Film Scouts Interviews

John Lovitz on "High School High"

by Leslie Rigoulot

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October 14, 1996

Jon Lovitz wasn't just in town to sample the fare at the state fair. Although he did
manage to indulge in just about every kind of culinary gratification sold at the Texas
State Fair, Lovitz was on a mission to promote his new comedy, "High School High". In
the stately Adolphus Hotel, Lovitz met the press.


Film Scouts (Leslie Rigoulot): What will the critics say about "High School High"?

Jon Lovitz: I think they'll say it is a landmark film in the history of cinema. If it makes as
much money as it did in China, well.... Actually they released it overseas and they
charged a buck a head and half the country went. It's already made over 500 million. So
whatever it makes here is gravy.

FS: Is it true that producers David Zucker, Robert LoCash and Gil Netter hired you after
they found out that Sir Lawrence Olivier wasn't available?

JL: Yeah. That's happened on a lot of films. At first he was unavailable and then he was
REALLY unavailable.

FS: Is this your "To Sir, With Love" or did you want to be more like Michele Pfeiffer in
"Dangerous Minds".

JL: Its a spoof of those movies but they wanted to play it real but funny at the same time
like Zucker did with "Naked Gun" series. That last one was a funny movie but also about
the environment. I guess, they like to make comedies about social issues. I'm just lucky
they hired me. But they're also lucky they got me.

FS: Did you seek out the "Naked Gun" producers?

JL: Yeah, I wanted to work with them for a long time. I kept thinking why don't they
hire me because they do comedies. And when I got the job they said I was the first
comedian they had ever worked with, which surprised me. All the other actors were
pretty much straight actors. A lot of the film, the comedy happens around me. It isn't
always me.

FS: What all the critics want to know is: what happened to "The Critic" (Lovitz's
animated Fox TV show)?

JL: This guy named John was the head of Fox and he just didn't like the show personally.
It got great ratings and held like 90% of the audience from "The Simpsons" and it was
doing well. But he stopped promoting it and then pulled it. He is the guy who switched
"Married.....with Children", which was their most successful show, from Sundays to
Saturdays, and he tried to kill "The Simpsons" and they finally fired him. And the new
guy came in and he is moving "Married...with Children" back where it was. So they are
hoping that this new guy will want to do "The Critic". I would keep doing it. They wrote
it for me after I did four "Simpsons", which is flattering.

[So Jon is recovering from his adventures at the Texas State Fair and has gone on to both
coasts to do "the talk show thing".]

JL: I was so surprised Oprah let me on her show to promote the movie.

FS: You know, she turned down Bob Dole?

JL: Maybe I'll run for president!

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