McFeely: I'm Judge Smails, the rest of you are Rodney Dangerfield
It’s funny how ridiculous it seemed at the time. Rodney Dangerfield’s character in “Caddyshack,” Al Czervik, tearing away a panel on his oversized golf bag to reveal a stereo, then cranking the volume to Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” before breaking into some sort of goofy off-kilter dance in the middle of a fairway. On the course. During a round.
“That man is a menace!” screamed an exasperated Ted Knight, playing the stuffy Judge Smails. “Music is a violation of my personal privacy! He’s breaking the law!”
Omigod, the hilarity. Could you imagine what would happen to a backward clod like Czervik if there were actually stereos embedded in golf bags and people actually played loud music on a golf course? Such a serious breach of etiquette would never be allowed to pierce the quiet solitude and sanctity of a golf course.
In 1980, when “Caddyshack” was released, a real-life Czervik might’ve been rightly escorted off the course and asked not to return. That was the gag. Even non-golf fans understood the game to require quiet and respect. You didn’t play music on a golf course and you sure as heck didn’t play it loudly.
Today, kids might not even get the joke. And that’s too bad.