Josh Gad reunites Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jennifer Grey, Cindy Pickett, Lyman Ward and Ben Stein (who had to reprise his most iconic line) — plus, a few more surprise guests and a stirring tribute.
For the final episode of “Reunited Apart,” Josh Gad pulled out all the stops to bring together the cast of what he says is the most-requested film among reunion fans, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
The cast was tasked with recreating some of the most iconic moments from the 1980s John Hughes classic, and it was in this moment that Ben Stein absolutely floored every single one of them.
Of course the 75-year-old could remember his most famous one-word line from the film, and yes he totally called out for “Bueller, Bueller, Bueller” again, but what was even more astonishing was that he seemed to remember verbatim the mind-numbing economics lecture he gave the class.
Even better, he revealed that director John Hughes asked him to ad-lib that speech, so this was really him just trying to give a genuine lecture on economics, with the occasional “Anyone?” thrown in, as teachers do. It was remarkable recall, but also Stein said that it was a moment that changed his life.
“I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed doing it,” he said of the film. “It changed my life, I am humbly grateful, I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have been in that movie.”
Stein wasn’t even an actor, called in by a friend to read off-camera lines only to become a part of pop culture history simply because of how well he brought that dry teacher to life.
Certainly the cast was delighted to see him. Stein was joined by Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara, Jennifer Grey, Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward for the reunion where they recreated the film’s iconic moments, shared behind-the-scenes stories from filming and were even challenged to answer trivia about the production from superfan Jake Gyllenhaal.
Probably the moment that left Josh Gad’s floor on the ground was when he found out that Broderick had actually blown his knee out in the middle of production, leaving him limping between takes for two months.
This included the famous dance scene on the parade float as well as the running scene as he made his way home through his neighborhood. That scene, as it turns out, relied a bit on movie magic, though there was apparently none to relieve Broderick’s knee.
Gad also simply had to know about the Ferrari that featured throughout the film. Were these young actors actually allowed to drive a real Ferrari on the set?
“There was a very nice Ferrari that we were only allowed to step near,” Broderick said.
“The insurance alone was so astronomical to have a real Ferrari that they wound up giving us these kit cars,” Ruck added. Broderick clarified as Gad showed the scene of the Ferrari flying through the garage to its destruction, “It was a Ford with a plastic Ferrari glued on top of it.”
One of the best stories came from Grey, who said that while Broderick, Ruck and Sara were getting up to trouble on their own, she was left alone to her own devices. So she found ways to make her own fun.
She said of the parade scene her character was not actively involved in, “I went and I totally disguised myself.”
“An autograph hound, right?” Gad threw in, clearly having done his homework, to Grey’s impressed surprise.
“Yes, so I would go up and I would get everyone’s autograph,” she laughed. “John had security trailing me saying keep her away from us and I just was going up to everyone to see if I could get into the movie as this autograph hound.”
It was actually during this scene, which was choreographed by Kenny Ortega, that Grey met the man who would go on to work with her in her own star-making vehicle the following year, “Dirty Dancing.”
Another huge surprise for Gad, after finding out the first cut of the film came in at a whopping two hours and 45 minutes, was a major film element that wound up on the cutting room floor, though evidence remained in the final cut.
“If you look in the kitchen scene, their drawings are still on the refrigerator,” said Bueller matriarch Pickett. “Kindergarten drawings.”
A later scene showing Ward’s Papa Bueller in his office features a full family picture including two additional children. The Bueller family didn’t survive the cutting room, though no one offered up what role they originally played in the story, if any.
Throughout, there was the same kind of warmth and joyousness coming from these reunited friends and cast-mates as they was throughout the film. Stein says it was that element of “love” that Hughes injected into his films, which is why they’re so warmly remembered all these years later.
In a stirring tribute to close out the show (not including a few credits and post-credits surprises), Gad assembled a who’s who of Hughes film stars to recreate some of their own iconic moments from his films including Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Judd Nelson, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Keaton, Laurie Metcalf, Jane Krakowski, Alison Porter and more!
The best news we heard in the whole thing was when Gad said this was the last “Reunited Apart” for the summer. Could he be planning a fall revival? Or a different return of a different kind? Maybe he’s going to sell out the way John Krasinski did with “Some Good News.”
All of these amazing virtual reunions are helping Americans get through these bizarre pandemic times of social distancing and quarantines, and Josh Gad has put together some of the best and most comprehensive yet. Every time he drops another one, fans think of a hundred more reunions they’re totally ready for.
And so, we will wait with hope and crossed fingers for the return of “Reunited Apart,” somewhere, someday.