Paul Montgomery Shore, better known as Pauly, came along at a time when America needed him most. In the early to mid 1990′s, this twitchy, bedraggled gypsy fit neatly into the pop culture void created by the absence of the two Coreys, but which had yet to be filled by the testosterone-fueled fury of Vin Diesel.
Pauly Shore’s movies are beloved by millions of cinema devotees. Not unlike tiresome anachronism Jerry Lewis, this madcap buffoon’s zany antics speak to the child inside all of us.
However, there is a long running debate among Pauly Shore scholars as to which of the comedian’s many cinematic appearances can be considered true “Pauly Shore” movies, as opposed to movies where the actor merely graces the screen with his presence.
Pauly Shore scholarship is still a relatively new discipline, not yet in its second full decade. As such, academics have yet to reach a consensus as to which films are canon, and which are not. Most experts agree on the following 5 criteria:
1) Pauly Shore must be the star of the film, and have most of the dialogue.
2) Top-billed co-stars, if any, may be neither a) better-known than Pauly Shore, or b) more talented.
3) Pauly Shore portrays a loveable misfit/fish-out-of-water, thrust in a situation completely alien to his funky-fresh Southern California lifestyle.
4) Pauly Shore must be initially reviled by the other principal characters, often including the love interest. However, through the course of the film, they will come to see that while Pauly Shore’s character may be unconventional, everybody benefits by adopting his grating mannerisms and attitude.
5) Pauly Shore must learn something.
While deciding which films to include among the canon can be a difficult task, determining which films should not is ridiculously simple. While Phantom of the Mall, Casper Meets Wendy and The Wash all feature irritating performances by Pauly Shore, none of those films meet the basic standards defined above.
Recently, an article in the PMS Scholar attempted the daunting task of determining a Pauly Shore canon. The article, which posited six canonical films was well-received and widely read.
Heretical though our beliefs may be considered in some quarters, Promethean Times recognizes only four films as official canon. They are:
Son-In-Law: The first of the “true” Pauly films.
Jury Duty: The nadir of the canon. Pauly Shore’s deservedly forgotten film.
Although the PMS Scholar considers the following two films to be canon, Promethean Times does not.
Encino Man: The film that introduced the world at large to Pauly Shore. For that alone it deserves recognition. However, it does not qualify for the canon. Although Pauly Shore steals the movie with weaselly gusto, both Brendan Fraser and Samwise Gamgee have larger roles.
Pauly Shore Is Dead: The anti-Pauly Shore movie, directed by Shore himself. Cannot be included in the canon due to the heightened degree of awareness Shore has by this time that for most humans, his personality is the equivalent to fingernails on a chalkboard.