Jeff Spicoli: curious facts about the star of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"

March 4, 2019 | Surfing
Jeff Spicoli: the famous interview by Stu Nahan

Sean Penn, the actor who played Jeff Spicoli in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" didn't get an Oscar for the second role of his career.

But, today, it's impossible not to mention his role in the character's popularity through time. Spicoli became an icon of surf culture and an artistic representation of the first real-life surfers.

Why? Because the star of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" embodies the stereotypes of many of the 1960s and 1970s surfers - a stoned beach bum with a saltwater brain and a carefree attitude.

There's no way we will forget Jeff Spicoli's interview with Stu Nahan. Surrounded by two surfer chicks, the blond surfer unleashes a series of timeless thoughts and expressions.

But there's more to Spicoli than surfer slang, recklessness, and lunacy.

Funny, Curious and Interesting Facts About Jeff Spicoli

"Fast Times at Ridgemont High" is often considered one of the funniest high school movies of all time.

The movie was written by Cameron Crowe, who spent a year undercover at Clairemont High School, in San Diego, observing teenagers and their behavior.

Thus, the character of Jeff Spicoli was inspired by several local students.

Jeff Spicoli: the stereotypical stoned surfer dude in 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High'

David Lynch was the first choice by Universal Studios to direct the movie, but he politely turned it down, and Amy Heckerling stepped in.

Penn did not have to audition to get the role of Jeff Spicoli. He was confirmed in the movie after a quick chat that took place before the scheduled audition.

Sean Penn was 22 when he played Jeff Spicoli. And he was fully immersed in the role to the point that he didn't allow the crew to call him by his real name - he was Spicoli 100 percent of the time.

Also, the actor extinguished a cigarette in the palm of his hand to better understand and play his character.

At a certain point in the movie, Spicoli opens a box with a pair of Vans Checkerboard Slip-On shoes. The product placement scene sparkled a commercial trend, and the model lived on.

Interestingly, and while shooting the film, Penn was always wearing his Vans shoes. He really wanted to portray the California surfer dude character as authentically as possible.

Jimmy Buffett wrote and performed Jeff Spicoli' theme. It is called "I Don't Know" and fits in perfectly.

"Fast Times at Ridgemont High" ended up boosting Penn's career.

Actually, when the movie was released in 1982, Jeff Spicoli was a hit among the American teenage audience.

The Famous Jeff Spicoli Quotes

"Fast Times at Ridgemont High" is full of memorable quotes. But every time the stoned surfer dude opens his mouth, a gem is born.

Here are the best about quotes by Jeff Spicoli are:

"I'll tell you, Stu. I did battle some humongous waves. But you know, just like I told the guy on ABC, 'danger is my business.'"

"I'm so wasted!"

"Surfing is not a sport. It's a way of life - no hobby. It's a way of looking at that wave and saying: 'hey bud, let's party!"

"Oh, gnarly!"

"Me and Mick are going to wing on over to London and jam with the Stones!"

"All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine."

"People on ludes [Quaalude] should not drive."

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