One of my all-time favorite movies, Dazed and Confused, was released on this date 20 years ago. It had memorable characters, infinite quotability, a flawless soundtrack and — essentially — no plot to speak of. The plot part never truly bothered me. It was a fascinating window into a time period that had happened long before my time, in an era that seemed like it had to have occurred on another planet or plane of existence.
That was part of what made the movie so special. The brazen drug use. The social upheaval. To a guy born in 1986, it all seems to rely a little too heavily on the watcher’s suspension of disbelief. But that’s the way things were back then, to some extent, and that’s the way they’ll remain forever in my mind, due in large part to Dazed and Confused.
There have been rumors of a potential “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused that has already been written by writer/director Richard Linklater and even a guest appearance by Matthew McConaughey’s wildly popular character, David Wooderson, in a recent music video shoot.
With all this heavy Dazed nostalgia fluttering around these days, and with the 20th anniversary finally landing in our laps, I thought now would be a good time to do a little recap of what has happened to some of our favorite characters from the movie. And, no, I’m not talking about the actual actors, man of whom have gone on to have phenomenal careers. And I’m not talking about doing your generic, done-to-death-then-done-again “where are they now” pieces about the group that made this movie.
I’m talking about the characters. What would have happened to these high schoolers had they grown up? Let’s find out.
Randall “Pink” Floyd
After being suspended for the first half of the first game by the team for conduct unbecoming a starting quarterback, Floyd came back his senior year to lead the Lee High football team to an appearance in the state title game. However, after getting into a shouting match over the Vietnam war with his knee-high-socked football coach, Floyd was benched and the team promptly lost the game by 35 points. In spite of this highly volatile breakdown on the sidelines, Floyd is given a check for $2,000 to accept a scholarship at Southern Methodist University where he becomes one of the highest paid benchwarmers in college football history.
After failing his 86th drug test, Floyd was summarily booted from the team. Capitalizing on his recreational drug use, and his incredibly cool nickname, he scored a job working as a roady for Whitesnake. Parlaying his success as a roady, and his natural ability as a rebellious, naturally gifted leader, he eventually became the band’s manager.
However after differences arose between the band and Floyd, he was booted as the band’s manager, prompting him to famously tell them, “Here I go again, on my own. Walking down the only road I’ve ever known.” The band would later cite Floyd’s wisdom and animalistic charisma to inspiring their greatest hit song as well as their best one-liners with groupies in the late ’80s.
Now 55, and the father of three hipsters, Randall “Pink” Floyd is the co-vice-chairman of Metal Edge Magazine, a small but successful publication that caters to current metal heads in a niche market that he helped to create. He still has a belt buckle that doubles as a weed pipe tucked away somewhere deep in his closet, hidden underneath purple and white button-ups and white bell bottom pants that he hasn’t been able to let go of.
After finally graduating in the summer of 1978 Fred O’Bannion retired as the single-day and career ass-paddling record holder of Lee High. His paddle was bronzed and affixed to the top shelf in the school’s trophy case where it still resides to this day, stashed behind an honorable mention Dance Team plaque and three trophies for the forensics team.
Even though this may seem like a complete impossibility, O’Bannion’s life after he graduated went downhill very swiftly. Suffering from a debilitating phobia of paint, due to a reverse-prank pulled on him by a group of soon-to-be-freshmen in the summer of ’76, he was unable to find steady work in the town and resorted to boosting cars and selling them to a local chop shop.
In the fall of 1984 Fred O’Bannion was pulled over in a gun-metal grey, stolen Dodge Charger. The resultant car chase — one that involved 15 officers, a firefight, a pyrotechnic-laden bridge-jump, and the national guard — led to the creation of the game Grand Theft Auto.
O’Bannion was due for parole in 1992, but he opted to stay in prison due to the lack of wet paint and since he had achieved an almost cult-like status among inmates for his ability to pick on the newer inmates. He was finally released in the summer of 2010, where he quickly traveled out to the west coast and began acting for a living.
He most recently made headlines when he was offered the role of Batman in the Batman V.S. Superman movie. His appointment as the lead character led to the collapse of civilized life on earth and caused Twitter to collapse in on itself like a dying star of nerdiness.
Burgeoning baseball star Mitch Kramer went on to graduate from Lee High in the Summer of 1980. He was able to parlay his skills on the baseball diamond into a career playing for the minor league affiliates of the Houston Astros. Wrapped up in the steroid culture of the mid 1980s, however, Kramer eventually got so juiced up on anabolics that he could no longer itch his own back, let alone go into a windup. Cut from the Astros’ Double A team in 1987 he found himself dealing with gigantic rage and tiny testicles and looking for work.
He was able to find work as a hairstylists for the rich and powerful set in the suburban Houston area and made his mark throughout the late ’80s and early ’90s, eventually opening his own salon: Kramer’s Kurls.
However, when the late ’90s hit, he lost everything when he became embroiled in a particularly nasty lawsuit against the pop group Hanson, whom he attempted to sue for copyright infringement on “his look.” He bottomed out financially during this time period and found solace, once again, in the game of baseball. He moved back to Lee High School where he is currently an economics teacher and the head pitching coach for the varsity team.
After graduating from Lee High School, Darla Marks went on to college at the University of Texas. While there she joined up with the Alpha Chi Omega sisters to form one of the most hellacious hazing units that the nation has ever seen. After being kicked out of school, and charged with hazing in a landmark Supreme Court Case, a disgraced Marks went to work at her father’s family business where she is now the Chief VP of Accounts Receivable. To deal with her pent-up aggression she joined a roller derby team in 2002 and is now currently the oldest member of The San Antonio Sanguinarians club team where she moonlights under the name “Helen of (Des)Troy”.
Mike Newhouse, Cynthia Dunn, and Tony Olson
Graduating as numbers 1, 2, and 3 in their class, these three trailblazers are often recognized as being the Cro-Magnon man (*Author’s note: and woman) of the hipster evolutionary tree. After crushing the rest of their drug-addled class in academics they ended up going on to create a small company known as Apple Computers, Inc. However, they were so busy debating the merits of Friedrich Nietzsche’s poetry that Steve Jobs was able to successfully break into their garage and steal their research and computer technology.
While little is known about these three intrepid intellects, they were last spotted in India in 2003 working on a renewable energy breakthrough that would allegedly make fusion generators seem like AA batteries.
Ron Slater eventually dropped out of high school midway through his senior year. His rampant drug use had led him to believe that he could achieve a higher plane of existence by dropping three tabs of acid while humming Aerosmith music “in the language of the gods.” So prolific was his drug use that he was once spotted getting high with Bob Marley and Mick Jagger on the same day.
During the ’80s Slater’s whereabouts were unknown for much of the time, only surfacing at an occasional Grateful Dead concert.
In 1992 Slater was reported to have opened his eyes fully for the first time since 1974, blinked twice, and then gotten his GED and become a drug education counselor. He now runs his own wildly unsuccessful rehab clinic called “We Only Smoke Weed and Watch Movies Rehab Facility.” A pioneer in helping stars that don’t want to help themselves, he’s worked closely with such A-listers as Lindsay Lohan (*Author’s note: and her entire family tree) and counts actor Charlie Sheen among his personal friends.
After picking up his 3rd “soliciting a minor” ticket in the span of 14 months, Wooderson became one of the most infamous sex offenders in all of the county. However, after realizing that despite high school girls staying the same age he was turning into an aging pervert, Wooderson turned his life around.
After getting out of prison, he started working out and joined an elite male strip show where he was able to put his pipes, his rougish good looks, and his love of getting freaky to good use. He continued working in this field throughout the ’80s and early ’90s. Blessed with a limitless supply of things that took him directly back to his heyday as one of the biggest ladykillers in 1976 — classic rock tunes about doing it and hordes of women prepared to make bad choices — he had found his niche in the world of male stripping.
Wooderson died of a cocaine/orgy overdose in August of 2008. His funeral was attended by his high school friends, sobbing piles of housewives, and even former President George W. Bush. Engraved on his tombstone was the solemn oath of a solemn man during a solemn time in our nation. “Alright, alright, alright.”
RIP, Wooderson. RIF-ingP