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People Top 5
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- August 01, 1983
- Vol. 20
- No. 5
Pee Wee Vaults into Hog Heaven as Its Star Dan Monahan Puts Porky's II in the Bacon Again
Yes, the horny boys of Angel High are back. Like the original, Porky's II offers submoronic humor, practical jokes and a constant leching after female flesh. The sequel is also aspiring to the box office success of its predecessor. The original cost $4.5 million and grossed—that's certainly the correct word—more than $100 million. Porky's II cost $7 million and has taken in $25 million to date.
Nobody is more pleased than Monahan, whose career has been catapulted by Pee Wee's antics. When he got the first part three years ago, Dan was a fledgling New York actor with some commercials (Safeguard soap) to his credit. But he quickly impressed director Bob Clark. "I was looking for somebody who was a modern version of Huck Finn," says Clark. With red hair and freckles, 5'6" Dan fit the part. "I figured I'd just cash the checks and go home," he says. "When the film hit $100 million, I couldn't believe it."
The Porky's sagas won Monahan a starring role in the just-completed Rafts, a Whitewater version of Animal House. A third Porky's film may be in the offing, which surely will not thrill feminists. Although Dan realizes that Porky's would never win "the Ms magazine seal of approval," he insists that it is not meant to insult women. Says Dan: "I think it's actually pro women, because every time Pee Wee tries to do something macho he gets slapped in the face."
Monahan drew heavily on his own adolescence in creating Pee Wee. The second of four boys, Dan grew up "real normal" in Olmsted Falls, a Cleveland suburb, where his father is a travel agent and his mother a court clerk. High school included drama club, golf and baseball teams, and an after-school job in a drug store where "I stole prophylactics." Dan dated the girl who worked behind the soda fountain. "It was great," he says. "We'd go over to my girl friend's house and pour some of her father's best Scotch into a peanut butter jar and sneak into the drive-in." However, most of Dan's adolescent love life was just plain talk. "I remember," he says, "a bunch of guys going out to a cabin in the woods with a bunch of girls—and of course, just like Porky's, nothing happened. But it wasn't a matter of whether you got laid or not, what counted was the rap with the guys afterward about how you did." No wonder his high school principal recalls Dan as "very gregarious."
At Ohio University, Monahan majored in business and drama. But after college, he opted for the spoken word instead of the bottom line. He made his Broadway debut playing several minor roles in the 1979 production of Richard III starring Al Pacino, but since Porky's premiered he has given up the bard for bawdiness. He has also given up bachelorhood. Last year, Dan met Sharon Killius at a party in Olmstead Falls. Married last September, he and Sharon, 24, a teacher of handicapped children, have apartments in New York and L.A. "Sharon is not into movies or Hollywood," says Dan. "She's into healthy things like backpacking."
Despite domestic bliss, Dan still sympathizes with the adolescent obsessions of Porky's. His own loss of innocence came courtesy of a sympathetic soul named Sue while Dan was in high school. "It was the greatest thing that ever happened to me," he rhapsodizes. "Part of me is still in love with that girl and always will be." Pee Wee knows just how you feel, pal.
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