A 'Space Jam' Live Reading Is Happening, So You Can Finally Relive This Flawless Film
If you have ever thought to yourself, "I would love to see a live reading of Space Jam " then you need to book a plane ticket to Canada immediately. According to CBS Sports, with the movie's 20th anniversary coming up this year (November 15!), a live reading is set to be held at the TIFF Next Wave Festival in Toronto during the NBA All-Star Weekend. Tickets for the Feb. 13 event go on sale for non-TIFF members on Jan. 27. There is no word yet on who will be participating in the live reading — but the last Space Jam live reading (yes, this has happened before) featured Seth Green, Nick Kroll, and lots of your other favorite comedians, so there's precedent for awesome. All signs point to this live reading being an equally good time, and hey, who knows: Maybe Michael Jordan could show up.
As cool as this news is, I'm stuck on the part where Space Jam is turning 20. The live action-meets-animation movie was a monster hit in 1996, and whether you loved it or hated it, Jordan's Looney Tunes basketball movie was inescapable. How much do you really remember about this bizarre blast from the '90s past though?
If your nostalgia is purely driven by hazy childhood memories of Bugs and Jordan playing intergalactic basketball then prepare to have your mind blown by these Space Jam facts you definitely forgot about.
1. The Looney Tunes Live At The Center Of The Earth
Bugs, Daffy, and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang live, I kid you not, in an animated world in the center of the Earth. How does that explain cartoons existing in our reality? I'll let you contemplate that one.
2. An Intergalactic Basketball Game Made Jordan Return To The Big Leagues
Jordan made the controversial decision to retire from basketball for the first time in 1993. Space Jam is about how he's kind of unsatisfied with his life post-retirement, and an intergalactic game with the toons is what sparks his desire to return to the NBA in 1995. So, basically, Space Jam is real person fanfiction about Jordan's "lost years."
3. The Toons Straight Up Kidnap Jordan
Bugs and his friends don't ask for Jordan's help in defeating the intergalactic Nerdlucks — instead, they kidnap him from a golf course, take him to their weird middle-of-the-Earth toon world, and force him into playing for their team.
4. Lola Bunny Didn't Exist Before Space Jam
Lola was created to add a female character to the lineup of what was a testosterone fest of a movie. Now Lola almost always pops up in the new Looney Tunes cartoons.
5. Bill Murray Appears As Himself
Hey, Murray doesn't just make special guest appearances for Wes Anderson. Sometimes he shows up in space to play basketball at the perfect moment.
6. Daffy Duck Was Super Concerned About Protecting His Err..."Private Area"
Daffy's suiting up scene is a funny sight gag, I will give the movie that. However, the way he goes the extra mile to wear a cup forces me to think way too hard about the reproductive anatomy of a cartoon character. He doesn't even wear pants on a daily basis, guys.
7. R. Kelly Won A Grammy For "I Believe I Can Fly"
The song, which first appeared on the Space Jam soundtrack, could not be stopped in 1996.
8. The Space Jam Soundtrack Went Six Times Platinum
It turns out the recipe for having a successful album is to feature tracks from R. Kelly, Coolio, Seal, and Bugs Bunny.
9. If Jordan Had Lost The Game He Would Have Become An Attraction At An Amusement Park In Space
Creepy factor too high to count.
10. The Theme Park Was Called Moron Mountain
I think everyone can agree, that is a terrible name for a theme park.
11. Charles Barkley Cracked A Madonna Joke At His Own Expense
Barkley is one of several basketball players to be stripped of his talent by The Nerdlucks in the movie. In one scene, he goes to church to pray about getting his skills back and promises not to go out with Madonna again. If this joke went over your head, don't feel bad — I don't know many kids who would have known about the dating rumors that plagued Barkley and Madonna in the early '90s.
12. Space Jam Was Inspired By A Nike Ad
Bugs and Jordan teamed up for a 1993 Nike ad that featured most of the major plot points from the movie: a space-based game, Jordan emerging from a golf course, and the first appearance of The Nerdlucks.
13. Jordan Wins The Big Game By Mastering Cartoon Logic
He slam dunks via his super stretchy arm, which was a cool moment in the '90s, but super unsettling today thanks to the special effects.
14. Wayne Knight Plays A Good Guy
Poor Knight was a go-to inept bad guy in the '90s. From his role as annoying Seinfeld neighbor Newman to his thankless role as an attempted dinosaur egg thief in Jurassic Park, Knight was almost always the bad guy. As Jordan's manager in Space Jam, he plays a genuinely good person who is by Jordan's side every step of the way, proving Knight didn't always have to be causing trouble for your favorite '90s heroes.
Space Jam is definitely one of the '90s stranger offerings, but it is a comeback tale at heart. Maybe that explains why 20 years later fans still cannot get enough of this amazing classic.
Images: Warner Bros. Pictures; Giphy (13)