Father-son duos are a common phenomenon in Hollywood as directors often prefer going with real-life fathers and sons to maximize the on-screen chemistry. Being the son of two comedic legends, actor Ben Stiller knew a thing or two about acting and comedy.
He even asked his father, Jerry Stiller, to let him participate in some of his productions leading to a long collaborative period between the two. The Stillers’ famous appearance on-screen saw them play father and son.
Interestingly, the pair had played the same role two decades before their appearance on The Heartbreak Kid. Learn more.
Ben and Jerry played father and son 20 years before ‘The Heartbreak Kid’
Before their roles on The Heartbreak Kid, Ben and Jerry Stiller appeared in Hot Pursuit as father and son. The duo played two side characters, with Jerry playing Victor Honeywell while his son played Chris Honeywell.
The pair have also collaborated on several other projects, including Zoolander, where Jerry played Ben’s character’s manager Maury Ballstein. They also had roles in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, with Ben playing Arturo Mendes while his father played “man in bar.”
The pair’s appearances include Highway to Hell, which also saw Ben’s mother, Meara, making a cameo, and Heavyweights, where Ben played Tony Perks while Jerry played Harvey Bushkin.
Ben and Jerry played father and son on ‘The Heartbreak Kid’
The Heartbreak Kid is a 2007 remake of the 1972 movie, starring Ben Stiller in the lead role. Ben plays Eddie, the owner of a sports store, who falls in love with a lady and marries her without knowing anything about her. Eddie realizes she has some intolerable habits after getting to know her better.
He, however, finds love with another lady, Miranda, but she ends up being the one that got away. Jerry appeared in the same movie playing his son’s character’s father, Doc Cantor. Doc is a foul-mouthed wingman who gives his son vulgar and raunchy tips about women.
Ben began acting at the young age of eight when he appeared on his mother, Anne Meara‘s short-lived television series Kate McShane. He then made several parodies to famous hit films and songs, including a parody to LL Cool J’s ‘Going Back to Cali.’
Ben also had a short stint on Saturday Night Live after his parody of Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money became popular. He, however, left after four episodes since the show’s producers didn’t want him to write short films.
Jerry spent most of his career as one-half of the comedic duo, Stiller and Meara. The pair had a successful run in the ’60s but broke up due to its strain on their marriage. They also hosted a half-hour show where they talked about upcoming movies and a TV sitcom in 1986 called The Stiller and Meara Show.
Jerry had a career resurgence in the late ’90s after his role on Seinfeld. He appeared in productions like The King of Queens, Secret of the Andes, and Zoolander.
Other notable father and son duos
Will and Jayden Smith also wowed crowds and critics in 2005 when they appeared as father and son in The Pursuit of Happyness. Their chemistry was lauded as “an inestimable asset to the on-screen characters.” The Smiths also played the role seven years later in After Earth.
Dominic West is set to appear in the final seasons of the British series, The Crown playing Prince Charles. His son Senan, who’s 13 years old, will play Prince William. Season five of The Crown is scheduled for a November 2022 debut.
Dan Levy and his father Eugene played father and son on Schitt’s Creek and became the first father-son pair to win Emmy’s in the same year.
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