Saddam, Jesus Quintana’s bowling teammate Liam, Karl Hungus’ convertible, a whole bunch of Dudes and the real-life inspiration for Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski gather at Fountain Bowl in Fountain Valley Saturday night.
That is when and where part two of Lebowski Fest LA, the celebration of all things The Big Lebowski, will be held–and it is especially special this year because it’s the 20th anniversary of the Coen Brothers’ hilarious 1998 indie stoner flick.
Part one of the fest is Friday night at The Wiltern, which begins with music by the Kyle Gass Band–he of Tenacious D–and special guest appearances by the actors who appeared as Lebowski characters Liam (Jim Hoosier), The Dude’s landlord Marty (Jack Kehler), the revenge-achieving Corvette owner (Luis Colina) and the cab driver (Ajgie Kirkland) who would not abide any dissing of the Eagles.
The night’s capper is “a massive screening” of the movie. The Wiltern’s doors at 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, open at 7 p.m., with the show starting an hour later. General admission tickets are $20 and loge reserved seats are $30.
Partying continues 8 p.m. Saturday through midnight with unlimited bowling at Fountain Bowl, 17110 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley. Pray that the marine layer is thin enough by then so at least three stars appear, lest you be rolling on Shabbos.
Fountain Bowl also hosts trivia and costume contests and special guests Jeff Dowd, the film producer and political activist who inspired Jeff Bridges’ Dude, as well as the movie’s Saddam Hussein (Jerry Haleva), the coffee shop waitress (Lu Elrod) and, once again, Liam (Hoosier). Also in attendance will be the screen-used car that appeared in the opening of the porno-within-a-comedy, Logjammin!
Tickets, which include bowling and shoe rentals, are $25 in advance and $30 at the door on Saturday.
Note that bowling is general admission and not guaranteed, so if you really want to knock down pins you’d better get the advance tickets. Otherwise, you should just walk in because it is a trip seeing so many people dressed up as The Dude, John Goodman’s Walter Sobchak and Julianne Moore’s Maude Lebowski (with many in Viking horns and bowling-ball breastplates).
To get tickets for either night, when White Russians are promised to flow, or to make a reservation via Facebook, start here: https://lebowskifest.com/fests/lebowski-fest-los-angeles-2018/.
Originally dissed by critics, The Big Lebowski became such a cult classic that it was recognized by the National Film Registry and remains the subject of university courses. With hardcore fans known as Achievers, the movie spawned the religion known as Dudeism that has supposedly ordained nearly half a million Dudeist priests (who likely would have no problem being called Dudereenos).
Lebowski Fest was co-founded by Will Russell in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, in 2002. It moves around the country and world, but the LA stops are always considered special because that is where the movie was set and filmed. Plus, it’s where most of the actors and bit players from the film are plucked from.
Russell, the co-author of I’m a Lebowski, You’re a Lebowski, pops up in a couple of my stories that previewed previous Fountain Bowl stops for Lebowski Fest:
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.