Rick Michel's Blog

Brat, Frat or Rack Pack
11/23/2014
Drinkin' Singin' Swingin' Logo

When I saw Judd Nelson’s name all over the Internet recently due to an online hoax reporting the actor deceased, I couldn’t help but think of the Brat Pack – a group of young, cool, talented actors that hung out with each other in the ‘80s that consisted of Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Anthony Michael Hall, and Andrew McCarthy.

 Among the group’s accolades include having Entertainment Weekly’s best high school movie of all time, “The Breakfast Club,” and Ringwald, Lowe and Hall making up three of the top four of VH1’s top teen stars.

 Then yesterday it was announced that Steve Carrell made the cover of GQ magazine after being named their Villain of the Year for his role as John du Pont in “Foxcatcher” and that caused the Frat Pack to come to mind.

 The Frat Pack is a group of comedic actors that have made many of the highest grossing comedy films since the late ‘90s and members include Carrell, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Owen and Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, and Vince Vaughn. To add a touch of confusion, there was another Frat Pack consisting of dramatic actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.

 Naturally, my knowledge of these two groups stems from my own admiration and respect for the group that practically invented “cool” – the Rat Pack. The Brat Pack’s name was born as an insult from a, perhaps, envious reporter and the current Frat Pack was named by USA Today, but both are obvious attempts to establish importance by playing on and associating with the original Rat Pack who received their name from Lauren Bacall after the group returned home somewhat dishevelled due to a night of play in Las Vegas.

 It’s the compliment to the significance of Sinatra’s group that impresses me – the hope that establishing a moniker that will incite memories of the hippest of the hip will somehow give them relevance. That’s a big compliment to Frank, Dean, Sammy and the rest, so I’ll leave you with this clip from Drinkin’ – Singin’ – Swingin’, enjoy!