He was disgusting, he was crude, he was everything you could think of that brought to mind images of a guy that was just nasty enough to be deemed one of the biggest scuzzballs in movie history, and yet Dudley Dawson, who a lot of fans know as Booger, was perhaps one of the most amazing characters in comedy, EVER. He’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, or cold frosty mug, or whatever you’d like to think about, but he’s definitely a funny guy since no matter what came out of his mouth it was usually hilarious, especially since Revenge of the Nerds was and still is a classic movie. Some might want to argue that point since yes, it does possess a lot of elements that wouldn’t be allowable in today’s cinematic experience, but back then this was the kind of comedy a lot of us tended to want and found absolutely necessary. Plus, it was in keeping with the idea of what college was about from a very juvenile and fun-loving standpoint.
As you might have guessed, Curtis Armstrong, the guy that brought Booger to life, has grown up a lot since these days, but for quite some time he did play the disgusting best friend or acquaintance that people didn’t really want to associate with but found somehow endearing. His stints in movies such as Better Off Dead, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, One Crazy Summer, and many others did help him progress as he moved away from the typecasting finally and became a well-known individual that finally managed to become a credible actor. Of course no matter where you see him you might still yell out “Booger!” once he shows up on the screen, and that’s largely because this was one of the best roles he ever did no matter that it kind of pigeon-holed his career for a bit. Thankfully that didn’t last forever since the role of Booger wouldn’t work so well with a guy who’s now in his 60s and has matured a great deal since back in the day.
Still, you’ve got to hand it to Curtis since back then Booger was still something of an undesirable character even in the group he ran with. He wasn’t really that smart, he didn’t have a lot of social graces, and in many ways he was just what he seemed to be, the reject that didn’t seem to fit in with any crowd since he was so inherently disgusting. And yet for all that Booger did manage to fit in with his eventual buddies and fraternity since being the reject was what they were all about. He was kind of like the big dumb mascot that the team needed and the mouthpiece that wasn’t always appreciated but was always there to offer up a quip when it was warranted. Obviously he was just as scared and as unsure of himself as the rest of them, but he was still quick to come up with a witty remark when it was needed and didn’t shy away from getting revenge on the jocks when it came time to do so. Plus, during the games in the first movie the belching contest was simply too great to watch since as disgusting as it was, Booger was the man when it came to having the longest, most ringing belch of them all.
Since his time as part of the cast on Revenge of the Nerds Curtis Armstrong has shown up in a variety of shows and movies, in fact he even had a part on That 70s Show for a while, but eventually he moved on and continued his career as he kept making appearances here and there. To think that he’s never fully outrun his time as Booger is kind of funny since one would think that a part such as this would be something that a person would either hold onto or leave well in the past without wanting to revisit it that often. But this is the kind of role that has obviously stuck with him for years and years, even when Revenge of the Nerds became more of a joke than a classic thanks to the movies that followed the original. The sequel wasn’t horrible, but those that came after kind of tested the true dedication of the fans that enjoyed the first one. There’s no other way to say it, Revenge of the Nerds was a movie that was pretty campy even for its time, but this is a big part of what allowed it to become a classic. It was so stupid that it was good, and the whole idea of preaching acceptance was something that people tend to believe is necessary even if a lot of folks don’t practice it on a regular basis.
Booger will no doubt always be a legend, a disgusting and smelly legend, but a legend all the same.