Sean Penn first burst on the national consciousness as the stoner prototype Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High but it was his next movie - Bad Boys - that got me thinking.
Today Sean Penn's Bad Boys is generally forgotten. If you ask most people if they've seen the movie Bad Boys they will think you are talking about the Michael Bay movie starting Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. In the 1983 Sean Penn movie - Penn plays a "crime kid" sent to reform school where one of his tormentors is played by Clancy Brown. What got me thinking this morning is that an argument can be made that Clancy Brown has had the better acting career than the better known Penn.
Has Sean Penn had an iconic role in a classic Sci-Fi film? Well Clancy Brown played The Kurgan in the classic Highlander.
Has Sean Penn ever been a beloved cartoon character? Well Clancy Brown is Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob SquarePants. Plus in the cartoon series The Batman Clancy played villains Mr. Freeze, Lex Luther and Bane! Talk about acting range!
Sean Penn is mostly known for playing bad guys such as his Jimmy Markum from Mystic River but has any of his bad guys been as menacing as Clancy Brown's Captain Byron Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption? I don't think so!
I've got to give the acting championship to Clancy Brown in this match-up. Maybe if the overrated Sean Penn can come full circle and play Mr. Hand in a remake of Fast Times at Ridgemont High then I'd reconsider.