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The MamaPop Roundtable: Patrick Swayze Edition

Monty-python-holy-grail Nee! And Huzzah! And It's just a flesh wound! And welcome to this week's MamaPop Roundtable, where the MamaPop writers answer enmass a single challenging, thought-provoking, or otherwise engaging question. We then ask that you, the reader, contribute your response to the same question in comments.

We invite readers to submit questions for the MamaPop writers to answer, and if we pick your question you will be handsomely rewarded with PDA and linkage. Please send your Roundtable questions to: roundtable@mamapop.com

This week's Roundtable question comes to us from our very own kdiddy:

Q: What is your favorite Swayze-related pop culture memory?


But closely-seconded by the sight of him in a wig and a corset, sliding on thigh-high stockings in To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar. That movie that paved the way to dozens of future unorthodox crushes on gay men (NPH!) and drag queens (Ruuuuu!) and also, Swayze  had gorgeous, gorgeous legs.

Schmutzie: I was never much of a Swayze fan for one purely superficial reason: I thought his entire face looked bee-stung. So, it's fitting that my best memory of him is not even related to his movies. When I was in grade ten, there was this one girl who desperately wanted attention and once went so far as to carve her boyfriend's name down the entire length of her calf. Due to this kind of thing, I was highly sceptical when she claimed that she had just come back from a family reunion where she had hung out with her cousin, Patrick Swayze. I never knew whether to believe her or not, although I mostly sided with not, but it became a pastime of mine to pretend to be a Swayze fan and ask her details about this "cousin" of hers. She would tell me what he ate at the reunion, how he played with the youngest cousins, and how they had a sexual tension between them that was totally okay because they were distant cousins. Apparently, the paparazzi could be seen in the bushes on the edges of the family picnic. Strangely, the photos she took of him at the reunion were mysteriously lost on her way home. Snort.

Jodi: I saw Dirty Dancing after being cooped up in the house for ten days over spring break with my father with chicken pox.  Yes, my father and I had chicken pox at the same time, my poor mother.  And while most kids get to miss school, I got to miss spring break.  It was our first outing from the house in almost two weeks and I don't think I could have loved a movie more.  As a young Jewish girl I felt like Baby was well, me.  I could do that.  I could go to the Catskills and defy my parents and fall in love with the wrong boy.

To this day I still really want to go to the Catskills.

Goon Squad Sarah: WOLVERINES!

(seriously, that is my answer)

SnarkyAmber: While I love Dirty Dancing as much as any girl between the ages of 25 and 100, I think I liked him most for his role as the genteel drag queen Vida Boheme in "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything!  Julie Newmar."  I think Patrick Swayze always saw risks in his career as opportunities. He took a role as a ballroom dancer and made dancing manly. He played a sleazy snake oil peddler/pedophile in Donnie Darko. But in a world where masculinity is so fragile and so dependent upon distancing oneself from what is feminine, it was perhaps most brave of him to take on the role of a drag queen and to play it without caricature. Here was a guy who at one point was voted the "Sexiest Man Alive", yet he was unafraid to dress in drag and teach Stockard Channing and a bunch of small-town women how to be fierce and fabulous. That takes real guts. Aside from that, I just kind of adore that movie from start to finish.

Whit: The easy answer is the famous dance sketch with Chris Farley on SNL.  Pure genius.  However, jumping straight to SNL would be disrespectful to roadhouse bouncers everywhere and frankly I'd rather piss off the male dancer crowd.

An old shower song of mine was "She's Like the Wind" from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.  Patrick Swayze nailed it and The Hoff tried to steal it, but I'm stealing it back  I'm thinking about adding it to the karaoke repertoire.  

Also, Red Dawn.

TwoBusy: I've gotta go with the entirety of Roadhouse, which - along with Tango & Cash - spotlights everything that was wrong but (at the same time) oh so very right about pop culture in the 80s. Bad hair, garish fashion, jackass machismo, an unconscionable propensity toward explosive violence... and yet, it's still more fun than an exploding barrel full of mulleted monkeys. Really, is there a straight guy in his 30s who hasn't watched Roadhouse and seen a bit of himself (if only as a product of wishful thinking) in Dalton, the gentle philosophy grad-turned-superviolent bouncer and smoooooth romancer of sugarmama doctor types?
That's the Swayze that was relevant to my life. And the Swayze I'm always going to remember.

Catherine: I hate to admit this, here - but I was never a great fan of Patrick Swayze. Just, no. Nuh-uh. Especially not as a romantic lead. I'm not sure why. Just one of those aversions. And it was enough of an aversion that I could never get into any movie, really, that featured him as a romantic lead. Nope, not even Dirty Dancing.


But he did play a bad guy in Point Break, right? So, um, I choose Point Break for my favorite Swayze-related pop culture memory. That, or The Outsiders. Tommy Howell was hot in that, and Patrick Swayze was kind of standing around in the background of that movie, right? So that'd do, too.

MissBanshee: Has to be the Outsiders. As Darry, Swayze was totally heartbreaking as a blue-collar older brother taking care of his siblings. Also, it showcases Swayze's hugging skills, (greasers hug it out) and man, I would have loved a Swayze hug. He was really good at that. Also, hot. Always hot.

kdiddy:Swayze's resume is pretty impressive when you look at it. He was far from a one-hit wonder and appeared in blockbusters like Dirty Dancing and more artsy stuff like Donnie Darko.

I think my favorite memory of him is just Dirty Dancing in general. I was never EXTREMELY attracted to him, but appreciated his shirtless scenes. I was mostly touched by how Johnny Castle was this real stand up guy, very much a dude, and a DANCER. As a ballet dancer growing up, it was really exciting to see "one of our own" really make it in the mainstream and not just be the sweetheart of balletomanes who happened to be famous enough to cross over a bit (see also: Baryshnikov, who is awesome don't get me wrong, but very much of the ballet world)

Also, She's Like the Wind for how absurdly horrible and awesome it is and his performance on SNL as a Chippendales hopeful alongside Chris Farley.

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I never fell head over heels in love with him UNTIL,the oh so LMFAO skit on SNL with the late Chris Farley as the Chippendales dancers.I had to go watch it when I heard he died and I still had the same reaction now as I did then.I cannot believe how frigging funny it is and for someone so handsome he had the balls to make fun of himself and for that i will luv him...


OMG!! I forgot the best movie he ever did,To Wong Foo,thanks for everything,Julie Newmar.When that came out a group of us went and out of 8 of us I was the only one born female(but not the prettiest one there trust me) and had a blast.It showed the world that no matter how you were born,its who you are and how you treat people.Big props for Patrick being man enough to be woman enough

Heather Z

also chicken pox related... My college roommate came down with chicken pox junior year and ended up in the infirmary. We were both big fans of Johnny Castle. :) So I wrote her a faux get well card from Patrick Swayze complete with autographed head shot. It helped cheer her up during a miserable illness.


Patrick Swayze was my first crush... I watched Dirty Dancing as a youngster and fell in love, I don't think I ever stopped loving him. He seemed (and I believe he really was) a truly down to earth guy, not all concerned about his fame, he just seemed like a really genuine guy. I think one of my favorites of his movies (after DD) was Next of Kin, I loved how fiercely protective his character was of his family... also Dirty Square Dancing(another SNL skit)... when I was a kid that was the funniest crap I'd ever seen.



It's funny because I posted on my eternal love of Point Break for another one of these threads.

Point Break is like, if Shakespeare was a shill for Hollywood and didn't give a damn what he wrote but he was smoking a lot of dope and was like 'what the hell bank robber movie' and also he had hung out with some cool people in Hawaii and just felt like representing their overall world view. But he decided to add some very ill informed radical politics.

This is the only Patrick Swayze movie I can really remember watching so I guess it has to be my favorite moment but he's great in it. He really does the 'I'm enlightened and I rob banks for goodness and surfing' thing in a totally believable way.


One time, while on a road trip, my husband and I were driving on the highway in CT and I looked to the right- I saw a shiny black sports car driven by a man wearing sunglasses who, although wearing shades, looked like Patrick Swayze. Then, he passed us- and the license plate said 'Swayze' on it!! We'll never know if it was him or not, taking a joy ride in Connecticut. But I like to believe it was. :)

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