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What Ever Happened To The Cast Of Heavyweights?

If you haven't seen the 1990s summer camp comedy "Heavyweights," then you've been really missing out. This hilarious family comedy follows the adventures of a group of kids who struggle to survive Camp Hope — a "fat camp" run by psychotic fitness guru Tony Perkis (played to perfection by Ben Stiller). As the boys slowly work to take back the camp, they also take back their own lives and commit to their own personal responsibility. Not only is this family film pretty charming, but it's insanely quotable and laugh-out-loud kinds of funny.

While Judd Apatow might be a comedy icon now, back in 1995 he was just starting out. "Heavyweights" was his first feature film, which he co-wrote with director Steven Brill of "The Mighty Ducks" fame. While "Heavyweights" might not be the most popular live-action comedy in Disney's ever expanding library, it's made its way to Disney+ for all to enjoy — dated references and all. While we won't talk about all of them, here's a look at what some of the cast look like now, and what they've been up to since.

Ben Stiller is a successful actor and director

The most entertaining character in "Heavyweights," Ben Stiller's Tony Perkis is a complete psycho who struggles to deal with his own childhood by taking it out on the kids of Camp Hope. Perkis is "a bit over the top," and the longer he talks, the crazier he gets. After being overthrown by his own campers, Perkis became even more unstable, attempting to attack his former campers and their parents. It's a perfect role for someone like Ben Stiller, who can easily unleash his inner-crazy.

Within the decade of starring in "Heavyweights," Stiller appeared some of his most popular films of his entire career, such as "Zoolander," where he plays the titular male model opposite his wife Christine Taylor and most frequent collaborator Owen Wilson, and "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," where he plays a character similar to Tony Perkis. It wouldn't be long before Stiller would headline the "Night at the Museum" trilogy opposite the late Robin Williams and create the controversial "Tropic Thunder." Stiller would go on to write, direct, and star in the comedy-drama "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (highlighting his serious side), before taking on the not-so-great "Zoolander 2."

Recently, Stiller has switched his focus to television directing. In 2018, he directed the Showtime miniseries "Escape at Dannemora," and in 2022, he helmed the Adam Scott-starring Apple+ thriller "Severance."

Aaron Schwartz has certainly grown up

"Gerald Garner, age 11, 141 pounds ..." It's no wonder that Gerry had a tough time at Camp Hope at first, but after leading a successful rebellion against Tony Perkis and taking back the camp, everything changed. It was Gerry's skills on the go-carts that won Camp Hope the Apache Relay for the first time in their history. Our loveable hero proved that he could persevere through just about anything, and even conquer his fear of talking to girls.

So what has actor Aaron Schwartz been up to since? Well, for starters, he took his time at Camp Hope to heart and became a passionate lover of fitness. The one-time "Mighty Duck," didn't do a lot of acting right after "Heavyweights," taking over a decade off, but eventually Schwartz reappeared in the late '00s in a recurring role on "Gossip Girl." His role as doorman Vanya was so popular that it let to a short-lived web series spin-off, "Chasing Dorota," and a return appearance in the recent HBO Max reboot series. 

Otherwise, Schwartz's career has mostly consisted of guest-starring roles in shows like "S.W.A.T.," "The Kominsky Method," "Young Sheldon," and others, but that hasn't kept the avid Instagrammer down.

Tom McGowan is more versatile than you'd think

Pat Finley is the camp counselor that everyone wishes they had growing up. He's smart, funny, dependable, and is an all-around stand-up guy. But the real reason Pat is so successful in "Heavyweights" is because of actor Tom McGowan, who plays the role perfectly. Whether it's his mentorship towards Gerry or his awkward romance with Julie, Pat is a favorite character for many, and for good reason.

McGowan would go on to play radio station manager Kenny Daily in 42 episodes of "Frasier" while also maintaining a recurring role on "Everybody Loves Raymond." Subsequently, McGowan was still making small appearances in movies, finding supporting roles in Nicholas Cage's "The Family Man" and Clint Eastwood's "True Crime." As it turned out, TV was a lot more consistent for him, and he'd end up guest-starring on episodes of "Hannah Montana," "CSI," "Desperate Housewives," and "Veep," before a five episode stint as Maia's uncle on the first season of "The Good Fight" in 2017. McGowen resurfaced in the 2020s, first in the Hallmark movie "One Royal Holiday," followed by a guest role on the series "American Auto."

Throughout his career, McGowen has also spent a lot of time on stage. His theater work includes "Wicked," where he played the infamous Wizard of Oz, "Chicago," as Amos Hart, and "La Bête," for which he was nominated for a Tony Award in the early 1990s.

Kenan Thompson rocked the transition from child actor to television personality

Roy Murphy, Kenan Thompson's first film role after "D2: The Mighty Ducks," was Gerry's first friend at camp. In fact, they became friends before their plane even hit the ground. A member of the Chipmunk bunkhouse, Roy helped Gerry and the gang take over the camp from the crazed Tony Perkis and proved to be a valuable asset to the team. During the Apache Relay, his football toss helps Camp Hope catch up to Camp MVP after an initial disadvantage, making Roy vital to Gerry's ultimate success.

After "Heavyweights," Thompson went on to star in Nickelodeon productions "All That" and "Kenan & Kel," and even his own movie with "Good Burger." After a starring role in the film adaptation of "Fat Albert," Thompson would appear as a guest on various Nickelodeon projects, feature films, and television series, such as "Psych," "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," and "Felicity." In 2003, Thompson joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live," where he has remained comfortably for nearly 20 years.

Since the mid-2010s, Thompson found new success playing, well, himself on various game shows, sketch comedy series, documentaries, a "Scooby-Doo" episode, and lots of award shows. Currently, Thompson's newest sitcom, "Kenan," a series about a widowed morning show host also named Kenan, is airing on NBC.

Shaun Weiss got himself into some trouble

In "Heavyweights," Shaun Weiss' character Josh was the initial ringleader of the Chipmunks. Not afraid to stand up to Tony Perkis, Josh is eventually kicked out of camp, with counselors, campers, and staffers spreading wild rumors about his disappearance. But, rather than risk a legal battle with his parents, Perkis "welcomed" Josh back to him, who then stepped down from his leadership role so that "Captain" Gerry Garner could fly.

Weiss, probably best known for his role in "The Mighty Ducks" series, was a recurring child actor for a long while post-"Heavyweights," appearing frequently on shows like "Mr. Rhodes," "The Tony Danza Show," "Freaks and Geeks," and even "The King of Queens," before losing a bit of steam. After a bunch of random film and television appearances (here's looking at you "Drillbit Taylor"), Weiss started his own YouTube web-series, "Why Not Weiss," that only lasted a few episodes.

Not long after, Weiss was arrested for public intoxication and was sentenced to 90 days in jail after the police found him in possession of possible methamphetamine, completely halting his acting career. In 2020, a friend of Weiss' set up a GoFundMe page for the former child star after he was arrested for attempted robbery, reminding everyone that "he's just sick and everyone gives up on him." Here's hoping that Weiss gets the help he needs.

Paul Feig became a (mostly) successful comedy director

Paul Feig is a comedy staple now. In "Heavyweights," he played the formerly obese counselor Tim, who was picked on by the campers for losing all his extra weight. Tim is a cautious yet courteous counselor who pushes the kids to their limit (just not over it like Tony Perkis does). Pretty critical of Perkis' shaming techniques ("this bites!"), Tim eventually comes around to the Chipmunks' plan to take over Camp Hope.

"Heavyweights" might be Feig's most famous on-screen role, though his recurring stints on the original "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" and "The Jackie Thomas Show" give it a run for its money. Feig began his transition to film and television director in the late '90s with "Freaks and Geeks" before releasing his feature film debut, "I Am David" starring Jim Caviezel, in 2004. This was followed by the Christmas film "Unaccompanied Minors" two years later. From there, Feig became one of the most prolific directors on "The Office," "Arrested Development," and his own short-lived series "Other Space," before directing his feature film comedy hits "Bridesmaids" and "The Heat."

After some big hits, Feig directed the "Ghostbusters" reboot in 2016, and helmed "Last Christmas" a few years later. Recently, Feig has kept himself busy as a producer on "The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale," "Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist," "Love Life," and possibly a sequel to his film "Spy."

Tom Hodges fell off the map

Tom Hodges' Lars, the new "Perkisizing" camp counselor from "far away," is by far the funniest character in "Heavyweights." His social unawareness, disregard for the campers' safety ("BODY!"), and turncoat personality make him a completely unique character in an already unique movie. After eventually siding with the campers against Tony Perkis (after the threat of losing his work visa, of course), Lars helps Camp Hope win the Apache Relay, and does it in Andy Warhol style.

Post-"Heavyweights," Hodges would go on to appear in a variety of films and television shows, showing up as a guest on "Touched by an Angel," "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," and "JAG." Sadly, after "Heavyweights" none of Hodges' film roles stand out as exceptional (most of his best stuff was in the '80s and early '90s). Apparently not much has stood out to Hodges himself, whose Twitter handle is @mynameislars in honor of his "Heavyweights" character. As of 2018, Hodges has seemingly retired from the acting business entirely, much to the sorrow of those who loved him as Lars. 

Don't worry though, Hodges isn't gone entirely! Hodges has directed a few short films over the years, and most recently he's been a co-executive producer on the David Schwimmer's "Intelligence," which has already ran through two seasons. While we're still not sure if there will be a third season, we can hope that Hodges and the team are working hard to make it happen.

Leah Lail has found her new calling in real estate

In "Heavyweights," Leah Lail played the new-to-Camp Hope nurse Julie Belcher. Julie immediately puts all the young boys and camp counselors in their place and sets her sights on Pat, who still struggles to talk to women. As Julie nurses the campers back to health following some rough workouts and sporting events, she is quick to realize the danger that is Tony Perkis and helps the Chipmunks take over the camp. Eventually, she and Pat seal the deal.

After her role in "D2: The Mighty Ducks," Lail landed her spot in "Heavyweights." She then guest starred on a number of television series before winning the role of Kay Simmons on "V.I.P.," starring opposite Pamela Anderson. She also starred in the 1998 drama film "Denial," which was all about the struggles of staying married and monogamous, before a final run of guest roles on TV. Her final acting role was an uncredited appearance on "Boston Legal," which closed that chapter of Lail's life for good.

Since then, Lail has switched careers entirely, now a self-employed luxury real estate agent working out of Beverly Hills. After 20 years in the entertainment industry, it's no wonder that sometimes you just gotta get out and start over completely.

Jerry Stiller & Anne Meara Stiller, may they rest in peace

At the beginning of "Heavyweights," we meet the kindly couple who run Camp Hope, the Bushkins. After a sad speech, the Bushkins reveal that they are no longer the owners of Camp Hope and had to sell the camp to pay off their debts. After announcing Tony Perkis as the new owner, the Bushkins leave. Though, after the campers overthrow Perkis, they paint a mural in honor of their former leaders.

It's no secret that Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara were a husband-wife comedy duo, and the parents of Ben Stiller, which is obviously why they appeared in "Heavyweights" and countless other Ben Stiller films. After the Disney comedy, Stiller continued to appear on "Seinfeld" as George's father Frank Costanza. Afterward, he played Carrie Heffernan's elderly father Arthur on "The King of Queens." Meara guest starred on both these shows, often opposite her husband. Both Stillers spent lots of time appearing on various TV shows and films, with their last role together being as a married RV couple in Disney's "Planes: Fire & Rescue." Stiller would later appear in his son's sequel film, "Zoolander 2," in his last acting role.

Unfortunately, the Anne Meara died in 2015, and Jerry Stiller followed a few years later in 2020 – but in the time we had with them, it's clear that they were truly a match-made-in-heaven.

Jeffrey Tambor

At the beginning of "Heavyweights," Maury Garner, played by Jeffrey Tambor, confronts his son Gerry about his weight. This leads to him sending Gerry to Camp Hope to do something about it. Maury is pretty tough on his son, and visibly frustrated when he sees that Gerry has lost hardly any weight at all. Yet, when Gerry stands up to Tony Perkis and confronts the unhinged camp owner, his father stands up for his son, socking Perkis in the gut. Go Maury!

Tambor is most famous for his duel role as George Bluth, Sr. and his twin brother Oscar on the hit comedy series "Arrested Development," but that's not all Tambor is known for. After playing the Mayor of Whoville in Ron Howard's "How The Grinch Stole Christmas," Tambor continued his film career into the "Hellboy" films and "The Hangover" trilogy before returning to television for Netflix's revival of "Arrested Development." He also starred in the Amazon series "Transparent" as a retired college professor who comes out as transgender.

In 2017, Tambor was accused of sexual misconduct, which led to Amazon firing him from "Transparent." Since then, Tambor hasn't appeared in any new projects, save for 2020's Disney fantasy-comedy "Magic Camp."

Tim Blake Nelson became a star

Tim Blake Nelson's Roger Johnson doesn't show up much in "Heavyweights," but when he does, he makes an impact. After showing Gerry the promotional video for Camp Hope, Gerry begins to be excited about summer camp after seeing go-carts. But things quickly turn for the worse when Gerry discovers that it's a "fat camp." Johnson does his best to convince Gerry this is a good idea, but in truth, he had already convinced his father, and that was enough.

A rising star himself, Tim Blake Nelson soon landed solid roles in Terrence Malik's "The Thin Red Line," the Coen Brothers' "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," Steven Spielberg's "Minority Report," and the Disney classic "Holes," really launching him into the spotlight. He eventually shuffled his success over to television, where he received an Emmy nomination for his work as Wade Tillman on HBO's 2019 "Watchmen" sequel series. A frequent collaborator with Spielberg and the Coens, Nelson adapted his own written plays into feature films that he directed, first "Eye of God" in 1997 and later "The Grey Zone."

Most recently, Nelson has been collaborating with director Guillermo del Toro for "Pinocchio" and his "Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities" horror anthology series.

Allen Covert, a behind-the-scenes star

Allen Covert's role in "Heavyweights" is pretty straight-forward. Kenny Parray was hired by Tony Perkis to turn the summer camp into the "number one weight-loss infomercial in the country!" As Kenny continued filming the camp's new insane weight-loss tactics, he gathered enough evidence to have the parents of the campers shut Camp Hope down, delivering Perkis to the authorities.

After "Heavyweights," Covert quickly joined the Adam Sandler's entourage, with big roles in some of Sander's greatest hits such as "Happy Gilmore," "The Wedding Singer," "50 First Dates," "Bedtime Stories," and many more. After some work on "Saturday Night Live," he also began co-writing some of Sandler's features, including the animated Christmas film "Eight Crazy Nights" and the horrific "Jack and Jill" — and he hasn't written a film since. He also frequently collaborates with Kevin James, with acting roles in "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" and Netflix sports comedy "Home Team."

Covert still acts in most of Sandler's films, but much like Kenny the cameraman, he's become a bit more "behind the scenes" in recent years. Since "Hotel Transylvania" in 2012, Covert has produced nearly every Adam Sandler movie to date, with recent installments including Netflix's "Murder Mystery" and "Hubie Halloween" — the latter which re-united Covert with "Heavyweights" director Steven Brill.

David Bowe, forever a character actor

Camp Hope's rivals, the sporty Camp MVP, are a threat to our "Heavyweights" heroes only because of their leader, Coach Chris Donnelly played by David Bowe. Chris' longtime rivalry with Pat Finley, combined with his constant need to win, forced Chris to teach his players how to play hard and dirty. During the Apache Relay, his campers actively sabotage Camp Hope, to which Chris just shrugs. After Camp Hope wins and throws their trophy into the lake, Chris loses it and dives in after the cup.

David Bowe (no, not that David Bowie) has been a character actor since the early '80s, and after "Heavyweights" he continued onto a recurring role on "Beverly Hills, 90210," only to land a main cast role on the incredibly short lived "Life...and Stuff" (it only went five episodes). After that, Bowe was back to his usual guest appearances, showing up on episodes of "The X-Files," "Felicity," "Criminal Minds," and "Bones," among others.

After a five year break from acting, Bowe returned for three episodes of "Pen15," which led to him landing the role of Bob Tamietti on "Shameless." While he's back to guest appearances now, with his most recent on a 2021 episode of "The Morning Show," there's no doubt that Bowe will be back for more in the future. At least, we hope so!

Judd Apatow has become comedy gold

An interesting bit of trivia regarding "Heavyweights" is that Judd Apatow, the film's co-writer, is listed in the credits as playing a character named Homer. This Homer shows up when Tony Perkis introduces his new team in a real quick "blink and you'll miss it" cameo. Thankfully, Apatow posted a photo on his Twitter page for all to see.

While "Heavyweights" was his first written feature, it took Apatow a while to get noticed, even while he was writing for "The Larry Sanders Show." After his second written feature "Celtic Pride" was released, and after executive producing the short-lived "Freaks and Geeks" (created by Paul Feig) and his own series "Undeclared," Apatow finally got his big break with his feature directorial debut "The 40-Year Old Virgin," which starred Steve Carell in the title role. Since then, Apatow has written for a few other series, including HBO's "Girls," and written/directed comedy features "Knocked Up" and "This Is 40."

Of course, Apatow has also frequently collaborated with Will Ferrell over the years, with the first "Anchorman," "Talladega Nights," and "Step Brothers" being some of their most notable partnerships. More recently, after the success of his 2019 film "The King of Staten Island," Apatow has a new film in 2022 — which he directed, produced, and co-wrote — called "The Bubble."