FAQ postcard distributed by the guy who played Biff in Back to the Future


Tom Wilson, the actor who played the bully Biff in the Back to the Future moves, has produced a small card that provides answers to all the questions he is commonly asked by fans of the movies. I wonder, though, how many of the fans who approach him with these questions ask them because they really care about the answer, and how many are using the questions as a conversational gambit, and really just want to speak briefly with him because they admire his work?

'Back to the Future' Star's Unique Postcard Recalls On-Set Stories (via Beth Pratt)

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  1. I used to laugh at people who thought the hoverboard was real. Now I feel like the fool for being tricked by the fake dung.

      1. john waters claims it’s real in his stand-up tour, which is on netflix as “this filthy world.” it’s very funny.

  2. Tom Wilson is by all (or most) accounts a really nice guy, so I’m sure he’s open to people just wanting to speak to him too.

  3. I remember seeing him in the “outtakes” section of the BTTF DVD set my husband bought – he was so sweet and goofy. After watching three movies in a row with Tom Wilson as Biff, seeing him as a normal, funny guy was such an odd juxtaposition.

  4. I wonder, though, how many of the fans who approach him with these questions ask them because they really care about the answer, and how many are using the questions as a conversational gambit, and really just want to speak briefly with him because they admire his work?

    That’s rather the point, the long, disconnected infodump on the card the perfect tonal equivalent of a trufan’s obsessiveness, a casual fan’s trite questions, and a polite non-fan’s uninterest. I love its studied vapidity, its breathy fullness, its helpful dullness. Quite an artful card, whether as a way to communicate or to say “fuck off, don’t bother me.”

  5. Wow, he coined the term butthead? That’s the most impressive thing on his resume, IMO, hah!

    1. It’s possible he didn’t, but he sure as hell popularized it: http://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=butthead&year_start=1800&year_end=2012&corpus=0&smoothing=3

  6. Tom Wilson’s performance in the second film pretty much carried the whole movie.  He played five different Biffs, each with very specific characterizations and each completely different. He’s the only reason I still watch that film, and he’s a highly underrated performer.

  7. I find it curious that so many people want to know whether Tom thinks that love or material possessions are more important, but I’m glad he answered the question.

    1. it’s pretty clear from the context that he means he *improvised* the line, not that he was the first person to ever use the term.

      1. I disagree; that’s not what the term coined is for.

        I’d guess his exact meaning was that he made it up, in that he’d never heard it before, but wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn it isn’t original.

        In same sense I could say I coined the term fuckstain, but it’s not as if I imagine I’m the first.

  8. I’ve found that if you need a conversational gambit to get the conversation started, you’re pretty much just wasting everyone’s time on other questions instead of getting to what you’re there for.

    “I thought you were great, can I have an autograph?” is much better than a ten minute conversation you fake your way through before getting to that.

  9.  It’ll soon be 2015, the year in which the second film was set.  1985 will be the distant past – the same 30 years in the past that Marty travelled in the first film.

    Also, when are those lazy scientists going to build me a hoverboard?

    1.  Oh, they have them, but that jerk Peterson won’t let the damn things out of beta until he can master a rail slide without falling on his ass.

    2. Worse, the inevitable remake in which Marty McFly (played by Jaden Smith) travels back to 1985 in a customized Tesla Roadster to perform the oldie-but-goodie “Baby Got Back” at his parents’ prom.

      1. I want to click “Like” for how perfectly you nailed that, but I’m torn because I also want to stab myself in the eye with a pencil for the same reason.

      2. How about a female lead this time?  We can all share a chuckle when Willow Smith confuses the hell out of the 50’s kids when she whips her hair back and forth. :D

        (Yes, I am a cold cynical bastard.)

  10. Jeez, you’d think the guy would be more happy to get the attention these days. It’s not like you’re interrupting his three way conversation with rival film studios desperate to put him in their next picture.

  11. Back in the early 70s there were three very tall aeronautics and astronautics graduate students one often saw in a group, two men and a woman. One day I noticed they were all wearing tee shirts with three answers on them:

    1) 6’8″, 6’6″, 6’4″ respectively (They were tall.)
    2) The same as down there.
    3) I forgot the third question, but you should get the idea.

  12. I don’t see it as dismissive at all; his answers seem gracious and sincere.  (And they’re informative!)

    From what I hear he’s a really nice guy.

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