I Can't Believe I Watched That: Young Einstein

By jaredmoshe | Jared Moshé's Blog August 19, 2009 at 7:49AM

I Can't Believe I Watched That: Young Einstein

I Can't Believe I Watched That
(A continuing series on film's from my childhood that I discovered on Netflix Watch Now)

Young Einstein
Written, directed, produced and starring Yahoo Serious.

In which: A young Albert Einstein (Yahoo Serious), the Australian - not Austrian - genius, discovers E=MC2 to create bubbled beer, falls in love with Marie Curie (Odile Le Clezio), and invents rock and roll music and the electric guitar, which he eventually uses to save the world from a giant beer keg gone nuclear created by arch-nemesis, theory stealer and patent office manager Preston Preston (John Howard). He also saves some kittens that a matron is for some reason trying to cook into a pie.

Where did this movie come from? And how did it become a huge hit in the late 80's? And why is it so cemented into my childhood? I can't imagine what spawned the idea for this movie. Check that, I can. Maybe one day while Yahoo Serious was walking down the street in Sydney, two American (they would have to be American) tourists stop him to ask where they could find the Albert Einstein house, and after having to explain that although Australia and Austria have a two letter difference and sound somewhat similar, they are completely different places on completely different continents, he had the brainstorm "what if Albert Einstein was Australian!?" I'm not going to try to guess where the rock and roll idea came from- though clearly the budget was so limited that the only rock song the filmmaker could get the rights to was Rock and Roll Music by Chuck Berry so maybe he just really liked that song?

I would try to comment on the plot, but really, I think there's not much to say about it other than what I have already said. No subtext, no similarities, just, well, randomness. So instead let's look at Yahoo Serious - the second most famous red headed comedian behind Carrot Top. In fact, perhaps if Serious had decided to jump into making commercials or spending more time in Vegas, he'd be known for more than Young Einstein and the joke from The Simpons episode "Bart vs. Australia" where after seeing a sign for the "Yahoo Serious Festival" Lisa comments, "I know those words, but that sign doesn't make sense." A quick imdb search showed me Serious actually made two more movies: Reckless Kelly, which tickles my subconscious as vaguely familiar, and The Accident, which I've never heard of. Somehow though, this unknown Australian comedian, made a smash hit movie that works purely on it's idiocy, and for that I applaud him.

Yahoo Serious, wherever you are today, I am impressed. (And if you could explain to me why the matron was cooking the kittens into pies I'd really appreciate it)

What the critics said then:

Like the [Monty] Python films, ''Young Einstein'' is an uneven series of sketches strung along an extended joke. But it is easy to see why it was a huge hit in Australia. This is the kind of smart-stupid film that can put audiences in a giddy mood with visual jokes so stupendously dumb they are actually funny.- Caryn James, NY Times

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