Ben Stiller Recalls Late Dad Jerry Stiller Chasing Down His Stolen Bike in Touching Story

Ben Stiller appeared on Tuesday's at-home edition of The Tonight Show and told Jimmy Fallon a few of his favorite stories about his late father, Jerry Stiller.

By Elyse Dupre May 20, 2020 1:37 PMTags
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Ben Stiller appeared on Tuesday's at-home edition of The Tonight Show and told some of his favorite stories about his late father, Jerry Stiller.

For instance, the 54-year-old actor recalled the time his dad helped him chase down a kid who stole his bike. Ben was about 11 years old at the time, and he was hanging out with a friend in New York's Riverside Park. According to the story, a kid then asked him if he could take his bike for a ride. Ben agreed, and the kid never came back. So, Jerry agreed to buy Ben a secondhand bike. But when they were at the bike store, Ben spotted the kid riding his bike and alerted his father.

"He started running after the kid. I ran after my dad. He chased him down," the Zoolander star recalled. "The kid is riding the bike and saw that my dad was running after him."

After a bit of a "long run," Ben and Jerry saw the kid head into an apartment. Jerry then told his son to wait outside and went in to confront the young man.

"Ten minutes go by and he comes out and he doesn't have the bike," Ben said. "I said, 'What's going on?' He goes, 'We're going to let him keep the bike….He needs it. I'll go get you another one.' He literally let the kid keep the bike because he felt bad."

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This wasn't the only memory Ben shared. He also told Jimmy Fallon about the time Jerry attended a fourth-grade production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow featuring Ben's daughter Ella. After the show, Ben asked him what he thought of the performance, to which Jerry replied, "'I didn't care for it.'"

"He goes, 'Ella was amazing. Ella had the commitment, and she was shining up there. But I didn't feel the rest of the kids were up to it,'" Ben said. "He wasn't kidding. My mom [Anne Meara] was like, 'Jerry, what the hell are you talking about? It's a fourth-grade play.'"

In addition, Ben recalled the time he tried LSD when he was 16 years old. The Dodgeball celeb said it "was the first and last time" he took it and said it "wasn't a good experience."

"I got freaked out, scared and my first instinct was, 'I'm going to call my parents' because every kid calls his parents on LSD, right?" he said. "I guess, maybe, that speaks to our relationship, too because I felt like, OK, that's where I wanted to go." 


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Ben's parents were in Los Angeles at the time filming an episode of The Love Boat. Still, he managed to get a hold of him.

"I said, 'Dad, I took some acid' and I think his first thought was, like, 'Acid, like he drank battery acid'.... I said no it's LSD," Ben recalled.

At first, there was a bit of silence.

"Then, the next thing he said was, 'It's going to be OK,'" Ben said. "And he started to talk me down, even though he knew nothing about drugs. He said, 'I know what you're feeling. When I was 10 years old, I smoked a Pall Mall cigarette and I was sick for two days.' And I said, 'No this is different.'"

Jerry passed away from natural causes earlier this month. He was 92 years old. Ben paid tribute to the late actor and comedian on social media.

"He was a great dad and grandfather, and the most dedicated husband to Anne for about 62 years," he wrote while referencing his mom, who passed away in 2015. "He will be greatly missed. Love you Dad." 

Watch the video to see Ben tell stories about his dad.

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