by Natalie Finn | Mon., Oct. 28, 2013 5:40 PM
As Johnny Knoxville's Bad Grandpa demonstrates so readily, having a grandfather in the mix doesn't mean the fun is family-friendly.
But the $32 million that the R-rated flick drummed up in its opening weekend to top the box office certainly suggests that, in addition to the Jackass and Borat-reminiscent antics, folks love a delightfully inappropriate old codger!
And though Knoxville might not be winning any Oscar gold (then again, there's always best makeup) for playing 86-year-old Irving Zisman, count the Academy among those who've applauded saucy senior citizens with nominations—and, in a few cases, some wins!
Check out nine more onscreen old guys who prove that being delightfully inappropriate can be a good idea at any age:
• Grandpa Gustafson, Grumpy Old Men: Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau may have been the ones to make senior citizenry cool again in this 1993 blockbuster, but it was Burgess Meredith as Lemmon's 94-year-old, double-entendre-spouting father who got some of the best lines in the original film and the 1995 sequel. John Sr. may have succumbed to old age in Grumpier Old Men, but he sure went out with a smile.
• Jack Byrnes & Bernie Focker, Meet the Fockers & Little Fockers: Robert DeNiro's uptight retired CIA agent and Dustin Hoffman's free-spirited lawyer turned house-husband mix about as well as oil and water—but it turns out that it doesn't matter whether you're raising kids by the Ferber method or by the Focker method. Both play equally well for laughs!
• Thornton Melon, Back to School: Rodney Dangerfield, who was 65 when he played a fun-loving millionaire who joins his son at Grand Lakes University, proved that college is indeed wasted on the young.
20th Century Fox
• Edwin Hoover, Little Miss Sunshine: Alan Arkin won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for playing the talent-routine-choreographing, heroin-snorting family patriarch who provides most of the super-freaky comic relief in the hit indie film.
• Art Selwyn, Joe Finley & Ben Luckett, Cocoon & Cocoon: The Return: Now these three lovable guys are family friendly—but they're the most fun after they've swam in the magic pool and realized that you're only as young as your proverbial heart. And that there's a planet you can fly off to where you live forever and can have babies in your sixties. Don Ameche won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Art in the 1985 original. Hume Cronyn and Wilfred Brimley played his irrepressible pals.
Double Nickel Entertainment
• Walt Kowalski, Gran Torino: More like badass grandpa. Clint Eastwood's racist, xenophobic curmudgeon isn't much a fan of his own family (minus his presumably saintly late wife), but his epithet-spewing soul starts to soften when he gets to know a family of Hmong immigrants in the neighborhood. Predictably, the gun-toting side stays tough when a local gang attacks a young girl and threatens her family.