Carl Weathers was countless Americans’ Happy Place

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I just want to start this off by saying, I’m dedicating this piece to Carl Weathers, and if Shooter McGavin tries to claim otherwise, I will rattle off a stream of obscenities that’ll make Lee Trevino shake his head from Garland, Texas.

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If Chubbs Peterson isn’t in your dream foursome, you’re doing it wrong. I don’t care if he couldn’t swing a golf club with that wooden hand, give him a spot in your cart, and have a long discussion about your happy place. In case you missed it, the film legend died Friday at the age of 76. Most known for his roles in Rocky, Happy Gilmore and Predator, Weathers is enshrined in the hearts of red-blooded Americans forever.

“You’re pretty sick, Chubbs” has been in my lexicon since 1996.

Weathers played football in college at San Diego State and was a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders in 1970 and ’71. He even has a Pro Football Reference page, so, yes, this counts as sports related. Also, Apollo Creed was so legendary that Michael B. Jordan starred in the acclaimed spinoffs, Creeds 1-3, as his unacknowledged offspring.

Honestly, is there another actor who better stamped his mark on Hollywood and pop culture via three supporting roles than Weathers? It’s like him and John Cazale, and I’d argue that more people have rewatched the Rocky movies, Happy Gilmore and Predator than the Godfathers, Dog Day Afternoon and Deer Hunter. Weathers even has the timeless Arnold Scwartzenger handshake meme that will live on as long as people still use social media.

Throw in Weathers’ role as Greef Karga in The Mandalorian, and as Tobias Funke’s acting coach in Arrested Development, and I’m not sure how many actors have a better approval rating. [Ed. note: Baby, you got a stew going!]

I wish someone would say my name with the same verve as Weathers bellowed “Mando!”

There was a certain charisma about him that’s not quantifiable. Even as the antagonist in Rocky it was hard to root against Weathers. Where do you think the Fast and Furious franchise got the idea to turn a villain into an ally? Ivan Drago killing Apollo was every bit the rallying cry for America as Pearl Harbor.

Somewhere, Carl Weathers has his hand back and is playing the Carpenters’ We’ve Only Just Begun with Abraham Lincoln and the alligator who bit his hand off. RIP.

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