It’s been a while, Rick Moranis! The Canadian comedian — famous for his roles in Ghostbusters, The Flintstones, and the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids films — is returning to our screens for the first time in 11 years. He’ll reprise his Spaceballs character, the Darth Vader parody Dark Helmet, in the Wednesday, May 9 episode of ABC’s 1980s-set sitcom The Goldbergs.
The Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg is thrilled by the casting coup. “I truly think Rick Moranis gave the most underrated and brilliant comedic performance in any ’80s movie as Dark Helmet,” Goldberg told ScreenCrush. “I’ve been a lifelong fan of his work and became obsessed with having him reprise the role on my show. As an added bonus, maybe this even gets Spaceballs back in the conversation and I can get my dream of helping make a sequel.”
Granted, this Goldbergs gig is just a voice role for Rick — and there will probably be a body double underneath Dark Helmet’s helmet — but it’s still Rick’s first return to showbiz since 2007. An on-screen appearance would have really been newsworthy, considering Rick, 65, hasn’t been seen on-screen since 1997, when he took time out of from his Hollywood career to take care of his kids. (His wife, costume designer Ann Belsky, died of cancer in 1991.)
“I’m a single parent, and I just found that it was too difficult to manage raising my kids and doing the traveling involved in making movies,” he told USA Today in 2005. “So I took a little bit of a break. And the little bit of a break turned into a longer break, and then I found that I really didn’t miss it.”
Rick in 1993.
Since that hiatus, Rick has stuck to voice acting in a select few productions, including, for example, Disney’s animated film Brother Bear and its sequel. And he famously turned down a role in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot. But the actor says he hasn’t retired — he’s just selective. “I’m happy with the things I said yes to, and I’m very happy with the many things I’ve said no to,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “Yes, I am picky, and I’ll continue to be picky. Picky has worked for me.”