This may be heretical, but I think this was John Astin's best role, even better than Gomez Addams. While Gomez was peculiar, he still had his family to share in it. Buddy was a whole other creature. What else can you say about a guy who can count a near-nihilistic voluntary mute (who likes noogies), a psychiatrist who thinks he is a dog, and a mysterious friend named Nick with a flying convertible among his friends?
Some of his better lines (damn I wish they had them on video):
Buddy: [Harry wakes from a nap to find he's been laying on Buddy's knee. Buddy just smiles at him] I didn't want to disturb you.
Judge Harry T. Stone: You did a real good job.
Buddy: [smiling] You're a fine looking young man.
Judge Harry T. Stone: Thank you very much.
Buddy: [long pause. Smiling] Wanna know who the hell I am?
Buddy Ryan: [Seeing Christine pregnant for the first time] Is it my imagination, or is Christine developing a beer gut?
Christine Sullivan: Buddy? Is that you?
Buddy Ryan: [takes off his sunglasses and looks into a hand mirror] By golly, it is!
And the introduction of his catchphrase, which when combined with the half-smile and wide-eyed stare, was absolutely perfect in hilarity and fright:
Buddy: [about Harry's mother] She ended up in a mental hospital. That's where we met.
Judge Harold T. "Harry" Stone: I'm gonna go out on a limb here... you weren't on the staff, were you?
[Buddy grins and shakes his head]
Buddy: But I'm feeling much better now.
Seriously, Harry didn't have a chance at being remotely normal with a father like that.
Harry Stone: [after finding out Buddy's his biological father] All right, Buddy, whatever you have to say, go ahead and lay it out. Nothing that you can say could possibly faze me now!
Buddy Ryan: You were born in a *mental institution*!
Harry Stone: ...I stand corrected.
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