HAMMOND, Ind. (CBS) — Poor Flick’s tongue is going to be stuck to that flagpole forever. Sort of.
A bronze statue inspired by the famous “triple dog dare” scene in the 1983 film “A Christmas Story” has been unveiled in Hammond, the hometown of Jean Shepherd, who narrated the movie based on his own autobiographical stories.
In one of the most famous scenes in the movie, the character Flick gets his tongue frozen to a flagpole, after a schoolyard dare from his pal Schwartz, in a failed attempt to prove his tongue wouldn’t stick to the pole.
The statue unveiled by the South Shore Convention & Visitors Authority on Tuesday was boxed up in a crate marked “Fragile,” just like another famous prop from the movie, the leg lamp Ralphie’s dad won as a “major award.”
The visitor’s center is located at the Kennedy Avenue exit on Interstate 80/94.
Scott Schwartz, the actor who played Flick, was on hand to see the statue of his younger self unveiled. He looked around, and said, “This is surreal.”
“It’s awesome,” Schwartz said.
The sculpture was made by the studio of Rotblatt-Amrany, which also sculpted the Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center.
“Being statued, being formed by the same guy who did the one for Jordan, it’s like now I’ve got to send these down to Michael … because I’m friends with him. I’m going to send this down to him and his brother in Charlotte, and go ‘Check this out!’ This is just so cool,” Schwartz said.
He had only 16 scripted lines in the movie – the flagpole scene was improvised – and he said Shepherd didn’t even acknowledge him at the time.
“He didn’t really talk to me. He didn’t care about me. He cared about Ralphie. I was an afterthought,” Schwartz said.
Ralphie, of course, was based on Shepherd himself, but Flick is the one now the one immortalized in bronze.
“Exactly. Total afterthought, and now I’m bronze,” Schwartz said. “They’ve even got the hole in the pole, like the one in the movie. You couldn’t see it, but there really was a hole there.”
Schwartz said the pole in the movie was made of plastic, not metal, so “there was no getting stuck” even if it didn’t have a hole where his tongue went.