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Bueller? … Bueller? … Balkman?

Gazette staff February 8th, 2012

If you caught the Super Bowl, you couldn’t help but notice that Ferris Bueller himself, Matthew Broderick, is cashing in on his ballyhooed 1986 role for Honda.

While the ad certainly conjures up fond memories for GenXers who grew up quoting “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” the memories are particularly personal for former state Rep. Thad Balkman.

His childhood house in Long Beach, Calif., served as the onscreen home for Bueller.

“Location scouts liked our house because it’s not in the Spanish style that’s all over that part of the state,” said Balkman, now executive director of the Oklahoma Lawyers Association. “They told my parents they needed a house that looked like it could be in Chicago.”

Balkman said his dad initially didn’t want to show the movie guys his son’s room since it was such a mess, but he eventually gave in.

“They liked it so much that they modeled much of Ferris’ room after it: British flag hanging from ceiling, lots of ’80s New Wave band posters on walls,” recalled the younger Balkman. “My room was too small for camera shots so they built it on set.”

Balkman celebrated his 14th birthday during the two-week movie shoot. His mom made a cake that read, “It may be Ferris’ day off, but it’s Thad’s 14th birthday.”

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