Maryland-born character actor and voice-over legend Daniel Stern can look back on a career filled with accomplishments. In a very competitive industry, he has worked steadily in TV and film since 1979, not to mention countless radio commercials. His credits include such well-regarded films as City Slickers, Diner, and Breaking Away. The man narrated six seasons of The Wonder Years, for crying out loud. But, to much of the movie-watching world, Stern will always be Marv, the lanky, dimwitted burglar who lets out a scream for the ages when Macaulay Culkin places a tarantula on his face in 1990’s John Hughes-scripted Home Alone. If a video posted to Stern’s official (if underutilized) YouTube channel is any indication, the actor has come to peace with this legacy, if “come to peace” means that he still lets out a blood-curdling shriek at the very sight of a tarantula.
A minute-long clip tellingly titled “Home Alone Co-Star Resurfaces After 26 Years” shows Stern, in only shorts and sandals, revealing that the orange plastic bucket he is toting contains one seriously terrifying looking spider. Could this be the same arachnid from the movie? Probably not, even though some tarantulas have been known to live over 20 years in captivity. This eight-legged freak just seems to have been an uninvited interloper in Stern’s garage. After capturing it, Stern thought he’d get some social media mileage out of it as well.
In any event, the nostalgia-driven video has certainly captured the collective imagination of the internet, racking up over 3 million views in only two days. And this is just Stern looking at a tarantula and screaming. Imagine the frenzy that could have erupted had he actually recreated the infamous Home Alone scene.
For the record, that original tarantula from 1990 was very genuine. As Stern told The Hollywood Reporter late last year, he was offered the choice of a real spider or a rubber one. Although he had serious doubts, he went with the real one. “Everyone seemed cool with it,” he said, “so I just had them put the friggin’ tarantula on my face.” That is what is known as a trouper.