Young Einstein (1988)

young einstein

“I suppose you can split a beer atom”

The Scoop: 1988 PG, Directed by Yahoo Serious and starring Yahoo Serious, Odile Le Clezio and John Howard

Tagline: In 1905 he discovered relativity… In 1906 he invented rock and roll.

Summary Capsule: In 1988 he proved that he couldn’t carry a movie worth a fart.

Justin’s rating: “I know those words, but that sign makes no sense!” ~ Lisa Simpson, upon seeing a “Yahoo Serious is Young Einstein” movie marquee

Justin’s review: Who is Yahoo Serious? What is Yahoo Serious? Why is Yahoo Serious?

These are all essential questions to ask if you dare step into the movie land down under for a cinematic walkabout. They are also questions more suited to the backs of sugar packets, for all the time you should spend pondering them. I, however, have loads of time and am at your service.

Mr. Serious is an Australian comedian who tried to ride the coattails of Paul “Crocodile Dundee” Hogan to worldwide fame, but largely failed. Whether it was because he came across as a third-rate Carrot Top (and a first-rate Carrot Top is bad enough) or because being Australian with wild hair was not the exotic pleasure that most of us sought in our lives, I can’t say. He’s a student of one-note jokes and slapstick who wrote, directed, produced and starred in several of his own films. He’s also kind of forgettable.

Fun fact: Yahoo Serious seriously tried to sue Yahoo! for name infringement in 2000, but lost.

Corollary: Most historians agree that that was the point in which civilization went into steep decline.

Young Einstein has a curious attraction to it, I’ll admit, but that’s probably because when you think “Einstein,” a Pauly Shore-lookin’ Aussie jamming to an electric guitar isn’t the usual progression of thought. Banking your entire amusement on a wacky revision of history, Serious reinvents one of the smartest guys who ever lived as a beer-swilling hick who’s all about Having A Good Time.

Goofy props, cartoonish sound effects and a marathon of musical montages assault you, offering a personal affront under the guise of high art. As Einstein discovers the laws of thermodynamics by falling out of a tree, E=MC2 by making better suds, and rock ‘n roll by purchasing the Young Einstein soundtrack, years of high school science are undone. But really, how much do you remember from science class anyway? Something about osmosis and what a pig’s spleen looks like, I imagine.

Even still, the premise of Young Einstein could’ve worked – we’ve seen movies like Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure have fun with tweaking historical figures for comedic purposes – but then it depends on its premise for laughs instead of working hard to earn them. Young Einstein is a desert of comedy, with only a sparse oasis to keep you from dying entirely. Beware of circling vultures.

What Poolman’s doing now that he’s in retirement.


  • That’s one way to cut your own hair
  • I want a farm with a kangaroo in the front yard!
  • Every Australian farmer in 1905 was equipped with blunderbusses
  • The music montages! THE MONTAGES!
  • There are constant references to apples, based on the fact Tasmania is Australia’s largest producer/supplier of apples, so much so that the official state slogan printed on Tasmanian car license plates is “Tasmania: The Apple Isle”.

If you liked this movie, try these:

  • Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  • Reckless Kelly
  • Son in Law


  1. Spare yourself the torture… never, under any circumstance, including the threat of imminent death, watch this film.

    You’ll thank me later.

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