You Dumb Kid: Weekend at Bernie’s

There are some things you see as a kid that become a skewed fact that actually turns out not to be true at all, like your dad is the tallest guy in the world or your step-uncle is a fantastic kisser. This also applies to movies, where some detail sticks out for you and you turn it into a false assumption.

Weekend at Bernie’s (1989)

This one is extremely dumb and I’m sure no one will care but me. In the middle of Weekend at Bernie’s (one of the most underrated comedies in cinematic history) Richard and Larry are trying to escape from the island on Bernie’s speed boat, and on the side of the boat is written the word “Premiums.” Now, I had often heard of speed boats referred to as cigarette boats, although I didn’t know why back then, and I still don’t (I thought it was because they were kind of shaped like cigarettes?).

Pictured: The dangers of smoking.

So since it was a cigarette boat, I thought “Premiums” referred to a premium cigarette, like a really fancy brand of Parliaments or something, and since Bernie was a smoker, I thought he just bought this cigarette boat designed by his favorite brand. It wasn’t until recently that it dawned on me that Bernie was the head of an insurance company, so “Premiums” referred to insurance premiums paid out by the client, which is how insurance companies make their profits, and Bernie was skimming from the till, so he cleverly named his boat after the funds he used to buy it.

Still, you shouldn’t smoke, kids.

7 thoughts on “You Dumb Kid: Weekend at Bernie’s

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  3. I can’t believe I never read this until now! Hysterical!

    And yes, the fact that Bernie named his boat “Premiums” only proves what a cinematic masterpiece this movie is. It should be included in the same category with other classic comedies like “Bringing Up Baby” and “Some Like It Hot!”


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