From the You Can't Make This Shit Up files
"C. Thomas Howell will host a CMT reality show about extreme Americans, featuring people who races ostriches and juggle chainsaws."
That's from Jezebel's Dirt Bag feature -- my personal favorite access point to unnecessary gossip. My personal favorite C. Thomas Howell vehicle has always been Side Out, the harrowing tale of a young legal intern who moves out to California to sell his soul to the devil serving eviction notices to poor unsuspecting individuals on behalf of his super rich uncle, but gets sidetracked by the alluring, seedy underworld of competitive beach volleyball. It's got everything you could ever want in a terrible summer sports movie -- a suffocating array of neon clothing, Courtney Thorne-Smith, a slow motion cheering scene, a scandal involving an athlete betting against himself and throwing the big match, sexy naked time in a swimming pool. It's probably playing on channel 20 as we speak, so just turn on your tv and enjoy this gem from 1990.
Of course, my second favorite C. Thomas Howell performance is Soul Man, an unparalleled commentary on Affirmative Action. And of course, you can't talk about C.Tom without mentioning his big screen debut in E.T. He played Tom Howell, a character I've heard he wasn't quite sure how to really empathize with. The pathos he brought to that scene around the dinner table, and the speed with which he rode his bike were what really made this movie something special.