Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Back To The Future writer laments that Cubs win ruined his joke

Illustration for article titled Back To The Future writer laments that Cubs win ruined his joke

The Cubs’ 108-year-drought-erasing World Series win not only made history, it’s also had deep ramifications on the future—specifically, Back To The Future Part II, whose prediction of a Cubs championship was once every bit as outlandish as the idea of a bloated, bullying casino magnate achieving autocratic rule. Last year, as the film’s actual date of Oct. 21, 2015 arrived and the Cubs edged closer to the playoffs—and Donald Trump was still just an entertaining shit-show—co-screenwriter Bob Gale shrugged off the eerie parallels, believing no matter what came to pass in the real world, “the joke will still be funny” in the film. But here we are in 2016, and Gale’s not so certain anymore that anyone will laugh. (At the Cubs joke, anyway; we’re still four days away from deciding the latter.)


“Bob [Zemeckis] and I have been talking about this since last year, of course, when it looked like our prediction might actually come true in the right year,” Gale tells The Hollywood Reporter. “So the question now is: so, they’ve won, is the joke ever going to be funny again? It’s not an usual event now.”

It’s true: Even if Back To The Future was off by a year—something plenty of people, including Michael J. Fox, noted this week, and the franchise’s official Twitter account chalked up a disruption in the space-time continuum caused by the 1994 baseball strike—the gag will never land quite the same away again, particularly for new audiences checking the movie out for its quaintly janky predictions of a future past. It’s something the Cubs bullpen apparently didn’t even stop to consider when deciding to go ahead and win.

Nevertheless, Gale says he’s just grateful that people still remember the joke at all, even if it is now neither funny nor historically accurate (and was, in fact, bested by Parks And Recreation). He says he’s also happy to have made an “almost accurate prediction,” similar to the hoverboards that almost exist and the Nike Mags that you can almost buy—two of the film’s self-fulfilling prophecies that, God willing, will be the last thing it gets almost right.