‘Napoleon Dynamite’ star to start parade
Jon Heder, the breakthrough star of the offbeat comedy “Napoleon Dynamite,” has been named the official starter for the First Ever 15th Annual World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2018.
“Jon’s personality will fit right in with the atmosphere of fun that is the hallmark of our great little parade,” Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, which sponsors the annual parade, said in a news release.
Heder’s endearing por- trayal of Napoleon Dynamite, a nerdy high schooler who helps his friend Pedro get elected class president, was a huge financial success in 2004 and brought him two MTV Movie Awards, one in the category of “Breakthrough Male” and
a second for “Best Musical Performance” for his crowd-pleasing election night dance, the release said.
Heder met “Napoleon Dynamite” director Jared Hess while both were studying film at Brigham Young University, and the director first cast him in a short film, “Peluca.”
In 2007, Heder starred opposite Will Ferrell in the hit comedy, “Blades of Glory,” which took in close to $120 million at the domestic box office. In addition to his live-action roles, Heder also returned to animation that year, voicing the character of ‘Chicken Joe’ in Columbia Pictures’ “Surfs Up,” after previously voicing a role in Columbia’s “Monster House,” the release said.
Heder also starred in the feature films “The Benchwarmers,” “School for Scoundrels” and “Just Like Heaven” with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo. Additionally, he starred opposite Paul Dano in the Sundance hit, “For Ellen.”
In 2016, he landed a leading role in the FOX comedy pilot “No Place Like Home.”
Most recently, Heder can be heard as the voice of “Pickle” in the new Disney XD hit show “Pickle and Peanut,” and can be seen in the indie film “The Tiger Hunter.”
The 2018 parade will begin at 7:30 p.m., an hour later than in previous years. It is starting later because of the running of The Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park, Arrison said.
“The later start will allow Oaklawn fans plenty of time to enjoy the live racing and get downtown for the start of the parade,” he said.