Outtakes was surprised--no, shocked-- to find the name of novelist, producer ("Islands in the Stream," "Fun With Dick and Jane") and one-time New York Times writer Peter Bart listed as co-producer on "Revenge of the Nerds II (Nerds in Paradise)." Bart was chagrined that we were leveling an investigation, asking nervously, "Am I going to be hoist by my own petard?"
The terrible truth: Bart and daughter Dilys, then a Stanford freshwoman, wrote the treatment for the original "Nerds," a surprising 1984 hit that had Robert Carradine leading college nerds against an insensitive jock fraternity.
They had a "big fight" over even using the word nerd --"She's not a nerd," Bart said, "but she is one of those, uh, computer people"--but Dad won. Then he left the project to take a veep job at MGM and a team of screenwriters knocked out a teensploitation script for Interscope Communications and Fox. Bart got co-exec producer credit--though that fact is mysteriously missing from much of the printed publicity.
Now he's listed as co-producer of the sequel, though he's not creatively involved. (The new storyline has the Carradine-led nerds headed to a frat convention in--groan--Fort Lauderdale.)
"The nice thing about 'Nerds' is that no one takes it very seriously," Bart said, laughing. But: "I hope that my contributions to society will be surpassed by other accomplishments."