Uncle Jeff (or, How I Learned to Listen to Film’s Best Uncle)

So, yeah, I’m going to be an uncle. Not too long ago, my sister, Jessica told me that she is pregnant and that I’m going to be an uncle later in 2019. That’s a lot of pressure. For my sister and her boyfriend, I mean. After all, uncles don’t really do much, do they? Still, though, I want to be there for my sister and her future kid.

Naturally, my first thought was to look to entertainment for some kind of guidance, after all that’s how my mind is built. So, today, I’m going to present you with a very short list of film-uncles and what their roles mean to me. One uncle, in particular, is going to give me — and you, if you somehow stumbled onto this article by accident — the right advice, so stay tuned.

Don’t Sweat It, You’re Not Going to be Burned Alive by Stormtroopers


Unless the kid somehow has the plans to the Death Star or the phone number for President Trump’s hair salon, you’re probably going to be all right. Uncle Owen had to take care of the kid like Luke was his own, at least you don’t have to do that. The kid’s your sister’s problem, you just have to show him or her science-fiction films his or her parents hate and — oh, I don’t know — freaking STAR WARS?!

You’re finally going to have someone to say “Great kid. Don’t get cocky!” to, and when the child doesn’t know what you’re talking about, you can just start the Original Star Wars trilogy and the rest will be history. Oh, and the kid is also going to give you an excuse for buying a bunch of Porg and Ewok plushies and toys. But, of course, you may already own those.

Prepare for an Interrogation From Your Ugly-Sweater-Wearing Nephew or Niece.

Kids have a lot of questions. Especially for their uncle. Like, why do you wear snapback caps with a certain sports logo on it? How come you have a bunch of figures in your home that are absolutely not to be touched? Why do you have so many books and what are Blu-Rays? What’s a VHS? Or, finally, how come you don’t have a wife and kids? Yeah, they’ll interrogate you, but you’ll be alright.

Also, Uncle Buck is a fun movie that we should talk about more. Remember how John Candy threatened his niece’s boyfriend, Bug, with a hatchet? Also, haven’t you always wanted to make a giant, oversized pancake for your nephew’s birthday? “You should see the toast, I couldn’t even get it through the door!”

Listen to Uncle Ben, Heed his Advice, and Repeat his Iconic Line


Uncles are cool, man. Admit it. Though Peter may or may not be responsible for Uncle Ben’s death, at least his death and his last words mean something. Uncle Ben, though not his parent, gave him the one piece of advice that resonates with absolutely everyone: “With great power comes great responsibility.” You may not be ready to be an uncle yet, but, you and I both know, you’ve always wanted to give a niece or nephew that exact piece of advice. So, listen to film’s best uncle, and repeat his words. Over and over and over again.

– Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen.

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