Strap on your jelly sandals and prepare to drink some white Russians: the fourth annual Lebowski Fest is here like a league game, Smokey. Inspired by the Coen brothers' 1998 cult classic The Big Lebowski, the festival celebrates everything the Dude: the bowling, the nihilists and the Jesus.
Lebowski Fest began when its creators, Will Russell and Scott Schuffitt, attended a tattoo convention in Derby City in 2002 and began spouting Lebowski quotes to each other. Soon, a crowd formed around them, and complete strangers began tossing out quotes as well. Russell and Schuffitt figured that if they could generate such a reception at a tattoo convention, why not break off their own separate Lebowski gathering. Ever since, the celebration of the Dude abides.
In fact, Lebowski Fest hit its self-proclaimed peak last year when it was paid an unannounced visit from Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski himself, or rather, actor Jeff Bridges, who was so brilliant in the film. This year's confab features a confirmed appearance by a different Jeff—Jeff "The Dude" Dowds, who actually inspired the Dude character. Also on hand like a Swiss fuckin' watch will be Peter Exline, the basis for "Walter," who was so lovingly and frighteningly brought to life by John Goodman. The Big Lebowski will be screened (of course), German techno group SKL (posing as Autobahn) performs, and unlimited bowling will be the main order of the day. The only question is whether Exline/Walter will roll on Shabbos. Ball licking is completely optional.
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Lebowski Fest Los Angeles Pre Party at the Knitting Factory, 7021 Hollywood Blvd., Ste. 209, Hollywood. Fri., 8 p.m.-2 a.m. $15. 21+.; Lebowski Fest Los Angeles Main Event at Cal Bowl, 2500 E. Carson St., Lakewood. Sat. (Shomer Shabbos), 8 p.m.-1 a.m. $25. All ages. www.lebowskifest.com.