Students Built A Secret Danny DeVito Shrine In A Campus Bathroom, So He Sent Them A Special Message

When Philip Hosang discovered a hidden spot in his college bathroom, he wanted to turn it into something unique. So the student decided to honor Danny DeVito in a strange way. He built a shrine to him. And when the actor found out what Hosang had done, he had the perfect response.

DeVito was born on November 17, 1944 in New Jersey. He studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts after leaving school. Once he’d graduated in 1966, DeVito got his start in the acting world with theater performances. He subsequently went on to play Martini in the 1971 production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

That same year, DeVito met his future wife, Rhea Perlman. The couple eventually married in 1982 and share three children: Lucy, 35, Grace, 33, and 31-year-old Jacob. A few years after he played Martini on stage, he reprised his role in the film adaptation of the book that starred Jack Nicholson.

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But it was in 1978 that DeVito got his big break, landing the part of Louie De Palma in the television series, Taxi. The show ran for five years and during that time, the actor took home an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award. Today, he is a major movie star and known for his work on films such as Batman Returns, L.A. Confidential and Twins.

More recently, though, DeVito has become associated with his work on It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. He joined the comedy series in 2006 for its second season. The sitcom, which also stars Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson, Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney, has been running since 2005 and is a critical success.

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It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia follows a group who manage an Irish pub in South Philadelphia. The friends, known collectively as The Gang, are selfish and immoral. And DeVito portrays Frank Reynolds, who is legally the father of two of the characters.

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Frank is depicted as a drug-abuser who uses the services of prostitutes and often wields a gun. The character also sometimes performs as a wrestler with a garbage theme, known as The Trashman. And it was this that college students recently decided to pay homage to.

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A shrine to DeVito was erected Purchase College, part of the State University of New York. The public university is sometimes referred to as SUNY Purchase and is located in Harrison, N.Y. Purchase is a liberal arts college and has over 4,000 students.

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In one of the college’s bathrooms, students realized that the paper towel dispenser came away from the wall. And when that happened, it revealed a small enclosed space behind it. So when Philip Hosang, a sophomore at Purchase saw the area, he decided it was the perfect spot to leave a tribute to DeVito.

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“I walked in there, and I thought that this would be just a really great place to put some weird thing that people could find. And from there I was just trying to figure out what I should do with it,” Hosang told documentary series Vice. That’s when the student decided to reference DeVito’s Trashman.

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Hosang continued, “Because of all the trash. If you know Always Sunny, you know that Danny DeVito is known as The Trashman. I was like, ‘This is just the perfect person to go with. He’s just weird enough that people would accept that this was a thing.’” The shrine included a miniature cut-out of the actor, as well as pictures of him on the walls.

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There was also a note for people who visited the secret spot. “Leave an offering for our lord and savior Danny DeVito, patron saint of trash men,” it read. And Hosang couldn’t believe the response from his fellow students.

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Although Hosang predicted that the shrine would quickly disappear, it just kept getting bigger. Some people left trash in DeVito’s honor while others laid pictures of the actor on the ground. And some students even wrote notes to the Emmy-winner.

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“I checked on it every couple weeks just to see how much it grew,” Hosang explained. “Every time I walked down there, I was just more and more surprised. I never expected it to become as much of a thing as it did.”

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If Hosang didn’t expect that so many people would leave offerings to DeVito’s character, what happened next was even more incredible. The actor himself saw an article about the shrine. And he shared an amazing response to it on social media.

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“Your shrine honors me,” DeVito subsequently tweeted on November 16, 2018. “My heart is filled with love and garbage.” The star had seen the tribute the day before his birthday. On a more serious note, the Golden Globe-winner also used the opportunity to spread an important message.

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“Tomorrow, as you may know, is my name day,” DeVito added. “Do something that makes you feel good. Above all be kind to each other. Pick up trash, recycle and be aware of plastics in the ocean.”

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The school also heard of the memorial’s existence and soon discovered the hiding spot behind the bathroom. Workers sealed it off so that the paper towel dispenser could no longer be removed from the wall. However, that doesn’t mean that the makeshift monument is gone for good.

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College spokesperson Betsy Aldredge told Vice that it was removed for “safety reasons.” But the university kept the pictures and offerings to DeVito and has offered to work alongside Hosang to find a new spot for the shrine. The college also invited the 74-year-old actor to come to the campus and see it for himself.

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“We’d like to say we’re surprised, but our students are well known for their creativity and sense of humor,” Purchase wrote in a tweet. “@DannyDeVito we’d love to welcome you on campus to meet your super fans.” Hosang then added, “That would be the highlight of my life. It’s only downhill from there.”

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