CLOSE
Original image

15 Fun Facts About Hot Fuzz

Original image

Even if you’re a huge fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s work with director Edgar Wright, you may not know these fun nuggets about their amazing buddy-cop comedy, which hit American cinemas 10 years ago today.

1. ICE CREAM INSPIRED THE FILM.

Hot Fuzz is the second chapter in the so-called “Cornetto Trilogy,” directed by Edgar Wright and named after the popular ice cream cone snack. The trilogy also features the director’s films Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End. Whereas Shaun of the Dead represents the red strawberry flavored Cornetto and The World’s End is the green mint flavor, Hot Fuzz is the blue original flavor.

2. SIMON PEGG’S CHARACTER BORROWED HIS NAME FROM A CREW MEMBER.

Pegg’s character, Nicholas Angel, was named after the film’s music supervisor Nick Angel, who also worked on Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End.

3. KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR UNCREDITED CAMEOS.

There are plenty to spot. The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson appears as a deranged Santa Claus who stabs Nicholas Angel in the opening montage. Cate Blanchett plays Angel’s jilted ex-girlfriend Janine. Attack the Block director Joe Cornish plays her new boyfriend, Bob. Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan, and Bill Nighy (who also appeared in Shaun of the Dead) play the police inspectors who transfer Angel out of London, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy director Garth Jennings plays a crack addict Angel busts in the opening montage.

4. EDGAR WRIGHT WENT HOME TO SHOOT HOT FUZZ.

The film was shot in his hometown of Wells in Somerset.

5. SOMETHING IS MISSING FROM THE FILM’S VERSION OF WELLS.

The Wells Cathedral—a 500-year-old medieval church at the center of the city—had to be digitally erased from shots because Wright wanted Sandford to technically be a village (an English settlement without a cathedral) and not a city (an English settlement based around a cathedral).

6. WRIGHT WAS VERY FAMILIAR WITH THE FILM’S SUPERMARKET.

YouTube

As a teenager, Wright worked at the actual Somerfield that appears in the movie, and Wright’s real-life boss at the supermarket inspired the character of Simon Skinner.

7. WRIGHT AND PEGG PUT THEIR MOMS TO WORK.

Wright’s and Pegg’s mothers and Wright’s high school drama teacher play the befuddled judges for the village-of-the-year contest at the end of the film.

8. A GREAT PROP FROM SHAUN OF THE DEAD MAKES A CAMEO OF ITS OWN.

YouTube

The cricket bat from Shaun of the Dead is hidden in the background of the scene where Edward Woodward’s character is introduced to Nicholas Angel while doing surveillance of Sandfordon a series of CCTV monitors.

9. THERE’S ONE OTHER SUBTLE SHAUN CAMEO.

When Danny tosses a DVD copy of Supercop into a bin in the supermarket, a DVD copy of Shaun of the Dead can be seen next to it, but the cover uses the film’s Spanish and Portuguese title: Zombies Party.

10. THE DVD COLLECTION IN THE FILM HAD A BACK STORY.

Danny Butterman’s massive DVD collection—including his prized copies of Point Break and Bad Boys II—is actually the DVD collections of Edgar Wright, his brother Oscar Wright, and fellow director Joe Cornish combined.

11. THOSE DVD CLIPS TOOK SOME WORK.

Every clip of Point Break and Bad Boys II used in Hot Fuzz had to be cleared by stars Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze, Martin Lawrence, and Will Smith … as well as their stunt doubles.

12. YOU CAN REALLY VISIT THE CROWN PUB.

The scenes were shot in the Royal Standard in Beaconsfield.

13. THERE’S A TRICK FOR TELLING THE TWINS APART.

YouTube

The way to distinguish between the twin characters played by actor Bill Bailey involves looking at the books they read. One brother reads books by writer Iain Banks, while the other reads books by Banks’ very similar sci-fi nom de plume, Iain M. Banks.

14. DANNY’S BLOODY FLIPBOOK ILLUSTRATIONS HAVE A PEDIGREE.

They were drawn by Edgar Wright’s brother, Oscar, a comic book artist.

15. WRIGHT FOUND A SPOT FOR HIS FAVORITE BAND.

The music that plays over all of the paperwork processing scenes—which Wright humorously had edited together to seem like action scenes—is a song called “Here Come the Fuzz” by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Wright’s favorite band.

This article originally appeared in 2014.

Original image
Paramount Pictures
arrow
entertainment
11 Delicious Facts About Good Burger
Original image
Paramount Pictures

It takes just 14 words—“Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”—to make a ‘90s kid swoon with nostalgia. Good Burger, the beloved Nickelodeon comedy about a couple of daft teens who try to save their fast food joint from corporate greed, was born out of a Kenan Thompson/Kel Mitchell sketch on All That in the mid-'90s. A year later, due to its popularity, it found itself being turned into its own live-action movie, with Brian Robbins at the helm. Today—20 years after its original release—it’s a silly cult hit that’s indelibly a part of Generation Y. Revisit the classic with these facts about Good Burger.

1. KEL MITCHELL AUDITIONED FOR ALL THAT WITH HIS CHARACTER FROM GOOD BURGER.

In an interview with The A.V. Club, Kel Mitchell explained how he came up with Ed. “I did a ‘dude’ voice, and that’s where Ed [from Good Burger] was kind of born,” he said. “I did that there at the audition. They were just cracking up.”

2. ED’S FIRST APPEARANCE WAS IN THE JOSH SERVER SKETCH, “DREAM REMOTE.”

Essentially, Good Burger was born out of a random character decision made during one little sketch. “It was where [Josh] could have a remote control that could control his entire life,” Mitchell told The A.V. Club. “So, he could fast-forward through his sister nagging, he could make pizza come really quickly. I was the pizza guy. I came to the door, and the pizza guy didn’t really have a voice, so I was like, ‘Mleh, here’s your pizza! That was the first time we saw Ed, and so they created Good Burger.”

3. ED’S LOOK WAS INSPIRED BY MILLI VANILLI.

When prepping for Ed’s debut on All That, Kel Mitchell spotted what would become the character’s signature look. “I remember I went to the hair room, and I saw these braids. It was like these early Brandy ’90s Milli Vanilli braids. I put those on, and it came to life,” he told The A.V. Club.

4. THOUSANDS OF POUNDS OF MEAT STUNK UP THE SET.

Nickelodeon

For a movie all about burgers, you better believe the production had a ton of them sitting around on set. "At one point, there was over 1750 pounds of meat on the set," Kenan Thompson told The Morning Call. "Some of it was old meat. It was so nasty. Some of the burgers would stay out there for a long time. I felt sorry for the extras who had to eat them with cold, clammy fries. But on screen, those burgers look good."

5. ELMER’S GLUE WAS USED TO KEEP THE FOOD LOOKING FRESH.

In order to keep the food looking good on screen, the production resorted to old, albeit inedible, tricks. "It was so gross, because when I scoop out ice cream in the movie, it was really vegetable shortening with food coloring,” Mitchell told The Morning Call. “When I poured milk on cereal, we used Elmer's Glue so the flakes wouldn't get soggy."

6. KENAN AND KEL CONTRIBUTED TO THE GOOD BURGER SOUNDTRACK.

Good Burger was their baby, so of course Kenan and Kel took the reins on more than just the creation of the characters, according to a 1997 interview with The Morning Call. Specifically, Kel partnered up with Less Than Jake on the hit song, “We’re All Dudes.” Because of this, the soundtrack actually charted at 101 on the Billboard 200.

7. GOOD BURGER WAS LINDA CARDELLINI’S FEATURE FILM DEBUT.

YouTube

In an interview with The A.V. Club, the Freaks and Geeks star reminisced about her breakout role in the Nickelodeon movie. “That’s my sister’s favorite role that I’ve ever played! It was so much fun. It was my first film, and it was a fantastic part,” Cardellini said. “I got to play crazy! Nobody knew who I was, and I got the part from the table read.”

8. WRITER DAN SCHNEIDER INTENDED TO GIVE UP ACTING WHEN HE WROTE GOOD BURGER, BUT HE PLAYED MR. BAILY IN THE FILM.

On creating Good Burger, writer/producer/actor Dan Schneider explained to The A.V. Club: “I’ve always wanted to write, and after I was doing All That and Kenan & Kel, I got the opportunity to do another TV show—I was still going on auditions. I realized that if I took that show, I was going to have to give up All That and Kenan & Kel. I really didn’t want to do [that] ... I passed on the acting role, and that was really the turning point, I guess, in 1996, when I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to put my acting career on the back burner, and I’m going to be a writer-producer.’ Then I wrote the movie Good Burger.” However, if you watch the movie, you’ll notice Schneider starring as Mr. Baily.

9. THE ORIGINAL TRAILER FEATURED A SCENE THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE MOVIE.

For reasons that remain a mystery, a scene where a Good Burger customer orders “a good shake” from Ed (Mitchell), only to receive an actual bodily shaking from the Good Burger employee, didn’t make the final cut. It did, however, feature for a few seconds in the theatrical trailer.

10. KENAN AND KEL REUNITED FOR A GOOD BURGER SKETCH ON THE TONIGHT SHOW.

In 2015, Kenan and Kel reunited for a Good Burger sketch with Jimmy Fallon. This time, however, Fallon played Ed’s co-worker, while Kenan came in as a construction worker as a surprise. "We've been wanting to get back together," Mitchell told E! News. "It was just about the right project ... it felt like home."

11. THE FIRST LINE IN THE FILM IS THE SAME AS THE LAST LINE.

Appropriately, the line is, “Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?”—just watch the movie.

Original image
arrow
entertainment
Her Other Forte: Comedian Phyllis Diller Was Also a Concert Pianist
Original image

In 1971, a promising concert pianist made her symphonic debut, her fingers flying over Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1. But the concert included a few surprising notes: The pianist was a woman. She was 53 years old. She just happened to be one of America's most famous comedians. And her concert was like nothing the classical music world had ever seen.

Even then, the thought of Phyllis Diller embarking on a career as a classical pianist was laughable. Since the 1950s, Diller—born 100 years ago, as Phyllis Driver, on July 17, 1917—had been breaking ground for women in comedy, morphing from a prop comedian to a TV and musical theater icon. But even though a spoof of a classical concert was one of the acts that propelled her to fame, Diller had long since given up on her dream of playing piano professionally.

As a child growing up in Ohio, Diller trained as a pianist. In her comic memoir Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse: My Life in Comedy, she recalls her mother pushing her toward piano, and though she was "no Mozart," she took intensive lessons and imagined herself "sitting before a fabulous concert grand" instead of giving performances for a piano teacher and her sleepy dog. She even studied piano in college. But eventually, Diller told a reporter, "I decided it was too stodgy for me. So I gave it up."

Music filtered into her comedy repertoire, though, and when the Pittsburgh Pops came calling in the 1970s in the hopes of having her perform a stand-up routine with the orchestra, she stunned the representative by telling him she would perform on the piano, as well. It's safe to assume nobody from the Pops had seen her on TV with Liberace two years earlier, her fingers flying over a piece she'd written herself called "Phyllis's Fugue." Diller signed on for a show called The Symphonic Phyllis Diller, never suspecting that her concert career was about to begin in earnest.

The show was half-gag, half-serious piano performance. The orchestra would perform without Diller, but eventually she'd make a grand entrance as Dame Illya Dillya, a diva who took forever to begin playing. Dame Dillya wore an 8-foot-long train and opera gloves and performed a 12-minute silent pantomime aping the pretensions of classical musicians.

"During the musical prologue, I'd dust the piano, check the score, and look at the audience through my binoculars—it was a long preamble," Diller later recalled. Then she launched into Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1. "Once I was into the music, I was serious," she wrote, "and many in the audience were more than a little surprised."

During her concerts, Diller played selections from Bach, Chopin, and other classical musicians. Over time, she earned a reputation as a solid performer, with one reviewer calling her "a fine concert pianist with a firm touch." Eventually, though, Diller tired of the brutal regimen and retired from the concert circuit. "It became drudgery, it was taxing," Diller told The New York Times. "I needed at least three hours a day of practice and I didn't have the time."

Though her concert career was over, her comedy career certainly wasn't. After retiring from symphonic work in 1982, Diller did stand-up for another 20 years. She died in 2012 at the age of 95—and while her comedy is rightfully her biggest legacy, her surprising skill on the piano is worth a standing ovation as well.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios