CLOSE
Original image
YouTube

13 Complete Facts About Jerry Maguire

Original image
YouTube

Twenty years ago today, on December 13, 1996, Jerry Maguire debuted at the box office. Tom Cruise played the titular sports agent (based on Leigh Steinberg), a loveable loser who has an epiphany and writes a long mission statement, sending himself into a career and personal crisis. The film won Cuba Gooding Jr. an Oscar, and blessed the world with such everlasting catchphrases as “You had me at hello,” “You complete me,” and “Show me the money.” Here are some “Kwan”-tastic facts about the Cameron Crowe dramedy.

1. THE LACKLUSTER SUCCESS OF SINGLES PROMPTED CROWE TO WRITE THE SCRIPT.

Crowe felt his film Singles (1992) hadn’t done as well as he would’ve liked and wanted to write a more personal and emotional movie. “And all of a sudden I just looked around and—it was a good thing—many false friends disappeared,” he told Paste Magazine in 2005. “And the people that sort of stayed behind, who you realize were your true friends and would be your friends for life, were not the people I expected. And that became one of the first ideas that drove Jerry Maguire: what if you lost everything, or lost a lot, and you looked around and all those people that you thought would be there for life are gone. Who’s left?”

2. THE JERRY MAGUIRE ROLE WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR TOM HANKS.

Crowe spent almost four years writing the script. “I took so long doing the script that Hanks was no longer a 35-year-old man. By the time he got [the script] he was almost 40 and had two Academy Awards and wanted to direct,” Crowe told Empire Magazine in 1997. Apparently Hanks rejected an earlier version of the script, because he “didn’t buy the marriage part. But without that, it became just a story about a guy sleeping with a girl from his office.”

3. SEVERAL CLASSIC MOVIES—AND MY-SO-CALLED LIFE—INSPIRED JERRY MAGUIRE.

“I wanted to write a movie with a real story, the kind that shows up on TV late at night, usually in black and white,” Crowe told The New York Times. Crowe loved filmmaker Billy Wilder so much, he tried to get him to play the Dicky Fox mentor role to no avail. But Crowe ended up basing the film around Wilder’s classic film The Apartment.

“I had never been that big of a Jack Lemmon fan, but there was something about the biting and yet touchingly hilarious portrait of then-contemporary workingman and his bittersweet love affair with an elevator operator,” Crowe wrote in a Rolling Stone journal. “It is my favorite film, and it was the one that inspired me to begin writing my own portrait of the contemporary man, that faceless guy who puts on a suit and tie every day, Jerry Maguire.” Crowe also said Jean Arthur in The More the Merrier and Shirley MacLaine’s Fran Kubelik in The Apartment influenced the Dorothy Boyd character. “We even watched scenes from My So-Called Life, just because I really liked Claire Danes—her interior passion in that show.”

4. CUBA GOODING JR. GOT NAKED FOR HIS AUDITION WITH CRUISE.

In a 1996 journal for Rolling Stone, Crowe recounted Gooding’s audition. Cruise and Gooding had worked together before in A Few Good Men, so Cruise was excited to reunite with him. Gooding and Cruise read the locker room scene: “Am I naked in this scene?” Gooding asked. “Yes,” Crowe responded. “Gooding snapped down his pants and stood naked,” Crowe writes. “‘Come on, let’s go,’ he said. Stunned and laughing, we watched as Gooding beckoned with his hands, as in, ‘Bring it on.’ ‘Come on, let’s read the scene,’ he shouted joyously. ‘I’m gonna get this part. I ain’t afraid of nothing.’” Gooding won the role, and because Gooding was slightly shorter than an average football player, Crowe rewrote the character description as a football player “who some felt was too short for the NFL."

5. THE ROLLING STONES’ RONNIE WOOD HAD A HAND IN NAMING BOB SUGAR.

A fan wrote into Cameron Crowe’s website The Uncool and asked who was the inspiration behind Jay Mohr’s villainous sports agent, Bob Sugar. Crowe told a story about how he was in Dublin in 1993, with Pearl Jam. He and the band were hanging out in a bar when Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood walked in. Wood yelled to Crowe, “There’s a guy who is stalking me, and he finds me wherever I go. I don’t trust him, and he seems nice, but he scares me. He says his name is … Bob Sugar! Bob Sugar! Can you believe it?” Later on, Crowe realized Wood was probably saying “Brown Sugar,” as in the Stones’ famous song, not Bob Sugar. But the name stuck. “When it came time to name the characters for Jerry Maguire, Sugar was the first one on the page,” Crowe said. “The perfect name for a nemesis—it rolled off your tongue with ease.”

6. RENÉE ZELLWEGER DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO SAY THE “HELLO” LINE.

Newsday asked the actress, who played single mother and Maguire love interest Dorothy Boyd, if it took her several tries to say the now-famous line correctly. “Cameron had me say it a few different ways,” she said. “It’s so funny, because when I read it, I didn’t get it—I thought it was a typo somehow. I kept looking at it. It was the one thing in the script that I was looking at going, ‘Is that right? Can that be right? How is that right?’ I thought, ‘Is there a better way to say that? Am I not getting it?’ I just don't know how to do it.”

7. THE CUTE LITTLE KID IS NOW GROWN UP AND IS A MIXED MARTIAL ARTS FIGHTER.

Jonathan Lipnicki stole the movie as Dorothy’s precocious five-year-old son, Ray. Last year, “JLip” recorded a Father’s Day video thanking Jerry: “You kind of lost me at Kwan, but you had me at hello.” JLip goes on to poke fun at his role—“women would ovulate just looking at me”—and then rants how casting agents still think of him as the cute kid from the movie, even though he’s 26 years old. He also reveals he has a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and that his body is, well, very ripped. So, he has that going for him.

8. CONNIE BRITTON WAS ALMOST CAST AS DOROTHY BOYD.

Britton told The New York Times Magazine that she auditioned for Jerry Maguire and “nailed the audition. Crowe told her she had shown him just what the character should be.” She met with Cruise in New York and did a table read with him and the cast, and it seemed like she had won the coveted role. After doing a screen test with Cruise, she overheard someone say, “They just want to screen-test one other actress.” That actress was Renée Zellweger. Britton was heartbroken, and joked she didn’t get the part because “maybe I was too tall.”

9. CROWE HOPED “THE KWAN” WOULD BECOME A MORE POPULAR CATCHPHRASE THAN “SHOW ME THE MONEY.”

When Rod Tidwell (Gooding Jr.) coerces Jerry to scream “Show me the money” into a phone, a world-famous slogan was born. But, Crowe thought Tidwell’s speech about “the Kwan”—an adage embodying the combination of community, love, respect, and money—would resonate more with audiences. “I like to think that Tidwell had been jealous of Dennis Rodman’s blend of pseudo-French trash-talk ‘inspirato.’ He wanted his own language, too,” Crowe told Premiere magazine in 2000. “So the Kwan was born. But once we began to show the movie, audiences were pleasant, at best, during Rod’s Kwan speeches.” Eventually Kwan found some respect, at the Olympics. “I’ve always held a soft spot for the unnoticed concept of Kwan,” Crowe said. “Some time later, during an Olympic performance by ice-skater Michelle Kwan, a friend called and told me to turn on the television. In the middle of a huge crowd, a lonely fan held up a sign reading, ‘Show me the Kwan.’ Thank you for that.”

10. CUBA GOODING’S DAD WAS BANNED FROM THE MOVIE SET.

During an appearance on Graham Norton’s BBC talk show in 2012, Gooding Jr. talked about how his dad, Cuba Gooding Sr., didn’t hold back on the set. Cuba introduced his dad to Tom Cruise, and his dad gave the actor a hug, then asked Cruise, “But seriously, are you gay or not?” Cuba later scolded his dad: “You can’t keep your lips loose and they move too fast.”

11. JERRY MAGUIRE IS THE FIFTH HIGHEST-GROSSING ROMANTIC DRAMA OF ALL TIME.

The film had a budget of $50 million and grossed $273 million worldwide. Twenty years later, it ranks as number five on the list of blockbuster romantic dramas, just behind Fifty Shades of Grey (Titanic tops the list). Even though Jerry Maguire opened at number one, it ranks as the lowest-grossing number one film, on weekends where the top movie made less than $10 million. This occurred during its fourth weekend, when it grossed only $5 million. After 1997, because of increasing ticket prices, the sub-$10 million trend stopped being tracked.

12. CUBA GOODING DID ALL HIS OWN STUNTS IN THE MOVIE, AND HAS A BACKGROUND IN BREAKDANCING.

On The Graham Norton Show, Gooding Jr. said he was one of the young dancers who performed with Lionel Richie at the 1984 Olympics Closing Ceremonies, in Los Angeles. Gooding proved he still has the talent, when he showed off his windmills and other breakdance moves on the talk show.

13. THE HUMAN HEAD MAY OR MAY NOT WEIGH MORE THAN EIGHT POUNDS.

Ray Boyd tells Jerry while in the backseat of a car, “Did you know the human head weighs eight pounds?” But is he right? According to a textbook and Brain Stuff, the human head actually weighs about 10 to 11 pounds, and the brain weighs about three pounds.

Original image
HBO
arrow
entertainment
20 Things You Might Not Know About Mr. Show
Original image
HBO

You never need an excuse to look back at Mr. Show with Bob and David, but given that today is co-creator Bob Odenkirk's 55th birthday, now seems to be as good a time as any.

1. BOB ODENKIRK AND DAVID CROSS’S FIRST MEETING DID NOT GO VERY WELL.

Following four years of writing on Saturday Night Live, Odenkirk was in Los Angeles in 1992 as a writer for the Chris Elliott Fox cult classic Get a Life. David Cross was a comedian in L.A. after performing for years in Boston. One boring afternoon, Cross asked friend and fellow stand-up Janeane Garofalo if she knew anybody that played basketball. The two went to Odenkirk’s house, and Garofalo introduced David to Bob and then asked if he wanted to play basketball. He said no.

2. ODENKIRK AND CROSS FIRST WORKED TOGETHER ON THE BEN STILLER SHOW.

Despite their inauspicious beginning, the two ended up having numerous fruitful collaborations, starting with their work on The Ben Stiller Show. Odenkirk was a writer/performer on the short-lived but Emmy award-winning sketch show with Garofalo, Stiller, and Andy Dick. Cross was brought in in the middle of the show’s 13-episode run as a writer.

3. THE CO-STARS FIRST PERFORMED ON STAGE TOGETHER AS "THE THREE GOOFBALLZ."

Odenkirk and Cross performed sketch comedy together at the Diamond Club in Los Angeles, with a third improviser that, the joke went, would either be deceased or out elsewhere getting high.

4. "THE THREE GOOFBALLZ' WAS ALMOST THE TITLE OF MR. SHOW

Odenkirk also pitched the title Grand National Championships, but David Cross was never a fan of it.

5. JACK BLACK, SARAH SILVERMAN, AND OTHER FUTURE STARS APPEARED ON THE SHOW BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS.

Black was in four episodes of Mr. Show, starring in the classic Jesus Christ Superstar parody “Jeepers Creepers.” Silverman was a performer in 10 episodes. Mary Lynn Rajskub, best known as Chloe on 24, was a featured actress in the first two years. Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants, was a series regular for a majority of the run. Scott Adsit, a.k.a. 30 Rock’s Pete Hornberger, was in six episodes.

6. PATTON OSWALT WARMED UP THE MR. SHOW CROWD.

In addition to performing stand-up before tapings and keeping the studio audience interested in between scenes, Oswalt played Famous Mortimer in the episode “Operation: Hell on Earth” (but was credited as “Patton Oswald.”)

7. HOMELESS PEOPLE WERE NOT KIND TO THE ORIGINAL SETS.

Because the pilot episode was shot at a “down and dirty,” small Central Hollywood club, the sets had to be placed outside, where homeless people defecated on them.

8. YOU MIGHT ALSO RECOGNIZE SOME OF THE WRITING STAFF.

Dino Stamatopoulos was already on the original writing staff of Late Night with Conan O’Brien and had written for David Letterman before writing for Cross and Odenkirk. He would later create three shows and play Starburns on Community. Writer/performer Scott Aukerman co-created and executive produces Between Two Ferns, and created and stars on Comedy Bang! Bang!. Writer/performer Paul F. Tompkins hosted VH-1’s Best Week Ever! and currently hosts the satirical debate show No, You Shut Up!, where he moderates discussions by a panel full of puppets. Bob Odenkirk’s brother Bill has written ten episodes of The Simpsons.

9. THE DIRECTORS OF LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE LEARNED HOW TO DIRECT COMEDY FROM MR. SHOW.

Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton were known for directing music videos like The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight” and Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing,” and decided to direct two Mr. Show episodes to expand their filming vocabulary. The husband and wife team were behind the camera for the classic sketch “Monk Academy.”

10. ONE SKETCH WAS INFLUENCED BY LOUIS C.K.

One of the first sketches in the show’s history involved Odenkirk playing a priest forced to do rather unpleasant and un-priestly things. The idea sprang from a conversation David Cross had with fellow young Boston comic Louis C.K., where Louis talked about annoying people that try to claim a prize on a bet that their friends never agreed to in the first place.

11. HBO ONLY CENSORED THE SHOW ONCE.

Throughout four years and 30 episodes, the lone note Odenkirk and Cross got from HBO was to get rid of a line where one character tells another to have sex with a baby. Odenkirk admitted that being told to edit it out “wasn’t too much to ask.”

12. THEY ONLY RECEIVED ONE VIEWER COMPLAINT.

The only angry letter that Odenkirk and Cross were ever made aware of was from a military veteran who was offended by the sketch in “Who Let You In?” where Cross’s performance artist character attempts to defecate on the American flag. The two stars actually called the viewer and discovered that he didn’t watch the entire sketch, and therefore never realized that Cross’ character was never able to actually go through with it.

13. ONE SKETCH WAS CUT FROM THE SHOW SIX TIMES AND NEVER MADE IT TO AIR.

A sketch called “Party Car,” a joke on old, low-quality shows filled with '70s celebrities was cut from half a dozen scripts and never filmed. It would have featured Nipsey Russell, Zsa Zsa Gabor, (or reasonable facsimiles), and a baby in a balloon-filled car.

14. BOB ODENKIRK GOT IN TROUBLE FOR USING A PICTURE OF HIS DEAD GRANDFATHER.

Because the sketch “Old Man In House” needed a photo of an old man, and the elderly gentleman was not the butt of the joke, Odenkirk thought it would be fine. Instead, some Odenkirks were “very upset.”

15. CROSS WAS PAYING OFF HIS STUDENT LOAN DEBTS THROUGHOUT MOST OF THE SERIES.

David Cross and Amber Tamblyn
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Despite executive producing and co-creating a series on television, Cross had trouble paying off his student loan debts from his time at Emerson College. Figuring that the person calling from the bill collection agency wouldn’t believe that he couldn’t pay if he knew his job status, Cross pretended that he worked at Mr. Show as a messenger.

16. ONE PERSON WAS GIVEN A "SPECIAL THANKS" IN THE CLOSING CREDITS OF EVERY EPISODE AS A JOKE.

As Cross once explained, Rick Dees was thanked in the credits of the pilot episode, even though he was “certainly nobody we would ever thank, or be in a position to thank.” Some personalities that were thanked for no discernable reason were Greg Maddux, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, Gabe Kaplan, and Howard Zinn.

17. HBO CHANGED THE TIME SLOT FOR ITS FINAL SEASON, AND IT WAS "DEMORALIZING."

After airing Fridays at midnight for the first three seasons, HBO moved the show to Mondays at the same time, confusing some loyal viewers, and the ratings decreased as a result. Bob Odenkirk told a reporter that, after 30 episodes, HBO was still treating the cast and crew as “second-class citizens,” and that they were “demoralized” by the slot shift.

18. BOB AND DAVID TOLD A STUDIO AUDIENCE THAT THEY HAD JUST WITNESSED THE FINAL EPISODE, AND THEY WEREN'T JOKING.

“Patriotism, Pepper, and Professionalism,” the 40th and final episode of Mr. Show, was taped on November 21, 1998. After the final sketch was filmed, Odenkirk and Cross made their announcement, although the show’s cancellation wasn’t made official for another few months.

19. THERE WAS A MR. SHOW MOVIE THAT WENT STRAIGHT TO VIDEO.

Run Ronnie Run focused on David Cross’s redneck criminal character Ronnie Dobbs. It was filmed in 2001, but never made it to theaters. Bob Odenkirk admitted that the movie wasn’t perfect, but he blamed the poor quality on director Troy Miller, for not allowing himself and Cross to edit the movie.

20. THE TWO HAVE REUNITED A FEW OTHER TIMES.

David Cross and Bob Odenkirk star in 'W/ Bob and David'
Saeed Adyani/Netflix

In 2002, Bob, David, and Mr. Show writer/performers Brian Posehn, John Ennis, and Stephanie Courtney (Flo in the Progressive commercials) toured the country to perform some of the show’s sketches and material from their unproduced screenplay Mr. Show: Hooray For America! The next year, Odenkirk guest starred as Dr. Phil Gunty on a season one episode of Arrested Development, alongside Cross’ character Tobias Fünke.

In 2012, Odenkirk, Cross, and Posehn went on a six-city tour to promote their book filled with more unproduced material. Bob and David appeared briefly together the next year on an episode of Aukerman’s Comedy Bang! Bang! In 2015, 20 years after Mr. Show's debut, Netflix premiered W/ Bob and David, a five-episode sketch comedy show created by and starring the duo.

Original image
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
arrow
entertainment
30 Memorable Quotes from Carrie Fisher
Original image
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Just days after suffering a heart attack aboard a flight en route to Los Angeles, beloved actress, author, and screenwriter Carrie Fisher passed away at the age of 60 on December 27, 2016. Though she’ll always be most closely associated with her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, Fisher’s life was like something out of its own Hollywood movie. Born in Beverly Hills on this day in 1956, Fisher was born into show business royalty as the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds.

In addition to her work in front of the camera, Fisher built up an impressive resume behind the scenes, too, most notably as a writer; in addition to several memoirs and semi-autobiographical novels, including Wishful Drinking, Surrender the Pink, Delusions of Grandma, The Best Awful, Postcards from the Edge, and The Princess Diarist (which was released last month), she was also an in-demand script doctor who counted Sister Act, Hook, Lethal Weapon 3, and The Wedding Singer among her credits.

Though she struggled with alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental illness, Fisher always maintained a sense of humor—as evidenced by the 30 memorable quotes below.

ON GROWING UP IN HOLLYWOOD

“I am truly a product of Hollywood in-breeding. When two celebrities mate, someone like me is the result.”

“I was born into big celebrity. It could only diminish.”

“At a certain point in my early twenties, my mother started to become worried about my obviously ever-increasing drug ingestion. So she ended up doing what any concerned parent would do. She called Cary Grant.”

“I was street smart, but unfortunately the street was Rodeo Drive.”

“If anything, my mother taught me how to sur-thrive. That's my word for it.”

ON AGING

“As you get older, the pickings get slimmer, but the people don't.”

ON INSTANT GRATIFICATION

“Instant gratification takes too long.”

ON THE LEGACY OF STAR WARS

“People are still asking me if I knew Star Wars was going to be that big of a hit. Yes, we all knew. The only one who didn't know was George.”

“Leia follows me like a vague smell.”

“I signed my likeness away. Every time I look in the mirror, I have to send Lucas a couple of bucks.”

“People see me and they squeal like tropical birds or seals stranded on the beach.”

“You're not really famous until you’re a Pez dispenser.”

ON THE FLEETING NATURE OF SUCCESS

“There is no point at which you can say, 'Well, I'm successful now. I might as well take a nap.'”

ON DEALING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

“I'm very sane about how crazy I am.”

ON RESENTMENT

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die."

ON LOVE

“Someone has to stand still for you to love them. My choices are always on the run.”

“I've got to stop getting obsessed with human beings and fall in love with a chair. Chairs have everything human beings have to offer, and less, which is obviously what I need. Less emotional feedback, less warmth, less approval, less patience, and less response. The less the merrier. Chairs it is. I must furnish my heart with feelings for furniture.”

“I don’t hate hardly ever, and when I love, I love for miles and miles. A love so big it should either be outlawed or it should have a capital and its own currency.”

ON EMOTIONS

“The only thing worse than being hurt is everyone knowing that you're hurt.”

ON RELATIONSHIPS

“I envy people who have the capacity to sit with another human being and find them endlessly interesting, I would rather watch TV. Of course this becomes eventually known to the other person.”

ON HOLLYWOOD

“Acting engenders and harbors qualities that are best left way behind in adolescence.”

“You can't find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well.”

“It's a man's world and show business is a man's meal, with women generously sprinkled through it like overqualified spice.”

ON FEAR

“Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.”

ON LIFE

“I don’t want life to imitate art. I want life to be art.”

“No motive is pure. No one is good or bad-but a hearty mix of both. And sometimes life actually gives to you by taking away.”

“If my life wasn't funny it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.”

“I shot through my twenties like a luminous thread through a dark needle, blazing toward my destination: Nowhere.”

“My life is like a lone, forgotten Q-Tip in the second-to-last drawer.”

ON DEATH

“You know what's funny about death? I mean other than absolutely nothing at all? You'd think we could remember finding out we weren't immortal. Sometimes I see children sobbing at airports and I think, 'Aww. They've just been told.'”

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios