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15 Super Facts About Super Troopers

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Released in 2001, Super Troopers is the second feature from Broken Lizard, the comedy group made up of Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske—all of whom wrote and starred in the film (with Chandrasekhar directing). The movie focuses on five Vermont state troopers who spend most of their time messing with each other and the people they pull over, until potential budget cuts force them to engage in actual police work.

After making $23,182,223 at the box office, strong word-of-mouth and frequent cable airings led to impressive DVD sales and a quick cult comedy status. The film has become so popular that within the last few years alone, professional athletes have played the movie's “meow game” on unsuspecting interviewers, making last year’s filming of a sequel inevitable and majorly welcomed. Here are some facts behind the movie’s shenanigans.

1. HARVEY WEINSTEIN SAID HE WOULD BUY THE SCRIPT, BUT THEN HE COULDN'T TELL IF IT WAS FUNNY.

The film was developed with Miramax, after Broken Lizard impressed head honcho Harvey Weinstein with their first feature, Puddle Cruiser (1996). Paul Soter told Rolling Stone that a Miramax executive told them to approach the film “as if you'll never get to make another movie again. Lay everything out as if this is the only chance you're going to get from now on.” Despite following through, Weinstein read it and, according to Chandrasekhar, reportedly said, "Eh, I don't know. Maybe I just don't know comedy. I don't know. It's funny, but I don't know." Still, Weinstein played a key role in getting the movie sold.

"[Weinstein] comes up to me and says, 'I'm going to do you a favor. Come meet me at the bar,'" Chandrasekhar recalled. "We met up at the bar for last call and had a drink with him [at Sundance]. When people saw us hanging around with Harvey after that movie, the other studios were like, 'Oh, sh*t. We'd better f*cking get on this.' He created a market for the film basically by shadow play. He didn't even see the middle of the movie. He said, 'When you hang out with me, you'll sell your movie.' It went as well as it could possibly go." Fox Searchlight ended up purchasing the rights for a reported $3 million.

2. MORE THAN 20 DRAFTS WERE WRITTEN.

Heffernan estimated that the group wrote more than 20 drafts of the script, with more jokes added every time. "We try to do one joke every six seconds," he said.

3. ONE STUDIO WANTED BEN AFFLECK IN IT.

Broken Lizard was looking to raise $5.5 million to make the movie, with the stipulation that the group's virtual unknowns would star and that Chandrasekhar would direct. Studios declined the opportunity after the group wouldn’t budge on their requirements. “They asked us if they could put Ben Affleck in one part, and they asked if someone else could direct it,” Chandrasekhar remembered.

4. THE FILM WAS FINANCED BY ONE INVESTOR.

Ultimately, the budget ended up being $1.25 million, which was funded by a single investor. “This one guy who had just retired from Wall Street and really wanted to get into film production saw the script and saw Puddle Cruiser and asked us if he could do our movie, and so he gave us the cash," Steve Lemme explained. "He put up the million and a quarter—and got it all back, too.”

5. BRIAN COX ASKED TO BE IN THE MOVIE.

When asked how they convinced Brian Cox, who is widely known for his work with The Royal Shakespeare Company, to appear in the film, Chandrasekhar told The A.V. Club that, "He actually called us. He's always playing parts like pedophiles and Nazi generals and nasty people, and he's a big Jerry Lewis fan, and thinks he's got that bone in him. He's been looking for a comedy to do, and he kept contacting us and contacting us, and he turned out to be amazing."

6. MARISA COUGHLAN GOT THE JOB BECAUSE OF HER THE EXORCIST IMPRESSION.

Marisa Coughlan was sought out specifically for the role of Ursula in the film because of a scene in Kevin Williamson's Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999), in which she imitated The Exorcist (1973). Chandrasekhar called it “flat out genius.”

7. MOST OF THE EXTRAS WENT TO THE SAME SCHOOL.

Like the members of Broken Lizard, a majority of the background actors attended Colgate University, too.

8. THE OPENING SCENE WAS BASED IN REALITY.

The college kid (Geoffrey Arend) who was forced to eat drugs to get rid of evidence came straight out of the lives of some friends of the Broken Lizard guys. Border guards at the U.S.-Canada border found a joint in their Winnebago. When they were all asked to step out of the vehicle, one friend ate a stash of mushrooms meant for 10 guys. He tripped for two days.

9. HEFFERNAN AND CHANDRASEKHAR WORKED THEIR PARENTS INTO THE MOVIE IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

Heffernan’s mother and father wanted to be in their son’s movie, and Heffernan agreed, but he wouldn't tell them anything about their scene. They're the couple who Farva (Heffernan's character) pulls over and calls “chickenf*ckers.” (In 25 takes.) Chandrasekhar's nod was more low-key: his character, Arcot Ramathorn, shares a first name with his father.

10. THE ACTORS BROKE THE LAW.

On Chandrasekhar’s orders, Heffernan once impersonated a police officer to stop traffic for a scene, after production assistants failed to do so. Stolhanske got caught using his rollers while driving 100 miles per hour, but pleaded he didn’t know they were running. Lemme drove around in his police car, and in uniform, and flashed his rollers at one woman who cut him off successfully.

Years later, Lemme was pulled over while driving 120 miles per hour; it turned out that the officer, nicknamed "Mac," was a huge Super Troopers fan. Instead of a speeding ticket, Lemme took selfies with the officer.

11. THE SYRUP WAS REAL.

The prop woman replaced the syrup in the bottles with iced tea, but Stolhanske claimed the iced tea didn’t give it “that glug, glug, glug thick look” when they chugged in. Chandrasekhar insisted that real syrup had to be used.

12. FARVA’S MUSTACHE WAS FAKE.

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“I had a stunt mustache,” Heffernan tweeted during an airing of Super Troopers.

13. HEFFERNAN DIDN’T WANT JIM GAFFIGAN IN THE MOVIE.

Jim Gaffigan ended up playing Larry Johnson, the man who innocently got himself involved in “the meow game." But Heffernan didn’t want Gaffigan involved because he always beat him out at auditions. Heffernan must have forgiven Gaffigan, as the comedian played a role in another Broken Lizard movie, 2009's The Slammin’ Salmon.

14. THERE WAS AN ALTERNATE ENDING.

In the alternative ending, the police officers busted some bad guys while working as meat-packers.

15. THE ORIGINAL IDEA FOR THE SEQUEL WAS TO SET IT IN THE 1970S.

In 2006, Chandrasekhar revealed an idea to make Super Troopers ‘76, a prequel featuring the fathers of the state troopers. By 2009, Chandrasekhar said the sequel now took place three months after the end of the original movie, with the troopers tasked with tackling land ownership squabbles between the United States and Canada. On October 24, 2015, filming for Super Troopers 2 began, months after raising more than $4.5 million on Indiegogo, which at the time was a record for the highest funded film in the crowdfunding website’s history.

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15 Educational Facts About Old School
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Old School starred Luke Wilson as Mitch Martin, an attorney who—after catching his girlfriend cheating, and through some real estate and bitter dean-related circumstances—becomes the leader of a not-quite-official college fraternity. Along with his fellow thirtysomething friends Bernard (Vince Vaughn) and newlywed Frank (Will Ferrell), they end up having to fight for their right to maintain their status as a party-loving frat on campus.

The film, which was released 15 years ago today, marked Vaughn’s return to major comedies and Ferrell’s first major starring role after seven years on Saturday Night Live. Here are some facts about the movie for everyone, but particularly for my boy, Blue.

1. THE IDEA ORIGINATED WITH AN AD GUY.

Writer-director Todd Phillips was talking to a friend of his from the advertising industry named Court Crandall one day. Crandall had seen and enjoyed Phillips's movie Frat House (1998) and told his director buddy, “You know what would be funny is a movie about older guys who start a fraternity of their own.” After being told by Phillips to write it, he presented Phillips with a “loose version” of the finished product.

2. SOME OF THE FRAT SHENANIGANS WERE REAL.

While Crandall received the story credit for Old School, Phillips and Scot Armstrong received the credit for writing the script. Armstrong put his own college fraternity experiences into the script. “We were in Peoria, Illinois, so it was up to us to entertain ourselves," Armstrong shared in the movie's official production notes. "A lot of ideas for Old School came from things that really happened. When it was cold, everyone would go stir crazy and it inspired some moments of brilliance. Of course, my definition of ‘brilliance' might be different from other people's.”

3. IVAN REITMAN HELPED OUT.

Ivan Reitman, director of Stripes and Ghostbusters, was an executive producer on the film. Phillips and Armstrong wrote and rewrote every day for two months at Reitman’s house, an experience Phillips described as comedy writing “boot camp.”

4. THE STUDIO DIDN’T WANT VINCE VAUGHN.

Vince Vaughn in 'Old School' (2003)
DreamWorks

It didn’t seem to make a difference to DreamWorks that Phillips and Armstrong had written the role of Bernard with Vince Vaughn in mind—the studio didn't want him. After his breakout success in Swingers, Vaughn had taken roles in dramas like the 1998 remake of Psycho. “So when Todd Phillips wanted me for Old School, the studio didn’t want me,” Vaughn told Variety in 2015. “They didn’t think I could do comedy! They said, ‘He’s a dramatic actor from smaller films.’ Todd really had to push for me.”

5. RECYCLED SHOTS OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY WERE USED.

The film was mainly shot on the Westwood campus of UCLA. The aerial shots of the fictitious Harrison University, however, were of Harvard; they had been shot for Road Trip (2000).

6. VINCE VAUGHN FANS MIGHT RECOGNIZE THE CHURCH.

In the film, Frank gets married at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, California. Vaughn and Owen Wilson were in that same church two years later for Wedding Crashers (2005).

7. WILL FERRELL SCARED MEMBERS OF A 24-HOUR GYM.

Frank’s streaking scene was shot on a city street. As Ferrell remembered it, one of the storefronts was a 24-hour gym with Stairmasters and treadmills in the window. “I was rehearsing in a robe, and all these people are in the gym, watching me. I asked one of the production assistants, ‘Shouldn’t we tell them I’m going to be naked?’ Sure enough, I dropped my robe and there were shrieks of pure horror. After the first take, nobody was at the window anymore. I took that as a sign of approval.”

8. FERRELL REALLY WAS NAKED.

Ferrell justified it by saying it showed his character falling off the wagon. “The fact that it made sense was the reason I was really into doing it, and why I was able to commit on that level," Ferrell told the BBC. "If it was just for the sake of doing a crazy shot, then I don't think it makes sense.” Still, Ferrell needed some liquid courage, and was intimidated by the presence of Snoop Dogg.

9. ROB CORDDRY WAS NOT NAKED, BUT HE STILL HAD TO SIGN AWAY HIS NUDITY RIGHTS.

Old School marked the first major film role for Rob Corddry, who at the time was best known as a correspondent for The Daily Show. He had a jewel bag around his private parts for his nude scene, but his butt made it into the final cut. He had to sign a nudity clause, which gave the film the right to use his naked image “in any part of the universe, in any form, even that which is not devised.”

10. SNOOP DOGG AGREED TO CAMEO SO HE COULD PLAY HUGGY BEAR IN STARSKY & HUTCH.

Phillips admitted to essentially bribing the hip-hop artist/actor, using Snoop Dogg’s desire to play the street informant in the modern movie adaptation of the classic TV show (which Phillips was also directing) to his advantage. “So when I went to him I said, 'I want you to do Huggy Bear,' he was really excited. And I said, 'Oh yeah, also will you do this little thing for me in Old School a little cameo?' So he kind of had to do it I think."

11. SNOOP WANTED TO HANG OUT WITH VINCE VAUGHN ON SET, BUT NOT LUKE WILSON.

Snoop Dogg in 'Old School' (2003)
Richard Foreman, Dreamworks

Vaughn and his friends accepted an invitation to hang out in Snoop Dogg’s trailer to play video games on the last day of shooting. Vaughn recalled seeing Luke Wilson later watching the news alone in his trailer; he had not been informed of the get-together.

12. WILSON WAS TEASED BY HIS CO-STARS.

Vaughn, Wilson, and Ferrell dubbed themselves “The Wolfpack”—years before Phillips directed The Hangover—because they would always make fun of each other. A particularly stinging exchange had Ferrell refer to Legally Blonde (which Wilson had starred in) as Legally Bland. Wilson said it didn’t make him feel great. Wilson retorted by telling Ferrell that "the transition from TV to the movies isn't a very easy one, so you might just want to keep one foot back in TV just in case this whole movie thing falls through!"

13. TERRY O’QUINN SCARED HIS SONS INTO THINKING THEY WERE TRIPPING.

Terry O’Quinn (who went on to play John Locke on Lost the following year) agreed to play Goldberg, uncredited, in what was a two-day job for him. He neglected to inform his sons he was in the movie, and when they saw it, one of them called their father. “I got a call from my sons one night, and they said, ‘What were you doing in Old School? We didn’t even know you were in it!’ They said, ‘We’re sitting there, and the first time we see you, it’s, like, in a reflection in a window. And when we saw it, and we both thought we were, like, tripping or something!’”

14. THE EARMUFFS WERE IMPROVISED.

Before filming, Vaughn worked with Ferrell to figure out their characters' backstories and how they knew each other; he credited that with helping him figure out who Bernard was, which led to several ad-libbed moments. “The earmuff scene where he swears in front of the kids, and then I tell the kid to earmuff, that all is off the cuff. But that stuff is a lot easier to do when you know who you are and your circumstances, and who your characters are,” Vaughn explained.

15. FERRELL AND VAUGHN DIDN’T LOVE A SCRIPT FOR A SEQUEL.

Armstrong had written Old School Dos in 2006, which saw the frat going to Spring Break. Ferrell said that he and Vaughn read the script but felt like they would just be “kind of doing the same thing again.” Wilson, on the other hand, was excited over the new script.

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11 Fun Facts About The Wedding Singer
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On February 13, 1998, Adam Sandler gave Valentine’s Day sweethearts a retro treat with The Wedding Singer, a 1980s-set rom-com about a heartbroken wedding singer named Robbie Hart (Sandler) who falls in love with a waitress/bride-to-be whose married name will leave her as Julia Gulia (Drew Barrymore).

At this point in Sandler’s career, he was known more for his puerile comedies like Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison, not as a romantic leading man. The Wedding Singer changed all that. After earning its $18 million budget back during its opening weekend alone, The Wedding Singer went on to gross $123 million worldwide—making it Sandler’s highest-grossing movie to date at the time.

Besides being a bona fide box office hit, the film’s two ’80s-heavy soundtracks—which included tunes by The Police, David Bowie, The Psychedelic Furs, New Order, and The Smiths—were also popular. For the film’s 20th anniversary, here are 11 fun facts about The Wedding Singer.

1. THE DIRECTOR’S OWN REAL-LIFE HEARTBREAK ALLOWED HIM TO TAP INTO THE FILM’S EMOTION.

Longtime Sandler friend and collaborator Frank Coraci directed The Wedding Singer, and said that his own experience with having his heart broken was part of what allowed him to tap into the movie’s unique balance of humor and heartfelt romance.

“I remember lying in bed and not being able to move, so it was easy to tap into that pretty quickly,” Coraci told The Hollywood News of his own heartbreak, which happened a couple of years before the movie came along. “I think the distance between those two things was good. It let me look at it differently and allowed it to be funny. I think if had happened before, The Wedding Singer would have been one seriously depressing movie.”

2. THE IDEA TO SET THE FILM IN THE 1980S CAME FROM THE RADIO.

The Wedding Singer was written by Tim Herlihy, a longtime collaborator of Sandler’s who, in addition to writing for Saturday Night Live, wrote the scripts for Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and The Waterboy (among other Sandler-starring films). Sandler mentioned to Herlihy that he wanted to do “a film about a wedding singer who gets left at the altar.” For his part, Herlihy let the radio inspire him. “I was listening to the radio show Lost in the ’80s, and I said, ‘I want to do a movie set in the 1980s. So of course, we thought, ‘Why don’t we do a story about a wedding singer in the 1980s?’”

3. SANDLER WANTED TO MAKE A “PRO-LOVE” FILM.

While promoting the movie on Late Night With Conan O’Brien in 1998, Sandler said, “We wanted to make a romantic comedy that was heavy on the laughs. It was nice to do a movie that was pro-marriage and pro-love.” He explained men have a difficult time falling in love. “You got guys who say they don’t want to be in love, but those are usually guys who have been hurt before.”

4. THE MOVIE DOESN’T FEATURE ANY SEX SCENES, AND THERE’S A REASON FOR THAT.

In the same interview, Conan O’Brien asked Sandler why there weren’t any sex scenes in the film, which seemed odd for a rom-com. Sandler was candid with his answer: “The main reason for not having a sex scene is I’m not good at sex,” he said. “I started when I was pretty young and I was always like, you’ll get better. And I got older and it’s still not good.”

5. BARRYMORE APPROACHED SANDLER ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER.

Since the release of The Wedding Singer, Sandler and Drew Barrymore have gone on to star in 50 First Dates (2004) and Blended (2014) together, but their original collaboration was really the actress’s doing. Barrymore told Howard Stern she was interested in working with Sandler because “[I thought] I want to be a modern weird Hepburn, Tracy old Hollywood couple.” Sandler agreed to meet with her. “We looked like the worst blind date you’ve ever seen,” Barrymore recalled, referencing how she had purple hair and wore a leopard coat. Still, as Barrymore told The Huffington Post, she was convinced that she and Sandler were “cinematic soul mates,” and wasn’t afraid to tell him so. Soon after this meeting, the script for The Wedding Singer came along.

6. THE “RAPPING GRANNY” LIVED TO BE 101.

At the age of 84, Ellen Albertini Dow portrayed Robbie’s neighbor Rosie, a.k.a. “The Rapping Granny.” During a wedding scene in the movie, Rosie gets on stage and raps to The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” However, when the filmmakers asked Dow to perform the rap, she admitted she wasn’t familiar with that style of music.

In a 2008 radio interview, she recounted how Sandler and Coraci approached her with the idea. They told her, “‘We think it might be funny for an older woman to do rap,’” Dow explained. “And I said, ‘What is that?’ I had no idea what rap was. They took me to a soundstage and handed me this rap song. I went in the booth and it was very foreign to me. I said, ‘Can I move a little to it?’ They said, ‘Oh, sure.’ I’m not bragging, but I danced all my life, and I played the piano, so I know music. I started to move to it and I got it right it away. I got it very fast and loved it and had fun with it.” Her rapping success led to her rapping in a Life Savers commercial, and she even considered recording a rap record for children. In 2015, Dow died at the age of 101.

7. IT’S THE FIRST SANDLER FILM TO INCLUDE A FEMALE PERSPECTIVE.

In previous Sandler films, women mainly existed only as love interests. Herlihy, however, changed that with The Wedding Singer. “Drew elevated things for us,” the screenwriter told Esquire. “The scenes with her and Christine [Taylor]—the scenes with her without Adam—[were all great]. You look at the first movies and there’s not a lot without Adam because we did test screening and they said, ‘Get rid of that scene.’ But this time with Drew we were able to do that and have those scenes survive to the movie.”

8. THE CREATORS OF THE WEDDING SINGER BROADWAY MUSICAL KNEW IT WAS “BORN TO SING.”

The success of the film inspired a Broadway musical adaptation that ended up earning five Tony Award nominations and eight Drama Desk Award nods. Matthew Sklar composed the music, and Chad Beguelin wrote the lyrics and co-wrote the book with Herlihy. It premiered in Seattle in January 2006 and then officially opened on Broadway in April 2006.

In the fall of 2007, the musical toured nationally, then eventually landed overseas in London, Abu Dhabi, the Philippines, and Australia. Beguelin said the musical came from him pitching a movie idea to New Line Cinema. “They asked me, ‘What would you do with our catalogue?’ Well, I thought The Wedding Singer was born to sing,” he said. They felt a musical could convey stronger feelings than what was on the screen. “In the movie, you get a close-up of Drew Barrymore looking distraught at her reflection in a wedding dress, but you can’t do that on stage,” Beguelin said. “That’s where you write a song.”

9. BARRYMORE WANTED THE AUDIENCE TO “HOLD THE BOWL OF LOVE.”

In a 1998 interview, Barrymore explained what drew her to the character of Julia: “She has an ease that follows her and that’s the energy that she exudes, and I really, really like that about her. And she’s a happy girl.”

Barrymore further said she wanted people to be happy and for the movie to cause the audience “to hold the bowl of love and have those hearts in their eyes and all of that good mushy stuff we live for."

10. BILLY IDOL STARRED IN THE FILM TO APPEASE HIS SON—AND TEENAGERS.

Billy Idol, whose song “White Wedding” appears on the soundtrack, portrays himself during a climactic scene on a plane. “My son loved Adam Sandler and I thought: ‘I’m going to have to see it anyway, so why not be in it?,’” Idol said. “I gained a number of diehard teenage fans through doing it, who are adults now and are still turning up to my gigs.”

“There’s something about Billy Idol hanging on a plane, knocking back champagne, and getting involved with my love life,” Sandler said of Idol’s cameo. “Everybody thought that’d be fun.”

11. BOY GEORGE WAS A FAN OF BOY GEORGE.

In the film, transgender actress Alexis Arquette played a character named George, who had similarities to the iconic Culture Club frontman Boy George. Wedding Singer George even sings the band’s 1982 hit song “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” at a wedding in the movie. Arquette passed away on September 11, 2016, and around the same time the real Boy George paid homage to the actress at a concert in Maryland. He dedicated “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” to Alexis and her family.

“Alexis played me in The Wedding Singer, very hilariously,” he said. “When I went to [see] The Wedding Singer, I didn’t know what was going to happen. When I saw Alexis doing an impersonation of me, I was rolling around on the floor laughing.”

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