15 Wild Behind-The-Scenes Moments From 80’s Comedies

Regress to a simpler time when studios made comedy movies.
15 Wild Behind-The-Scenes Moments From 80’s Comedies

Remember seeing movies in the 80’s? Talking about Reagan and how video killed the radio star with your buddies? Alright you caught me, I wasn’t alive, but the movies are still fun. Here are 15 niche fast facts concerning 80’s comedies to tell everyone you meet.

James Saito Pretended To Know Japanese In Hot Dog: The Movie

hot dog the movie


James Saito, who played Kendo, actually could not speak fluent Japanese even though he told the casting directors he could. Kendo said, “all the guys at the table were white guys, so I thought they’d never know the difference.When I got the part, I had a friend translate my lines. The director would say, “Jimmy, can you say this?” And I’d go, “Uh, yeah, sure… So I’d ski down to the lodge and call my friend. Every day I had like three Japanese-English dictionaries in my pockets and a whole list of things to say.”

Risky Business Was Almost Called “White Boys Off The Lake”

Tom Cruise Risky Business

Geffen Pictures

Writer Director Paul Brickman told Salon that the working title for the film was “White Boys Off The Lake.” “I think the studio rejected that because it sounded like an off-Broadway play. So we started doing word association to come up with a new title.”

Jim Carrey Almost Had Tom Hanks’ Role In Bachelor Party

Ace Ventura

Warner Bros

Jim Carrey auditioned for roles in several movies in the 80’s that he didn’t get including Sixteen Candles, Back to School, and Bachelor Party. If cast in Bachelor Party, Carrey would have played Tom Hanks role, Rick Gassko. If he had landed the part, he could’ve launched his movie stardom a decade early!

David Lynch Could’ve Directed Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Can you imagine Fast Times At Ridgemont High if it was directed by David Lynch? Cameron Crowe met with Lynch before filming saying “He had a very wry smile on his face as I sat talking with him. He was very, very sweet about it, but slightly perplexed we thought of him. He said it was a really nice story but ‘it’s not really the kind of thing that I do, but good luck.’ He got into the white VW bug and drove off.” 

Leslie Neilson Sold Fart Machines On The Set Of Airplane

One of Leslie Nielsen's best gags is his fart machine. If you don’t know, Nielson became famous for always having it hidden on him and using it all the time, to trick people into thinking he had insane gut issues. According to the cast, Nielson got his hands on an entire shoebox of them and sold them to the entire crew for 7 bucks a piece.

Night Shift Was Kevin Costner’s First SAG Role As An Extra

Kevin Costner’s first ever SAG role was in the film Night Shift where he played an extra named “Frat Boy #1.” Costner says that Michael Keaton liked his screams. It’s less creepy than it sounds, I promise.

Revenge of the Nerds Was Based On A Real Nerd Frat

Revenge of the Nerds

Interscope Communications

Screenwriter of Revenge Of The Nerds, Steve Zacharia, said that the film was actually based on his neighbor at the University of Wisconsin. ” didn't get into any of the fraternities, so he started his own fraternity. They'd lose 80-to-nothing in football, and their parties were nerdy, but they had fun.” 

Porky’s Was Made To Stick It To The Man

The producer and director made the film to unearth the hypocrisy of the “moral majority” in America. They wanted to tell the story of sexual awakenings in the Eisenhower era. Director Bob Clark said, “at least a dozen different people told us they too lost their virginity at a seedy swamp whorehouse owned by a the brother of an obese crooked Southern sheriff. It quickly became clear that this was a universal story we had to tell.”

Randy Newman Plays The Singing Bush In The Three Amigos

The Singing bush


An often overlooked fact is that Randy Newman co-wrote The Three Amigos along with Steve Martin and Lorne Michaels. Lorne said he asked Newman to join as he wanted the movie to be musical, and Newman was one of the funniest people he knew. Newman wrote “My Little Buttercup”, "Blue Shadows," and "The Ballad of the Three Amigos." He also lent his voice to the singing bush. 

Tim Burton Wanted Sammy Davis Junior To Play Beetlejuice

It’s hard to imagine, but according to director Tim Burton on a 1999 Conan interview, he envisioned Sammy Davis Jr. as playing Beetlejuice from the get go. He pleaded with the studio execs to cast Sammy, but they were less than enthusiastic, and ended up going with Keaton instead. 

This Is Spinal Tap Was Inspired By A Real Band Guest Overheard

Guest says that while none of his characters are autobiographical in any way, the inspiration for Spinal Tap was based on a real British rock group he overheard at a hotel. Guest says “An English band was checking in, this was 1974. The manager says to one of them "where's your bass?" "what?" "Where's your bass?" "I dunno, I think I left it at the airport."

Bill Murray Was Going To Quit Stripes If Harold Ramis Wasn’t In It With Him

P.J. Soles said that Harol Ramis initially did not want to be in the film Stripes, and neither did the studio. Ramis was primarily a writer at this time and performed at Second City. Eventually Bill Murray said either Harold is in the movie or Murray wasn’t going to be in it. Harold reluctantly agreed, thankfully for us.

Schwarzenegger Worked For No Salary On Twins



Schwarzenegger told Business Insider in 2019 that he worked for no salary on Twins in order to prove to the studio that he could do comedies. He instead hedged his bets agreeing to take 20% of whatever the film made after it was released. This ended up making him over 100 million dollars, a higher payday than he had gotten for any previous film.

Pizza The Hut Caused 3rd Degree Burns

Pizza The Hutt


Brooks wanted the Pizza The Hutt costume to look so realistic that the props department actually poured hot liquid cheese down the suit. Richard Karen, the actor working inside the suit received second and third degree burns from the cheese, leading him to quit the film entirely when Brooks asked for reshoots.

Ghostbusters Was Pitched, Written, Produced And Released In 12 Months

Ghostbusters Crew

Columbia Pictures

Dan Aykroyd had a very different 40 page treatment of Ghostbusters initially, but after they pitched the film the creators were given a release date of just one year later. Ramis, Aykroyd and Reitman worked on the script in Martha’s Vineyard for the summer, and got the whole project finished on time.

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