Dodgeball: 15 Trivia Tidbits
Dodgeball was a quotable force when it was released back in 2004, starring 2 members of the “Frat Pack," Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. Now, 18 years later, it's still one of the best rainy day movies out there, and has solidified itself as a classic comedy. Here are 15 facts about White Goodman, Peter La Fleur and the whole gang in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.
The Main Characters Were Written With The Actors In Mind
Writer/ Director Rawson Marshall Thurber wrote Dodgeball with Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn in mind for the leads. He also wrote Justin Long’s character with the actor in mind, because he was a big fan of Long’s work on Galaxy Quest, just like the rest of us.
The Film Originally Featured A Cyborg
Fran Stalinovskovichdavidovitchsky, the Eastern European Purple Cobra member was originally more than just a woman with a cannon for an arm. In the original draft of the script, Fran was supposed to be a dodgeball robot. Thurber cut the storyline because he thought it was too far-fetched, but the actress, Missi Pyle, who played Fran said her metallic face and fake breasts were supposed to be exposed at the climax.
The Inspiration For Goodman’s Hair
In the Dodgeball commentary, Stiller admitted he based White Goodman’s hairstyle on Patrick Swayze from Roadhouse. Thurber described it as a “super quaffed power mullet.” Coincidentally, the "super quaffed power mullet" is also a move in the Kama Sutra.
The Cheerleading Flashback Was Much More Gruesome
The cheerleading flashback used to be a lot more intense according to Thurber. In an earlier draft of the script, the cheerleader was supposed to fall in such a way that Long’s arm gets stuck in her rectum. Thurber said, “It was a little much.”
Justin Long Got His Sh*t Rocked
Justin Long took an absolute beating on the set of dodgeball. For starters, Thurber cut Long’s eyebrow when he hit him in the face with a hard rubber wrench, leaving a scar on the actor’s face. To follow that, Long took so many dodgeballs to the head during the training sequence that he was rendered “slightly concussed.” Long told Today, “They didn’t want me to drive home at the end of the day because I was a little off. So next time you’re watching that and laughing, know that you’re laughing at my pain.” Stiller gifted Long an Average Joe's scooter as an apology after the film.
Alan Tudyk Didn’t Like His Character
Alan Tudyk, who played Steve the Pirate, told Vaughn and Thurber that as soon as he read the script he knew they had a hit on their hands. His only problem with the script was that they needed to cut the pirate character because he doesn’t make any sense. Rough call, Alan.
The Original Pizza Slice Scene
White Goodman’s scene with the pizza slice and the laptop was originally much more…blunt. Originally the scene consisted of Goodman watching morbidly obese pornography and sexually assaulting the slice of pizza. Thurber thought it might “freak some people out,” so he cut it from the film.
David Hasselhoff Wasn’t Originally In The Script
As you remember, David Hasselhoff plays the coach of the German dodgeball team. However, this casting decision wasn’t made until a few days before the scene was shot. The stunt coordinator for the film, Alex Daniels knew Hasselhoff personally and asked Thuber if he wanted to use him for the role. Thurber instantly said yes.
The Inspiration For Average Joe’s Colors
The colors of the Average Joes Gym uniforms were chosen to match the basketball team from the 1986 film Hoosiers. The director of Hoosiers, David Anspaugh, was a friend of Stiller and Vaughn, in addition to having worked with both in the past. He even visited the Dodgeball set and attended the premiere.
Lance Armstrong Was A Late Addition
Lance Armstrong’s inclusion was a late addition to the pre-production decisions. Stiller had recently read his book, and asked Thuber “Who’s the most inspiring guy right now on the planet that he could run into?” They both thought of Armstrong at the same time. They both probably think differently now.
They Originally Lost In The First Script
In the original ending to the film, Thuber had the Average Joes losing the tournament. But in addition to that, Steve The Pirate steals a treasure chest from a Treasure Island ship to give to the team. This is why the money at the film's end is a treasure chest.
The Cast Went To Dodgeball Boot Camp
In preparation for the film, the entire cast ran indoor dodgeball drills at a “boot camp.” Stiller said the practice consisted of the cast gathering at a gym a few times a week playing dodgeball. The game was physically exhausting for many of the cast, Stiller added, “It’s a game for the young. It’s one thing when you’re eight, but when you’re 38, it gets really exhausting. After three or four minutes, you’re fried.”
Chuck Norris Was Reluctant To Appear
Norris originally declined the offer to appear in the film. In an interview with Empire Magazine, Norris said, “I was in L.A. when they asked me to do the cameo. I said no at first because it was a three-hour drive to Long Beach.” When Stiller heard this he called Norris begging him to reconsider. Norris continued, “He goes, ‘Chuck, please, you’ve got to do this for me!’ My wife said he should send a helicopter for me and that's what happened. I didn't read the screenplay, just did my bit where I stick my thumb up.” Norris said when the movie came out he enjoyed it, but was surprised by the post-credits scene. “In the end, when Ben’s a big fatty and watching TV, the last line of the whole movie is, 'F***ing Chuck Norris!' My mouth fell open ... I said, 'Holy mackerel!' That was a shock, Ben didn't tell me about that!"
A Dark Fan Theory Exists About Steve The Pirate
In 2012, a Redditor named ‘Maized’ created a fan theory about Steve The Pirate. Maized proposed that Steve is actually a Navy veteran who suffers from PTSD. Maized claimed Steve’s tattoos resemble those of U.S. Naval recruits and that the pirate persona was a coping mechanism. He also brings up the fact that Steve seems to have no job as he just hangs around a gym all day, meaning he may be benefiting from medical discharge military benefits.
White Goodman Is A Clone Of Another Stiller Character
White Goodman is a long-lost twin of another one of Stiller’s characters. Stiller played a similar persona, Tony Perkins, in the Disney movie Heavyweights. Stiller said, “I always thought, ‘Well, nobody ever saw Heavyweights, so I can do this.’ But a lot of people saw Heavyweights apparently. Apparently, it shows on the Disney channel a lot or something. So yeah, there are definitely correlations between them. But you know, it’s like, how often do you get the chance to do a guy like that? It was really fun for me.”
For exclusive ComedyNerd content and more, subscribe to our spiffy newsletter:
Top Image: Red Hour Productions