15 Trivia Tidbits About ‘The Hangover’
Back in 2009, audiences couldn’t get enough of The Hangover, aka Middle Aged Dude Where’s My Car. It was a major box-office hit, spawned two sequels and presumably inspired many an evening of ill-considered binge drinking. So unless we get wasted and forget to paste them below, here are some behind-the-scenes details about everyone’s favorite Bradley Cooper movie that does not involve the song "Shallow" but does include the aforementioned excessive drinking...
It Was Based on a (Less Exciting) True Story
The original script was reportedly inspired by the true story of a Hollywood producer who went missing during his bachelor party. Instead of kick-starting a series of hilarious misadventures, he was quickly found. It turns out that he merely blacked out at a strip club.
The Script Was Massively Rewritten By Someone Who Got No Credit
Director Todd Phillips rewrote the script by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore with a guy named Jeremy Garelick, who received no writing credit on the finished film due to the Writers Guild of America’s regulations. Philips was pissed, calling the rules “insane,” pointing out that before their involvement, “Mike Tyson was not in the movie, there was no tiger, there was no baby, there was no cop car. … We’re not talking about tweaks; we’re talking about massive rewriting.”
Lindsay Lohan Almost Played the Heather Graham Role
Phillips met with Lohan about playing the role of Jade, which ultimately went to Graham. While she “loved the script,” Lohan was deemed to be “too young” for the part.
Ed Helms Was Shooting ‘The Office’ Simultaneously
Figuring out a deal to make the movie while still filming The Office was a “nightmare” for Helms, who ended up doing both simultaneously. He would shoot The Hangover at night, then fly back to make The Office during the day. According to Helms, the process involved being “completely Red Bull-ed out of my brain.”
Helms Had His Tooth Removed for Realsies
Helms’ missing tooth wasn’t CGI wizardry — he had it removed for real. He also neglected to tell anyone involved with The Office about his dental procedure “because they would lose their minds,” so he instead wore an “appliance” that made him sound “drunk.”
Chow’s Nude Scene Was Ken Jeong’s Idea
The scene where Mr. Chow jumps out of a trunk was originally scripted with the mob boss wearing only his underwear — but Jeong suggested that he should do the scene totally naked, and Phillips responded: “You don’t have to tell me twice!”
The Cops Almost Shut Down Filming
While filming the nude scene, a cop tried to shut the production down, claiming that people nearby had been complaining, and weirdly telling the crew, “This is Vegas — we don’t act like that. This is not that kind of town.”
Jeong Made In-Jokes for His Wife, Who Was Going Through Chemo at the Time
While making The Hangover, Jeong’s wife Tran was going through cancer treatment, so he snuck in “little Vietnamese phrases to make Tran laugh.” This is why the supposedly Chinese criminal barks orders in Vietnamese, one of which means “chicken die,” an inside joke between the couple.
Mike Tyson Regretted His Tiger Purchases in Real Life
One memorable part of the movie involves the trio returning Tyson’s pet tiger — in real life, Tyson did own several pet tigers but later regretted this decision, stating: “I was foolish. There’s no way you can domesticate these cats 100 percent.”
Zach Galifianakis Tried to Bribe the Director’s Assistant to Remove a Scene
Among the many filthy still photos that we see during the end credits involves Galifianakis’ character getting a blow job from an “old porn star” in an elevator — Galifianakis later claimed that he offered Phillips’ assistant $1,000 to get the joke cut.
It Was Remade by 4-Year-Olds
Someone re-staged scenes from the film, but with four-year-olds instead of grown men who act like four-year-olds — and reportedly, instead of a tiger, they used a “fluffy white dog.” Sadly, this adorable-sounding footage seems to have disappeared from the internet.
Getting to the Roof of Caesars Palace Was Practically Impossible
Key scenes in The Hangover involve the gang sneaking onto the rooftop of Caesars Palace, which is more or less impossible in real life. To film those scenes, according to Phillips, “We had to go through 42 locked doors and 32 key cards just to get past. There is no real way to get on the roof at Caesars.”
It Became the Top-Selling Comedy DVD of Its Time
When it hit DVD, the film sold “8.6 million units” in a week, making it the top-selling DVD comedy, besting the record previously held by My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Alan Became a Popular Halloween Costume
“Alan Garner” quickly became a go-to Halloween costume for portly bearded dudes with access to a BabyBjörn, a doll and a pair of shades.
The Movie Was a Publicity ‘Bonanza’ for Las Vegas
Despite all the druggings, near-murders and general awfulness we see play out in The Hangover, the film was reportedly a “PR bonanza” for Las Vegas, “presenting the city as the ultimate guys’ getaway.” It also meant increased business for Caesars Palace and, presumably, more people trying to smuggle exotic wildlife into their rooms.
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