15 Trivia Tidbits About ‘I Think You Should Leave’
It’s difficult to overstate the cultural significance of I Think You Should Leave, the sketch comedy series that’s become a veritable language of online memes and inspired the production of real, extremely complicated shirts. So, in anticipation of the upcoming third season, we’ve assembled 15 pieces of trivia about the show — or five sets of triples, if you will…
The Lonely Island Helped Get the Show Made
I Think You Should Leave co-creators Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin first met at Saturday Night Live, then went on to make Detroiters (along with Sam Richardson and Joe Kelly). While all three members of The Lonely Island are executive producers of I Think You Should Leave, reportedly, it was Akiva Schaffer who “encouraged Netflix to develop something with" the pair.
Robinson Was in a Canceled Groupon-Based Sitcom
In an alternate universe, I Think You Should Leave never got made because Robinson was busy playing a side character in Friend Me, the cringey sitcom pilot about working for big tech that he co-starred in back in 2012 — which was thankfully canceled in our dimension.
It Inadvertently Reflected Trump
Some fans have interpreted the show’s themes as a commentary on the Trump presidency. While this wasn’t intentional, Kanin has said of the theory: “There’s nothing funnier to us than someone who feels embarrassed or ashamed, and, to save face, digs themselves a way deeper hole and reveals much worse things than you thought at first. And Trump did that all the time.”
Getting in the Karl Havoc Suit Made Robinson Panic for Real
In the infamous “I don’t even want to be around anymore” sketch, Robinson’s character is the star of a hidden camera show who transforms into “Karl Havoc” – who basically looks as if a Gary Busey sex doll melted in the sun — then has an existential freak-out. Robinson similarly hated the getup in real life, telling an interviewer: “I legitimately have claustrophobia issues, so I was really nervous to get in that suit for real. Like, I was panicking violently because that’s true to me that I would freak out in that.”
Parents Are Happy to Put Their Kids in the Show
A number of sketches require the involvement of child performers, whether they’re hawking Tammy Craps or portraying infant bad boy Bart Harley Jarvis. According to casting director Leslie Woo, most parents are totally game to have their kids participate in the weirdness, telling her, “We love the show so much. My kid will definitely be reading for this.”
They Only Used Four Coffins for the Coffin-Flop Sketch
For the Corncob TV sketch, all about the show Coffin Flop, the series naturally needed a lot of footage of suspiciously naked bodies falling out of coffins during funerals. During production, they only used four coffins, but each had “four to five false bottoms.” So they filmed around “14 or 15” flops and shot them from multiple angles, making it look as though there were “36 to 40 drops” in the final product.
Coffin Flops Are A Real Problem
While you might think that coffin flops are an invention of the show, there is at least one recent incident in which a casket broke during a funeral, and the corpse fell out. This resulted, however, in a lawsuit against the funeral home, not a Corncob TV segment.
Robinson Hired Patti Harrison Because of Instagram
Harrison has appeared in a number of sketches and was one of the show’s writers in the second season — but she first made her I Think You Should Leave debut in Season One’s printer sketch. According to Harrison, Robinson cast her because “he said that he thought I was funny through Instagram,” adding that it was at least “one positive of the sea of poison that is Instagram.”
Ilhan Omar Used the Hot Dog Guy Meme to Slam ExxonMobil
There is perhaps no greater I Think You Should Leave meme than that depicting the hot dog guy who has just crashed his hot dog-themed car through a storefront but is attempting to “find the guy who did this.”
The image has become the perfect shorthand for denoting when someone is trying to fix a situation they are so clearly to blame for, so much so that it was famously used by Ilhan Omar on Twitter in response to ExxonMobil’s call to join their climate-change initiative.
A Pro Hockey Team Designed Dan Flashes-Inspired Jerseys
The Dan Flashes sketch proved so popular that the ECHL’s Adirondack Thunder tweeted out a design idea for a new jersey with impressively “complicated” patterns.
Bob Odenkirk Was One of the Few Actors Who Was Allowed to Improvise
Typically, actors on I Think You Should Leave stick to the script, but according to Robinson, they were understandably cool with letting Odenkirk do a “bunch” of improv at the end of the “Diner Wink” sketch, later stating, “It was all really funny, and I feel like it elevated the sketch off of what was on the page a lot.”
Before ‘Detective Crashmore,’ Biff Wiff Played Santa Claus Three Other Times
Detective Crashmore was, of course, played by a Billy Bob Thornton-esque Santa Claus who doesn’t want to talk about his toy-delivering career — and Santa was played by actor Biff Wiff, who wasn’t inexperienced when it came to pretending to be Kris Kringle. Wiff previously played the same role in three other projects, including the Disney Channel series Just Roll With It. Although, presumably, that show didn’t include any scenes in which Santa brings up how he’s seen everyone in the world naked.
Wiff Was Also in ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ (But Not as Santa)
Incidentally, Wiff also appeared in the Oscar-winning hit film Everywhere Everywhere All at Once as a character named “Rick,” who we’re going to go ahead and assume was secretly Santa Claus all along.The Focus Group’s Breakout Actor Returned, But the Scene Was Cut from the Show
There is perhaps no more memorable character from I Think You Should Leave than the focus-group attendee who suggests building a car where the steering wheel won’t fly off. Which is just a sensible idea, frankly.
The creators of the show loved actor Ruben Rabasa so much that they brought him back to play a guy who’s been tricked into thinking he’s a music star by a sleazy producer in a part of the “Laser Spine” sketch that ultimately ended up on the cutting room floor.
…And He’s Currently Prepping a One-Man Show
If you want more Ruben Rabasa in your life, according to the 84-year-old veteran character actor, he’s currently working on a one-man show called “Rabasa Is Here,” which “will expand on my anecdotes, life, and mistakes and all the thrilling things to come.”
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