Kenny Loggins Recalls How Rodney Dangerfield Improvised the Final Scene of ‘Caddyshack’

Like most of ‘Caddyshack,’ the iconic ending line was essentially the result of Harold Ramis telling Rodney, ‘Do something funny’
Kenny Loggins Recalls How Rodney Dangerfield Improvised the Final Scene of ‘Caddyshack’

According to Kenny Loggins (and everyone else), the best way to get a timeless performance from Rodney Dangerfield was to roll the camera and get out of his way.

The creation of Caddyshack is one of those mythical Hollywood stories that strains reason, as the 11-week production period was soaked in booze and drugs and barely productive enough to create a comedy classic that still defines the sport of golf in film. Harold Ramis, a first-time director, hardly even wrote a screenplay for the film, relying heavily on the improvisational talents of his constantly coked-out cast — especially those of Dangerfield, who even cut up a couple lines during his raucous audition, if the legend is to be believed.

Loggins, the uncontested king of the rock-and-roll movie soundtrack, showed up to the party in its dying hours to deliver the iconic hit song “I’m Alright” and to observe the ending of the film — or lack thereof. On this week’s episode of Dana Carvey and David Spade’s Fly on the Wall Podcast, Loggins recounted his side of the story of Dangerfield’s iconic closing line, “We’re all gonna get laid!” as well as his hot take on the dancing gopher. The Caddyshack chat starts at 53:30.

“It didn’t have an ending, and it didn’t have a gopher,” Loggins said of the rough cut (emphasis on cut) Ramis showed him when he showed up to work. Loggins recalled the rebellious attitude he hoped to evoke with “I’m Alright,” hoping to somehow tie together Danny’s storyline with a thematically satisfying swan song.

As for the gopher, Loggins says that the legendarily chaotic producer Jon Peters pitched him on the puppet that would later become one of the most iconic characters in comedy history. “Jon said, ‘Okay so this next part man this is where we have a gopher come out of a golf hole and dance. It’s a hand puppet,’” Loggins explained, “and I went, ‘That’s stupid!’” The composer later conceded, “I was so wrong.”

The ending itself was much more par-for-the-course (pun unavoidable) compared to how the rest of the filming of Caddyshack went. Said Loggins, “(Ramis) brought Rodney back out onto the golf course and said, ‘Give us an ending.’” That was enough for the disrespected dynamo, who took no time tossing out the most quoted line in the film. As Loggins explained, “Rodney just goes out and says, ‘Hey, we’re all going to get laid!’” Spinning comedy gold was as simple as that — tell Dangerfield, “Go,” and make sure there’s enough film in the camera to capture his hole-in-one.

Loggins’ account of the events will have to serve as the definitive version of the story; presumably, no one else on set could remember how it happened when they woke up the next morning. If you asked the late, great Dangerfield how he came up with the iconic line, his answer would probably have been something along the lines of, “I was in a golf movie?”

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