‘If You Guys Rip on Me 13 or 14 More Times, I’m Outta Here!’: 15 Trivia Tidbits About ‘BASEketball’
The movie may have bombed harder than when Spielberg tried his hand at comedy, but there’s no denying that the Zucker Brothers’ 1998 send-up of pro sports remains a favorite among fans today. Starring South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, BASEketball took the concept of hybrid sports and milked it for every joke it could. So let’s cross the Balance Board of Trust and walk into some trivia about the film that paired the director of Airplane! with the creators of Eric Cartman...
The Movie Is Believed to Have Coined the Term ‘Derp’
The Movie Predicted the Future of Sports
From stadiums caving to corporate overlords and changing their names in facepalming fashion — Crypto.com Arena, anyone? — to the insane ways touchdowns are often celebrated, BASEketball got a lot right about the future of professional sports. And that’s just the beginning.
That (yes, with no capital ‘U’) was the film’s working title when David Zucker and the boys first started shooting the sports satire. Zucker came up with the idea for the movie after inventing his own driveway game back in the 1980s and described “undefinedketball” as “a sport for guys with bad knees and bad backs.”
Zucker Originally Wanted to Turn His Sport Into a Game Show
Zucker shot a pilot with Chris Rock to pitch his concept as a game show, but no one wanted to play ball. He then tried to script it as a series for HBO, but the format didn’t work. Third time’s a charm, we guess.
Zucker Wanted Chris Farley to Star in the Movie
Zucker Wanted Parker to Direct
Parker and Stone had just done their first two episodes of South Park (which hadn’t aired yet) when they were approached to do the movie. Zucker originally wanted Parker to direct after seeing Cannibal: The Musical, but Parker declined and was offered the role of Joe “Coop” Cooper instead.
Roger Ebert’s Negative Review Got Him Trashed on ‘South Park’
The ‘South Park’ Cameos
In the “Psych Out” scene during the final match, Parker goes full Eric Cartman as he mocks a player for being “fuckin’ fat.”
He also brings out Mr. Garrison’s voice for the locker room scene when he sarcastically says how his friend, Doug Reemer (Matt Stone), “cares about kids.”
Parker and Stone’s Band
The song “Warts on My Dick,” from the scene where a disenchanted Coop drives around, is performed by DVDA, Parker and Stone’s actual band.
The Movie Featured the Relatively New Smash Mouth
A year before the movie’s release, Smash Mouth would drop their first hit single, “Walkin’ on the Sun,” from their debut album, Fush Yu Mang. The album’s second single to hit the charts was their cover of “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” which is featured in BASEketball. “All Star” wouldn’t break through until 1999.
The Guys Struggled to Make Their Own Shots
While Parker and Stone said they made their own shots in the movie, they admitted that it sometimes took a really long time to actually get the ball in. Parker said there were nights when the crew would all be standing out in the cold, just waiting for him to make his long-range shots. Stone added that while he’s probably the better basketball player, Parker is a better baseketball player.
Dian Bachar on That Pineapple Suit Scene
Bachar, who played Squeak Scolari, said that Zucker wrote his monologue speech the day he was supposed to shoot it, but Bachar told the director there was no way he’d be able to memorize it in such a short amount of time. Zucker then gave him a day to prepare, and Bachar says the scene was the silliest thing he’s ever done.
How the ‘Happy Dance’ Came About
When asked during a press junket if the “Happy Dance” was in the script, Parker explained, “It was something I had started doing at 3 a.m. in the morning and thought it was just the funniest damn thing ever. And the next day, I realized it’s just not that funny.”
Parker and Stone Didn’t Think ‘South Park’ Was Going to Go Anywhere
During that same press junket, the guys said they never thought South Park would be as successful as it has become and that they did BASEketball because “we figured South Park would be well over by now.” In another interview, Parker shared their double schedule: “We’d get picked up at five in the morning, we’d have a 14-hour shoot, be done at 7 p.m. — which was just time to go to work. So we’d drive and go to work on South Park for four hours, and then go home to sleep a couple of hours, and then get picked up at 5 a.m. — for 10 weeks. It just about killed us; it really did.”
It Was Robert Vaughn’s 100th Film
BASEketball marked Robert Vaughn’s 100th feature film, and to celebrate, the cast and crew bought him a big ol’ cake. Vaughn, who played Baxter Cain in the movie, thanked everyone and said that doing the comedy was one of the best experiences of his movie career.