Can you believe that it has been 38 years since Caddyshack was first released? Yup, you heard that right. The sports comedy has been winning over viewers since the year 1980 and it is still going strong. Read on to find out some tidbits about this classic that you likely never knew about!
Chevy Chase Or Else
These days, Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield are familiar faces and names in the entertainment industry. However, their careers were just taking off in 1980. In fact, Caddyshack was actually Dangerfield’s first big project and Murray just left Saturday Night Live. The producers decided to cast Chevy Chase in the role of Ty Webb to appease the studio execs. It’s a good thing Webb accepted since the part was actually tailored for him!
Bill Murray Improvised A Huge Chunk of His Lines
It is no secret that Murray is a talented comedian and a lot of his great works were actually the result of improvisation. This movie is no different. Some of the lines he came up with on his own include the scene where his character cuts off the flower tops using a grass whip. This is incredibly fascinating when you consider the fact that it went on to become one of the movie’s most famous scenes.
The Scenes With The Gopher Were Shot After Filming Was Over
The producers eventually made the decision to utilize the gopher so that they could tie everything together. However, they ran into a bit of a problem by the official end of filming: there was only a single shot of Bill Murray trying to catch the rodent! That’s why some of the scenes were created during the post-production process. You won’t find Murray and the gopher in the same shot.
Writer Doug Kenney Was Known For Excessive Drinking While Working On the Movie
Producer and writer Doug Kenney, the man on the right, actually started his career while attending Harvard. While studying in the Ivy League university, he co-founded National Lampoon. He was actually quite depressed when he was making Caddyshack. The funnyman turned to alcohol and substance abuse. This led to messy press conferences and reckless driving. Some speculate that he might have been intoxicated when he fell off a cliff in Hawaii.
Rodney Dangerfield Was Under The Impression His Humor Sucked Since No One Laughed At His Jokes
As we have previously mentioned, Caddyshack served as Dangerfield’s first big movie project. The actor was used to receiving a lot of appreciation when he was on The Dean Martin Show and The Tonight Show. However, he was getting insecure when he made jokes and no one on the set laughed. Apparently, it was not because his jokes sucked. The other actors only refrained from reacting so that they would not ruin the scene!
Bill Murray Was Actually A Groundskeeper For Indian Hill Country Club
Interestingly, the setting of Caddyshack actually came from Bill Murray’s personal experience. The comedian worked at the Indian Hill Country Club back in the day. What did he do there? Apparently, he worked as a caddy, groundskeeper, and hot dog stand operator during his time.
Did you know that Bill Murray actually took the place of Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live? Yeah, that must have been awkward for both parties when they had to work together on the set of Caddyshack. While they weren’t supposed to be together in any shot, plans changed. They had to appear together in the improvised scene where Chase runs into Murray’s gardening shack. We’re sure they remained professional!
The Climatic Explosion Scene Was Made Using Explosives Placed Right On The Fairways
Apparently, the owners of the country club said that they did not want any fires at the golf course. They must have been displeased when the producers decided to go ahead with it anyway. They set off some “incendiary packs” and created actual explosions at the venue!
Pilots Posted At The Ft. Lauderdale – Hollywood Airport Thought Those Explosions Were A Crash
Apparently, the explosions they ended up creating became so huge that pilots flying into the Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood airport, reported it! They told air traffic control that there had been a crash in the nearby area.
Producer Harold Ramis Initially Asked Pink Floyd To Perform And Record The Opening And Closing Credits
Sadly, Pink Floyd turned him down. Nonetheless, it worked out for the best. Otherwise, we would not have gotten Kenny Loggins’ amazing rendition of the song “I’m Alright”.
The Movie Was Originally Going To Be ‘Animal House’, But On The Golf Course
The project was in the works just after the successful Animal House was released. We’re sure that the writers Doug Kenney and Harold Ramis were on a high. The original pitch for the movie was actually “Animal House on the golf course” and this was what the studio initially approved.
Bill Murray And His Brothers Opened A ‘Caddyshack’ Restaurant In Florida
The six Murray brothers decided to open a Caddyshack restaurant in St. Augustine, Florida back in 2001. It is called “Murray Bros. Caddyshack”. Big fans of the movie should definitely make it a point to do a pilgrimage to the golf-themed eatery!
Chevy Chase Improvised The Iconic “Na-na-na-na” Sound When Putting
The instruction given to Chevy Chase was to make a zen-sounding noise while putting. That was how he came up with one of the best known scenes in comedy history!
The Crew Had A Large Party When A Hurricane Halted Production
The film was shot in Florida and Hurricane David affected their filming schedule. Apparently, the crew did not mind the interruption! They decided to put aside filming and held a huge party in the hotel they were staying at.
The Original Script Ended Up Being 250 Pages Long, Almost Twice As Long As Regular Screenplays
Harold Ramis and Jon Peters (both in the picture) actually had to trim down the script because of how long it was! It was only when they cut it down that the studio approved it. The rest is history.
The Illinois Based Film Was Actually Filmed In Florida
So, why did they go all the way to Florida for the shoot? Well, the story goes that director Harold Ramis was eager to get away from the studio while filming was ongoing. That’s why he suggested filming somewhere farther away. That was how they ended up shooting in a golf course all the way in Florida!
Caddyshack Was Golden Age Performer Henry Wilcoxon’s Last Movie Before He Died
Actor Henry Wilcoxon portrayed the character Bishop Pickering in the film. However, his popularity peaked in the Golden Age of Hollywood when he stared in Cleopatra (1934) and The Greatest Show on Earth (1952). Sadly, it was his last project as he died four years after working on Caddyshack.
Too Many Jokes
Can you believe that the director’s cut of the film was over 4 1/2 hours long? The directors thought that every scene was hilarious, and couldn’t cut a single joke. We’re glad the film was produced with a running time of 1 hour and 38 minutes long…over 4 hours is too long (no matter how funny the jokes)!
Bill Murray Was Only Supposed To Have A Small Part, But Was Asked To Stay On After Impressing The Executives
Apparently, Bill Murray was only meant to make a cameo in the film. However, director Harold Ramis personally asked him to stay on the set for a grand total of six days! The two later worked on other comedy projects together, among which would be the 1981 film Stripes.
Mickey Rourke Was Initially Considered For The Role Of “Danny Noonan” Portrayed By Michael O’Keefe
The part of Danny Noonan might have ultimately gone to actor Michael O’Keefe, but he was not the first person Harold Ramis had in mind. Originally, the director was envisioning the character as Mickey Rourke! However, there was a change of plans since they wanted to make the character more like a “goofy kid-next-door”.
The Studio Prepared A Back-up List Of Directors On the Off-Chance Harold Ramis Didn’t Succeed
Caddyshack was actually the first time that Harold directed a film. Apparently, things started off roughly since he was not sure how to do it. The studio was allegedly uncertain if he was the perfect person for the job. They decided that a back-up plan was necessary and the execs actually asked the associate producer to make a list of directors who could take the lead in case things did not work out.
The Pitchfork Scene Was Very Uncomfortable And Very Real
Interestingly, Bill Murray also improvised the whole Dalai Lama soliloquy. Of course, how can we ever forget the comedian narrating the story as he had his pitchfork against Peter Berkrot’s throat? You can see how uncomfortable Berkrot was in the scene and you can’t blame his talent for how authentic his reaction was!
The Cast Was Normally Late For Shooting Thanks To Their Partying
Is it really any surprise that things won’t go as planned when you have Chevy Chase of Vegas Vacation fame and Rodney Dangerfield in your cast? Partying is practically expected! It is said that they partied so hard that they were constantly late for shooting. The crew had no choice but to wait for them to get there before they could start filming.
Actor Ted Knight Did Not Like The Partying And Dialogue Improv
Actor Ted Knight, however, was an old-school fellow. He did not like the rather unprofessional behavior of the other cast members. He did not appreciate the constant partying and improvisation.
They Used Dolphin Sounds For The Gopher Noises
Yes, the sounds the gopher made in the movie were, in fact, dolphin noises!
Director Harold Ramis Usually Avoided The Parties
As the cast and crew members partied long and hard, Harold Ramis made it a point to be a professional director. He did not let loose until filming wrapped up. When he did, however, others reported that he went all out and eventually had to be carried up to his room!
The famous Babe Ruth “poop scene” in the film was actually based off of a real-life prank. Bill Murray and his brothers pulled off this prank in their high school’s pool, finding it so hilarious, Bill re-enacted it into the film.
Marx Brothers Film
The director, Harold Ramis, turned Caddyshack into a Marx Brothers Film. He was inspired by the brothers and decided to mirror his film off of their characters: Dangerfield as Groucho, Murray as Harpo, and Chase as Chico.
Believe it or not, Harold Ramis had never played golf before directing the film…but it looks like he didn’t need any expertise! We wonder how he got the golf inspiration for the film since he had never played!
A Noteworthy Line
Imagine your line being so note-worthy, it was used as an ad campaign? Dangerfield’s line “Let’s go- while we’re young” became the theme of a 2013 campaign by the USGA (United States Golf Association).
The Theme Song
As you already know, Pink Floyd was asked to record the movie’s theme song, although the band had to decline to offer. Kenny Loggins was then called to create original music for both the opening and closing credits. Imagine how different the film would have been had Pink Floyd been available!
It wasn’t just a line used for the film, caddy scholarships really do exist! Ed Murray actually won a golf caddie tournament scholarship called the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship, and used his winnings to pay for his education at Northwestern University.
The Real Bushwood
Oh, and Bushwood Country Club really does exist! The country club in the film is based off of Indian Hill Country Club in Winnetka, Illinois.
Brian Doyle-Murray and his brothers spent their childhood summers in Winnetka. Can you believe that when Bill Murray was a teenager, he ran the hot dog stand?!
The Dalai Lama
Who remembers Carl claiming that he caddied for the Dalai Lama once upon a time? Well, the Dalai himself set things straight and told the media that not only had he never seen Caddyshack, but he’d also never played golf. Good try, Carl.
Caddyshack has just celebrated its 35th year anniversary! This critically acclaimed comedy is a classic now, and forever!
Caddyshack was Ted Knight’s last feature film. During filming in 1979, Knight was battling cancer. He went back to TV acting for a few years after the film, until he later passed away in 1986.
It’s In The Hole
While the “Dalai Lama” scene took a whopping seven hours to shoot, Murray’s “Cinderella Story” scene was completely improvised and was filmed in one take. Oh, and did we forget to mention that it became one of the most memorable lines from the film?! “Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Master’s champion. It looks like a mirac… It’s in the hole – It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!”
Murray and Chase had a personal feud dating back to their Saturday Night Live days. Their scene together was completely improvised, not a word existing in the script. Chase says it eased the tension that existed between the two men.
Many people, especially professional golfers, regard Caddyshack as the funniest sports film of all time. Professional golfer, Tiger Woods went as far as saying it was his favorite movie of all time! Tiger Woods played Bill Murray’s character, Carl Spackler in an American Express commercial…die-hard fan!
Caddyshack was released on July 25, 1980, grossing over $3.1 million during opening weekend! The film went on to make $39,846,344 in North America…pretty good stats!
Due to the success of the original, a Caddyshack II was introduced in 1988. The only actor to reappear in the sequel from the original was Chevy Chase. The film was rated PG rating, much different to the original’s R rating.
As many sequels go, Caddyshack II was lacking in comparison to the original. It only grossed $11,798,302 in the box office, compared to the original’s $39 million. The film received Golden Raspberry Award nominations, a mock award show recognizing the worst in film. It was nominated for Worst Picture and Worst Actor (Jackie Mason), and won for Worst Supporting Actor (Dan Aykroyd) and Worst Original Song (“Jack Fresh”).
Tennis & Horseback Riding
Do you remember two other sport activities available at Bushwood Country Club, other than golf and swimming? Although we don’t see much of it, tennis and horseback riding are also available at the member’s leisure.
During the scene with the floating candy bar in the pool, did you notice the music playing in the background? You got that right…Jaws! This legendary scene featured music from the iconic film Jaws.
The Greatest Ever
As previously mentioned, this film is quite legendary. Caddyshack has garnered a massive cult following over the years, and goes down as one of the funniest sports movies in history.