DID YOU READ

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Bad Boys

BAD BOYS, Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, 1995, (c) Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection

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Michael Bay’s directorial debut turns 20 this year. How much do you know about the frenetic buddy cop movie?

1. THE MOVIE WAS ORIGINALLY INTENDED FOR DANA CARVEY AND JON LOVITZ.

An earlier, somewhat different vision of the film would have had the SNL stars headlining. This early project even had a different, less catchy title: Bulletproof Hearts.

Disney, the studio behind the project at the time, was attracted to Carvey thanks to his recent successes with Wayne’s World and Wayne’s World 2. While Carvey was interested in the prospect at first, a Las Vegas outing arranged by producer Don Simpson convinced the comedian to back out.


2. ARSENIO HALL WAS THE TOP CANDIDATE FOR WILL SMITH’S ROLE.

But Bay decided to cast Smith after watching The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.


3. EVERYBODY HATED THE SCRIPT.

Even in the early days of the project, writer George Gallo’s script was the source of ire among the cast and crew. Lovitz told The A.V. Club in 2010, “But the script—oh, another George Gallo script—the script was awful.” Bay echoed these sentiments. In a 1998 discussion with film critic Prairie Miller (published in full on Bay’s personal website), the perpetually candid director admitted, “Bad Boys was a very bad script I thought, let’s face it. Basically all we had for Bad Boys was two great actors, and they had a great charisma together.” [sic]


4. SO AN UNLIKELY PAIR CAME IN FOR A REWRITE.

Producers roped in the writing team of Michael Barrie and Jim Mulholland to fix the script. The pair had worked almost exclusively in sitcoms and late night talk show writing; Barrie and Mulholland had written on staff for The Tonight Show under Jack Paar and Johnny Carson and would go on to work for David Letterman on The Late Show.


5. BAY ENCOURAGED SMITH AND LAWRENCE TO IMPROVISE.

Even after the rewrites, Bay banked on the comedic prowess of his lead actors to keep the movie afloat. Many exchanges were born on set, especially the more contentious discussions. For instance, an early argument between their characters involving Lawrence’s slow driving escalated to a point of complete improv after Bay prompted Smith to taunt Lawrence. Additionally, one of the film’s best remembered jokes—Smith requesting a pack of Tropical Fruit Bubblicious immediately after disarming a gun-toting bodega cashier who assumed that he and Lawrence were robbing his store—was Smith’s idea.


6. THERE WAS ONE LINE SMITH (ALMOST) WOULDN’T DELIVER.

The movie’s conclusion features Smith’s uptight Mike Lowrey finally professing his affection for his partner and friend, Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett. The exchange very nearly never made it into the final cut, as Smith was opposed to saying, “I love you” to his screen partner. In light of an impending sunset, Bay initially acquiesced to Smith—albeit angrily—allowing him to perform the scene without the remark. Eventually, Bay coaxed Smith into delivering the line, and the final cut includes Mike telling Marcus he loves him.


7. SMITH KEPT HIS TOP ON.

In the 1990s, it was common for well-built leading men to deliver action sequences while wearing minimal clothing. Bay hoped to follow this trend by having Smith’s climactic running scene performed shirtless. However, Smith would only go so far as to do the scene in an unbuttoned dress shirt.


8. BAY’S MOTHER MADE HIM “CLEAN UP” THE FILM.

Bay screened the opening scene for his mother, Harriet, who was concerned about how much profanity the central duo used. To make his mom happy, Bay reedited the scene to omit a handful of the expletives. (Of course, there is still a ton of swearing in the final cut, so you can imagine how much bad language Harriet Bay had to sit through.)

9. THE VILLAINS’ AUTOMOBILE CRASHED OFF CAMERA.

Throughout the film, the villains drive a Shelby Cobra 427 (a staple of action movie antagonists). One stunt involved the car driving out of the back of an aircraft, which resulted in the Cobra crashing and incurring superficial damages. A number of scenes shot afterwards had to keep the car in tight close-up to hide these damages until a replacement Cobra could be procured.


10. LEONI GOT KNOCKED UNCONSCIOUS WITH AN AK-47 DURING SHOOTING.

She missed her mark, and Lawrence’s stunt double knocked her out.


11. BAY PAID $25,000 OF HIS OWN MONEY TO SHOOT THE FINAL ACTION SEQUENCE.

The studio refused to fund the explosions and shootouts Bay envisioned.


12. BAY HAS MANY QUALMS WITH THE FINAL PRODUCT.

Bay is unusually willing to speak with open vitriol about his past productions. Just as he has with Armageddon, for which he offered a public apology (that he quickly recanted) in 2013, Bay has gone on record about his dissatisfaction with the ultimate cut of Bad Boys. The director expresses dissatisfaction with a number of specific shots, including the car chase following the Club Hell sequence, and one shot in which a character is thrust from an exploding airplane.


13. THE FILM PRODUCED A HANDFUL OF SOPRANOS STARS.

Fans of the mafia series should immediately recognize two prominent supporting members of the Bad Boys cast: Smith and Lawrence’s characters’ precinct captain, played by Joe Pantoliano (known on The Sopranos as the wry and unstable Ralphie Cifaretto), and the pair’s drug-addicted informant Jojo, played by Michael Imperioli (Christopher Moltisanti, a major player on the HBO drama).

Bad Boys has a few less obvious connections with The Sopranos as well. Frank John Hughes, who plays criminal henchman Casper in the film, was a fixture of The Sopranos’ final season as Mafioso Walden Belfiore.

Additionally, The Sopranos featured Bad Boys actors Scott Cumberbatch (who plays Lawrence’s son) in a Season 1 episode of The Sopranos, and Shaun Toub (the bodega clerk who suspects Smith and Lawrence’s characters of robbing his store) in a Season 3 episode.


14. BAD BOYS’S BUDGET WAS JUST $19 MILLION.

His most expensive film, Transformers: Age of Extension, cost $210 million.


15. AT 118 MINUTES, IT IS BAY’S SHORTEST MOVIE BY FAR.

It’s the only of Bay’s directorial features to come in shy of two hours.

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Thank Azaria

Best. Characters. Ever.

Our favorite Hank Azaria characters.

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GIFs via Giphy

Hank Azaria may well be the most prolific voice and character actor of our time. The work he’s done for The Simpsons alone has earned him a permanent place in the pop culture zeitgeist. And now he’s bringing another character to the mainstream: a washed-up sports announcer named Jim Brockmire, in the aptly titled new series Brockmire.

We’re looking forward to it. So much so that we want to look backward, too, with a short-but-sweet retrospective of some of Azaria’s important characters. Shall we begin?

Half The Recurring Simpsons Characters

He’s Comic Book Guy. He’s Chief Wiggum. He’s Apu. He’s Cletus. He’s Snake. He’s Superintendent Chalmers. He’s the Sea Captain. He’s Kurt “Can I Borrow A Feeling” Van Houten. He’s Professor Frink. He’s Carl. And he’s many more. But most importantly he’s Moe Szyslak, the staple character Azaria has voiced since his very first audition for The Simpsons.

Oh, and He’s Frank Grimes

For all the regular Simpsons characters Azaria has played over the years, his most brilliant performance may have been a one-off: Frank Grimes, the scrappy bootstrapper who worked tirelessly all his life for honest, incremental, and easily-undermined success. Azaria’s portrayal of this character was nuanced, emotional, and simply magical.

Patches O’Houlihan

Dodgeball is a “sport of violence, exclusion and degradation.” as Hank Azaria generously points out in his brief but crucial cameo in Dodgeball. That’s sage wisdom. Try applying his “five D’s” to your life on and off the court and enjoy the results.

Harold Zoid

Of Futurama fame. The crazy uncle of Dr. Zoidberg, Harold Zoid was once a lion (or lobster) of the silver screen until Smell-o-vision forced him into retirement.

Agador

The Birdcage was significant for many reasons, and the comic genius of Hank Azaria’s character “Agador” sits somewhere towards the top of that list. If you haven’t seen this movie, shame on you.

Gargamel

Nobody else could make a live-action Gargamel possible.

Ed Cochran

From Ray Donovan. Great character, great last name [editorial note: the author of this article may be bias].

Kahmunra, The Thinker, Abe Lincoln

All in the Night At The Museum: Battle Of The Smithsonian, a file that let Azaria flex his voice acting and live-action muscles in one fell swoop.

The Blue Raja

Mystery Men has everything, including a fatal case of Smash Mouth. Azaria’s iconic superhero makes the shortlist of redeemable qualities, though.

Dr. Huff

Huff put Azaria in a leading role, and it was good. So good that there is no good gif of it. Internet? More like Inter-not.

Learn more about Hank Azaria’s newest claim to fame right here, and don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Flame Out

Brockmire and Other Public Implosions

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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There’s less than a month until the Brockmire premiere, and to say we’re excited would be an insulting understatement. It’s not just that it stars Hank Azaria, who can do no wrong (and yes, that’s including Mystery Men, which is only cringeworthy because of Smash Mouth). It’s that the whole backstory of the titular character, Jim Brockmire, is the stuff of legends. A one-time iconic sportscaster who won the hearts of fans and players alike, he fell from grace after an unfortunate personal event triggered a seriously public meltdown. See for yourself in the NSFW Funny or Die digital short that spawned the IFC series:

See? NSFW and spectacularly catastrophic in a way that could almost be real. Which got us thinking: What are some real-life sports fails that have nothing to do with botched athletics and everything to do with going tragically off script? The internet is a dark and dirty place, friends, but these three examples are pretty special and mostly safe for work…

Disgruntled Sports Reporter

His co-anchor went offsides and he called it like he saw it.

Jim Rome vs Jim “Not Chris” Everett

You just don’t heckle a professional athlete when you’re within striking distance. Common sense.

Carl Lewis’s National Anthem

He killed it! As in murdered. It’s dead.

To see more moments just like these, we recommend spending a day in your pajamas combing through the muckiness of the internet. But to see something that’s Brockmire-level funny without having to clear your browser history, check out the sneak peeks and extras here.

Don’t miss the premiere of Brockmire April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Mirror, Mirror

Portlandia Season 7 In Hindsight

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available Online and on the IFC App.

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Another season of Portlandia is behind us, and oh what a season it was. We laughed. We cried. And we chuckled uncomfortably while glancing nervously around the room. Like every season before it, the latest Portlandia has held a mirror up to ridiculousness of modern American life, but more than ever that same mirror has reflected our social reality in ways that are at once hysterical and sneakily thought-provoking. Here are just a few of the issues they tackled:

Nationalism

So long, America, Portland is out! And yes, the idea of Portland seceding is still less ludicrous than building a wall.

Men’s Rights

We all saw this coming. Exit gracefully, dudes.

Protests

Whatever you stand for, stand for it together. Or with at least one other person.

Free Love

No matter who we are or how we love, deep down we all have the ability to get stalky.

Social Status

Modern self-esteem basically hinges on likes, so this isn’t really a stretch at all.

These moments are just the tip of the iceberg, and much more can be found in the full seventh season of #Portlandia, available right now #online and on the #IFC app.

via GIPHY

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