Half Baked Cast

Stoner History

10 Things You Might Not Know About Half Baked

Laugh yourself silly with Half Baked this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Studios/Everett Collection

There are lots of things we love and remember about Half Baked. That Dave Chappelle was an effortless comedy star, that you don’t need to be high to enjoy the movie (though it doesn’t hurt), and that Jim Breuer can’t look not stoned. But as you revisit this cult classic on IFC this month, here are a few facts you may not have known about one of the best stoner comedies of all time.

10. Dave Chappelle and Neal Brennan Didn’t Talk About the Film Before Pitching It

Universal
Universal

Dave Chappelle called his friend Neal Brennan and said, “If Universal calls, tell them we’re working on a weed movie.” Great news, except Brennan and Chappelle had never talked about pitching anything. Apparently, Dave Chappelle wanted to write with Brennan and offhandedly pitched the idea of a weed movie and the studio loved it.


9. The Film Went from Pitch to Production Incredibly Fast

Half Baked
Universal

Just because a studio likes a pitch, there’s no guarantee that a script will be written, let alone the movie will actually get made. It can take years of development for a film to go into production. Not Half Baked, however. Chappelle and Brennan pitched the film in February, with zero script written, and they were on set by July.


8. The Writers Had Never Worked Together

Universal
Universal

Though the two were friends, Dave and Neal had never worked on anything together before Half Baked. Neal had offered some joke punch-ups to Chappelle’s stand up, but that was it. Later, they went on to create Chappelle’s Show, so it’s lucky Dave wanted to do a weed movie on a whim.


7. The Film Was a Commercial Flop

Half Baked
Universal

Though Half Baked is now a fan favorite, it opened in sixth place at the box office and was considered a failure. After the release, CNN proclaimed that Dave Chappelle’s career was over. Luckily, CNN is not known for its expertise in comedy and Dave Chappelle went on to star in one of the most beloved sketch shows of all time.


6. Neal Brennan Doesn’t Like the Movie

In multiple interviews, Neal Brennan is grateful for the fan love, but doesn’t really care for the movie himself. Once Half Baked got into production, people stopped listening to Brennan and Chappelle’s ideas, resulting in a film that was not what they pictured. Neal said it now looks like a “weed movie for kids,” when they wanted it to be a weed version of Larry Clark’s Kids.


5. Jim Breuer and Dave Chappelle first appeared together on an episode of Home Improvement

Home Improvement
ABC

Half Baked was not the first time Chappelle and Breuer worked together. In 1995, the duo appeared as bumbling buddies asking Tim “The Toolman” Taylor for love advice on an episode of the hit sitcom Home Improvement. This led to ABC giving Chappelle and Breuer their own sitcom, the short-lived series Buddies. Unfortunately, Breuer was replaced by actor Christopher Gartin before the show premiered. The series tanked, and when Chappelle needed someone to play the perpetually high Brian, he needed to look no further than his old friend.


4. Jim Breuer was Not High During Filming, Except One Time

Jim Breuer was a professional on the set of Half Baked, but one day he was dismissed from filming and decided to get high in his trailer after a hard day’s work. Suddenly, a PA knocks on his door and says he has to go back to set to shoot one more scene. Clarence Williams III (Samson Simpson) said he was quitting the movie unless they finished all his scenes that day. So, Jim dragged himself to set to say, “Sucks to be you, man.” Apparently, it took many takes.


3. Samson Simpson is a Tony Nominated Actor

Universal

Though he might not have loved his time playing Samson Simpson, Clarence Williams III is a legendary actor. Best known for playing Linc Hayes on The Mod Squad, he also worked extensively on Broadway. He once starred onstage with Maggie Smith and was nominated for a Tony Award for Slow Dance on the Killing Ground.


2. Some of the Cast Has Turned Against Weed

Universal

Stephen Baldwin has a cameo as “MacGayver Smoker,” but in the years since the film premiered the actor has become an evangelical Christian and is now violently opposed to weed use. Luckily Snoop Dogg’s cameo in the film has only enhanced his delight for the sticky icky.


1. Half Baked is the Director’s Follow Up to “MMMBop”

Universal
Mercury

Tamra Davis directed many music videos and Adam Sandler’s first big hit, Billy Madison. But right before Half Baked, she was the visionary behind the music video of Hansen’s “MMMBop.” To go from the flaxen haired child group to Dave Chappelle’s ode to drugs takes a lot of range.

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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