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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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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