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Bill and Ted Excellent Adventure

Time Bandits

10 Excellent Things You Didn’t Know About the Bill And Ted Movies

Catch the Bill & Ted movies this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Orion Pictures/Everett Collection

You can keep your Terminators and Doctor Whos — when it comes to time travelers, there can be only one. (Well, two.) To kids of a certain age, the bodacious boys from San Dimas were the only time travelers that mattered. With their hit film, “bogus” sequel, and Saturday morning cartoon, these SoCal slackers taught us to always be most excellent to each other. With Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey airing this month on IFC, we thought we’d take a most outrageous trip through some of the weirdest, wildest facts about the movie. Party on, dudes!

10. Sean Connery Almost Played Rufus.

Sean Connery
20th Century Fox

The studio initially wanted someone like Sean Connery to play Rufus, the time traveling mentor to Bill and Ted. It was only after shooting had begun that George Carlin was approached, out of desperation, and the rest is history.


9. The Movie Originally Ended At The Prom.

Princess Babes
Orion Pictures

The ending of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is an all-time great. (San Dimas High School football rules!) But it almost didn’t happen. In fact, a different ending was shot where the boys give their presentation in class, and then take the princesses to the prom. Thankfully, it didn’t test well, and the ending was reshot to give the film a more epic climax. Alex Winter, for one, is glad they went with the new ending, although he doesn’t really remember much about those prom scenes: “I have no memory whatsoever, I just remember thinking that the bigger ending was better.”


8. The Time Machine Was Almost a Car.

Tardis
BBC

The script originally described the boys’ time machine as a 1969 Chevy Van, before the filmmakers realized they might get knocked for ripping off Back to the Future. They then swapped it with the now legendary phone booth, supposedly making the most heinous mistake of not realizing how similar it was to Doctor Who’s iconic Tardis. Oops.


7. The Phone Booth Was Given Away In a Nintendo Raffle.

Nintendo
Nintendo Power

To promote a Bill & Ted video game for the NES, Nintendo Power Magazine gave the actual time traveling phone booth away as a prize. The winner was teen Kenneth Grayson, who later told Reddit that he became a local celebrity thanks to the time machine, and has even had sex in it a time or two. Excellent!


6. Bill Almost Had To Chill With “The Weasel.”

Son in Law
Buena Vista Pictures

Pauley Shore, unsurprisingly, auditioned for the role of Ted, before thankfully lost out to fellow mellow dude Keanu Reeves. Awkwardly, Shore hosted an MTV special, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Premiere Party in 1991, and supposedly cornered Reeves in a backroom to vent about his failed audition.


5. Keanu Thought He Was Playing Bill.

Bill and Ted
Orion Pictures

Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter were put through countless auditions to land the lead parts in the movie. Finally reaching the finish line, Winter noticed something was off with Reeves. “We’re sitting in the office waiting to meet the producers for the first time and I’m pretty jazzed and he’s miserable,” Winter said. “I’m like, ‘Dude, what’s wrong? We finally got it….And he’s like, ‘Yeah, but I’m Ted.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, you’re Ted. That’s awesome.’ He was like, ‘I thought I was Bill.’ I was like, ‘What f—ing difference does it make? For god’s sake, they’re completely interchangeable.'”


4. One Of The Screenwriters Is The Son Of A Sci-Fi Legend.

I Am Legend
Warner Bros.

It shouldn’t be a shock that Chris Matheson, who co-wrote the script with Ed Solomon, is a fan of science fiction: His father was legendary sci-fi writer Richard Matheson, author of I Am Legend.


3. Babe Ruth Was Supposed To Join the Fun.

Babe Ruth
Universal Pictures

The original screenplay saw a few more historical figures squeeze into the phone booth. Babe Ruth was supposed to be kidnapped, along with Charlemagne, or “Charlie Mange” as the boy would have called him.


2. Keanu and Alex Winter Are Still Most Righteous Friends.

Keanu Reeves Alex Winter
Yahoo

In a Reddit AMA from a few years ago, Winter said that he and Reeves are still close friends. In fact, they once wandered into the middle of the NYC Halloween Parade after dinner, only to have someone walk by and say “Hey look, it’s two old, fat guys trying to be Bill and Ted.” Keanu also supplied the narration for Alex’s acclaimed 2015 documentary Deep Web.


1. Bill And Ted Are Coming Back To The Big Screen.

Bill and Ted GIF
Orion Pictures

Winter and Reeve aren’t content to leave their head-banging alter egos in the past. In fact, Winter told Forbes magazine that prospects for a third film were “looking good.” Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon are back as writers, and, of course, Reeves has agreed to strap on the air guitar one more time. Who should play Rufus? Our pick for an actor/comedian who could honor the legacy of the great George Carlin: Louis C.K.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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GIFs via Giphy

Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

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

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

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

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.