Enjoy the Dax Shepard, Will Arnett comedy on a whole new level thanks to these 15 little-known facts.
1. A Survivor, superhero, and soul singer are among the famous faces in the film’s opening sequence.
The mugshots and legal footage shown in the beginning montage include celebrities Lil Kim, Tim Allen, Robert Downey Jr., Suge Knight, Ozzy Osbourne, Bobby Brown, Charles Manson, James Brown, Steve-O, Tommy Lee, Martha Stewart, John Gotti, Mike Tyson, Richard Hatch from Survivor, and Heidi Fleiss.
2. Fittingly, Let’s Go to Prison was directed by a man who has played both a lawyer and cop on TV.
Let’s Go to Prison is the second theatrically released film directed by Bob Odenkirk, better know as Saul Goodman from the TV series Breaking Bad. Odenkirk also recently played Sheriff Bill Oswalt in the TV adaptation of Fargo.
3. The movie’s writers also boast résumés filled with fictional law-enforcement roles.
Co-writers Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant both starred in and created the show Reno 911!, a mockumentary about police officers that aired on Comedy Central from 2003-2009.
4. The movie is based on a real-life manual for adjusting to life behind bars.
Jim Hogshire’s 1994 non-fiction book You Are Going to Prison, which offers advice to first-time prisoners, inspired the film.
5. Let’s Go to Prison was the first film released by the production company behind The Cosby Show.
Previously, the Carsey-Werner Company was well known for such comedy heavy-hitters as The Cosby Show, Roseanne, and 3rd Rock from the Sun. Their second release was also a film by Odenkirk called The Brothers Solomon, which came out in 2007.
6. The movie was filmed inside a real prison.
Rossmore State Penitentiary is actually the Joliet Correctional Center in Joliet, Illinois, which closed down as a functioning prison in 2002. The Joliet Correction Center can also be seen in The Blues Brothers and the first season of Prison Break.
7. The song the characters sing at the end of the movie is “Move This” by Technotronic.
It was released in 1992 and peaked at #6 on the Billboard charts.
8. Despite its 2006 release, the movie is set sometime before 2005.
The can of Fresca, Nelson’s beloved soda, used in the film features an out-of-date design. The brand was given a complete redesign in 2005, meaning Let’s Go to Prison takes place sometime before then.
9. An eventual Oscar nominee plays a bit role.
Michael Shannon plays the leader of the prison’s white supremacists group.
10. Dax Shepard can thank Ashton Kutcher for snagging the lead.
Shepard was cast because of his appearances on Kutcher’s prank show Punk’d.
11. A Sunday morning comics staple makes a cameo.
The card that Nelson receives from the white supremacists features the long-running comic strip character Ziggy.
12. Barry and Nelson listen to “Feels So Good” by Chuck Mangione in Barry’s prison cell.
The song, from Mangione’s 1977 jazz album of the same name, was referenced frequently on the Fox animated comedy King of the Hill, on which Mangione regularly played himself.
13. Bob Odenkirk wanted White Stripes drummer Meg White to score the film.
But the studio removed her drums-only soundtrack against Odenkirk’s wishes.
14. Guitarist Ray Parker Jr. plays on the film’s soundtrack.
Parker rose to fame after writing and performing the Ghostbusters theme song in 1984.
15. The film has an alternate ending.
In it, John, who is about to be sent back to prison, calls Nelson from Tijuana to ask him to post his bail. Nelson hangs up in order to live happily ever after with Barry in their mansion together.