Randy Quaid Introduction:
The veteran actor and more recently a conspiracy theorist, Randy Quaid has had a long career in the Hollywood. He has started in more than a hundred projects, and if we were to choose the funniest of them all, it has to be the 1996 film Kingpin. If you here the Randy Quaid Kingpin’s plot, the first thing that comes to the mind is that it’s a tragedy movie. It is, but it’s not. Randy Quaid Kingpin is all about the life and aspirations of an ambitious sportsman and what happens if he loses his ability to play.
The movie explores the tragedy of hidden talent and how successful he can get if guided and mentored. The movie depicts the evil elements of society in the form of competitive rivals not bound by any moral codes. They would do anything to make you lose and end your career. But it does all of that in amazingly the funniest way possible. The sports movie that’s about bowling became the face of the genre immediately after its release.
WARNING: The following post includes spoilers about the movie Kingpin. If you haven’t watched it yet, WATCH IT! And if you have then here are the interesting things that you didn’t know about Randy Quaid Kingpin.
Things You Didn’t Know About Randy Quaid Kingpin
Woody Harrelson & Peter Farrelly Were Roommates
The famous American actor Woody Harrelson and the famous director Peter Farrelly go way back. They were roommates when Harrelson was working on Cheers. In an interview, Peter opened about the first impressions of Woody Harrelson which were not so good. When Peter met Harrelson for the first time, he said,
“I remember when I met Woody, I thought, ‘Poor guy, he’ll never work.’ ”
Fortunately, Woody made it in the Hollywood and proved Peter so wrong that Peter had to cast him in his film. Randy Quaid Facts
Harrelson Was but a Terrible Bowler
On screen, Harrelson’s character is the Roy Munson is a master when it comes to bowling. He won the championship in the golden days of his career. But the real Woody sucks at bowling. He was so bad at it; stand-ins were used in place of Woody for most of the shots by his character. He was such a loser that the producers had to bring professional bowling coaches to teach Harrelson, but he wasn’t able to pick it up. In contrast, Bill Murry had a knack for bowling. He was kind of an expert when it came to making shots. He was so good at bowling that all the three final strikes that he bowled while competing in the million dollar tournament were all real. Randy Quaid Facts
But Harrelson Was Dead Set
Woody Harrelson was not fit for his role as Roy Munson if we judged by the talent in Bowling. But Woody was dead set on playing the part. The character of Roy Munson was supposed to be a consummate sad sack who became a raging alcoholic when his career ended in a tragedy. Woody Harrelson was so determined to play the part as accurately as he could to the degree that he was willing to ruin his movie star looks. He was inclined to shave a bald spot in his beautiful thick hair, and he even grew a wispy comb-over.
But when the producers of the film asked him to put on some weight to show a real beer belly for the camera, he refused. The quickest way to gain weight is by eating meat. And the famous Vegan Woody Harrelson refused to do that. So the beer belly that he supports in the show is just a prosthetic. He even stayed away from junk food on screen as he was shown chewing down salad when Ishmael and Claudia took a good bite of burgers in Reno. Randy Quaid Facts
Chris Farley Was Supposed to Play Ishmael
Chris Farley is famous for his roles as he is the only comedian capable of portraying both a sense of ribald humor with complete innocence. Ishmael had to embody this characteristic as he is inherently sweet but a little manic as he gets the taste of the world a little too quickly. Chris Farley fitted for this role. In fact, he was initially offered to play Ishmael. But he bailed out as he bound by his contract with the Paramount Pictures. He turned down the offer and picked up a role in Black Sheep. He left the door open for Randy Quaid to play the Bowling Prodigy.
Randy Quaid Convinced Bill Murray to Appear in the Movie
The directions of Kingpin were already disappointed when Chris Farley bailed out. Bill Murray was the next most difficult person to cast in the film. As Bill Murray is notoriously hard to pin down and get signed in a contract. But Randy Quaid saved the day when he came on board. Randy Quaid may not be as good an actor, but he did a wonderful job at convincing Bill Murray to get on board.
Bill had already turned down the roles of blowhard and megalomaniac Ernie McCracken. Randy Quaid Facts. As Quaid had worked with Murray before in 1990 on Quick Change, he knew how to make his no into a yes. Bill Murray only agreed to work on Randy Quaid Kingpin two weeks before the shooting started. They bowling magic kicked in when the production picked up the rose bowling ball from a local store in Pittsburg.
Bill Murray Improvised All His Dialogues
The veteran American actor Bill Murray is not just very hard to nail down but also sometimes very hard to work with. As many of the directors find it frustrating that Bill Murray improvises all his dialogues. He even improvised the hilarious lines in his TV commercial For the Kids. Randy Quaid Facts. Being the classic Bill Murray, he also improvised a lot of his dialogues with Randy Quaid Kingpin. But instead of being frustrated and annoyed, the Farrellys brothers said that they were very glad that he improvised his lines as those were funnier. So they were thankful for Bill Murray’s input and just rolled with it.
The Iconic Rose Bowling Ball Was Bought from a Local Pittsburg Pro Shop
When there is an unusual object on the screen in the movie that grabs the attention of many, that object becomes associated with that story. And for that purpose, many things are made exclusively for the movies and so that they can be specials. The fans associate their experience while enjoying the story to these objects and buy them. That way, the producers get to make a little extra through the merchandise. Randy Quaid Facts. One such object of attention in Randy Quaid Kingpin is the iconic rose ball. But unlike many others, the producers didn’t have it specially built. Instead, they just went into the local Pittsburg Pro Shop to buy a simple bowling ball but found this iconic rose ball. They didn’t even make any changes.
Bill Murray Bowled the 3 Final Strikes
No matter how hard it was to convince Bill Murray for the role, but when he rolled the bowling ball, he did wonders. Bill Murray wasn’t so much of a bowling ball player before, but he had a knack for it. The final three strikes in the showdown, which his character Ernie needed to win the million dollar championship, were all real. When the audience was cheering for Ern, the crew was cheering for the great Bill Murray behind the scenes.
Lin Shaye Showed Up in the Land Lady’s Character for Her Auditions
The talented actress Lin Shaye won her role as the lunatic landlady in the Kingpin because she had done her homework. When the auditions were held, Lin Shaye showed up to her auditions fully dressed up for the role she wanted to audition for. She appeared in the get up of the crazy Land Lady, which was so convincing that many people in the studio thought that she was a homeless person.
Land Lady made a lasting impression on the Farrelly brothers and the dress she wore on that day was used in the final shot. She kept appearing in many of the later movies directed by Farrelly brothers. She appeared as Mrs. Neugeboren the dog owner in the movie Dumb & Dumber. She also starred in the movie There’s Something About Mary as Magda, the perpetually tanned roommate of Mary.
Paul Simon – The Sound of Silence
When the creator of the Kingpin filmed the scene when Roy Munson and his Land Lady make sex for rent deal, they wanted to add some music to make it complete. And they asked Paul Simon for the royalties of his song The Sound of Silence. While the deal seems gross to many of us, Paul Simons became a fan of the scene. For the iconic singer-songwriter, the scene was so funny that Simon personally approved the use of his song with Garfunkel to play over the aftermath of that hilarious scene. The song hit its mark as it inspires reflection as Roy throws up in the toilet.
No Casting Calls Were Held for the Non-Speaking Roles
Casting calls are such a pain, especially for the non-speaking roles in a movie. If you’ve ever directed a project or know someone who does, you know what I’m talking about. These roles are fairly short and don’t need much acting skills as the actors don’t have to remember lines and work on their accents. So, you can’t narrow down the number of actors applying for the same role based on the acting skills as the acting seems similar as well. That’s not true in case of a silent film of course, but you get the point. So to avoid a lot of work and a headache, the Farrelly brothers hired their friends to act out those parts.
The 1986 Movie Something Wild influenced Kingpin’s Aesthetic
Jonathan Demme was a very skilled and critically acclaimed film director. And led some of the greatest projects to ever come out of the Hollywood. The veteran director was born in 1944, started his career quite early. And rose to prominence in his field in 1980. Some of the movies that made his talents shine are the comedy hit films, Melvin. And Howard, Something Wide, and Swing shift. He also did some amazing stuff in the more serious movies. The Jonathan Demme direction in his movie Stop Making Sense speaks for itself. Among many others around the world, Farrelly brothers were huge fans of Jonathan’s cinematography. So they asked their cinematographer to copy and emulate the design language and the aesthetics of Jonathan Demme.
The Pro Athlete Cameos in Kingpin
Sports movies work great only if the sport being played is taken seriously. The sports that all the key characters play is the piece of the movie that keeps the story bound together. But if the sports aren’t taken seriously, no matter how critical the actual issues are the story starts crumbling.
So the thing that Randy Quaid Kingpin did to captivate. The regular bowling fans were filling the movie with pro-athlete cameos. From Roger Clemens, the famous Major League Baseball pitcher, appearing as biker Skidmark. To Billy Andrade and Brad Faxon, the professional golfers. Who appears in the movie as the members of the Crowd in the opening bowling scene. The protagonist named Roy, even defeated Mark Rose and Rany Pederson the Pro Bowlers, in his showdown.
From Beer to Eternity – The Cheers Foreshadowing
The term foreshadowing means to hint something that’s about to come in the future. The practice is very old and in this age. It has become a very successful tool to create the hype for your projects. Some creators and directors like to do this. And very often if they plan to release or make any sequels to their successful films. But one of the biggest or should I say the longest foreshadowing. In the Hollywood industry is the episode From Beer to Eternity.
When Woody Harrelson was working on the TV series called Cheers, Peter Farrelly and Woody were roommates. The whole episode called From Beer to Eternity of the Cheers was the whole premise of the movie that came ten years later. As it encountered the story of a person, who aspires to participate in the local bowling condition. He can’t play as he is haunted by a former traumatic incident.