12 Lesser-Known Facts About Spaceballs
Lord Dark Helmet says, "Keep Reading, Assholes!"
Welcome to Planet Moron!
It took Brooks six months to write the script for the movie, which he had originally planned to call Planet Moron. When he learned there was already a British science fiction spoof called, Morons From Outer Space he felt the need to change the name. He and his production team of Ronny Graham and Thomas Meehan decided to go through letters of the alphabet to find another word to add to “Space” for the title. As they were doing it, Brooks spilled a drink and shouted “Balls!” and Ronnie Graham shouted, “Spaceballs!” and they had the new final title of the movie. The name also allowed them to add the idea that the movie villains would wear ball shaped helmets.
Jovial Bob Stine
There was a novelization of the movie written by Mr. Goosebumps himself R.L. Stine. Stine, writing under the name Jovial Bob Stine added some facts to the story that weren’t in the movie. He revealed the names of the Dinks to be Rinky Dink, Blinky Dink, Stinky Dink, Pinky Dink, Finky Dink and Winky Dink. Stine also added an interaction between Barf and Yogurt at the desert temple. Barf asks Yogurt if he was the leader of the Red Eye Knights and the possessor of the force. Yogurt replies that it wasn’t him but Alec Guinness, otherwise known as Obi Wan Kenobi.
"I’m a Mog, half man, half dog."
Rick Moranis suggested John Candy would be terrific in the role of Barf. The original look for Barf was for the character to wear a full face bulldog-type of mask. But when Candy was cast in the role, Mel Brooks thought it was ridiculous to hide the face of a star like Candy declaring, “if they were going to hide John Candy behind a mask, he might as well hire someone else for half the price.” After the full mask was scrapped, a nose and upper lip piece was tried. Candy approved but Brooks did not. They finally settled on the look in the film, animatronic ears, a small nose, and patch over one eye to look like the dog from Our Gang. While the facial look of Barf was simplified greatly, it still took three people to operate the costume. Candy would move the tail with a hidden control in his paw and two crew members would each control an ear off camera. The entire contraption was powered by a 30-pound battery that Candy wore on his back.
In addition to thinking of John Candy was good for Barf, Moranis also decided on some of Lord Helmet’s great character traits. Including the voice getting deeper when he pulled down the face cover. He wanted to try to mimic James Earl Jones’ Darth Vader tone.
Casting Lone Starr
A then unknown Bill Pullman was not Mel Brooks’ first choice to portray Lone Starr, in fact he was possibly the fifth. Brooks was looking for someone with a name to portray Lone Starr. Both Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks were offered the role and turned it down. Tom Berenger was also considered for the role. Brooks’s first choice for the character was James Caan, unfortunately at the time Caan was struggling with addiction. The producers of the movie ultimately thought Caan was a bad idea when he was deemed too expensive to insure on set. Don’t do drugs kids.
One of the movie’s most memorable moments was improvised...
The scene where Dark Helmet plays with his dolls was totally unscripted. Brooks came up with the idea on set one day and mentioned it to Rick Moranis. Moranis then improvised the entire scene, dialogue and all.
Other Spaceballs merchandise shown in the movie include: bed sheets, lunch boxes, cornflakes, towels, Yogurt figure, toilet paper, shaving cream, place mats, and action figures. The lunch box and coloring book are simply The Transformers items with a Spaceballs logo stuck on them. The box for Spaceballs: The Breakfast Cereal says it contains "100% Sugar."
"Keep Firing Assholes!"
When Dark Helmet asks how many assholes they have on-board, only one person on the bridge doesn’t stand and raise his hand.
Pizza The Hut was miserable...
Dom DeLuise voiced Pizza the Hutt for the film but he was not the actor required to wear the fake, molten cheese. That was actor/effects man Richard Karen. When additional shooting was required, Karen refused to climb back into the suit. Special effects artist Rick Lazzarini took his place instead.
Brooks has favorite bits...
Of all the jokes he wrote for the film, Mel Brooks has gone on record to say he’s most proud of the running gag about merchandising and the moment when Colonel Sandurz and Dark Helmet rent Spaceballs before the movie is finished. “When will then be now? Soon.”
There’s a spaceship cameo, if you look closely at the exterior shot of the Space Diner you will see the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars parked outside. Since ILM was involved with the film, they just tossed it in there for fun.
Twice a Chest Burster
The man in the space diner that convulses and has an alien burst out of his chest is none other than John Hurt. Hurt reprises one of his most famous scenes in Ridley Scott’s Alien. Hence the shouting of the lines, "Oh no! Not again!"
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November 30 2017