When people hear the movie title “Hot Tub Time Machine” they either immediately smile or give a perplexed look on their face that asks, “What the hell is that?” Well, “Hot Tub” is probably just the funniest movie released so far this year and a nice surprise for all those skeptics wondering if John Cusack could really knock a screwball comedy out of the park (he does).
It’s not an insult to “Hot Tub” to say that if you pay too much attention to the plot it ruins most of the fun, but the film centers on three guys in their late 30’s to early 40’s (Cusack, Craig Robinson and Rob Corddry) and the loser nephew of one of them (Clark Duke) who become transported back to 1985 by a futuristic hot tube time machine (hence the title). While trying to figure out how to return home to 2010, they inhabit their teenage bodies (if they have one) and have the chance to relive some of their best and worst moments over one fateful weekend. Along for the ride is Chevy Chase as a the bizarre hot but repairman (maybe) and Crispin Glover in a surprising role that pretty much steals the movie (and should not be spoiled). Of all the leads, however, “Daily Show” veteran Corddry is the one who really gets the chance to shine the most and if “Hot Tub” is a hit, his career will no doubt finally break out because of it.
Three of “Hot Tub’s” stars, Corddry, Duke and Robinson, sat down with HitFix and a few other members of the press to talk about their new comedy last week. Their banter was so entertaining it just made sense to let this motley crew speak for themselves. So, without further interruption, let the questions begin.
1: Who’s more off the wall in real life, Chevy Chase or Crispin Glover?
Clark Duke: They are two different kinds of off the wall it’s like what’s more dangerous, a flame thrower or a bazooka.
Craig Robinson: When Crispin played the later Phil, it was scary, like creepy scary, he was a whole different person on set, clearly a testament to his talent as an actor, so gifted, so method.
Clark Duke: Chevy was more intimidating for me just because I wanted him to like me.
Rob Corddry: He really took a shine to Clark, they stayed in the same hotel and he would go past your room and like [knocks on the table].
Clark Duke: He would crank call me all the time, see, what’s that say? [Shows cell phone address book with Chevy Chase’s phone number listed]
2: How much fun was it to sing the Black Eyed Peas song in a key moment in the film?
Craig Robinson: It was great. When I found out I was going to do it, it was a little intimidating, it was like, OK. My band The Nasty Delicious play behind me and that’s what really made it…
3: What would each of you guys say was the single greatest thing to come out of the 80s?
Clark Duke: Me.
Rob Corddry: Clark Duke. What year were you born?
Clark Duke: ’85, right in the middle, I bulls-eyed the decade.
Rob Corddry: The best thing to come out of the 80s? MTV, they’ve really made a mark.
Clark Duke: ‘Scarface’, the work of Brian De Palma in general.
Rob Corddry: The A-Team.
Craig Robinson: Wasn’t the Internet in the 80s?
Rob Corddry: That was the 90s.
No, Prodigy was around in the 80s, it wasn’t Windows based.
Craig Robinson: Prodigy, that was it.
Rob Corddry: Wow.
Clark Duke: Were guns created in the 80s?
Craig Robinson: Voltron.
4: Do you guys welcome the comparisons of this movie to ‘The Hangover’?
Rob Corddry: If it sells tickets, I don’t care if we’re compared to ‘Schindler’s List.’
5: Clark, you’ve got two big movies opening in a month, ‘Hot Tub’ and ‘Kick-Ass,’ care to comment?
Clark Duke: I would say my lifelong dream coming true is pretty exciting, yeah. We shot them so far apart, I had no idea that they would come out within three weeks of each other.
Craig Robinson: I had an idea.
Clark Duke: Really? You knew?
Rob Corddry: How are you going to blow it?
Clark Duke: God, just, classically you know?
Rob Corddry: Burn out right? Like a ball of flame?
Clark Duke: I’ll be outside the Viper Room. It’s really exciting and it’s cool because they are both wildly different films. One is this action superhero movie and one’s a big studio comedy, so I’m glad I don’t have like [two similar films], Anders and Morris wrote this and ‘She’s Out of My League’ which come out within like two weeks of each other, I would hate that. That would feel weird.
6: Rob, did you have any trepidation about showing so much of yourself throughout this movie?
Rob Corddry: Hindsight is 20/20 and no, I had no reservations about it whatsoever until I saw the movie, then I was like, ‘I probably should have thought about that before doing it.’
Clark Duke: The only mistake you had was flexing your ass, then it turns into that t-shape.
Rob Corddry: I know, so stupid, and it wasn’t on purpose. I was flexing my ass and it looks like an old man ass.
7: Many times with comedies like this there is so much improv you could release another hour and a half of the movie. Anything significant missing from the final edit?
Clark Duke: I had a whole subplot with a girl that got cut out. That girl that I say, “Sounds really exhausting,” she had four more scenes and was chasing me and trying to get with me the whole film. Then we shot a scene that me and Pink literally wrote the night before and then the next morning we shot it, in the present day, I find her in the future and she had old make-up on and so I am sure that will be on
8. So which of you guys had the realization that you were really old by returning to the 80s?
Rob Corddry: I am realizing how old I am ’cause I am meeting so many people that were born in the 80s, which is crazy to me that I was going through puberty and [they weren’t] even alive.
9: We were talking to [director Steve Pink] about sequel ideas, but he said he didn’t want to jinx anything. Where would you like to see your characters go?
Craig Robinson: ‘Hot Tub Time Machine Cincinnati.’
Clark Duke: Don’t go there.
Cincinnati is mentioned in the movie but it’s never explained, is that why?
Clark Duke: We were planting seeds for the sequel (laughing).
10: If you could go back in time and change one thing what would it be?
Clark Duke: I would go see David Bowie on the Ziggy Stardust tour, that’s not really changing anything, it’s just something I would do.
Craig Robinson: I would go back to a lot of Blackjack hands and double down on a lot of them.
Clark Duke: No one would kill Hitler?
Rob Corddry: Or stop John Lennon from getting shot.
You seemed so excited about that in the movie.
Rob Corddry: That is in the movie isn’t it. John Lennon dies!
Clark Duke: Like six years after.
“Hot Tub Time Machine” is absolutely as funny as the title suggests. It opens nationwide this Friday.