It’s a bit strange to think that 25 years ago Keanu Reeves was time-traveling through a phone booth with George Carlin. But indeed it has been a quarter century since two party animals from San Dimas rounded up a bunch of historical figures for their history project and gave us one of the strangest teen comedies in existence. The movie would go on to spawn a sequel, video game, breakfast cereal, and internet meme with its SoCal catchphrases and radical air guitar solos.
In celebration of Bill and Ted’s most excellent adventure — and the possibility of a third film — here are 10 facts you might not know about the radical cult comedy.
1. Bill and Ted’s time machine phone booth was given away as a contest prize. The defunct Nintendo Power Magazine used the phone booth from the movie as prize when it was promoting the Bill & Ted game for NES. The lucky winner was Kenneth Grayson, who according to Reddit, became an instant celebrity in his neighborhood and has used the booth for sex on at least two occasions. Most excellent, Kenneth!
2. Eddie Van Halen was down for joining the Wyld Stallyns. In the movie, Bill and Ted admit that they need Eddie Van Halen to make their garage band better. The studio never approached Eddie about doing a cameo, but the rock star jokingly said he would have joined the band if somebody had asked.
3. The filmmakers didn’t give a sh*t about Doctor Who. The script was originally written with Bill and Ted time-traveling in a 1969 Chevy Van, but the filmmakers thought it would come off as a rip-off of Back To The Future. The van was switched out for a phone booth without concern that Doctor Who used a police phone booth as its time machine. (Why are people only using cars and phone booths to time-travel, how about a photo booth or pontoon boat? Kudos to Hot Tub Time Machine for breaking the mold.)
4. Napoleon’s waterslide presentation was a map of the French invasion of Russia. During Napoleon’s presentation at the end of the movie Ted looks up and says, “I don’t think it’s gonna work.” He was actually right, because if you look closer at the maps you can see that Napoleon was laying out the French invasion of Russia, which ended in a horrible defeat for him.
5. The “Ziggy Pig” ice cream dish is a reference to a comic book character. The name of the giant ice cream dish comes from a comic book put out by Timely Comics — which later became Marvel. The award that is given to Napoleon upon finishing the dish was based on the ice cream award by Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor, upon successfully finishing their double-sized banana split, the “Pig Through.”