Who could have predicted that a film about a man with talking butt cheeks co-starring Tone Loc would have been such a hit at the box office? Besides being an incredibly successful film for Warner Brothers, it skyrocketed Jim Carrey to movie star status. (It also gave millions of 14 year-old boys the ammunition to annoy the hell out of everyone for the rest of the decade.) It was inevitable that he would go on to bigger things after In Living Color, but probably not even Carrey dreamed Ace Ventura would be his vehicle to $20 million per picture paydays only a few years later.
From Cannibal Corpse cameos to Ace Ventura’s Hannibal Lecter acting connection, here are 15 facts to celebrate one of the stupidest — and I mean that in the nicest way possible — comedies of the last 20 years.
1. Jim Carrey wasn’t the first choice for Ace Ventura. As difficult as it is to imagine another actor in the Ace Ventura role, Carrey wasn’t the studio’s first choice. Actor Rick Moranis was approached about the part, but chose to turn it down and do the live-action version of The Flintstones instead.
2. Death metal band Cannibal Corpse appears in the movie because of Carrey. Cannibal Corpse performed their song, “Hammer Smashed Face” because the Buffalo, New York band was a favorite of Carrey’s in his younger days. Part of the negotiation for his contract with the movie included a concert scene with the band.
3. Carrey also had an influence over the movie’s theme song. The theme was conducted by Ira Newborn and director Tom Shadyac wanted something similar to the Peter Gunn theme. Carrey approached Newborn about giving the theme song more of a “thrash-metal edge,” but test audiences found it too harsh and it was toned down considerably.
4. Ventura’s landlord is named after the landlord of the apartment building Jim Carrey grew-up in. Ventura has a contentious relationship with his landlord Mr. Shickadance, which is probably somewhat similar to Carrey’s own childhood. Carrey’s family had financial struggles when he was growing-up in Canada, and they lived in an apartment building managed by Schikedanz Brothers. Also Uncle Tio!