Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Sausage Party, an “R-rated Cheech and Chong take on Toy Story 3,” finally came out this week after years spent in development. The co-writers finished the script while on the set of the Joseph Gordon-Levitt cancer-comedy 50/50, but no studio wanted anything to do with the movie until 2013 when, according to BuzzFeed, “Megan Ellison’s upstart production company Annapurna Pictures [signed] on to co-finance the film, with Sony Pictures distributing, on a mighty lean $19 million budget.”
The small amount of funds allocated Sausage Party‘s way was both a curse (Kung Fu Panda 3, where Rogen voices a praying mantis, cost $145 million) and a blessing. The filmmakers were mostly left alone to do whatever they wanted, including kinky food orgies and naming a tampon character “Camille Toe.” But even the proudly profane Rogen and Goldberg have their limits.
Some of the bigger “that might be too much” changes include:
-Nick Kroll’s villain, Douche (not to be confused with his d-bag characters on Comedy Bang! Bang!), was “fingering [a] rat’s, um… well… he was fingering the rat’s butthole” before placing the soiled digit in the mouth of a lavash named Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholtz). But after a disastrous test screening, which Goldberg described as an “epic fail,” the rat was cut.
-Lavash, characterized by BuzzFeed as being a “provincial Muslim caricature,” originally “sacrificed himself by forcing his body down the throat of a rabbi.” He then bursts out of the rabbi’s stomach, Alien-style. Even Sacha Baron Cohen — the boundary-testing comedic genius behind Da Ali G Show and Borat — cringed at this one. “We achieved a life goal: We made Sacha Baron Cohen uncomfortable,” Goldberg said. “It was the best.”
–Sausage Party is rated R, but the MPAA originally slapped it with a box office-killing NC-17. What had to change? “There is a pita bread and you see his ballsack in the end orgy and it had hair on it,” Rogen told Howard Stern. “And they asked we remove the hair from the pita bread’s ballsack… So we digitally shaved the pita bread’s ballsack and removed the hair from it.”
Food orgy? Fine. Pita bread pubic hair? Nope.