Tommy Boy hit theaters 20 years ago today. It quickly went on to become one of the ’90s best road trip movies as well as propel Chris Farley and David Spade to star status. Few comedies stand the test of time, yet I get no less enjoyment now out of Farley’s physical gags or the banter between he and Spade than I did them. I’m sure most of you feel the same way.
To mark the anniversary here are a few facts you might not know about the 1995 classic. So, put on your little coats and check the dash for M&Ms. It’s going to be a bumpy ride…
1. The movie wasn’t originally called Tommy Boy. Ready for this? The original working title of the movie was Billy the Third: A Midwestern. Lorne Michaels suggested that they go with something different, and several titles including Fat Chance, XL and Rocky Road were kicked around before settling on Tommy Boy.
2. Rob Lowe was uncredited for his part in the movie. He has a pretty big role as Tommy’s new douchebag stepbrother, but Lowe was uncredited for his part because of contractual obligations. At the time, Lowe was tied to filming Stephen King’s film version of The Stand, and he took the part as a favor to Chris Farley.
3. Helen Keller did worse than Tommy in school. Blink and you’ll miss it, but if you look closely when Tommy is checking his exam grades, you’ll see that Helen Keller is listed as one of his classmates. Unfortunately, she didn’t fare as well as Tommy and got an F.
4. Fat guy in a little coat was based on a joke that Chris used to play. David Spade revealed that one of the movie’s most iconic scenes was taken from a joke that Farley used to play on him from their days on SNL together.
“When we shared an office, he would sit behind me and he didn’t write or read, so he would be bored. He’d stand behind me and go, ‘David, turn around.’ I’d go, ‘Dude, I’m busy.’ He goes, ‘Come on.’ I’d go, ‘If this is fat guy in a little coat, it’s not funny. It’s played out.’ He goes, ‘It’s not. It’s a whole different thing I got going.’ Then he’d have my Levi jacket on and go, ‘Fat guy in a little coat! Don’t you give up on it!'”