The sports comedy Caddyshack is a cult classic appreciated by comedy nerds and golfing dads alike. Released in 1980, the crude, vulgarity-laced film launched Harold Ramis’s directorial career and pulled Bill Murray into the spotlight.
Caddyshack behind the scenes also had plenty of dark drama and tragedy though. As a first-time director, Ramis allowed (or overlooked) rampant coke use, which often had the studio execs tearing their hair out and led to a production that was as improvised as it was scripted. There was the requisite tension between Chevy Chase and everyone else with whom he was working. And the crew notoriously even set off a huge explosion on a real-life golf course without getting the owners' permission... all while distracting them with food and booze.
The Caddyshack cast had a great time shooting this movie, and thanks to the rampant blow use of the '80s and their comedic talent, they left the rest of us with some wild stories and a solid film to boot.
The Cast And Crew Thought A Hurricane Was A Great Excuse To Party
If one is stuck indoors due to a natural disaster, then they can wait it out peacefully, complain, or use the opportunity to party. Much of the Caddyshack cast and crew was not from Florida, so they thought the hurricane that struck during filming was cool.
The hurricane party was one of the first behind-the-scenes Caddyshack parties and set the stage for more late-night antics and questionable activities to come.
There Were Nighttime Golf Cart Races
The Caddyshack crew took advantage of having a country club golf club at their disposal. Despite laws, regulations, and general good sense to not race golf carts under the influence, nighttime races reportedly took place, and often. The actors weren’t the biggest golf fans, by all accounts, but golf cart racing was something they could appreciate.
According to actor Chevy Chase, “It was pretty nuts on that set. At night, we would race golf carts down the fairways, people whacked out having a good time. The crew possessed whatever you needed.”
One Of The Screenwriters Died After The Film's ReleaseVideo: YouTube
Caddyshack co-writer and producer Doug Kenney was a comedic genius. He was the creative force behind Animal House and spearheaded National Lampoon. Unfortunately, he never saw Caddyshack become the cultural phenomenon that it is today. At just 33, Doug Kenny fell off of a cliff in Hawaii. His death was declared an accident, but doubts remain.
According to Harold Ramis:
Some people say he fell, some people say he jumped. I thought he fell looking for a place to jump. Anything's possible. There were even people who thought he was murdered by drug dealers, but I kind of doubted that.
Much Of Caddyshack Was Improvised
Who has the time to remember and rehearse lines when they’re having a great time? Bill Murray originally had a tiny part in Caddyshack and was only on set for six days, but thanks to his improv background, the great "Cinderella" speech was born.
Additionally, Rodney Dangerfield wasn’t much of an actor, but he was never one to say no to a party. Too much partying would make most mortals suffer on set. Comedian Rodney Dangerfield was a different breed. Harold Ramis could always count on Dangerfield to improvise a joke that was even better than what was in the script.