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The Untold Truth Of Dumb And Dumber

"We got no food, we got no jobs, our pets' heads are falling off!" That's the exclamation Lloyd Christmas makes that ultimately stirs up the makings of a cross-country adventure shared between two delightful idiots simply intent on doing a good deed. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels portray Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne in the 1994 comedy film "Dumb and Dumber." Because Lloyd is a romantic pining for a woman, Mary (Lauren Holly), whom he had driven to the airport, he sees the briefcase that she left behind as the chance of a lifetime. It's the ticket he needs to drive to Aspen, Colorado, return the case to Mary Samsonite-er Swanson, and sweep her off her feet. His pal Harry tags along for the ride for the sake of adventure ... and because his sheepdog-adorned van is the only vehicle they have.

The Farrelly brothers' comedy epic, "Dumb and Dumber," thrives on slapstick comedy derived from classics such as the "Three Stooges" TV series. (The Farrelly brothers would later helm a theatrical feature of the infamous stooges.) Regardless, the only way to truly describe the hilarity behind "Dumb and Dumber" is, well, dumb. It's idiotic humor at its finest. Lloyd and Harry live a life of sheer obliviousness. In their constant state of boneheadedness, they act like children playing games such as making the most annoying noise in the world, regardless of what those around them think. They say that ignorance is bliss, and these two seem to prove that case. As a comedy, "Dumb and Dumber" is now a defining staple of the genre. Despite its legendary status, there are many behind-the-scenes details that most fans don't know about.

The Farrelly Brothers were the only ones who wanted to call the film Dumb and Dumber

You have to imagine a time when the film wasn't yet a hit. Studios were being pitched an idea for a film called "Dumb and Dumber." Of course, it's easy to see how studio heads might be apprehensive from the get-go with a film title like that. Instantly, it's on the nose, selling itself as a comedy based on pure idiocy. With that thought comes the easy assumptions that the film will be filled with clumsy gaffs, childish antics, and fart jokes. Of course, "Dumber and Dumber" does actually have those things, but the end product was a far more endearing, lighthearted misadventure.

Still, most agents refused to hand in a script to their talent that was called "Dumb and Dumber." Co-director and writer Peter Farrelly said that many agents were afraid their clients would take one look at the script title and fire them (per The Hollywood Reporter). To pitch the script and gain the attention of studio heads, the brothers renamed the script "A Power Tool Is Not a Toy." Of course, the title was later changed back to the original name once the Farrelly brothers were able to find those in Hollywood willing to give the script the attention it deserved.

Nicolas Cage, Gary Oldman, and Rob Lowe were some of the actors eyed for the roles

Imagine a world where Nicolas Cage and Gary Oldman portrayed Harry and Lloyd. That'd be a drastically different film than the one we received. However, this was once a possibility — Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels were not the Farrelly brothers' first choices for the job (per Vulture). Cage had demonstrated some experience with comedy in the film "Raising Arizona," but we would've seen a totally different side of Oldman should he have taken the role of Harry Dunne. Other potential candidates for Harry included Rob Lowe and Chris Elliott, and Martin Short and Steve Martin for Lloyd (per Vulture).

Peter Farrelly said they had reached out to countless actors for the roles of Harry and Lloyd, but so many passed on the chance to audition (per The Hollywood Reporter). "A hundred, 150. Everyone. Everybody that was anyone" passed, according to the co-director and co-writer. What they did learn, however, is that often actors who "turned down" the chance to audition for the role never actually did so themselves. It was their agents who would simply pass on the script without the actor's knowledge. "Dumb and Dumber" simply isn't a project title that most wanted to slap their name on from the get-go.

They originally shot an entirely different ending

Once Harry and Lloyd's awkward scheme of being esteemed socialites among the ritzy crowd of Aspen has run its course, it's time for our favorite buffoons to waltz off into the sunset. As most are aware, Lloyd and Harry are seen walking down the road as a bus of bikini-clad models stops them and lets them know they're looking for a couple of guys to oil them up before each competition, heavily implying they can get the jobs. Of course, that implication whizzes past them quicker than a fighter jet, and they tell the ladies they can find a couple of lucky gents in the next town. The credits roll as they chat over the lucky guys that are going to land that gig.

The Farrelly brothers confirmed (via The Hollywood Reporter), that there were other endings to Harry and Lloyd's adventure. They actually shot an ending where they were offered part-time jobs at the hotel that came with free room and board. They'd only be required to work a few hours a week. That'd be right up Lloyd's alley, as he vocalized his disdain over crazy 40-hour-a-week jobs. The duo would have then declined the offer and said they'll try their luck out elsewhere, perhaps for an even better offer? Right... Peter Farrelly remarked that while the idea was funny, it simply wasn't good enough.

Lloyd references a movie Jeff Daniels once starred in

It's always fun catching an Easter egg in a comedy classic. At one point during Harry and Lloyd's hapless journey to Aspen, they stop at a diner where they draw the ire of a fellow traveler named Sea Bass after Harry tosses a full salt shaker over his shoulder in order to avoid bad luck. The shaker flies several tables behind him and hits Sea Bass, who taunts and intimidates Harry before hawking a dirty surprise on his burger. Lloyd comes up with a plan to pawn their bill off on Sea Bass. When Harry asks where he learned such a brilliant maneuver, Lloyd says he got the idea from a movie.

Interestingly enough, Jeff Daniels had enacted a similar ploy in the film "Something Wild." The star behind Harry Dunne headlined the 1986 film as Charles Driggs, an everyman who gets taken on a crazy ride by a spontaneous love interest, Audrey Hankel (Melanie Griffith). The film takes a serious turn when her ex-convict husband Ray Sinclair (Ray Liotta) enters the picture. In a diner, Charles seizes an opportunity to take Ray's car keys and wallet in exchange for not revealing Ray's parole violations to the crew of police officers sitting at a table not far away. He claims he'll pay the tab as a gesture of goodwill, but instead tells the waitress that Ray will take care of it leaving the ex-con stuck with the bill and no wallet.

There was plenty of improvisation

It's safe to say that in the realm of comedic actors, Jim Carrey has his own unique style. For folks who know Carrey's penchant for goofiness and improvisation, it's not unjustified to wonder how much of Lloyd Christmas he made up on his own.

Nearly a decade ago, Peter Farrelly did an AMA on Reddit and was asked that particular question: Just how much of the film was improvised? Jokingly, he responded "probably only 95%," which feels completely believable. But he then corrected, saying that he'd estimate about 15% of the film was improvisation. Farrelly also commented that he'd have discussions with Carrey and Jeff Daniels before shooting started where they'd come up with bits. In an interview with GQ, Daniels shared that the scene where Lloyd asks "want to hear the most annoying sound in the world?" and then proceeds to belt out a horrid screech was completely on-the-spot improvisation. That moment became one of the most quotable sequences in the film that fans will instantly remember.

The real-life hotel that inspired Stephen King's The Shining is the Danbury Hotel in the film

Harry and Lloyd make an arduous trip across the United States to a place that is "warm" where "the beer flows like wine" –- Aspen, Colorado. Of course, Lloyd may have been a little off on his description of the climate. As they both roll into town on a mini bike with frozen snot streaking down their faces, they plot out their next move. Naturally, they have no money ... until they do, when they mistakenly crack open the briefcase they've been carrying to find a boatload of cash. Their first order of business is finding somewhere nice to stay. That place is the lavish Danbury Hotel.

Stephen King fans may recognize the Danbury Hotel instantly as the famous Stanley Hotel. It's the actual hotel where King stayed and was inspired to write "The Shining." The hotel's legend is steeped in its rich history that runs over a century deep, and it's been deemed a decadent, but haunted, fixture of Colorado. "Dumb and Dumber" only added to the fame that King offered the Stanley Hotel.

Jim Carrey actually has a chipped tooth

Lloyd and Harry aren't only complete idiots — they also look like total goofballs. Lloyd sports a bowl cut, while Harry's style is a bit more, er, hairy and unkempt. However, an additional detail of Lloyd's that possibly lends credence to the life he's led as a complete doofus is a visibly chipped tooth that he likely acquired during a crazy, not-so-bright moment in his past. Of course, we never learn what that is per se, but we can easily imagine that Sea Bass isn't the first "bear" Lloyd has poked.

Interestingly enough, that chipped tooth is completely real. Jim Carrey simply uncapped his front tooth for the film. When Carrey was in grade school, he sustained a schoolyard injury that resulted in a chipped tooth. Carrey, himself, clarified that a boy "jumped on" his head during detention in grade school. "The nuns sent me home with my tooth in an envelope," Carrey stated via EW. Clearly, Carrey brought far more to the role than his quirky comedic genius.

The actors behind Lloyd and Mary Swanson actually married briefly

It was a match made in the mind of Lloyd Christmas, surely. The bold and naive limo driver pursues a stranger, Mary Swanson, for the entirety of the film, deeming her the love of his life despite not even knowing her personally. Despite all of this, audiences are still charmed by the romanticized dreams of Lloyd and his idiotic but humorous exploits in attempting to achieve them. What some fans may not know, however, is that Jim Carrey actually dated and married the actress who plays Mary Swanson, Lauren Holly.

We're pretty sure Carrey didn't woo her by wining her, dining her, and employing karate to combat a ninja chef to defend her honor. But they most assuredly met on the set of "Dumb and Dumber" as costars. In an interview on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, Holly talks about her short-lived marriage with Carrey. At their peak of fame in the '90s, the paparazzi were fairly intrusive, and Holly says she felt like it was hard to find privacy with one of the biggest stars in the world and control her side of the story after the break-up. For his part, she says, Carrey would dress up in a clown costume to go outside and fetch the newspaper in the morning as a way of playing to his persona and shunting the camerapeople.

The film spawned a cartoon series

"Dumb and Dumber" was a commercial success and was one film in a series of three starring Jim Carrey that hit the big screen in 1994 and sent the comedic actor on to enjoy a booming career in Hollywood. The film's success garnered a prequel, which the Farrelly brothers had nothing to do with, and a sequel two decades later that chronicled more of Lloyd and Harry's inane antics. Needless to say, the numbskull duo weaseled their way into the hearts of fans who've continued to enjoy the stories of their strange friendship for years to come.

What most folks who've merely discovered "Dumb and Dumber" in the years that followed its theatrical run don't know is that the movie also inspired a short-lived cartoon series featuring Lloyd and Harry. After all, what story is riper for a serial format of countless new and ridiculous adventures than "Dumb and Dumber"? Like most animated versions of 1980s and '90s movies including "Ghostbusters," "The Mask," and "Beetlejuice," among countless others, the "Dumb and Dumber" series simply took the standout elements of the show, namely the two stars and their sheepdog vehicle (despite losing it in the film), and slapped zany cartoon stories together. After that, the only thing the show was missing was a purple beaver named Kitty whose intellect easily exceeds her human compadres. It may be difficult to imagine, but the series only lasted a single season on ABC.

Lloyd Christmas and Mary Swanson's names are secretly a joke

Have you ever thought that Lloyd's surname was a bit odd? If you think it sounds just like the holiday, Lloyd himself would inform you that it's actually more like the tree. For the entirety of the film, Lloyd is vying for the love of Mary Swanson, a stranger he met driving her to the airport. But whether the planets were aligned, the pheromones were strong, or Lloyd was simply crushing hard on a beautiful woman, their union was actually always meant to be in an alternate universe.

You see, it's all in the name. If Lloyd were to marry, uh, Mary, and she takes his surname, her legal name would be Mary Christmas. It's a joke that definitely wasn't accidental. In fact, there's a deleted scene making light of the funny name union. It seems the filmmakers wanted viewers to reach that punchline themselves. While it would have been great to see the moment actually realized, we arguably received a far better joke about name coupling in cinema years later in Meet the Fockers with Martha Focker.

The studio lowballed Jeff Daniels because they really didn't want to cast him

Lloyd and Harry are both a bit dense, and that's the fun of "Dumb and Dumber." But they are also very different personalities, believe it or not. Lloyd is the ironic "know-it-all" between the two and tends to be rather cocky. Harry wears his heart on his sleeve and has no qualms about showing his frustration over his friend's antics. For all intents and purposes, Jeff Daniels is Harry Dunne. We couldn't imagine anyone else in the role. Though, if the forces that be had their way, Daniels would've had no part in this film.

In an interview (per The Hollywood Reporter), Bobby Farrelly said the studio was totally against the idea of casting Jeff Daniels. He'd never held a comedic role like this, and they didn't think he could pull it off. The Farrelly brothers and Jim Carrey, however, loved Daniels in Something Wild and championed bringing Daniels on board, realizing his talent for conveying a sense of genuineness in each of his roles. Eventually, the studio asked the Farrelly brothers to get someone else, but would only offer Daniels $50,000 if they chose to stick with him. They had anticipated Daniels would turn down that offer and walk away. He didn't. Daniels wanted the opportunity to prove he could do comedy (per GQ). And the rest is history.