Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac ... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole! But was it actually in the hole? Here are a few things to look out for the next time you watch the Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, and Rodney Dangerfield golf classic, Caddyshack.
1. THE GOPHER KNOWS WHERE HE’S GOING.
Warner Home Video
During the opening credits, the pesky gopher terrorizing Bushwood Country Club can be seen tunneling under the fairways and greens, ruining the golf course as he goes along. In one of the shots, the path the gopher takes is visible by darker grass before he even gets there.
The low-budget special effects can be chalked up to the fact that the gopher wasn’t added until after the movie wrapped. The producers suggested they increase the role of the gopher, turning it into the narrative through-line that tied the film's bits together, so the hastily thrown together puppet and pathways were included later.
2. NEBRASKA LOOKS GORGEOUS THIS TIME OF YEAR.
Warner Home Video
The fictional Bushwood Country Club was actually Rolling Hills Country Club (now Grande Oaks) in Davie, Florida, and was inspired by the Indian Hill Country Club in the Chicago suburbs where Murray and his brothers were caddies growing up. But it’s supposed to take place in Nebraska in the actual movie.
The geographical conundrum gets more complicated as palm trees can be seen in the scene where Danny eats and jumps out of the window behind his house to head to work. Of course, Nebraska doesn’t have palm trees.
3. CARL SPACKLER AND LOU LOOMIS ARE BROTHERS.
Warner Home Video
Loomis, the Caddyshack’s manager and the only character to utter the title of the movie, is played by Bill Murray’s brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, who is also one of the movie’s co-writers. Doyle-Murray and co-screenwriter Douglas Kenney (who co-wrote the film with director Harold Ramis) initially pitched the movie as “Animal House on a golf course.”
The character of Danny Noonan (Michael O'Keefe), who sets out to win the caddie tournament scholarship, was actually based on Doyle-Murray’s older brother Ed, who won a similar golf prize when they were young.
4. THE STORM ISN’T MUCH OF A STORM.
During the fateful (and hilarious “Rat Farts”) storm where Spackler caddies for Bishop Pickering, the wind and rain nearly blow the two characters over—but it’s a bit of movie trickery at work. You can see trees in the background standing perfectly still, giving away the wind machine effect causing the “storm."
5. THE JUDGE CHANGES TIES WITHOUT US KNOWING.
Warner Home Video
Al Czervik (Rodney Dangerfield) is quite the stylish golfer. Judge Smails (Ted Knight) is not. Maybe that’s why when Czervik gets into an argument with Smails in the clubhouse causing the judge to try to choke him, Smails is wearing one tie.
Warner Home Video
But when they move to the judge’s office with Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) and Czervik challenges him to a golf bet, the judge is wearing a completely different tie.
6. CARL HUNTS GOPHERS ALL DAY AND NIGHT.
Warner Home Video
During the nighttime party scene at the club, where Czervik makes fun of the judge, Spackler is outside with his gun hunting the gopher. As he moves from tree to tree, you can see that these scenes were shot during the day—even though Spackler is trying to corner the gopher at night.
7. THE INFAMOUS POOL SCENE WOULDN’T HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE.
When some pranksters at Bushwood drop a Baby Ruth candy bar into the pool—a scene that was culled from the Murray kids' real-life high school exploits—it causes some mistaken fecal-related mayhem for the unfortunate swimmers.
The candy floats around on the top of the water, only to make Spackler drain the pool and take a bite for himself. But even though the Murray brothers grafted their own hijinks onto the screen, it wouldn’t happen exactly how it did in the movie. Baby Ruth bars don’t float.
8. AL CZERVIK IS AN UNORTHODOX BOATER.
Warner Home Video
When Czervik is buzzing around on his boat and ruins Judge Smails’ own boat launch before almost running over someone in a row boat, the footage is splashing toward the bow of the boat instead of away, meaning the footage is being played in reverse for some reason.
9. THE CADDIES SWAP SHIRTS.
Warner Home Video
Czervik’s wake isn’t the only puzzling reverse seen in Caddyshack. During the big golf bet game, employees, club members, and other caddies are seen sneaking in between trees to spot the action. The logos on their t-shirts are in reverse.
It’s possible Ramis—in his first directorial gig—shot the actors sneaking one way, and realized it didn’t match up with the continuity of the direction of the golf game and simply flipped the film to make it seem like everyone was going in the same direction.
10. ONE CADDIE DOESN’T LIKE THE CAMERA VERY MUCH.
Warner Home Video
During the scene where Smails, Czervik, and Webb sit at the snack hut and make the $80,000 bet, Motormouth, the caddie in the green and white striped shirt, flips the bird to the camera. He can also be seen giving the NSFW gesture while holding the pin flag on the 18th hole while Danny makes his fateful putt.
11. THE ENDING BREAKS ALL THE RULES OF BETTING.
During the end scene, when Dr. Beeper and Judge Smails are on the final hole of the match against Ty Webb and Danny Noonan, the game is all squared up and all the young caddie needs to do is sink his putt to tie the match. But Czervik offers Smails a double-or-nothing bet. Even though the judge accepts those terms, he shouldn’t have taken that bet: He technically stood to make $40,000 or simply walk away with no money out of his pocket. Instead he risks $80,000 to potentially make another $40,000 on a game he didn’t lose.
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Kristen Bell is one of those household names that brings to mind a seemingly endless list of outstanding performances in both TV and film. She is Veronica Mars. She is the very memorable Sarah Marshall. She's the voice of Gossip Girl. She just recently wrapped up her NBC series The Good Place. Your nieces and nephews likely know her as Princess Anna from the Frozen films. She also has one of the most uplifting and positive presences on social media.
Now, adding to her long list of accomplishments, Kristen Bell is the published author of a new children’s book called The World Needs More Purple People. Born out of seeing how cultural conversations were skewing more toward the things that divide us, the new picture book—which Bell co-authored with Benjamin Hart—encourages kids to see what unites us all as humans.
We spoke with Kristen Bell about what it means to be a purple person, her new animated series Central Park, and becoming a foster failure. We also put her knowledge of sloths to the test.
How did The World Needs More Purple People book come to be?
Basically my genius buddy, Ben Hart, and I were looking around and sort of seeing how our children were watching us debate healthily at the dinner table, which is fine. But it occurred to us that everything they were seeing was a disagreement. And that’s because that can be fun for adults, but it’s not a good basis for kids to start out on. We realized we were not really giving our kids a ton of examples of us, as adults, talking about the things that bring us together. So The World Needs More Purple People was born.
We decided to create a roadmap of similarities to give kids a jumping off point of how to look for similarities ... [because] if you can see similarities, you’re more likely to walk through the world with an open mind. But if you walk into a conversation seeing only differences, your mind is going to think differently of that person’s opinion and you just never know when you’re going to hear an opinion that might enlighten you. So we wanted to give kids this roadmap to follow to basically say, “Here are some great features that no one can argue with. Have these features and you’ll have similarities with almost everyone on the planet.”
Part of the reason I love the book so much is because it encourages kids to ask questions, even if they're silly. What are some silly questions you’ve had to answer for your kids?
Oh my god. How much time do you have? Once she asked in rapid fire: Is Santa Claus real? Why is Earth? Who made dogs?
How do you even answer that?
It was too much; I had to walk away. Kids have a ton of questions, and as they get older and more verbal, the funny thing that happens is they get more insecure. So we wanted to encourage the question-asking, and also encourage the uniqueness of every child. Which is why Dan Wiseman, who did our illustrations, really captured this middle point between Ben and I. Ben is very sincere, and I am very quirky. And I feel like the illustrations were captured brilliantly because we also wanted a ton of diversity because that is what the book is about.
The book is about seeing different things and finding similarities. Each kid in the book looks a little bit different, but also a little bit the same. The message at the end of the book is with all these features that you can point out and recognize in other people—loving to laugh, working really hard, asking great questions ... also know that being a purple person means being uniquely you in the hopes that kids will recognize that purple people come in every color.
What was it like behind-the-scenes of writing a children’s book with two little girls at home? Were they tough critics?
Shockingly, no. They did not have much interest in the fact that I was writing a children’s book until there were pictures. Then they were like, “Oh now I get it.” But prior to that, when I’d run the ideas by them, they were not as interested. But I did read it to them. They gave me the two thumbs up. Ben has two kids as well, and all our kids are different ages. Once we got the thumbs up from the 5-year-old, the 7-year-old, the 8-year-old, and the 11-year-old, we thought, “OK, this is good to go.”
I hope that people, and kids especially, really do apply this as a concept. We would love to see this as a curriculum going into schools if they wanted to use it to ask: What happened today in your life that was purple? What could you do to make tomorrow more purple? Like as a concept of a way of living.
Weirdly, writing a children’s book was a way of getting to the adults. If it’s a children’s book, there is a high probability an adult is going to either be reading it to you or be there while you’re reading it—which means you’re getting two demographics. If we had just written a novel about this kind of concept, we’d never reach the kids. But by writing a kid's book, we also access the adults.
Your new show Central Park looks so incredible. What can you tell us about the show and your character Molly?
I am so excited for the show to come out. I’ve seen it and it is exceptional. It is so, so, so funny and so much fun. I signed on because I got a phone call from my friend Josh Gad, who said, “I’m going to try to put together a cartoon for us to work on.” And I said, “Yes. Goodbye.” And he and Loren Bochard, who created Bob’s Burgers, took basically all of our friends—Leslie Odom Jr., Stanley Tucci, Kathryn Hahn, Tituss Burgess, Daveed Diggs, and myself—and created a family who lives in the middle of Central Park.
I play a teenager named Molly who is very socially awkward but has this incredible, relentlessly creative, vivacious personality going on only inside her head … and it’s a musical! So, she's awkward on the outside but when she sings her songs she really comes to life. And she's a comic book artist, so the cartoon often switches to what she's seeing in her head.
It's so funny and Josh Gad plays this busker who lives in Central Park, who is the narrator. Stanley Tucci plays this older woman named Bitsy who is trying to build a shopping mall in the center of Central Park, and the family’s job is to basically save Central Park. But the music is so incredible. We’ve got two music writers, Kate Anderson and Elyssa Samsel, who write the majority of the music, but we also have guest writers that come in every episode. So Sara Bareilles wrote some music and Cyndi Lauper wrote some music. It is such a fun show.
My husband, who does not like cartoons or musicals, watched the first couple of episodes, and he looked at me and said, “You’ve got something really special in your hands.” And he doesn’t like anything. It made me so happy. I cannot wait until this show comes out, I am so proud of it.
What was it like to reunite with Josh Gad on another musical animated series that isn't Frozen?
Josh and I talk a lot, and we had a lot of behind-the-scenes conversations about how we can work together again, just because we adore each other. And part of it is because we get along socially, and part of it is because we trust each other comedically. He's a creator and writer more so than I am, so I usually leave it up to him and say, "What’s our next project?" We have other things in the pipeline we would love to do together, but [Central Park] was an immediate yes because I trust how he writes. Josh is at every single one of my recording sessions; he is very hands-on with the shows that he does or produces or creates. I trust him as much as I trust my husband, creatively, and that’s saying a lot.
Given your well-documented love of sloths, we do have to throw out a few true or false questions about sloths and put your knowledge to the test …
Oh my gosh. OK, now I'm nervous. Hit me.
True or false: Sloths fart more than humans.
Fart more than humans?
I’m going to say it's true.
It’s actually false. Sloths don’t fart at all. They might be the only mammal on the planet that does not fart.
You’re kidding. Another reason to love them. You know, I was trying to think medically about it. I know they only poop once a week and that if you only go poop once a week ... I thought, “Well in order to keep your GI healthy, perhaps you have to have some sort of flow from the top to the bottom during the seven-day waiting period until you release.”
True or false: Sloths are so slow that algae sometimes grows on them.
One hundred percent true. In the wild, they’re always covered in algae and it helps their fur, all those microorganisms. But in zoos, they don’t have it.
Nice. OK, last one. True or false: Sloths poop from trees.
No way. They go down to the ground, and they rub their little tushies on the ground, and then they go back up.
You are correct.
I know a fair amount about sloths but the farting thing was new. My kids will be excited to hear that.
We heard recently that you are a part of the “foster failure” club. What went wrong? Er—right?
Well, what I learned from Veronica Mars is you root for and cherish and uplift the underdog always. And my first foster failure was in 2018; I found the most undesirable dog that existed on the planet. She is made of toothpicks, it is impossible for her to gain weight. She has one eye. She looks like a walking piece of garbage. Her name is Barbara. She's 11 years old. And I saw a picture of her online and I said, “Yes. I just want to bring her over. I don’t even need to know anything else about her other than this picture," which was the most hideous picture. I mean it looks like a Rorschach painting or something. It was so awful. I was like, “She’s mine. I’ll take care of her. I’ve got this.” And it turns out she is quite lovely even though she can be pretty annoying. But she is our Barbara Biscuit, and she is one of the most charismatic dogs I have ever met. She piddles wherever she damn well pleases. So that is a bummer, because she is untrainable, but we love her.
That was our first failure. Then last year, we genuinely attempted to just foster a dog named Frank. And about two weeks in, I realized Frank was in love with me—like in a human way. He thought he was my boyfriend.
Oh no …
I just felt like … I didn’t even want a new dog—well I shouldn’t say that, because I always want all the dogs—but we weren’t planning on getting a new dog. But I had to have a conversation with my family and I said, “I think it’s going to be like child separation if I separate him. We have to keep him.” And sure enough, he can’t be more than two feet from me at any time during the day.
Does he still give you “the eyes”?
Oh my gosh. Bedroom eyes all day long. I can’t sit down without him like … not even just sitting comfortably in my lap. He has to have my arm in his mouth or part of my hair in his mouth. He’s trying to get back in my womb or something.
Yeah, I said, “What am I going to do? The guy is in love with me. He can live here.” So there is foster failure number two.
Wow, so it’s Frank and Barbara.
Frank and Barbara. And we also have Lola, a 17-year-old corgi-chow chow mix. Who I have had since she was one-and-a-half, who was also a pound puppy. She is our queen bee.
Before you go, we do this thing on Twitter called #HappyHour, where we ask our followers some get-to-know-you questions. If you could change one rule in any board game, what would it be?
I am obviously going to Catan ... oh I know exactly what I would do. In Catan, I would allow participants to buy a city without buying a settlement first. In Catan, you have to upgrade from a settlement to a city first, which is a waste of cards. If you have the cards for a city, you should be able to buy a city.
What was your favorite book as a child?
My favorite book as a child was Are You My Mother?
Aw, I love that one. I forgot about Are You My Mother?