15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Uncle Buck

1. John Candy wasn’t the first choice to star.

Danny DeVito was originally considered for the role of Uncle Buck.

2. Candy appeared in more movies written or directed by John Hughes than any other actor.

Including Uncle Buck, Candy appeared in National Lampoon’s Vacation; Planes, Trains & Automobiles; The Great Outdoors; She’s Having a Baby; Home Alone; and Career Opportunities.

3. A scene in Uncle Buck inspired Home Alone.

Uncle Buck is only the third theatrically released film starring Macaulay Culkin, who shot to stardom a year later thanks to his role in Home Alone—which, like Uncle Buck, was also written and produced John Hughes. The idea for Home Alone first came to Hughes while Culkin was shooting the scene in Uncle Buck where he interrogates Chanice through the mail slot. (Candy also appears in Home Alone, but he and Culkin don’t have any scenes together.)

4. Amy Madigan and Gaby Hoffmann were family in a previous movie.

Madigan, who plays Chanice, and Hoffmann, who plays Maizy, appeared as mother and daughter in the film Field of Dreams, which was released the same year as Uncle Buck.

5. It was shot and released in the same year.

Uncle Buck began filming, was released in theaters, and was released on home video all within 1989.

6. The film was originally supposed to take place in St. Louis.

It was changed to the Chicago area because unusually warm weather in Missouri that year forced the production to move to a more wintry climate.

7. You can visit the Russells’ house—and Buck’s apartment.

The exteriors of the Russells’ house were shot on location at 2602 Lincoln Street in Evanston, Illinois. Buck’s apartment, across the street from Wrigley Field, is located at 3708 N. Sheffield Avenue in Chicago.

8. You might recognize the high school from other John Hughes films.

The high school scenes were shot at New Trier West High School in Winnetka, Illinois, which wasn’t a functioning school at the time of filming. The location was also used in other Hughes films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Sixteen Candles. The elementary school scenes were shot at Romona Elementary School in Wilmette, Illinois.

9. If you look closely, you’ll spot a familiar face.

The classmate sitting next to Maizy in her school scene is actress Anna Chlumsky, who would later star in My Girl with Macaulay Culkin, and who can be currently seen on HBO’s Veep.

10. Buck’s car is a 1977 Mercury Marquis Brougham.

He calls it “The Beast.” Filmmakers used a combination of a gunshot and a firecracker to create its backfiring noise.

11. Pooter-the-Clown is played by character actor Mike Starr.

Among his more recognizable roles are Frankie from Miller’s Crossing, Frenchy from Goodfellas, and Mental from Dumb & Dumber.

12. Uncle Buck’s theme might sound familiar.

It’s a beat from rapper Tone Lōc’s “Wild Thing.”

13. The film spawned two short-lived TV shows of the same name.

The first ran from 1990-1991 and was created without the input of John Hughes or any of the film’s cast. In fact, Hughes didn’t even know the show existed until its producers asked to use exterior footage the director shot for the movie. James Lesure starred in a 2016 version, which was canceled after one season.

14. There was an Indian Uncle Buck remake.

Uncle Bun was released in 1991.

15. You can make Buck’s huge pancakes.

But you’ll need a pretty big mixing bowl. A chef estimated that you’d need 300g of plain flour, 200g of caster sugar, 450ml of milk, 9 medium free range eggs, 100g of melted unsalted butter, and 15g of vegetable oil to make the stack of gigantic pancakes that Buck makes Miles for his birthday.

Mifflin Madness: Who Is the Greatest Character on The Office? It's Time to Vote

Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, hands out a well-deserved Dundie Award on The Office.
Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, hands out a well-deserved Dundie Award on The Office.
NBC

Your years of watching (and re-watching) The Office, which just celebrated its 15th anniversary, have all led up to this moment. Welcome to Mifflin Madness—Mental Floss's cutthroat competition to determine The Office's greatest character. Is Michael Scott the boss you most love to hate? Or did Kevin Malone suck you in with his giant pot of chili?

You have 24 hours to cast your vote for each round on Twitter before the bracket is updated and half of the chosen characters are eliminated.

The full bracket is below, followed by the round one and round two winners. You can cast your round three vote(s) here. Be sure to check back on Monday at 4 p.m. ET to see if your favorite Dunder Mifflin employee has advanced to the next round. 

Round One


Round Two


Round Three


The Office Planned to Break Up Jim and Pam in the Final Season—Then (Smartly) Thought Better of It

Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski star in The Office.
Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski star in The Office.
NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly's relationship in The Office was truly a romance for the ages. Fans were delighted when, in Season 3—after years of flirting—John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer’s characters finally got together. But an alternative plan for the show’s ninth and final season saw the couple going their separate ways.

Season 9 saw one of the most stressful storylines the show had to offer when Jim took a job in Philadelphia and Pam struggled to take care of their children on her own back in Scranton, putting intense strain on their otherwise seemingly perfect relationship. In one unforgettable scene, a particularly tense phone call between the couple ends with Pam in tears. Fischer’s character then turns to someone off camera named Brian for advice.

As Collider reports, Pam and Jim's relationship could have taken a turn for worse in the final season—and the writers had planned it that way. As recounted in Andy Greene's new book, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, series creator Greg Daniels sat down with each of the show's stars before starting the final season to discuss where their characters would go. John Krasinski, who played Jim, pitched the idea of putting Jim and Pam’s relationship on thin ice. According to Krasinski:

"My whole pitch to Greg was that we’ve done so much with Jim and Pam, and now, after marriage and kids, there was a bit of a lull there, I think, for them about what they wanted to do … And I said to Greg, ‘It would be really interesting to see how that split will affect two people that you know so well.'"

Several writers weighed in with ideas about how they might handle a split between Jim and Pam from a narrative standpoint—though not everyone was on the same page.

Warren Lieberstein, a writer on the series, remembered when the idea of bringing Brian—the documentary crew's boom operator—into the mix. “[This] was something that came up in Season 5, I think," Lieberstein said. "What if that character had been secretly there the entire time and predated the relationship with Jim and had been a shoulder that she cried on for years?’ It just seemed very intriguing." Apparently, the writers thought breaking the fourth wall would jeopardize the show, so they saved it for the last season.

Writer Owen Ellickson said there was even some talk of Pam and Brian “maybe hooking up a little bit," but the negative response to the storyline led the writers to "pull the ripcord on [Pam and Jim's separation] because it was so painful to fans of the show." Ellickson said that they backtracked so quickly, they even had to re-edit certain episodes that had already been shot to nix the idea of Jim and Pam splitting up. Which is something the show's millions of fans will be forever grateful for.

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