16 Delicious Facts About American Pie

It’s easy to forget how big American Pie was in the summer of 1999. Shot on an $11 million budget, it made $235 million in theaters worldwide, and spawned three sequels and four straight-to-DVD movies. It made names out of young actors Jason Biggs, Seann William Scott, and Tara Reid, added to the profiles of Mena Suvari, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan, and Natasha Lyonne, and introduced Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge to a new generation. It also made it okay to put characters attempting to be formally educated in bawdy situations again, for better or worse. Here is some knowledge on the seminal movie that is almost old enough to start worrying about prom night.

1. ADAM HERZ WROTE THE ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY IN SIX WEEKS.

For research, the 26-year-old watched Porky’s and Bachelor Party repeatedly to study the comedy in those sex-obsessed high school movies.

2. THE FIRST TITLE FOR THE MOVIE WAS NOT AMERICAN PIE.

Herz cheekily titled his screenplay, Untitled Teenage Sex Comedy That Can Be Made For Under $10 Million That Most Readers Will Probably Hate But I Think You Will Love. During filming the movie was called Great Falls (as in East Great Falls High School), but people who saw the test screenings said they loved everything about the movie except the title.

3. IT ORIGINALLY GOT AN NC-17 RATING.

Directors Paul and Chris Weitz and the producers all agreed to try to give the movie as much verisimilitude as possible in regards to the way high schoolers talk, and figured they did it right if they got an R rating. Instead, the MPAA handed the film an NC-17 rating (meaning nobody 17 and under could see the movie, even with adult supervision). When the infamous pie scene was edited down, they got their R.

4. SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT WAS PAID $8,000 FOR PLAYING STIFLER.

It was “Seann W. Scott”’s first feature role.

5. EUGENE LEVY THREATENED TO DROP OUT UNLESS HE COULD IMPROVISE ALL OF HIS LINES.

Levy felt that Jim’s dad in the script was “a little creepy” and insisted on playing him as more of a “real, corny” father.

6. ALYSON HANNIGAN STAYED IN CHARACTER AFTER SHOOTING SCENES.

She annoyed herself by continuing to talk off-camera like her character Michelle by ending sentences with a superfluous question mark.

7. HANNIGAN AD-LIBBED DURING HER SEX SCENE.

There was no dialogue written for Jim and Michelle’s scene, so Hannigan came up with, “What’s my name? Say my name! Say my name, b****!”

8. JASON BIGGS’ BODY DOUBLE WAS FIRED.

Biggs had to do the sex scene himself because his double showed up with an eight-inch-long scar across his stomach.

9. THE APPLE PIE WAS PURCHASED AT A COSTCO.

In Long Beach, California.

10. NO, THEY DIDN’T INVENT THE TERM "MILF."

A 1995 Usenet post used the acronym, pre-dating the movie by four years. "MILF," however gained significantly in popularity after American Pie.

11. THE "PALE ALE" WAS BEER WITH EGG WHITES.

Like any good actor, Scott pretended it was just beer for every take.

12. CHRIS KLEIN AND SEANN WILLIAM SCOTT WERE BAD AT LACROSSE.

They practiced for three weeks before just letting doubles handle the sport scenes.

13. JOHN CHO WAS THE OLDEST HIGH SCHOOLER IN THE MOVIE.

Cho, who was 26 during filming, was out of the country when American Pie was released. When he returned to the United States, long having forgotten about the movie, kids chanted “MILF!” to him on the street, confusing him immensely.

14. THE WRONG BLINK-182 DRUMMER WAS CREDITED.

The band appeared in the movie watching Jim and Nadia’s webcast—Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus, and Travis Barker, who replaced Scott Raynor before shooting began. When American Pie came out, Raynor’s name was in the credits.

15. THE ALLEGED INSPIRATION FOR STIFLER WAS ARRESTED FOR MURDER.

Brian Krebs was a high school classmate of Adam Herz who, according to police, fatally stabbed someone in a bar fight in 2012. While Herz didn’t confirm the connection, the New Times Broward-Palm Beach reported that two sources claimed Krebs was Herz’s inspiration for Stifler.

16. UNIVERSAL DIDN’T HAVE FAITH IN THE MOVIE.

Universal Pictures sold the foreign rights to give themselves financial security in case the movie didn't do well at the box office, a move that was considered "moronic” by some, even before American Pie made more than $132 million outside of America. Before it was released in the United States, producers were told 14 different release dates. At one point, American Pie was scheduled to come out the same weekend as The Phantom Menace.

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture

Wayfair/Weber
Wayfair/Weber

This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair
Brisbane/Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.
Dyna-Glo/Wayfair

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.
GoSports

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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17 Facts About Airplane! On Its 40th Anniversary

Julie Hagerty and Robert Hays (with Otto) in Airplane! (1980).
Julie Hagerty and Robert Hays (with Otto) in Airplane! (1980).
Paramount Home Entertainment

Shot on a budget of $3.5 million, David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker wrote and directed Airplane!, a movie intended to parody the onslaught of disaster movies that graced movie theater screens in the 1970s. The comedy classic, which arrived in theaters on July 2, 1980, ended up making more than $83.4 million in theaters in the United States alone, and resurrecting a few acting careers in the process. Here are some things you might not have known about the comedy classic on its 40th anniversary.

1. Airplane! was almost a direct parody of the 1957 movie Zero Hour!

Shorewood, Wisconsin childhood friends Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker grew up and moved to Los Angeles, where they were responsible for the sketch comedy troupe Kentucky Fried Theater. The trio made a habit of recording late-night television, looking for commercials to make fun of for their video and film parodies, which is how they discovered Zero Hour!, which also featured a protagonist named Ted Stryker (in Airplane! it's Ted Striker). In order to make sure the camera angles and lighting on Airplane! were matching those of Zero Hour!, the trio always had the movie queued up on set. Yes, the three filmmakers did buy the rights to their semi source material.

2. Universal thought Airplane! was too similar to their Airport franchise.

Universal released four plane disaster movies in the seventies: Airport in 1970; Airport 1975 (confusingly in 1974); Airport ‘77; and The Concorde ... Airport ‘79. Helen Reddy portrayed Sister Ruth in Airport 1975 and was game to play Sister Angelina in Airplane! before Universal stepped in and threatened to sue. Instead, the role went to Maureen McGovern, who sang the Oscar-winning theme songs to The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno—two movies that were also “disaster” movies, albeit ones not involving a plane.

3. David Letterman, Sigourney Weaver, and other future stars auditioned for Airplane!

In early conversations regarding Airplane!, Paramount Studios suggested Dom DeLuise for what would eventually become Leslie Nielsen’s role, and Barry Manilow for the role of Ted Striker, but they were never asked to audition.

4. Chevy Chase was mistakenly announced as the star of Airplane!.

Chevy Chase was erroneously announced as the star of Airplane! in a 1979 news item in The Hollywood Reporter.

5. The role of Roger Murdock was written with Pete Rose in mind.

Pete Rose was busy playing baseball when Airplane! was shot in August, so they cast Kareem Abdul-Jabbar instead.

6. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar got a pretty swanky carpet out of his Airplane! gig.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Peter Graves, and Rossie Harris in Airplane! (1980)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rossie Harris, and Peter Graves in Airplane! (1980).
Paramount Home Entertainment

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s agent insisted on an extra $5000 to the original offer of a $30,000 salary so that the basketball legend could purchase an oriental rug he'd had his eye on.

7. Peter Graves thought the Airplane! script was "tasteless trash."

Peter Graves eventually found the humor in the film, including the pedophilia jokes, and agreed to play Captain Oveur. Graves's wife was glad he took the role; she laughed throughout the premiere screening.

8. No, the child actor playing young Joey didn't know what Peter Graves was actually saying.

Rossie Harris was only 9 years old when he played the role of Joey, so did not understand the humor in Turkish prisons, gladiator movies, or any of Oveur’s other comments. But by the time he turned 10 and saw the movie, Harris had apparently figured it out.

9. Airplane! marked Ethel Merman's final film appearance.

"The undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage” played a disturbed soldier who believed he was Ethel Merman. Merman passed away in 1984.

10. Michael Ehrmantraut from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul was in Airplane!.

Jonathan Banks plays air traffic controller Gunderson.

11. Airplane!'s three-director setup caused legal problems.

The Directors Guild of America ruled that Abrahams and the two Zuckers couldn’t all be credited for directing a movie, nor be credited under the single “fictitious name of Abrahams N. Zuckers.” A DGA rep was on set to make sure that only Jerry Zucker spoke to the actors. What he saw was Jerry Zucker next to the camera, who would then go to a nearby trailer where the other two were watching the takes on a video feed, and come back to give notes to the actors after conferring with his partners. A DGA executive board eventually gave the three one-time rights to all share the credit.

12. A BIT ABOUT BLIND POLISH AIRLINE PILOTS WAS WRITTEN AND FILMED.

Blind singer José Feliciano, and lookalikes of blind singers Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder, played Polish airline co-pilots. The Polish-American League protested, and it was determined by the writer-directors that the idea wasn’t funny enough to stay in the movie.

13. Robert Hays was starring in a TV show at the same time he was filming Airplane!

Robert Hays, the actor who played Ted Striker, had to race back and forth between the sets of Angie and Airplane! for two very busy weeks. The theme song to Angie was performed by the one and only Maureen McGovern.

14. Robert Hays was—and is—a licensed pilot.

He can even fly the ones with four engines.

15. Leslie Nielsen had a lot of fun with his fart machine.

Leslie Nielsen sold portable fart machines for $7 apiece on set, causing a brief epidemic of fart noises emanating from most of the cast and crew and delaying production. When they were shooting Hays’s close-up, Nielsen used the machine after every other word of his line, “Mr. Striker, can you land this plane?”

16. Stephen Stucker came up with all of Johnny's lines.

Lloyd Bridges and Stephen Stucker in Airplane! (1980)
Stephen Stucker and Lloyd Bridges in Airplane! (1980).
Paramount Home Entertainment

Stephen Stucker was a member of the Kentucky Fried Theater. His line “Me John, Big Tree” was part of an old riff he used to do, which continued with him going down on his knees and putting an ear to the ground to hear when a wagon train was arriving.

17. The original rough cut of Airplane! was 115 minutes long.

After screenings at three college campuses and two theaters, the film was cut down to 88 minutes.