20 facts you might not know about 'Dumb & Dumber'
New Line Cinema

20 facts you might not know about 'Dumb & Dumber'

Imagine a prestigious Oscar-bait drama. Some sort of period piece set in Victorian England about star-crossed lovers from different stations in life. Now, imagine the exact opposite of that. You imagined “Dumb and Dumber,” didn’t you? Just because you’re a low-brow film doesn’t mean you can’t have a high box office. Here are 20 facts about the classic 1994 comedy. Facts being something the duo at the center of “Dumb and Dumber” don’t know a ton about.

 
1 of 20

This is the first Farrelly Brothers movie

This is the first Farrelly Brothers movie
New Line

Peter and Bobby Farrelly made some of the biggest comedies of the 1990s and 2000s, but it took them a little while to get their career going. “Dumb and Dumber” was their debut film, although technically it was only directed by Peter while co-written by the brothers and Bennett Yellin.

 
2 of 20

The Farrellys didn’t know who Jim Carrey was

The Farrellys didn’t know who Jim Carrey was
New Line

The year 1994 was absolutely massive for Carrey. It’s the year that turned him into a star. That year, he had “Dumb and Dumber,” “The Mask,” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” come out. However, when the Farrellys were starting work on their film, they didn’t know who Carrey was. Then, they saw him in “Ace Ventura” and realized he was perfect for their film.

 
3 of 20

Some interesting names were considered for the film

Some interesting names were considered for the film
New Line

Imagine Gary Oldman and Nicolas Cage as Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne. Now, you might be wondering why we are throwing out insane ideas. In fact, though, Oldman and Cage were the Farrellys' original choices for those roles. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Other names considered for the movie include Steve Martin, Martin Short, Chris Elliott, and Rob Lowe.

 
4 of 20

Carrey turned his success into a big payday

Carrey turned his success into a big payday
New Line

When Carrey began the process of signing on for “Dumb and Dumber,” he wasn’t a star yet. Then, as we said, “Ace Ventura” happened. Knowing where he stood, Carrey decided to negotiate off the strength of his rising star. Carrey got a new deal worth $7 million, a considerable payday at the time.

 
5 of 20

Jeff Daniels was an unexpected choice

Jeff Daniels was an unexpected choice
New Line

Daniels seems perfect in the role of Harry, but not everybody agreed at the time. Cage was actually still in line to play Harry when Carrey signed on, but he was dumped after trying to get a $2 million raise. The Farrellys and Carrey wanted Daniels, but New Line was worried he couldn’t do comedy and was only a dramatic actor. Even Daniels’ agent said it would kill his career. And yet, Daniels signed on.

 
6 of 20

Daniels was also a bit cheaper

Daniels was also a bit cheaper
New Line

If you are wondering where that money for Carrey came from, look at the salary Daniels took in. He was paid a mere $50,000 for playing Harry. Now, this was less an attempt to insult Daniels and instead of an attempt from the producers to get Daniels to turn down such a lowball offer. It didn’t work.

 
7 of 20

A famous hockey player has a role

A famous hockey player has a role
New Line

Cam Neely tallied 694 points in 726 games in the NHL, most of them with the Boston Bruins. The tenacious forward had two 50-goal seasons and even made it into the Hockey Hall of Fame. As natives of the Northeast, the Farrellys were Bruins fans and gave Neely the role of Sea Bass in their debut film.

 
8 of 20

Lloyd and Mary became a real-life love story

Lloyd and Mary became a real-life love story
New Line

Jim Carrey plays Lloyd Christmas and Lauren Holly plays his sort-of love interest (a one-sided one, to be fair) in Mary Swanson. The two had originally met when Holly auditioned for “Ace Ventura.” She did not get the role, but they reconnected on “Dumb and Dumber” and began a relationship. The two actually married in 1996 but divorced in 1997.

 
9 of 20

Carrey undid some dental work for the film

Carrey undid some dental work for the film
New Line

Carrey’s bowl cut as Lloyd definitely stands out, but Lloyd also has a chipped tooth. That’s Carrey’s actual tooth. As a kid, he chipped it in a fight and had it capped. To play Lloyd he took the cap off.

 
10 of 20

The hotel in the film is a famous one

The hotel in the film is a famous one
New Line

Harry and Lloyd stay at the Danbury Hotel in Aspen, Colorado. In reality, those scenes were shot at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. That hotel is notable because it inspired the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” and was actually used in the filming of the “Shining” miniseries.

 
11 of 20

The Farrellys paid homage to their hometown as well

The Farrellys paid homage to their hometown as well
New Line

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country in terms of land area, but it gets way more love than you’d anticipate in comedy thanks to a few of its native sons. We’re not talking about Seth MacFarlane today, but the Farrellys grew up in Rhode Island as well. As such, they decided to make Harry and Lloyd from Providence and even shot on location in their home state’s capital.

 
12 of 20

Beck nixed a spot on the soundtrack

Beck nixed a spot on the soundtrack
New Line

“Dumb and Dumber” actually had a fairly successful soundtrack, including the single “New Age Girl” by “Deadeye Dıck” that reached number 27 on the charts. One song you won’t find on the soundtrack? That would be “Loser” by Beck. However, he declined after being told the title of the film.

 
13 of 20

“Dumb and Dumber” was a big box-office smash

“Dumb and Dumber” was a big box-office smash
New Line

The Farrellys were new filmmakers, but Carrey had already become a superstar by the time “Dumb and Dumber” came out right before Christmas 1994. It was his third big comedy of the year, after all. “Dumb and Dumber” opened as the number-one film in the box office and ended up making almost $250 million worldwide on a budget of $17 million. That $7 million to Carrey paid off.

 
14 of 20

Critics didn’t love it, though

Critics didn’t love it, though
New Line

“Dumb and Dumber” is a beloved comedy to many, but let’s face it. It’s a crass, gross-out film. Just think about Daniels in the bathroom. This sort of movie is not everybody’s cup of tea, and that included many critics. The film has a 68-percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and some critics had the movie on their year-end lists, but of the worst films of 1994. Roger Ebert gave it two stars, but praised Carrey as a “true original.”

 
15 of 20

The movie has a prequel (and a sequel)

The movie has a prequel (and a sequel)
New Line

About a decade after “Dumb and Dumber,” a prequel film called “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd,” came out in 2003. However, the film did not have any involvement from Carrey, Daniels, or the Farrellys. It was a total flop. Eventually, the crew from “Dumb and Dumber” did all come together for 2014’s “Dumb and Dumber To.” It did not have the cultural impact of the original but was a commercial success.

 
16 of 20

Oh, and there was a cartoon you may have forgotten about

Oh, and there was a cartoon you may have forgotten about
Hanna-Barbera

“Dumb and Dumber” is a rather raunchy comedy, so naturally they turned it into a Saturday morning cartoon for children. It’s true! In 1995, Hanna-Barbera produced a “Dumb and Dumber” cartoon for ABC that was written by Yellin. Daniels and Carrey did not voice Harry and Lloyd, and also the duo hung out with a purple beaver named Kitty. It only lasted one season.

 
17 of 20

Carrey knew how to be annoying

Carrey knew how to be annoying
New Line

It’s probably unsurprising that Carrey did some improvisation on the movie. Perhaps the best example of this is when Lloyd unleashes the “most annoying sound in the world.” Kudos to Daniels for reacting at the moment and improvising with him. Turns out he can do comedy.

 
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The Farrellys paid homage to their love of classic slapstick comedy

The Farrellys paid homage to their love of classic slapstick comedy
New Line

Peter and Bobby would go on to direct a “Three Stooges” film, and that’s no surprise. Harry and Lloyd are named after silent-film comedian Harold Lloyd, and there is a bit in the diner that is an homage to the Three Stooges as well.

 
19 of 20

The movie let you put one joke together yourself

The movie let you put one joke together yourself
New Line

“Lloyd Christmas” is just a funny name for a character period. However, he’s also pursuing Mary Swanson, and were they to get married and she was to take his name her name would be, well, Mary Christmas. This is not merely a coincidence. In a deleted scene Harry puts two and two together, but ultimately they decided to not shine a light on the joke.

 
20 of 20

Jim Carrey stuck to his guns for the ending

Jim Carrey stuck to his guns for the ending
New Line

At the end of “Dumb and Dumber,” Harry and Lloyd obliviously turn down an opportunity to ride around on a bus with a bunch of bikini girls. Originally, the plan was to shoot two versions of the ending, one where they get on the bus and one where they did not Carrey, though, despised the idea of them getting on the bus and refused to shoot that ending. In the end, we got the ending Carrey wanted, and the ending that was best for the film.

Chris Morgan is a sports and pop culture writer and the author of the books The Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and The Ash Heap of History. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisXMorgan.

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