Trivia / It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

  • AFI's 100 Years… 100 Laughs: #40
  • All-Star Cast: Virtually every major comedic actor from the early 1960s stars, and everyone from Jerry Lewis to The Three Stooges makes an appearance. Over five minutes of opening credits detail a parade of celebrity appearances.
  • The Danza: Eddie Rosson as Eddie, the miner's son.
  • Defictionalization: The area where Grogan sailed right out there on California State Route 74 is now known as Smiler's Point, a sought-after location for fans.
  • Deleted Role:
    • Among the deleted scenes in Culpepper's office were a series of telephone conversations with a "Dr. Chadwick" and an "Uncle Mike." The roles were respectively played by Elliot Reid and Morey Amsterdam.
    • Another deleted scene featured Don Knotts trying to get to a diner telephone, which was being used by a waitress played by Green Acres' Barbara Pepper.
    • Yet another deleted scene featured Ding and Benjy helping a showgirl (Eve Bruce) with some suntan lotion.
    • Cliff Norton and King Donovan respectively played a detective and an airport official that appear at the Rancho Canejo airport. Neither role made it into the finished film. Strangely, Norton's name remained in the opening credits.
  • Edited for Syndication: Around 31 minutes of footage were cut from the film following its premiere screening, bringing it down from 3 hours and 12 minutes to 2 hours and 41 minutes. Most of this cut footage was restored for the VHS and Criterion Collection DVD releases, with the latter featuring some extra footage from the 3.5 hour original cut.
  • Fatal Method Acting: Averted. Phil Silvers, while filming the scene where he drives his car into the river, nearly drowned because he couldn't swim.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: Peter Falk improvised much of his dialog in the cab scene.
  • Playing Against Type: Stanley Kramer was a director best known for dramas regarding social issues (On the Beach, Inherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, etc.). Although admittedly the film, on top of being a superb slapstick comedy, is a very effective social satire on greed. Additionally, many of the cast were better known for being stand-up comedians or sitcom stars, as opposed to "pratfall" comics.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Of a sort — Peter Falk had said that he had long been a fan of Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, and was overjoyed to work alongside him in this film.
  • Stillborn Franchise: During the 1970s, Stanley Kramer considered reuniting much of the film's cast for a proposed movie titled The Sheiks of Araby. It's a Funny, Funny World, a sequel of sorts, was also proposed.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Several performers were considered for roles in early planning stages, or filmed scenes that were ultimately cut. They include:
      • Jackie Gleason and Red Skelton as two of the main players. Skelton passed due to his television commitments. He eventually agreed to do a cameo, but was refused by Stanley Kramer after requesting too much money.
      • Lucille Ball, Imogene Coca, Martha Raye, and Joan Davis as some of the main players' female companions.
      • Mae West or Sophie Tucker as mother-in-law Mrs. Marcus.
      • Donald O'Connor as Benjy Benjamin.
      • Jack Benny was originally tabbed to play Captain Culpepper. (After Spencer Tracy got the part instead, Benny wound up having an uncredited cameo).
      • Peter Sellers as Englishman Algernon Hawthorne. Sellers wanted too much money, leading Stanley Kramer to hire the next best thing (Terry-Thomas).
      • Arnold Stang's fellow service station attendant was originally offered to former Three Stooges member Joe Besser. Besser, then playing the role of Jillson the maintenance man on The Joey Bishop Show, was forced to turn down the role after Bishop and Danny Thomas refused to let him out of his contract. The role was then offered to Jackie Mason, and finally to Marvin Kaplan.
      • The Untouchables' Paul Picerni as one of the detectives at Smiler Grogan's crash site. When Picerni proved unavailable, series costar Nicholas Georgiade was cast instead.
      • Bob Hope was to have had a cameo, but was refused by the studio he was under contract to at the time.
      • Jack Paar in the Jerry Lewis role.
      • Barbara Heller as the biplane pilot's wife.
      • Groucho Marx was originally written in as a doctor that would have appeared at the end of the film to deliver the final punchline. The role was written out, but Groucho was offered a cameo role. He ultimately never appeared in the film. In a letter to a fan, Groucho jokingly said that he was to have played the Ethel Merman role.
      • Phil Silvers was originally suggested for another one of the main roles.
      • Howard Morris was booked to appear in the film. He ultimately filmed no scenes. It's believed that he was considered as a back-up for the role of the nervous man, in the event that Don Knotts was unavailable.
      • In a bit of clever casting Buster Keaton was originally supposed to have played Smiler Grogan, while Jimmy Durante was to have portrayed Jimmy the Crook. The roles were later switched.
      • In addition to Keaton, two other greats from the days of silent comedy - Harold Lloyd and Stan Laurel - were offered cameo roles. It is believed by some that Lloyd was to have played the Santa Rosita mayor and Laurel the man in the desert (ultimately portrayed by Jack Benny) who offers to help the Finch-Marcus team. Both turned down the roles; Lloyd was happily retired, while Laurel refused to work without deceased comedy partner Oliver Hardy. By the time the latter happened, a long shot of the character had already been filmed wearing Laurel's trademark bowler hat, which is why Benny wears it despite his never having a hat as part of his regular work.
      • Another comic offered a cameo appearance was Ed Wynn, who was to have played the fire chief that appears towards the end of the film (Wynn having starred in the Texaco Fire Chief radio program in the early 1930s). The part eventually went to fellow Disney regular Sterling Holloway instead.
      • Despite Don Rickles' later joking about the fact that he never appeared in the film, Stanley Kramer once claimed that Rickles was turned down because of scheduling conflicts.
      • Others offered roles include Bud Abbott, Edward Brophy, Wally Brown, George Burns, Judy Garland, Judy Holliday, and Ernie Kovacs. (To this day, many believe Kovacs was slated to play the role of Melville Crump, thereby teaming with his real-life wife Edie Adams; however, Word of God said that this was never the case.)
  • Working Title: The film was originally titled Where, But In America?, then later changed to One Damn Thing After Another, then finally became It's a Mad World, with writer William Rose and Stanley Kramer adding additional Mads to the title as time progressed. Kramer considered adding a fifth "Mad" to the title before deciding that it would be too much, but later regretted not doing so.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld