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Trivia / Back to School

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The film:

  • Actor-Shared Background: Thorton Melon was a truck driver and an acrobatic diver in his younger days, as was Rodney Dangerfield himself.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Danny Elfman's band Oingo Boingo shows up at Thornton's kickass dorm party.
    • Rodney Dangerfield was, surprisingly, an acrobatic diver in his youth and performed part of the "Triple Lindy" himself, though the sequence is obviously helped by special effects.
  • Cast the Expert: The divers were expert college divers. Director Alan Metter asked them to "do their worst" to play the Grand Lakes diving team.
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  • Fake Nationality: The very obviously Ashkenazi Jewish Rodney Dangerfield (born Jacob Cohen) plays the Italian-American Thorton Meloni.
  • Hey, It's That Place!:
    • Diane's house is the same as used for the Doyle house where Laurie Strode babysat in Halloween (1978).
    • The room in which Thornton Melon takes his three-hour oral exam is the same room in which Alex Owens makes her successful dance audition in Flashdance.
  • Hey, It's That Sound!: The sound made by the sound board when Derek starts experimenting with it at the dorm party is the same sound made by the proton packs in Ghostbusters (1984), which was also co-written by Harold Ramis.
  • Throw It In!:
    • Jason laughing at his dad's secretary is because the actor couldn't stop cracking up at Edie McClurg.
    • During the scene with Sam Kinison, when he throws the desk, Rodney Dangerfield is trying really hard not to laugh. You can't see his face during it but his head is very much bobbing.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Jim Carrey was originally considered for the angry history professor, but was decided against for being too young at the time. Bob Saget was also considered for the same role, but they felt his humor wasn't abrasive enough.
    • In the original script, the Melon family was rather poor. Harold Ramis, who was hired to rewrite, suggested that they should be rich instead to make scenarios funnier.
    • Alice Cooper's song "The Great American Success Story" (on the album "Constrictor") was apparently intended to be the theme song. Its lyrics summarize the plot, and include "he don't get no respect", and the chorus leads off with the phrase "back to school". The song was not used in the film, and there is no mention of the connection in the liner notes of the album.


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