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Trivia / History of the World Part I

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  • Acting for Two: Mel Brooks has five roles in the movie. Moses, Comicus, Torquemada, King Louis XVI, and Jacques the Garcon de Piss.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: John Hurt did this movie because he had just gotten through doing two dramatic films, and said that he wanted to have some fun and do a comedy.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: "It's good to be the King!" is often misquoted without the 'the' in shout-outs by other works.
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  • California Doubling: The French Revolution scenes were filmed in England, because Mel Brooks wanted to avoid a language barrier.
  • The Cast Showoff: Being played by legendary tap dancer Gregory Hines, Josephus of course escapes the gallows by distracting the executioners with a soft-shoe number.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • In Croatia, the film was called The Funny Fide of History.
    • In Sweden, the film was called "Det våras för världshistorien del 1", "Springtime for the History of the World Part I"
  • Copiously Credited Creator: Mel Brooks is credited as writer, producer, director, star and songwriter (for "The Inquisition" and "Jews In Space").
  • Deleted Scene: In an interview with Gene Siskel, Mel Brooks revealed that he'd filmed a brief scene that made light of the notorious Three Mile Island incident. "I had a father and a mother made up to look like half a dog and half a cat as a result of a nuclear meltdown," Brooks told Siskel. When test audiences reacted poorly, this bit was removed. However, at least one journalist managed to see an extended cut which contained the footage.
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  • Irony as She Is Cast: The vestal virgins in Caeser's Palace in "The Roman Empire" segment were all Playboy playmates. The film's closing credits declare that the "Vestal Virgins were portrayed by Playboy playmates and models". Hugh Hefner appears as the pipe-smoking entrepreneur talking about his invention, the "centerfold".
  • Referenced by...: The card game Guillotine, set during the French Revolution, features one character called the Piss Boy, almost certainly in reference to this movie.
  • Uncredited Role: Bea Arthur as a dole office unemployment clerk in "The Roman Empire" segment.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: No matter what time period any particular segment is set in, it will always be rooted in both The '70s and the Borscht Belt Fifties.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The role of Josephus was written with Richard Pryor in mind, but he was unable to accept due to his infamous freebasing accident in 1980.
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    • The role of Count de Monet was originally meant for John Cleese, but he was unavailable.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Mel Brooks plays roles in every time period. The finale implies that the Roman and French Revolution characters are the same guy by different names... somehow.
    • Rudy de Luca who plays Captain Mucus, can also briefly be seen in Prehistoric Man segment. He's the caveman that gets accidentally killed by a thrown spear.
    • Also Ronny Graham does double duty as Oedipus and a tortured Jew who relays his unfortunate experience of being anally tortured with a red hot poker.

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