The Hilarious Real-Life Inspirations for 'When Harry Met Sally' and Booger's Belch from 'Revenge of the Nerds'

The Hilarious Real-Life Inspirations for 'When Harry Met Sally' and Booger's Belch from 'Revenge of the Nerds'

May 07, 2014

 

In our current pop culture-obsessed climate, it’s cool, and sometimes downright sexy, to be a nerd. But back in ye ole 1984, things were much different. Yes, those were dark days children (or so we've been told). Revenge of the Nerds tackled the subject of bespectacled, socially awkward, sexually starved, dweeby types with juvenile comedy and a lot of heart. It came to typify the raucous 1980s and remains a cult favorite to this day.

The nerdtastic film saw its first Blu-ray release this week, just in time for the movie’s 30th anniversary. Since we’re feeling all nostalgic, let’s look back to that part in the movie when Dudley "Booger" Dawson (Curtis Armstrong) won a belching contest against Fred "The Ogre" Palowakski (Donald Gibb). All these years we thought Armstrong’s body was a gaseous wonder, but it turns out the massive belch the actor let out was dubbed in later. More interesting still is where it came from:

"They wound up finding a recording of a camel having an orgasm. They took this sound and blended it in with a human belch. That's what you are hearing, a mix of a human belch and a camel orgasming."

 

Please spare yourself the agony, and don’t Google “camel orgasm.” It can’t be good.

 

For another throwback to the ‘80s, here’s a heartwarming tidbit from the annals of romantic comedies. When Harry Met Sally was written by the late, great Nora Ephron, but for a time, director Rob Reiner and lead actor Billy Crystal also worked on the script. Reiner was struggling with his failing marriage to Penny Marshall, and it seems that he coped with the pain by phoning up his friend Billy, chatting about… whatever:

He’d call me, he was all alone, you know, I’m happily married — with another kind of magic and two kids — and the phone rings and it would be him. "Channel 9, are you watching?" And then I’d put it on: "Oh, my God, what is this?" And it was arena football or something. And, "What is this? Indoor football? What’s next? Arena golf, arena jogging?" So we’d just play around, and then we’d just channel surf, and that became the split screen talking about Casablanca. And also the symptomatic headaches of depression, you know, "It’s a 24-hour tumor, they’re going around," is something I actually said to him. And he said, because I was having migraines, and he said, "Go to the doctor." It’s a line in the movie, "No, he’ll just tell me it’s nothing.

Many of their exchanges wound up in the 1989 movie as Crystal was shaping the basis for character exchanges and personalities. Reiner was hesitant to allow this, but the real-life addition to the film elevated the story and added an emotional depth that is surprisingly often missing from rom-coms.


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