Old School Americana & Nostalgia


John Candy Was Drunk in This Iconic Movie Scene, Tom Hanks and Ron Howard Reveal

John Candy Was Drunk in This Iconic Movie Scene, Tom Hanks and Ron Howard Reveal

The legendary John Candy showed up drunk to the set of Tom Hanks starring, Ron Howard directed 1983 mermaid fantasy comedy hit, Splash. Hanks and Candy played the roles of brothers in the highly successful romantic comedy that catapulted Hanks to A-list stardom. Recently, Hanks and Howard shared an interesting anecdote about Candy’s delayed arrival on set. Despite being intoxicated, he delivered a remarkable performance in a pivotal scene with just one take.

The highlighted scene was the iconic racquetball moment, where John Candy had to serve the ball and instantly get struck in the head by it. During a discussion about the film with Josh Gad, Ron Howard and Tom Hanks were questioned about this particular incident.

“John–totally professional guy, but he’s late,” Hanks recalled. “One day we have this racquetball court, and he’s late! John finally pulls up, and he kind of rolls out of the car and he says, ‘Ron, Ron. I just, I’m so sorry.’ I said, ‘Well, it’s OK you’re late, we’ll get going.’ He says, ‘No, No, No. Look, I’m drunk.’ He said, ‘Here’s what happened.’”

At this point, Ron Howard can’t help but interrupt Ton Hanks to tell the remainder of the drunk John Candy’s explanation. “‘I’m telling you the truth,” Howard quated Candy as saying. “I’m at the bar and Jack Nicholson’s at the bar. Jack Nicholson knew my name, Ron! He wanted to come over and he starts buying me drinks. And then I said, “I gotta go shoot.” He said, “You’re gonna be all right, kid, don’t worry about it.” And he kept buying me drinks! I never went to bed, Ron. I never went to bed.’”

Despite Getting Hammered with Jack Nicholson, John Candy was a Pro, According to Tom Hanks and Ron Howard

It’s tough to imagine anyone pushing back on Candy for being seduced into a night of debauchery by Jack Nicolson himself. Regardless, the SCTV alum demonstrated true professionalism. Remarkably, despite being half in the bag, Candy successfully executed the scene flawlessly on the very first take.

“The difficult moment was going to be the ball hitting John in the head,” Hanks recalled. “Then he came up to do it and, swear to god, the very first time John hit the ball, it came right back and smacked him in the head. We all just collapsed in laughter.” The scene in question was shared on social media. Knowing that Candy was running on fumes and hammered makes it all the more hilarious.