It’s flaming out theatrically, already clinging to the 10th spot at the box office, and on course to gross only around $35 million domestically, but in doing some hard drive cleaning I stumbled across this even-more-interesting-in-retrospect quote from The Love Guru‘s co-writer, Graham Gordy, about the manner in which Mike Myers work-shopped his prodigiously bearded character of Guru Pitka.
“We did stage shows, and Mike tested the character,” says Gordy. “We had a character and a glut of jokes and wanted to put it in some sort of form, so we had a show we did in 100-seat theaters in New York. We ended up doing eight or nine of them over a period of about two years, and what we would do is put a half-hour of written material with a half-hour question-and-answer period. We’d record it all and see which of the jokes played in the written material, and Mike would always have two or three really great things that we would take from the Q&A that we would end up putting in (the script). As it went along we would take out the stuff that didn’t play. It’s all based on the idea that the Marx brothers toured all of their shows for six months before they ever put anything on film. And Mike is such a rigorous comedian that he says, ‘I don’t want to put a joke in a movie if it hasn’t been laughed at.’ That was the process.” Yikes. All of which raises the question… if “Bring me some alligator soup, and make it snappy!” made the final cut, what were the jokes that weren’t laughed at?