Spaceballs was made back in 1987, so what’s the rush on knowing these Pizza the Hutt trivia facts? That’s a question I lost sleep over last night… But instead of offering some half-baked answer (no pun intended), let’s just hop to it, shall we?
Oh, scary note first: The Wi-Fi password generated by the café I’m writing this in contained the number 666—an evil omen of things to come?!
Few pizza dough-based intergalactic villains are as feared and beloved as Pizza the Hutt, played to tasty perfection by Dom DeLuise. A veteran of the film industry, DeLuise spent several minutes dwelling on how best to play the character of Pizza, before finally opting to just be himself, only more so. Prior to Spaceballs, DeLuise had starred in four other Mel Brook’s movies. He was: Father Fyodor in The Twelve Chairs, Buddy Bizarre in Blazing Saddles, Dom Bell in Silent Movie, Emperor Nero in History of the World Part I.
Pizza doesn’t get much screen time in the film, but he uses it to maximum effect. The cheesy gangster does not play softball when it comes to negotiating. He demands “one million spacebucks” ($900,000 of which was loan shark interest!) from Lone Starr and Barf or, as the pin-striped robot henchman Vinnie (played by Rudy De Luca) puts it, “Or else Pizza is gonna send out for you!”
Obviously playing on both the names of the Pizza Hut franchise and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’s mobster, Jabba the Hutt, Mel Brooks cozied up to George Lucas in advance by offering $5 million in post-production work to Industrial Light and Magic, Lucas’s special effects company…thus warding off a potential lawsuit.
According to urban legend, Pizza’s costume was made of actual cheese. This monstrosity was so uncomfortable looking that Dom DeLuise utterly refused to wear it, so Brook’s used a stand-in named Richard Karen. But after filming his scenes, Karen also declined to perform any extra work in the suit, so Rick Lazzarini volunteered to do additional takes uncredited.
Pizza met a horrible end after being locked in a limo and was forced to consume himself. As implausible as this sounds, remember we watched him eat a slice of pepperoni which slid off his own face and into his mouth.
Gross, but true!
According to “Moon News,” Pizza never died. In fact he lived on to sue the Pizza Hut over “name confusion!”
National Pizza Day used the esteemed Pizza the Hutt as their mascot this year on February 9th, 2016. Let’s pray Pizza will be similarly honored again next year!
Sadly (or perhaps not so much), Pizza could not make it onto the short-lived (and poorly-reviewed) Spaceballs: The Animated Series (did you even know this show existed??).
Well, that’s it. Sorry if I got carried away with my enthusiasm there, but I love me some Pizza the Hutt. Don’t we all? I mean you are the one reading this, so… I think we’re on the same page with this. But look, regardless of our guilty pleasures, let’s face facts. Pizza still doesn’t hold a candle to the OG, Jabba the Hutt!
Well, unless you are counting that CGI mess from the Special Edition Episode IV. We aren’t. Here is a photo of the only cinematic Jabba the Hutt we acknowledge the existence of:
BONUS slice: There is a cheesy Pizza the Hutt video game found here: http://pizzathehutt.com/