MacGruber did terribly at the box office, which is some sort of... crime against humanity? Travesty? A thing that makes me really sad since it means we'll probably never get a MacGruber 2? Regardless, one of the most underrated, underapprecaited comedies in recent memory at least gets a shout-out for its opening credits, via the great Art of the Title, which not only delves into how MacGruber's title sequence came about, but also finds a good amount of info about how the film was made (incredibly quickly... which probably won't surprise anyone). From the interview with director Jorma Taccone and Main Title Designer Ryan McNeely:
So, how did MacGruber happen? Where did that character come from?
JT: Honestly, MacGruber was one of the dumbest pitches I ever had at SNL. I had two ideas that week: one of them was for the host to play MacGyver’s step-brother MacGruber, a guy who defuses bombs using only pieces of shit and pubic hair. And every time he asks one of his assistants to hand him an item, nobody wants to touch anything ’cause it’s so disgusting. Honestly, it got the biggest growl that I’ve heard since I’d been there! They were like, “Ah, get out! Ugh, it’s disgusting!” And no one laughed. The second idea was for a commercial parody for a new kind of chunky mayonnaise.
JT: And everyone was like, “Oh, God.” I mean, both of them were just disgusting and I got no laughs! But I really liked the idea of the character… I got excited about it and I kept pitching it to Will [Forte] and he really didn’t like it. Finally he acquiesced and said he would at least write it with me. So, me and John Solomon started writing sketches.
And how did you proceed?
JT: We started making sketches and then we kind of fell in love with this character. (Via.)
Fair warning: If you get a kick out of this piece, you'll likely get sucked into the links in the piece, which, naturally, lead to the credit sequences of both Commando and Blade II, the latter featuring commentary from Guillermo del Toro.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!