Niedermayer`s horse, Trooper, was portrayed by Junior, who subsequently appeared in The Black Stallion (1979) as the horse Napoleon.
# In the final climax of interrupting the parade, this whole sequence was brought to the Universal back lot. At the time this section of the back lot had been used several times over. However, the section of road the parade ends up at is the same section that Robert Zemeckis used for the clock tower sequence in _Back To The Future (1985)_. Every angle of this street is used, but never once do you see the front of the clock tower set. The only time you do see the tower is from the back end.
According to actor James Widdoes ("Hoover"), none of the seven principal Delta actors (John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Peter Riegert, Tom Hulce, Stephen Furst, Bruce McGill, or Widdoes himself) had ever belonged to a college fraternity.
The Delta actors partied together every night but John Landis kept John Belushi away from them by having him stay in a house miles away with his wife, Judy. Belushi was a notorious partier and Landis wanted him to stay clean throughout the shoot. Belushi did host a few parties at the house but stayed clean because he saw the film as a great opportunity for him.
The scene in which Bluto smashes a bottle over his head to cheer Flounder up took 18 takes because Furst kept laughing.
Ivan Reitman wanted to direct but the studio wanted a more experienced director. Richard Lester and Bob Rafelson were approached before Landis was hired.
# Originally, Harold Ramis and Doug Kenney`s idea was titled "Laser Orgy Girls", a comedy about Charles Manson as a high school student. Producer Matty Simmons suggested that the setting be changed to college and the content to be toned down. Ramis also incorporated ideas from an earlier treatment he wrote titled "Freshman Year" based on his experiences in college.
All of John Belushi`s behavior in the cafeteria was improvised. He was not told to pile all the food on his tray and when he did the director urged the camera operator to "stay with him." The infamous "zit scene" was also improvised. The reaction from the cast is genuine.
After the first day`s shooting of the homecoming parade, there was a heavy rain that night. The next day, the production crew rented a field-burning tractor that shot flames across the width of the street to dry it.
Chris Miller based the character of Pinto on himself. Dean Wormer was based on Richard Nixon and Miller`s Dean at Dartmouth.
To prepare for their roles, the actors playing the Deltas went to a real frat party at the University of Oregon`s SAE house (except Belushi who was working on "SNL" that night). The real fraternity members did not like the actors being there and a brawl ensued. When John Belushi returned to the set and heard about the fight, he had to be physically restrained from seeking revenge.
The actors who played the Deltas harassed the actors who played the Omegas off-screen as well to keep up the feelings of animosity between their characters. Mark Metcalf changed his hotel room to the one above Bruce McGill`s where the Delta actors partied every night so his anger at their noise would help him get into character.
# A scene featuring Otter driving a girl (played by location scout Katherine Wilson) to the Rainbow Motel on Old Mill Road is seen briefly in the original trailer but was deleted from the film.
Producer Matty Simmons, founder of the National Lampoon, contributed one line to the script: Bluto`s "Seven years of college down the drain!"
Mark Metcalf originally auditioned for the part of Otter.
# Harold Ramis wrote the part of Boon for himself to play, but John Landis felt Ramis was too old. Ramis was so disappointed he refused to accept a smaller part Landis offered him. (Ramis was 32, Peter Riegert was 29.)
During interviews conducted for the 30th anniversary of this film, Karen Allen revealed some interesting trivia about her nude scene. Director John Landis wanted her to bare her bottom in the film and she was very reluctant to do so. Donald Sutherland stepped in and offered to bare his as well. Allen said "I thought he was so sweet to do that, so I sort of let go of my objections and said, `Okay, if Donald Sutherland is going to bare his bottom, by golly, I`ll bare mine too!`"
Professor Jennings bites an apple while lecturing about good and evil in John Milton`s "Paradise Lost". This is a deliberate gag reference to Eve`s eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, a key event in "Paradise Lost" (and referenced too perhaps by the statue pedestal motto seen in the opening titles: "Knowledge is Good"). Jennings` students miss the gag - as seems most Animal House (1978) viewers.
The dead coed is named Fawn Leibowitz. Fawn was a character used in ‘National Lampoon`s 1964 High School Yearbook’.
The tune that Otter whistles throughout the movie is the main theme ("Peter`s Theme") from Sergei Prokofiev`s "Peter and the Wolf".
# Spawned a short-lived ABC television series, "Delta House" (1979); also "Brothers and Sisters" (1979) on NBC and "Co-ed Fever" (1979) on CBS, which was canceled after only one episode.
`Harold Ramis (I)`, who co-wrote the film, based some of the pranks on his college experiences at Washington University in St. Louis, specifically when Otter and Boone are hitting golf balls at the ROTC.
Jack Webb and Kim Novak were the original choices to play the roles of Dean and Mrs. Wormer
The hole John Belushi makes in the wall with the guitar is the only physical damage to the house the movie-makers made during the entire shoot. Instead of repairing it, the fraternity placed a frame around the hole with an engraved brass tag around the hole commemorating it.
The Delta House actors were brought to the set five days before the Omega House actors to get into character, in an intentional effort to cause cliques to form. Barry Levinson would use this tactic years later with the principal cast of Diner (1982).
More money was spent on advertising and promotion for the film than the film itself.
Karen Allen`s first movie.
The characters of Stork and Hardbar were created to give Doug Kenney and Chris Miller a reason to be on set, and had come from different portions of a deleted character named Mountain. Hardbar was named after a real frat brother of Miller`s who masturbated excessively.
Niedermeyer`s line "You`re all worthless and weak, now drop and give me twenty!" was used in the Twisted Sister song "We`re Not Gonna Take It" (Mark Metcalf appears in the video). Furthermore, the music video for Twisted Sister`s “I Wanna Rock” features a high school student, clearly based on Flounder, being ridiculed by a teacher (Mark Metcalf again). At the video`s conclusion, the principal (played by Stephen Furst) sprays Metcalf in the face with seltzer water.
Premiere voted this movie as one of "The 50 Greatest Comedies Of All Time" in 2006.
The movie`s line "Toga! Toga!" was voted as the #82 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
Named the #1 comedy on Bravo`s "Funniest 100 Comedies."
Stacy Grooman, Flounder`s girlfriend Sissy, was actually a student at the University of Oregon at the time the movie was filmed.
The original script called for a scene of competitive projectile vomiting ("booting") in the Delta House basement. Flounder was going to fail at this repeatedly. Later, after throwing up on Dean Wormer when he`s told he`s flunked out, Boon congratulates Flounder on his technique.
# John Landis sacrificed his heavy beard and much of his hair to appear in the film as a cafeteria dishwasher who catches Bluto mooching and tries, unsuccessfully, to stop him. The scene was filmed, but despite his personal sacrifices, Landis eventually also sacrificed the scene.
The toga party band`s real name is Carl Holmes and The Commanders
# To get the role of Neidermeyer, Mark Metcalf lied about his ability to ride horses. After he got the role, he immediately took equestrian classes.
Meat Loaf was the second choice for Bluto in case John Belushi dropped out of his role.
Verna Bloom mentioned that her scene with Dean Wormer where she is drunk and he is on the phone with the mayor, was completely improvised as John Landis was not happy with the lines the scene had.
# In the original script, Flounder and Sissy fell asleep during the toga party; another sign that Flounder wasn`t cool.
# The front of the Deathmobile has the statue`s head of Emil Faber (the school`s founder) mounted as a hood ornament.
The original script called for Flounder (Stephen Furst) to be admitted to the fraternity only if he told one of Larry Kroger`s (Tom Hulce) secrets. Flounder blurted out, "He`s got spots on his weenie!" Later, during the naming of the pledges, when Larry asks why his Delta name is Pinto, the entire fraternity drunkenly yells, "`Cause you got a spotted dong!"
Chevy Chase was originally asked to play the role of Eric Stratton. The role went to Tim Matheson instead, who later starred with Chase in Fletch (1985).
The list of names on the blackboard includes their graduation year (e.g., "Gregg Marmalard `63"). John Blutarsky`s is listed "`60, `61, `62, `63".
In the Student Court scene, a list of Delta Tau Chi members is written on the blackboard. Writer Chris Miller`s name is one of those visible on the list. Other names include "Dick Hertz" and "Duane Wayne".
The noble brass theme heard when the Faber campus is first shown is an excerpt from Johannes Brahms` "Academic Festival Overture". This melody is based on a German student drinking song called "We have built a stately house".
The full name of the Delta House changes during the movie. When the movers are taking out the contents of the frat house the name is Delta Tau Chi. Earlier in the movie it is Delta Chi Tau.
The Faber College football team is called the Mongols. Faber Mongols are a brand of pencil.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of this film, a parade was held down Hollywood Blvd. featuring not only cast and crew members, but recreations of parade floats used in the movie.
One bit that was written in the original script but never filmed included a parade bust that was destroyed at the climax of film. The bust was of John F. Kennedy, the US President in 1962, and the gag was Kennedy`s head was punctured in the same way the real Kennedy would be shot the next year. Landis cut the idea because he felt the tone of the gag was wrong.