Windy City Heat
|Windy City Heat|
|Directed by||Bobcat Goldthwait|
|Produced by||Daniel Kellison|
|Written by||Tony Barbieri
|Running time||92 minutes|
Perry Frank Caravello is a struggling comedian and actor who was "discovered" in 1992 by comedian Don Barris, the warmup comic for Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Man Show. Barris offered Caravello a chance at stardom and, along with Tony Barbieri, playing a perpetually stoned "Walter 'Mole' Molinski," have befriended Caravello and played pranks on him since 1995. Together, Caravello, Barris, and Mole are known as "The Big Three," which Caravello describes as "the Three Stooges of the new millennium".
The movie is a practical joke played on an aspiring actor named Perry Caravello. Caravello believes he has been given a chance to make a movie called Windy City Heat, a crime drama about a "sports private eye" named Stone Fury. However, there is no such film. It is all an elaborate prank played on him by his co-star friends, with the help of producers Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla, director Bobcat Goldthwait, and real celebrity cameos including Carson Daly, Dane Cook, Tammy Faye Bakker, and famous Chicago athletes Ernie Banks and William "The Refrigerator" Perry.
The "film" begins with the audition process, in which Caravello is introduced to MTV icon Carson Daly, one of Caravello's biggest idols, who is also up for the lead role of Stone Fury (and is dressed exactly like Caravello). After a botched audition, interrupted numerous times by Barris and Mole, he eventually wins the role over Daly (later in the movie, he is shown a wall of stars that have also been considered but crossed off, including Harrison Ford, Brad Pitt, and Robert De Niro). The plot of the movie he is supposed to be in is a dubious story involving Fury trying to track down the actual refrigerator of William "Refrigerator" Perry and the pants of Ernie Banks (William Perry appears as himself, and an actor portrays Banks). The film is directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, who is the actual director, in addition to playing the director of the fake film-within-the-film, and only speaks to people through a bullhorn.
Caravello is followed around by at least fifteen cameras (some of which are hidden) during the filming process. He is told from the beginning that he is being recorded and interviewed for the film's DVD extras. Some of the pranks include repeatedly dumping him into a dumpster filled with manure; making him drink a milkshake made of coffee, Chinese food, raw egg, pizza, and beer, giving him a case of severe diarrhea; and bringing in a stunt double to film Caravello's sex scene with his leading lady. Along the way, Barris and Mole continue to egg him on, performing a balancing act of pushing his buttons and stroking his ego. The stress increasingly infuriates Caravello and frequently leads him to scream in a high-pitched shriek. Barris regularly tells Perry to "unleash the Fury."
Throughout the filmmaking process, Perry is introduced to several individuals, purported to be real people, whose names are identical to historical and cinematic figures. Such individuals include the producer of the movie, "John Quincy Adams" (whom Caravello never meets in person, but who is voiced by Barbieri, and who only calls when Mole leaves the room), casting director "Roman Polanski", played by Dane Cook, studio receptionist and soon to be co-star "Susan B. Anthony" (Lisa Kushell), Japanese "money man" "Hiroshima Nagasaki" (who backs out of financing the production when a table of treats is knocked over), limo driver "Travis Bickle", set photographer "Ansel Adams" (Toby Huss), "Frances Farmer" (Laura Silverman), Caravello's personal assistant "Burt Ward", and stagehands "Sacco and Vanzetti." Perry never questions these coincidences, though he does express doubts as to the identity of a man purporting to be Charlton Heston, who refuses to leave Perry's assigned trailer. To placate him, Perry suavely offers the old man a cameo in the film, which he enthusiastically accepts with humorous results.
The film culminates in an intentionally hindered race to the fake film's "one time only screening" during which Perry is delayed by a number of setbacks, until finally making it in time to see a select few scenes of the film. A running gag in the movie is that whenever Caravello's name appears in print (on his trailer door, and on the marquee at the film's premiere,) it is misspelled. The film itself (what is actually shown of it) features laughably unrealistic special effects, lines of dialogue ripped from Casablanca and Gone with the Wind, and even a dinosaur (at the insistence of the film's new financier). Following the screening, Perry is met with a round of applause from the audience, and is presented with a trophy from the "President of Show Business."
The film ends with a montage backed by Louie Armstrong's song When You're Smiling.
Unlike typical prank shows, it is not revealed to Caravello at the end of the film that the entire thing was a prank. However, included on the DVD for the film is a video recording of Caravello watching the actual film for the first time in his home, alongside Barris and Barbieri (still in character as "Mole"). He does not seem to react as if anything is unexpected, and does not even acknowledge the fact that the finished product he is watching is not the film he thought he was going to be in.
On Caravello's star commentary track for the DVD (recorded two years later), he acknowledges that he has since realized that sequences in the film were set up as pranks on him (he says he read about it online), and that he knows Barris and "Mole" (Barbieri) were intentionally conniving to infuriate him, yet he continues to speak of the "film" and his acting abilities with the same gusto. He also gets emotional watching the scene at the film's premiere when he receives the trophy from the "President of Show Business," and says that he cries every time he watches it.
Also on the commentary, he claims that he was playing along during his audition, when Dane Cook introduces himself by the name "Roman Polanski," stating that he had "fucked with everybody" (he says he did a report on Roman Polanski in elementary school,) yet he speaks as if he thinks he was actually on a real audition and won the part.
On June 1, 2007, Caravello filed a lawsuit against Jackass star Johnny Knoxville alleging that Knoxville, along with Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla, promised him ten million dollars to put his genitals in a mousetrap to show that Perry F. Caravello could prove his "Stone Fury" worthiness live on The Adam Carolla Morning Show on 97.1 FM KLSX as a stunt, and to promote the recently released DVD, and also for payment for his performance in the movie. Caravello dropped this lawsuit on June 10, 2008. It is not known if Knoxville, Kimmel, or Carolla settled with Caravello monetarily.
As of early 2009, the settlement had to do with Caravello starring in Windy City Heat 2. There is no knowledge of when that filming will begin, or if it will be filmed again as a prank on Caravello.
On the 11th of October 2013 the Big 3 announced plans for a sequel that would be crowd funded. The crowd funding attempt to raise $500k ran for 50 days and raised $16,220, or 3.2% of the target amount.
The Big 3 Podcast
In October 2010, Windy City Heat was spun-off into a weekly comedy podcast called The Big 3 Podcast. It features the main trio of Windy City Heat (Don Barris, Walter "Mole" Molinski, and Perry Caravello, who are collectively referred to as "The Big 3") in what they describe as a discussion on "pop culture and our own personal lives". Many of the themes and running gags from Windy City Heat return, such as the constant misspelling and mispronunciation of Caravello's name, and the provocation of Caravello's self-admitted homophobia, which often results in a reference to Caravello's homosexual encounter with an extras casting agent in 1992. Supporting characters from Windy City Heat, including "John Quincy Adams", "Yurgi", "Sol Steinbergowitzgreenbaum" (Sal Iacono), and "Burt Ward" have made a return for the podcast, and the show has had guest appearances by celebrities Jimmy Kimmel, Andy Dick, and Dominic Monaghan. The show was initially published by ACE Broadcasting Network, but since September 2011 it has been independently published by Don Barris's "Simply Don the Podcast Network".
The Big 3 Live
Debuting at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013, The Big 3 Live is a monthly live video podcast produced and distributed by Video Podcast Network (VPN), part of the YouTube Original Channel Initiative. It uses many of the elements of The Big 3 Podcast, but also includes video clips of past Big 3 moments, such as segments from Simply Don the Public Access Program (a precursor to Windy City Heat), and appearances at The Comedy Store. VPN also made it part of their "ANiMASHUPS" series, where they take audio clips from VPN shows and animate them into short cartoons.
- Windy City Heat at the Internet Movie Database
- Windy City Heat at RottenTomatoes.com
- A Suicidegirls interview with Bobcat Goldthwait about the movie
- Review at eFilmCritic
- Perry Caravello's Official Website
- Official website of The Big 3 Podcast
- Youtube channel for The Big 3 Live and clips from The Big 3 Podcast