Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tamra Davis|
|Produced by||Robert Simonds
|Written by||Dave Chappelle
Clarence Williams III
|Music by||Alf Clausen|
|Edited by||Don Zimmerman|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$17.5 million|
Half Baked is a 1998 American stoner comedy film starring Dave Chappelle, Jim Breuer, Harland Williams and Guillermo Díaz. The film was directed by Tamra Davis, co-written by Chappelle and Neal Brennan (Brennan was later writer and co-creator of Chappelle's Comedy Central show Chappelle's Show) and produced by Robert Simonds.
Thurgood Jenkins (Dave Chappelle) and his friends Brian (Jim Breuer) and Scarface (Guillermo Díaz) are forced into selling marijuana stolen from the lab where Thurgood works as a "master of the custodial arts" (janitor). They do this in order to bail their friend Kenny out of jail for $100,000 after he accidentally kills Buttercup, a diabetic police horse, by feeding it junk food. Their business, named Mr. Nice Guy in honor of their good-natured incarcerated friend, becomes immensely popular, even attracting famous clientele. Thurgood's personal life is ruined once his adamantly anti-drug girlfriend, ironically named Mary Jane Potman, discovers that he is Mr. Nice Guy.
Soon, all of their lives are in danger once Samson Simpson (Clarence Williams III), a local drug lord, learns that Mr. Nice Guy is costing him business, including his former client rapper Sir Smoke-a-Lot. He threatens to kill them if they do not pay him $20,000 every week. Brian buys a pouch that is supposed to contain the ashes of Jerry Garcia with some of the money they are making, and Scarface buys a rottweiler named Killer.
Thurgood tells police about a future meeting he has with Samson Simpson after they arrest him for stealing marijuana from the laboratory. The police agree to drop the charges if Thurgood wears a wire, that way they can get the proof they need to arrest the drug lord. Before the guys go into Samson's home they smoke a joint in the police van. The cops get high from the second hand smoke. The cops tell them to say "abracadabra" when they have purchased the drugs. During the interview, Samson discovers that Thurgood is wearing a wire and is about to kill them. They scream "abracadabra" into the wire to try to get the cops to save them. But the cops are high from second-hand smoke and busy mocking a letter Thurgood wrote to Mary Jane. A fight breaks out with Samson and his army of women. Brian throws the pouch he bought earlier on the ground. The ghost of Jerry Garcia emerges and hits Samson with a guitar, knocking him out. The police then rush in and recover all of the drugs, and arrest Samson after he wakes up. Thurgood, Brian, and Scarface's deal with the police works to get Kenny a pardon from jail. Thurgood gives up smoking and is able to win back Mary Jane whose dad is a marijuana dealer.
- Dave Chappelle as Thurgood Jenkins/Sir Smoka Lot
- Guillermo Díaz as Scarface
- Jim Breuer as Brian
- Harland Williams as Kenny Davis
- Clarence Williams III as Samson Simpson
- Rachel True as Mary Jane Potman
- Laura Silverman as Jan
- Tommy Chong as Squirrel Master
- Willie Nelson as Historian smoker
- Tracy Morgan as V. J.
- Snoop Doggy Dogg as Scavenger smoker
- Jon Stewart as Enhancement smoker
- Stephen Baldwin as MacGyver smoker
- Neal Brennan as Employee
- Steven Wright (uncredited) as The Guy on the Couch
- Bob Saget (uncredited) as Cocaine addict
- Janeane Garofalo (uncredited) as "I'm only creative when I smoke" smoker
On Inside the Actors Studio in 2006, Chappelle lamented that his original Half Baked script was actually much better than the film turned out to be, specifically that he had intended for the film to be more adult-oriented, and thought that his script had been turned into "a weed movie for kids". Co-writer Neal Brennan has also expressed disdain for the film in a 2016 interview for The Breakfast Club.
Half Baked hit U.S. theaters on January 16, 1998, earning $7,722,540 in its opening weekend, ranking #6, and, by the end of its run, grossed $17,460,020. With the estimated budget being $8 million, the film can be considered a box office success.
Half Baked received generally negative reviews, currently holding a 29% "Rotten" rating by critics based on 24 reviews. On Metacritic, the film received a score of 16 out of 100, indicating "overwhelming dislike". However, the film has garnered a cult following with an 81% audience approval rating.
In an alternate ending available on the "Fully Baked Edition" DVD release as a deleted scene, it is revealed that after Kenny returns home from jail, all of the roommates sit down to smoke from "Billy Bong Thornton", an act that was thwarted earlier in the film due to Kenny still being in jail.
The next scene is an extended version of the theatrical ending, in which Thurgood meets Mary Jane on the bridge, and after a short talk with his "joint" before throwing it into the water below, they both walk away together. In the extended version, Thurgood has a longer talk with his joint, throws it off the side of the bridge, and slowly walks away with Mary Jane until they almost disappear on the horizon. Thurgood then runs back and yells, "Hold on, weed, I'm coming!" before he hops over the side of the bridge after it.
The "Fully Baked Edition" also includes a segment called "Five Minutes with the Guy on the Couch".
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