‘Encino Man’ at 30: Pauly Shore on wheezing the juice and why he badly wants to do a sequel
Maybe his film career will never be mistaken for that of Marlon Brando or Al Pacino, but you have to say this about Pauly Shore: There are few other actors, ever, whose delivery — and more distinctively, whose verbiage — is so singular and distinctive that screenwriters couldn’t possibly pen his dialogue.
So, as Shore became a Hollywood sensation in the early-mid ’90s in films like Encino Man (1992), Son-in-Law (1993) and Bio-Dome (1996), the MTV VJ-turned-movie-star had no choice but to rewrite his dialogue on his project.
"I’ve done this with all my movies" Shore tells Yahoo Entertainment during a virtual interview commemorating May’s 30th anniversary of Encino Man (watch above). "Because the audience is smart. The audience will be like, ‘Hey, wait a minute.’ That's not what he would say. I have a particular cadence and style that resonates. So a lot of it was that."
That cadence and style was never more evident than when Shore broke out in Encino Man, the ’90s comedy favorite in which he and Sean Astin costarred as two San Fernando Valley buds and high school outcasts who discover a frozen caveman (Brendan Fraser) buried in the backyard.
Shore’s ’90s-style yippie Stanley “Stoney” Brown, the ultimate individualist, has his own language. Fire is "flamage." A head is a "melon." Hair, "crusty mop." Ears, "lobes." Nose, "beak." Breasts? "Buddy cones." And then, maybe most famously, there’s the art of extracting a frosty beverage from the 7-11 Slurpee machine directly into one’s mouth: "Wheezing the juice."
It’s no wonder Shore didn’t want to play Link, the Paleolithic stud that helped turn Fraser into a star, as Disney executives originally envisioned.
"They wanted me to play the caveman," Shore confirms. "I said, 'Cavemen don't speak. I have my own style.'… So we went and rewrote one of the roles and made it feel more like my MTV thing, with some heart.”
Encino Man was drubbed by critics upon its release, and only a modest box office hit. But it became a bigger success on home video and cable, and along with Bio-Dome, remains one of Shore’s most beloved 1990s time capsules.
Fans, in fact, have been clamoring for a sequel for years. If Bill and Ted can return, why can’t Dave (Astin), Stoney and Link?
Shore says a sequel has been under serious discussion at Disney+, which has rebooted other ’90s and ’00s favorites recently like The Mighty Ducks and Cheaper by the Dozen.
"We're trying to do the sequel right now, but that’s a Disney+ thing," says Shore, who is currently touring a one-man show, and teases that Stoney would be a therapist in the new version.
"They’re pretty much talking about it every day without green-lighting it. But obviously we would have to have Brendan and Sean onboard. I'm on board. But I'm not on board for me, I'm on board for the fans. I wanna give them what they want. And I want to answer their request [because they] keep requesting it. So just give to ’em."