Paul Newman’s 1977 ice hockey movie Slap Shot is a cult classic that is now heralded as one of the best sports movies of all time. It famously featured a trio of real hockey players who are known as The Hanson Brothers in the movie – and they stand out thanks to their long hair and thick glasses.
They were supposed to be played by the Johnstown Jets’ Carlson brothers – Jack, Steve and Jeff. Jack Carlson was called up by the Edmonton Oilers shortly before filming and was replaced by Dave Hanson. The trio were pranksters on set, and according to The Hockey Beast, they targeted the built-in one-person sauna in Paul Newman‘s hotel room. Newman loved his sauna, and that’s when Dave and the Carlson bros got a great idea.
“They grabbed bags and bags of popcorn from the rink after a day on the set and emptied them into Newman’s little sauna, filling it to the top.” They thought it was strange when days went by without Newman mentioning it, but that’s because he was plotting his revenge.
The perfect opportunity arrived when the boys were filming the scene where the team meets up with the Chiefs’ booster bus at a road-side stop. “Newman suggested they all strip down and run off the bus buck-naked as a joke. Everyone having more than a few beers in them at that point agreed happily.”
“As the team ran out naked, hooting and hollering and shocking everyone, Dave noticed Newman was not amongst them. He looked up to see the blue-eyed movie star fully clothed, hanging out a bus window. Newman yelled to Dave and the Carlsons, ‘payback’s a bitch boys!'” The camaraderie and rapport between the cast members comes across on screen in Slap Shot and also makes it one of the best comedy movies.
It turns out that hundreds of people were waiting at the road-side stop, because they’d got wind that movie star Paul Newman was going to be there. The local authorities weren’t too happy about the public nudity, but presumably let them off with a warning, as no one was arrested.
For more thrills and spills, check out our guide to the best thriller movies.