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John Candy was drunk on this Tom Hanks movie thanks to Jack Nicholson

This early Tom Hanks movie featured an inebriated John Candy, but the comedy movie star only got drunk because of legendary actor Jack Nicholson's influence.

Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in The Shining

Tom Hanks is responsible for some of the best movies of all time, and he and his co-stars always seem to pull magical performances out of the bag. However, on an ‘80s movie from Hanks’ early days in Hollywood, fellow cast member John Candy turned up to set drunk, and it’s all Jack Nicholson‘s fault.


Splash is a 1984 comedy movie from Ron Howard and is one of the lesser-known Tom Hanks movies. It’s actually a pretty bizarre film in which Hanks falls in love with a mermaid who saved his life many years ago. The romance movie also stars Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy, and the aforementioned Candy.

There’s no sign of Nicholson in the cast though, so you may be wondering how he managed to cop the blame for Candy’s inebriated state? Well, wonder no more.

As part of Josh Gad’s Reunited Apart on YouTube, the cast of Splash assembled to discuss the cult hit. In the clip, Howard shared a story about how Candy turned up late to set one day, and what his hilarious reason was.

Howard said: “John, totally professional guy, but one day he’s late! We have this racket ball court and he’s late. John finally pulls up and he kind of rolls out of the car. He comes up and he’s like ‘Ron, I’m so sorry… look I’m drunk.'”

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Thankfully, Howard saw the funny side as he recounted Candy’s explanation: “[Candy] told me ‘I’m at the bar and Jack Nicholson is at the bar. He knew my name, Ron! He wanted to come over, he starts buying me drinks. I told him I had to leave and he kept buying me drinks. I never went to bed!'”

Nicholson may be one of the best actors of all time, but he sure sounds like a terrible influence. We can’t say we’re surprised.

For more on the all time greats, check out our list of the best directors, the best horror movies, or the best ’90s movies. Or, instead of looking back at the past, look ahead to all the new movies on the way this year.