Rip Taylor

The REAL Rip Talyor #11: The Unfinished Blockbuster

12:45:00 PMPaul

The year was 1996, scriptwriter Larry Karaszewski, fresh off his critically acclaimed "The People vs. Larry Flint", began to pen scripts in tribute to his two heroes Andy Kaufman, and the incomparable Rip Taylor. Larry shopped the two newly finished scripts around the industry, selling the Kaufman script to Universal Pictures and the Rip story to Miramax. The studios contacted Rip and told him about the project. Uncharacteristically, Rip admonished the idea, stating that the details of his personal life should not be made public. It wasn't until David Fincher approached Rip in Las Vegas backstage after a performance and convinced him that his story needed to be told. Fincher and Rip reportedly discussed the collective vision they had for the movie over a steak dinner and came to mutual agreement. The movie was scheduled to start filming immediately.

Rip ending a scene.
David Fincher worked his crew double duty, filming Fight Club and the then-titled "It Ain't All Confetti", as both films were being shot in the same studio. The movie took a difficult 18 months to film as the famously uncooperative Rip stalled scenes with knock-knock jokes and throwing confetti at co stars Ben Kingsley while shrieking "Ghandi!" It wasn't until late 1999 that the film wrapped in post production.

The movie told the dark tale of Rip's childhood and his slow and steady rise into the public eye. It touched upon the taboo subject of the abuse he endured in the foster home programs in the metro D.C. area, with a powerful performance (some claimed Oscar worthy) by Sir Kingsley as the headmaster.

The story progresses to Rip in the U.S. Senate busing tables and attending pageboy school, including a disturbing scene of an adolescent Rip strangling a boy to death in the senate kitchen.

The plot moves forward to his time in the army, and the effect that taking 4 lives has on the human mind. The war scenes were described as the most realistic dipictions of wartime depravity and brutality ever, as a young Rip played by Titannic star Leonardo Dicaprio mercifully kills one of his own wounded soldiers with a rock.

We then flash forward to Rip's hedonistic time working the show circuit in Atlantic City. It was during this time that the scene Rip most opposed was depicted, a threesome included a then-unknown Jake Gylenhaal and a young Busy Phillips. The scene between the underage actors is what ended up ultimately causing the movie the most problems with the censors and the suits.

The movie ends with Rip's historic time frequenting game shows like Hollywood Squares, The Dating Game, and other famous appearances.

Those kids where what?!
The movie was set to be released in the summer of 2001, with a heavy media campaign supporting the film. It wasn't until the overwhelming test audience reactions paired with the MPAA threatening the ban of the film in the United States, where Fincher and Rip's vision was in jeopardy of never making it to the big screen. Universal's attorney claimed that the sex scene involving the underage actors included no penetration therefore technically not pornographic. The case threatened to hold up the release for the foreseeable future and the project was abandoned by Universal leaving the film one of the biggest black eyes in the studio's illustrious history.

Rip fondly recalls his time with Fincher and claims it was very cathartic to have his life out there for the world to see. He does not regret the film ever being released as his artistic integrity was never compromised. In 2005 the court ruling upheld and "It Ain't All Confetti" was banned in the us, and halted for international distribution pending each countries decency laws. Rip borrowed not only the unmade movie's title for his superb 2010 one-man show, but also took generously from the plot and storytelling style that American "decency" laws had robbed us of for nearly a decade.

The only remaining evidence that remains is a hard copy of the movie poster promoting the film. We won that poster from eBay for 19.99 and now we bring it to you.

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