“That was a big debate on set”: Hangover Cast Was Worried About One Joke That Might Have Crossed the Line Even for Raunchy Franchise

Despite one joke being deemed too far by many on the set, Todd Phillips didn't budge.

“That was a big debate on set”: Hangover Cast Was Worried About One Joke That Might Have Crossed the Line Even for Raunchy Franchise


  • One joke in The Hangover caused a huge stir behind the scenes, as it was considered a step too far by many.
  • Despite the risk, Todd Phillips stuck to his guns.
  • Todd Phillips, who has parted ways with his comedic roots, might not ever return for a Hangover 4 said Bradley Cooper.
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Like many rated-R raunchy comedies, Todd Phillips’ Hangover wasn’t immune to controversies upon its release. Released back in 2009, The Hangover opened to rave reviews, kickstarting the most successful rated-R comedy franchise of all time, and further launching Bradley Cooper to stardom.


However, there were times in the production process when crew members felt they might be going too far, especially with the scene involving a baby, even though it was a doll. And while some were concerned about some jokes crossing boundaries, Phillips didn’t budge and stuck to his guns.

Also read: “He just lost his mind”: Ken Jeong Pulled a Keanu Reeves’ John Wick on His Legendary Hangover Role That Wasn’t Originally Written for Him

Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, and Ed Helms in The Hangover (2009)
Todd Phillips’ The Hangover

One Joke in the Hangover Stirred a Major Debate Behind the Scenes

Per Todd Phillips, things were polarizing on sets when it came to filming a scene of the baby getting hit in the face by the car door. Even though it was a doll, many in the crew felt that it was a step too far and wouldn’t sit with the audience. However, the Joker director was unfazed by it, as he found it extremely funny. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Ed Helms, who played Stu, said, “That was a big debate on set”.

“Things were polarizing, like when you hit the baby in the face — even though it’s a doll. We hit the baby with the car door, and that bothers a lot of people. Then you have to decide: ‘Are we going to leave that in?’ Because it also makes The Hangover audacious. We leave the baby in the car, it’s 100 degrees, and he goes: ‘F– it, it’s fine. Crack the window.'” Phillips recalled.

And while the entire thing was funny to the acclaimed director, he did understand why many wouldn’t be too fond of it.

Also read: “Are the pajamas dictating the movies?”: Todd Phillips Butted Heads With WB After Studio Execs First Heard The Pitch For $1B Oscar-Winning Joker

Todd Phillips
Todd Phillips

Todd Phillips Might Not Ever Return for a Part Four per Bradley Cooper

Considering Todd Phillips has parted ways with his comedic roots, garnering tremendous success with his psychological drama Joker, it’s reasonable why the chances of Hangover 4 are pretty slim. Even though Bradley Cooper expressed that he would return in an instant to work with Phillips on a fourth part, he too feels that the Joker: Folie à Deux director might not ever return to the IP. In The New Yorker Radio Hour podcast, Cooper said,

“Well, I would do Hangover 5. It would be Hangover 4 first, but yeah. I would do probably Hangover 4 in an instant, yeah, just because I love [director] Todd [Phillips], I love Zach [Galifianakis], I love Ed [Helms] so much. I probably would, yeah. I don’t think Todd’s ever going to do that.”

Also read: “I was working out my own demons”: Leslie Chow Actor Ken Jeong’s Unhinged Hangover Role Had a Heartbreaking Backstory That Bradley Cooper Kept Hidden\

Bradley Cooper in The Hangover
Bradley Cooper | The Hangover

Even though a new entry set in today’s landscape would be enticing to witness, considering the threequel failed to match the bar set by its predecessors, maybe it’s for the best that the IP is left untouched.


The Hangover is available to rent on Apple TV.


Written by Santanu Roy

Articles Published: 1379

Santanu Roy is a film enthusiast with a deep love for the medium of animation while also being obsessed with The Everly Brothers, Billy Joel, and The Platters. Having expertise in everything related to Batman, Santanu spends most of his time watching and learning films, with Martin Scorsese and Park Chan-wook being his personal favorites. Apart from pursuing a degree in animation, he also possesses a deep fondness for narrative-driven games and is currently a writer at Fandomwire with over 1000 articles.