Ricky Stanicky Stars Jermaine Fowler and Andrew Santino Laugh It Up

Mar 8, 2024


Jamie Foxx sang ‘Blame it on the alcohol,’ but now it’s all about the imaginary friend in Zac Efron’s film.
Ricky Stanicky guarantees laughs with Peter Farrelly directing and real-life comics as Efron’s pals.
Interviews with stand-up comedians brought laughs, aiding performances & comedic timing in the film.

There’s nothing like a good scapegoat — until it stops working, of course. Jamie Foxx once crooned, “Blame it on the alcohol,” but in a new Zac Efron-starring film on Prime Video, the saying should instead go, “Blame it on the…imaginary friend.” Yes, the title for Ricky Stanicky, as anyone who’s seen the film’s promotional trailer can confirm, derives from a made-up person that a trio of lifelong friends use to weasel their way out of any number of “sticky” (pun intended) situations.

With Oscar-winner Peter Farrelly at the helm, plus real-life comics playing Efron’s pals, Ricky Stanicky guarantees a good deal of laughs. We recently caught up with the film’s scene stealers — besides John Cena playing the outrageous eponymous persona — in an interview in Los Angeles to learn about what went into crafting a sort of throwback, slapstick comedy in the modern era. Andrew Santino (Beef) and Jermaine Fowler (Coming 2 America) also dished to MovieWeb about working alongside Efron and their other projects in the works.

‘My God, Was It Boring” — Not!
Ricky Stanicky Release Date March 7, 2024 Studio Footloose Productions, Michael De Luca Productions, Rocket Science

What’s one advantage to interviewing acclaimed stand-up comedians? The interview itself is bound to garner some laughs. Ricky Stanicky has its fair share of hilarious sequences, both on physical and verbal levels. It must have been a thrill for the actors to shoot these scenes, so we asked Santino and Fowler if they could confirm our suspicions.

“Not really. No. You would think so, but my God was it boring,” Santino joked to us, in typical deadpan-comedy fashion. “They paid us in hugs, which is a little demeaning.” To which Fowler replied, refusing to let the joke die, “You’d think with all the amazing people we had on set, it’d be good.”

Since the pair are pros when it comes to comedic delivery, it’s safe to say this certainly aided them in fleshing out their performances on the big screen. “It definitely helped. Just timing, comedic timing,” said Fowler. “It helps give your rhythm.”

Then, Santino couldn’t help himself but turn our question into a gag again. “And even sometimes, if you’re good enough, you can finish each other’s…” he said, waiting for Fowler to conclude the sentence — which Fowler, of course, refused to do. It was certainly difficult to keep a straight face during all this banter!

On the matter of real-life stand-up experience, Santino is keeping busy with his career outside of acting. “I’m finishing up a tour with my good friend Bobby Lee,” he told us. “We do a ‘Bad Friends’ tour.”

Related Ricky Stanicky Review: The Wondrous John Cena Can’t Quite Save Peter Farrelly’s Uneven Comedy Oscar winner Peter Farrelly follows up Green Book with a pair of Zac Efron projects, the latest feeling all too silly and fails to utilize the actor.

Fans of FX’s hit series Dave will recognize Santino as Mike, a.k.a. Lil Dicky’s manager in the show. Unfortunately, the show’s star Dave Burd recently confirmed he will be taking a long hiatus from the show. “It’s just post-strike. I think they’re moving on to other stuff,” Santino told us when we asked about the recent announcement. “That’s kind of what happens.”

Watching Cocaine Bear With Efron

Going back to Ricky Stanicky, it’s hard to pinpoint just which of the ridiculous scenes was perhaps the funniest. We asked the pair if they had a preference, looking back on the end result. “My favorite part of the film was honestly the bris scene. It was probably the most fun, stupid, free, goofy,” said Santino, without revealing too many spoilers. “It took four days because it was such a big set piece, and to watch it all come together when we saw the screening was wild.”

“Yeah, the movie comes to that point, like, everything we’ve worked for comes at that point,” Fowler said, piggybacking off Santino.

4:43 Related Exclusive: Peter Farrelly and William H. Macy on Embracing Hilarity With Ricky Stanicky The Oscar-winning Green Book director and the Oscar-nominated Fargo star spoke to MovieWeb about their Zac Efron and John Cena comedy.

Fowler and Santino play the pals of Dean, the film’s true protagonist, played by the little-known actor Zac Efron. “He’s wonderful. He really is,” said Fowler. “The dude is just straight up a cool-ass dude. Most times, we would hang out at his Airbnb or just play beer pong and listen to chill music, play ping pong, movies. I watched Cocaine Bear at his house after one of our days on set. That was hilarious.”

Santino continued, on Efron:

“He’s a good dude, very easy to work with and really kind of wanted to live in the comedic moments. And I don’t know how to say it without sounding weird, but he kind of wanted us to lead the way for some of the comedic moments and really kind of let us do it, and followed suit a little bit.”

As the leader of their little trio, Efron’s character Dean is perpetually in distress, as he tries to juggle the lifelong lie that is “Ricky Stanicky” while maintaining some sort of happy marriage to his wife Erin (Lex Scott Davis). “He was battling so much, his character had so many lies he had to keep up with,” Fowler told us, in thinking more about the Dean persona. “So you can see in the film, the way [Efron] portrayed his character, he was boiling. It was really cool to watch him kind of strike that balance.”

Check out the performance for yourself. Ricky Stanicky is now streaming globally on Prime Video. You can watch it through the link below:

Watch Ricky Stanicky

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