Ben Stiller’s screen test for Encino Man has been unveiled

The 90s comedian Pauly Shore has been gracious enough to share with the public a pitch video of Encino Man with Ben Stiller as Link.

Last Updated on March 31, 2023

One of the 90s’ most unique high school comedies, Encino Man, is currently getting a surge in recognition, and it’s pretty rad! There has probably never been such a rejoiced and universally pleased result of two Academy Award wins than the great comeback stories of Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan. Both have shown great humility and gratefulness and knowing what they have dealt with, both giving genuinely human performances last year is nothing short of amazing. What’s even more impressive is both had been co-stars in this wacky comedy, and people have been gushing over the reunion.

One thing that Brendan Fraser revealed recently in an interview on The Drew Barrymore Show is that before he got the part of Link in Encino Man, Ben Stiller had screen tested for it. And just a few days ago, low and behold, the official YouTube account of the film’s star Pauly Shore has unveiled said screen test for all of us! Not only would the screen test showcase a young Ben Stiller give his caveman performance, but one of the other actors, who had also screen tested for a role, is 80’s and 90’s star Keith Coogan, known for Adventures in Babysitting and Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. Coogan is portraying the role that would eventually go to Sean Astin.

The video actually plays more like a proof-of-concept short that would’ve been used to pitch the movie, and the credits at the beginning say, “Encino Man ‘Preview.'” The video showcases two scenes that fans will recognize from the movie where our two high school protagonists first discover their caveman has thawed and now tearing through the house. We get to see Ben Stiller in his unkempt caveman form and a post-makeover scene where it looks like he was modeled after Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Another interesting thing of note is the original character that would become Pauly Shore‘s Stoney is a much more meek sidekick named Harold, played by Jeff Maynard. It’s fascinating to see the night and day differences of the character’s nature. And equally fascinating to see two sets of actors’ interpretations of the scenes displayed. Weeze on some grindage and peep this video, buuuud-y!

Source: YouTube

About the Author

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.