Harold & Kumar a Decade Later: 10 Ways the Cinematic Fast Food Journey Was Ahead of Its Time
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Ten years ago, two brave young men set out on a life-changing mission: Get to White Castle.
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle is a movie that took what could’ve been a mundane munchie mission and spun it into greasy, stoner gold. Loaded with surprising cameos, immature humor and a lap-dance-loving Neil Patrick Harris, the movie has become a cult classic.
Some of the film’s biggest fans recently showed up at New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles to celebrate Harold & Kumar‘s 10th anniversary with a reunited cast and crew, including stars John Cho and Kal Penn.
While it’s easy to shrug off this modern day quest as simple pothead hijinks, Harold & Kumar was surprisingly enlightening for a film about getting a fast food fix. Below, check out 10 ways this sleeper hit was ahead of its time.
WARNING: Some videos contain NSFW language and content.
1. It supported marijuana use long before the plant was legalized for recreational purposes in Colorado.
2. Neil Patrick Harris got the chance to prove that Doogie Howser was all grown up and ready for naughtier onscreen roles, like the legend–(wait for it)–dary Barney Stinson.
3. Harold & Kumar acknowledged that the music of Wilson Phillips is as timeless as a burger and fries, years before Bridesmaids gave the ’90s group a comedic nod.
4. White Castle offered a series of collectible Harold and Kumar cups while the film was in theaters, making the movie the first R-rated comedy to land a fast food promotion deal.
5. Law and Order: SVU‘s Christopher Meloni proved he could play ugly … like, really, really ugly.
6. Harold & Kumar was one of the first films to capitalize on Malin Akerman‘s beauty and comedic genius.
7. It’s not all weed jokes; this movie has a scholarly side too. Harold and Kumar’s friends Rosenberg and Goldstein are loosely based off of Shakespeare’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
8. Before Guardians of the Galaxy introduced audiences to a kick-ass raccoon named Rocket, a similarly ferocious member of the species launched himself at Harold’s neck.
9. The quote ‘In the end, the universe tends to unfold as it should,’ is a line from ‘Desiderata’ by American poet Max Ehrmann. How many other stoner comedies pull from literary greats?
10. Further proof there’s no reason potheads can’t be smart, Kal Penn (Kumar) went on to work for the Obama Administration several years after filming this decade-old flick.