In the summer of 2004, “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” hit theaters, and two stoner hero legends were made.
The goofy cannabis-infused humor of the film, and the comedic chemistry of the two lead actors turned the movie into a hit, spawning two sequels and paving the way for more weed-based movies and TV shows in the future.
Enjoy now 15 Hilarious Moments from this epic quest for greasy late-night mini-burgers – and a piece of the American Dream.
“Nothing important. I can talk.”
Kumar Patel (winningly played by Kal Penn, in the role he seemed born to play) is the obnoxious half of our odd couple roommate pairing.
We get to love Kumar’s rebellious attitude from the start as he chooses to take a phone call from his roommate and stoner bud Harold (John Cho, also known as MILF Guy #2 from “American Pie” at the time) in the middle of a critical college entrance interview to discuss smoking up “a quarter of the finest herb in New York City”, willingly bombing out the interview in the process. Kumar’s priorities are right where they need to be.
“This is America, dude! Learn how to drive!”
The Mountain Dew “Extreme” Gang is a delight. From the moment they steal a prime parking spot from Harold and rub it in his face, these annoying shits become a thorn in our heroes’ sides that will have to be dealt with eventually. They are absolute fuckers every time they appear on screen.
“I’m trimming my pubes.”
Being best pals with Kumar can’t be easy. As if being a rude, messy, stoner slacker wasn’t enough, Harold catches Kumar in the dirtiest clean up act with his scissors. Ah, the joys of roommates.
This entire stoner adventure film, and the two subsequent sequels, all originated from a single random White Castle commercial, played at just the right moment when the hungry heroes needed an inspirational boost.
Lucky for us, they take the bait, and the epic quest for tasty burgers begins in earnest.
“You the king of the forest?”
There are several notable cameos in the movie (more on these later), but the first is a fine out-of-nowhere cinematic performance by Jamie Kennedy, known as Randy the video guy in the “Scream” movies.
When Kumar stops at a totally random spot along the road to take a pee by a bush, Kennedy (referred to as “Creepy Guy” in the credits) pulls up to the same exact bush, to take a pee of his own, startling Kumar and leading to some chuckle worthy back and forth between the two late night bush pissers.
Deadpool Makes a Cameo
Kumar’s medical background is front and center when he is mistaken for his surgeon brother by a quirky male nurse, played by Ryan Reynolds (“Deadpool”).
Although denied his desired anesthesia for his patient (marijuana), Kumar does indeed save a man’s life – who promptly directs him to the closest White Castle.
“You boys need some help?”
A wild car crash leads to a meet up with Freakshow, a hideous, but jovial local tow truck driver.
Underneath Freakshow’s makeup is “Law and Order: SVU” stalwart character actor Christopher Meloni. DG loved Meloni as the savior desk clerk to Hunter S. Thompson at the Flamingo Hotel in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. This man knows weird.
Meloni brings Freakshow to disgusting life with his intense, direct acting style, honed at the renowned Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City in the 1980’s.
Aside from the prosthetics (Freakshow is covered with hideous boils), the performance is pure nuanced Meloni, with his Freakshow vacillating between helpful, curious, hurt, vengeful and lusty, all in the space of just a few screen minutes.
From the minute we see his hideous balding cranium in the moonlight, until the moment he strips off his work clothes to offer up a foursome and/or reach around(s), Freakshow lights up the film with pluck and verve.
Quick shout out to Malin Ackerman (“Billions”) playing Freakshow’s gorgeous, loving wife. DG Approved!
“Hey boys. Thanks for picking me up.”
Three excellent cameos are mere appetizers for the main course: a random hitchhiker ends up being the actor Neil Patrick Harris (“Doogie Howser”), playing himself.
It’s an all-time against-type cameo, with Harris in the middle of a drug bender while in pursuit of some “poontang”. It also seems to be the direct inspiration for Harris’s other well-known role – the womanizing Barney Stinson on the TV hit “How I Met Your Mother”.
The first meet up with NPH results in a host of classic lines, and eventually the amped-up Harris steals off with Harold’s car. But he’ll be back.
Mountain Dew “Extreme” Gang: Convenience Store
The stakes continue to escalate when the boys cross paths with the “Extreme” jerks for the third time, this time in a convenience store showdown.
The bad guys take this round handily, wrecking the store with some “Extreme Kayaking”, and getting the better of Kumar in a stare-down contest.
The special effects are outstanding on the store-smashing kayaking scene – you really feel the realistic intensity of a decent-sized kayak being propelled through a potato chip aisle with someone inside of it.
“Hey, what’s that smell?”
After Harold lands in a small-town jail, Kumar is on the threshold of breaking him free when he smells a gi-normous bag of weed, confiscated earlier from an inept college dealer.
It’s love at first sight for Kumar, and in the subsequent classic dream sequence, set to Heart’s “Crazy on You”, Kumar ponders his future with his sweet love, including a potential trip to the altar.
Cheetah Gets High
To chill out a friendly cheetah the boys share their recent stash. At that point, they choose to saddle up on his back, and the cheetah responds with a mad dash through the woods and across a highway. Anything to get to those White Castle burgers!
The Return of NPH
The boys are stuck on the side of the road when luckily, they spot Neil Patrick Harris in Harold’s car. Unfortunately, Neil is “distracted” at the time, and passes them by, irking the already annoyed Harold and furthering this legendary cameo.
Mountain Dew “Extreme” Gang: Final Chapter at Hot Dog Heaven
Harold breaks through against their foes in grand fashion with the brazen theft of their “Extreme” orange SUV. Kumar’s punctuates the theft with a nifty bird.
The American Dream
Just before a rushed hang gliding escape, Kumar inspires with a pep speech to get them past their final hurdle. Weed, women and fast food? Harold & Kumar’s dreams transcend.
Spoiler alert. They make it to White Castle.
Amazing actress Paula Garces plays Harold’s sexy neighbor: