McLovin's Wildest Superbad Scenes Required Some Pretty Intense Training

Greg Mottola's celebrated teen comedy "Superbad" will celebrate its 15th anniversary this week. People old enough to watch raunchy, R-rated comedies in 2007 will likely recall the overwhelmingly positive response it received. It crept into the pop consciousness, and "Superbad" became slowly canonized in the years after its release. Actors Jonah Hill and Emma Stone (previously credited as Emily Stone) had breakthrough performances, and reliable comedic actors like David Krumholtz, Dave Franco, Kevin Corrigan, Martin Starr, and Joe Lo Truglio strengthened an already solid comedy script written by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg. 

One of the most recognizable actors from "Superbad" is Christopher Mintz-Plasse, the dorky best friend of the film's two 17-year-old leads. Mintz-Plasse's character, Fogell, has, against all odds, managed to secure that most coveted of high school artifacts: a fake ID. He intends to use it to buy some contraband beer for an all-out, end-of-high-school party that night. In a moment of confidence, however, Fogell changes his name on the fake ID to the coolest name he can think of: McLovin. No first name, no apostrophe. Just McLovin. 

Fogell ... er, McLovin is immediately apprehended by two cops (Rogen and Bill Hader) who, taking sympathy with a dorky kid they relate to, decide to "treat" him to some dangerous fun, including handing him a gun and imploring that he shoot their squad car while it burns to the ground. 

In order to shoot a cop car, Mintz-Plasse needed to train with gun handling at a shooting range, an experience he describes in a 2022 oral history in Vanity Fair

Let's get some bigger guns

Mintz-Plasse had no experience handling guns, and was going to be required to fire blanks on camera. The scene in question sees Hader handing his pistol to Mintz-Plasse who takes it and confidently fires a few rounds into a flaming car. The training ended up being a larger experience than Mintz-Plasse expected, and he ended up firing off more than just hand guns. Mintz-Plasse was only 17 at the time of filming, and, the story goes, didn't have any professional headshots when he auditioned. "Superbad" was a baptism by firearms. Mintz-Plasse recalls the shooting range. He said: 

"I remember it was the first time I ever shot a gun, and we had to go to the shooting range to practice. It was insane. Shooting pistols—but then you're at the shooting range, so it's like, 'Let's get some bigger guns!' ... They gave me, like, a shotgun. And I weigh, like, 105 pounds. I'm the size of the shotgun. And I'm holding this thing and I shoot it, and it launches my whole body back. I'm turning the gun, and everyone's like, 'F***ing point it away, bro!'"

Hader was also present at the shooting range training and recalls having to catch Mintz-Plasse every time he fired the shotgun. The recoil was indeed enough to send the actor staggering backward, and several people were required to prevent him from falling over. 

Cutting donuts

In "Superbad," Hader and Rogen play cops who are more than willing to break any number of laws to ensure that a 17-year-old has the best, wildest night of his life. They, in wanting to assure they are not perceived as sticks-in-the-mud — despite being cops — not only let Fogell off the hook for his obvious fake ID, but give him a ride to the party, and drive him around. While giving him a ride, Hader and Rogen cut donuts in a parking lot, screeching the car around in a circle. 

This was, of course, not Hader's or Rogen's driving, but that of a stunt driver. The cop car was tethered to a second car, and towed safely in a circle by an expert. While Mintz-Plasse is not on record with his experience sitting in the whirling car, Hader recalls it quite well ... and how much he hated it. Hader said: 

"I'll tell you the thing I didn't enjoy doing: I didn't enjoy spinning that car around. We were hooked to this other car that was in the 'Fast and the Furious' movies or something. There were these giant poles. It was in this school parking lot in Northridge and there were all these light poles everywhere. And every time, you thought you were going to smash into one."

The result, luckily, was the lawless joy provided to Fogell, and the passage of McLovin into pop cinema lore. Mintz-Plasse can currently be seen playing a teacher in the Paramount+ film "Honor Society."