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Actor John Larroquette got paid in weed to narrate Texas Chain Saw Massacre

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Night Court star confirms the rumours are true, weed was the payment for his first acting gig

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It was a mutually beneficial option for a guy with a great voice and a movie director awaiting a breakout hit. Future Night Court star John Larroquette would get paid in cannabis for the opening narration in the slasher film, 1974’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

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Larroquette, who met director Tobe Hooper while working as a bartender in Colorado in 1969, recently told Parade that the nugs-for-narration rumours are “totally true”.

“Tobe heard I was in town (Los Angeles) and asked for an hour of my time to narrate something for this movie he just did,” the Emmy Award winner relays, thinking of it as a favour to a friend.

That favour came with a distinctively skunky benefit. Hooper “gave me some marijuana or a matchbox or whatever you called it in those days. I walked out of the [recording] studio and patted him on the back side and said, “Good luck to you!”

Just how much weed was gifted has not been specified, although UberFacts tweeted last year that it was a single joint. Meanwhile, recreational cannabis was not legalized in California until 2016.

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Both men had a fair amount of luck, and a whole lot of success, over the years.

Laroquette, 75, who kicked off his fledgling acting career in Los Angeles a few years after meeting Hooper, is a five-time, Emmy Award winner. Hooper, for his part, continued with the chainsaw franchise and went on to direct the horror classic Poltergeist and the television adaptation of the Stephen King novel Salem’s Lot.

But it is likely with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre that Hooper, who died in 2017 at the age of 74, will be most remembered. The Numbers reports the low-budget, slasher film had a worldwide box office take of US$26.6 million, against an estimated budget of US$300,000, while IMDB puts the gross for U.S. and Canada at US$30.9 million.

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Larroquette, who Parade reports continued to voice subsequent installments of the franchise, is estimated to have made US$252 million at the worldwide box office. “You do something for free in the 1970s and get a little money in the ‘90s,” Larroquette told the publication.

His most recent narration was on the 2022 follow-up of the seminal film (no word on whether or not sticky icky came into play here). The movie picks up on story almost five decades after that fateful day.

“After 48 years of hiding, Leatherface returns to terrorize a group of idealistic young friends who accidentally disrupt his carefully shielded world in a remote Texas town,” notes the synopsis on IMDB.

But that’s not the last of Larroquette’s returns to the past. This year, the actor is bringing back his iconic, and endlessly snarky, character, lawyer Dan Fielding, to the reboot of Night Court, this time with Melissa Rauch of The Big Bang Theory fame. The new series is set for launch on Jan. 17.

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