"Bill & Ted's" Quotations

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Thu Oct 20 03:19:39 UTC 2005

On Sun, 16 Oct 2005 08:55:04 -0700, Dave Wilton wrote:
[Fred Shapiro:]
>> The two big lines in the film _Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure_ are
>> "Party on, dudes" and "Excellent!"  Can anyone tell me for each of
>> these whether they are lines spoken by one of the two main characters
>> exclusively, or are they sometimes spoken by one of them and sometimes
>> spoken by the other?
>The script is available online:
>"Party on, dude(s)" is spoken by several people: Ted, a telephone
>operator, a person from the future, and Abraham Lincoln.
>The other key term is not "excellent" (which is used throughout the
>movie, but is not a signature term), but rather "be excellent to each
>other." This is also spoken by several people: Bill, Rufus, and Abraham

Just had a chance to refamiliarize myself with _B&T_. Interjectional
"excellent" is used near the beginning of the film, uttered in unison by
Bill and Ted and accompanied by an air-guitar flourish:

Bill: Ted, while I agree that, in time, our band will be most triumphant.
The truth is, Wyld Stallyns will never be a super band until we have Eddie
Van Halen on guitar.
Ted: Yes, Bill. But, I do not believe we will get Eddie Van Halen until we
have a triumphant video.
Bill: Ted, it's pointless to have a triumphant video before we even have
decent instruments.
Ted: Well, how can we have decent instruments when we don't really even
know how to play?
Bill: That is why we NEED Eddie Van Halen!
Ted: And THAT is why we need a triumphant video.

Sound clip here:

(Later, others including Billy the Kid also say "Excellent!")

Interesting that B&T was released on Feb. 17, 1989 according to IMDb, just
one day before "Wayne's World" debuted on SNL. But both the movie and the
skit had been kicking around long before that-- B&T was filmed in 1987 and
shelved for two years, while Mike Myers had been doing his Wayne character
in Canada before appearing on SNL (at Toronto's Second City comedy club
and on the CBC show "It's Only Rock and Roll").

--Ben Zimmer

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