Weekend at Bernie’s is a 1989 American dark comedy film directed by Ted Kotcheff and starring Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman as young insurance corporation employees who discover that their boss, Bernie Lomax, is dead. The movie follows the antics of the two friends as they pretend that Bernie is still alive in order to enjoy a weekend of fun on his yacht. The film was a box office success and has since become a cult classic.
The script for Weekend at Bernie’s was written by Robert Klane in just two weeks. Klane, who had previously worked as a stand-up comedian and writer for the TV show “The Love Boat,” was inspired to write the script after reading an article about a man who kept his dead friend propped up at a party.
The role of Bernie Lomax was originally offered to John Belushi, but he passed away before production began. The role was then offered to John Candy and Chris Farley, but both turned it down before the role was given to Terry Kiser.
The movie was shot on location in the Hamptons, a wealthy beach community on Long Island, New York. The filmmakers had to be careful not to offend the wealthy residents of the area by portraying the characters as irresponsible and reckless.
During filming, Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman had to carry the dead weight of Terry Kiser’s character Bernie Lomax around on the beach, through the streets, and in other locations. The two actors were both in good physical shape, but they still found the task challenging.
The scene where Bernie’s corpse is taken out on a boat was shot on a real boat on the open ocean. The filmmakers had to deal with the challenges of trying to keep the corpse upright and believable while also dealing with the rocking of the boat.
Weekend at Bernie’s was a box office success, grossing $30.6 million on a budget of $5 million. It was followed by a sequel in 1993, which was not as successful as the first film. Despite this, the first film has developed a cult following, and is considered a classic comedy of the 80s.