This was the first year the Bill and Ted show took place as part of Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights.  As president of Bill and Ted's official fan club, I was able to visit the studios and attend the show, plus interview the most excellent actors who portrayed Bill and Ted that year!

John Gallagher as Bill and Robert Ramos as Ted

   

Joel Buntin as Bill and Toby Miller as Ted

A MOST EXCELLENT HALLOWEEN ADVENTURE!

(Originally published in Issue #5, Year's End 1992 issue of Scoping it Out, the quarterly publication of Bill & Ted's Outstanding Past and Future Appreciation Society)

    Strange things were afoot at Universal Studios, Florida, around Halloween this year, but thatís the way it was supposed to be!  The entire studio theme park was converted into a mad showcase of the macabre and terrifying during the night for two weekends at the end of October, something thatís come to be known as Universal Studiosí Halloween Horror Nights, held at both the Los Angeles and Orlando, Florida, locations.

    But this year there was one show at the Orlando location which thrilled both rock Ďní roll and horror buffs alike!  Bill & Ted took center stage in a live show which took place on the Wild, Wild, Wild West Stunt Show arena.  The dudes were played by two sets of actors, each set performing two shows per night.  The actors, all regular Universal Studios performers, not only had to capture the energy and enthusiasm of Bill & Ted, but also had to perform a series of hair raising stunts live!

    The show, set in an old western town, began with a gunfight between the sheriff and a dastardly bank robber.  They are interrupted when Bill and Ted land in their phone booth, apparently off course from their plan of going back in time to go trick or treating around their neighborhood again, this time avoiding the houses giving out bogus things like cough drops and beef jerky.  The bank robber (with a totally bad sense of fashion) decides to hijack the booth and round up a new bank robbing gang from the future.  After he disappears, Bill reveals he has a portable phone which Rufus has given him, and which he can use to call back the booth.  But after he dials the number, they are surprised when instead of a booth a DeLorian appears from a nearby barn driven by eminent scientist Doc Brown (from Back to the Future)!

    Doc Brown informs the dudes that they must bring the evil bank robber back, but first they decide to try bringing back famous musicians to see if it is possible to transport people from the future.  However, when they call the booth back it contains the bank robber plus an assortment of evil future dudes (Freddy Krueger, the Terminator and Jason).  The evil dudes proceed to chase our heroes all over the town, resulting in various breathtaking stunts including falls from buildings, falls down wells, explosions and breaking various objects such as bottles and wagon wheels over one another.  The fight ends when the sheriff succeeds in gunning down the bank robber, saving everyone.

    To celebrate their victory, Bill & Ted hold a most excellent concert with the musicians from the future (Madonna, MC Hammer, The Blues Brothers and even Elvis!).  Their rousing performance of the classic rock song Shout! literally brings the house down . . . right around Doc Brown!

    The audiences responded with great enthusiasm to the show, cheering Bill & Tedís first appearance and air guitars and dancing and singing along to the music.  It was a most excellent and highly charged show!

    Both sets of actors were most triumphant in taking over the roles of Bill & Ted.  When asked what they liked best about being Bill & Ted, John Gallagher (Bill) replied, "Everything!" while Robert Ramos (Ted) claimed they had watched the movie about 550,000 times in preparation for the roles.  Both were most excellent at coming up with Bill & Ted lines impromptu while being interviewed.

    The other team of Bill & Ted turned out to be total Wyld Stallyns fans who had been acting like the dudes with their friends for several years!  Joel Buntin (Bill) explained, "Iíve seen the movie 26 times . . . definitely know it pretty well.  We each have friends that look like the other characters, so weíve been doing it with them for about . . . well, Iíve been doing it for about three years."  "Iíve only been doing it for about a year and two months," Toby Miller (Ted) jumps in.  "I saw Excellent Adventure and Bogus Journey like back to back in the same week, and Iíve never seen it before, ever.  And I totally fell in love with the dudes!"  They described the opportunity to play Bill & Ted as "a dream come true."

    The night we attended the show was interesting in the fact that as the evening progressed, less and less of the special effects were working!  The first show went fine, with everything happening on cue.  But gradually technical problems began popping up and by the last show many of the mechanical props were simply not cooperating.  What was most impressive was the actors ability to completely adjust to the changes as they went along and still carry the show smoothly, getting to the places they had to be or hurriedly ad-libbing a way to move on to the next part so the next segment could be carried out.  In fact the shows continued to run so smoothly even without the particular effects that audiences were most likely unaware of anything going wrong.

    It was also interesting that during the show Ted was dressed as he had been in Excellent Adventure, while Bill was dressed in his clothes from Bogus Journey!

    Universal Studios printed special t-shirts featuring Bill & Ted on top of their phone booth filled with the classic Universal monsters. Hats were also made for sale during the two weekends.  Check our Past Merchandise section under Clothing for more information about these items.