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Truth behind ridiculously long burp in iconic Elf scene

Truth behind ridiculously long burp in iconic Elf scene

The iconic Elf scene featured an elongated 12-second burp.

The truth behind the ridiculously long burp in one of Elf's most famous scenes has finally been revealed.

The iconic Christmas movie turned 20 this month - which makes me feel very old - after its release on 7 November, 2003.

Elf, of course, follows Buddy (Will Ferrell) - an orphan who is raised by elves at the North Pole.

After discovering that he is not actually an elf and is, in fact, a fully grown man, he travels to New York in search for his biological father, played by the late, great, James Caan.

The cast also includes Zooey Deschanel (Jovi), Daniel Tay (Michael), Bob Newhart (Papa Elf), Mary Steenburgen (Emily) and Peter Dinklage (Miles Finch), as director Jon Favreau also plays Dr. Leonardo.

Elf proved to be a smash hit and grossed a worldwide total of $220 million (£178.9 million) at the box office, against a lesser production budget of $33 million (£26.8 million).

The iconic Christmas movie turned 20 this month.
Warner Bros.

And in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2021, Ferrell admitted that he never expected Elf to be the hit that it was.

He recalled thinking, while dressed in his yellow tights, 'this could be the end'.

Remembering calls with his manager about test screenings, the actor said: "He was like, ‘Well, the family one went great, but we could really get eviscerated in this next one. I’m looking at a bunch of what look like USC frat boys about to go in'.

Now, there's one scene in particular when Buddy the Elf drinks an entire two litre bottle of soda water, then lets out an elongated 12-second burp, all whilst sat with his newly discovered family in NYC.

However, it turns out that Ferrell himself was not responsible for the remarkable 12-second release of gas.

The burp was actually performed by Maurice LaMarche who voiced Brain on Pinky and the Brain.

LaMarche once said: "I’ve always been able to do this weird effect, where I turn my tongue, not inside out, but almost.

That was one long burp.
Warner Bros.

"I create a huge echo chamber with my tongue and my cheeks, and by doing a deep, almost Tuvan rasp in my throat, and bouncing it around off this echo chamber, I create something that sounds very much like a sustained deep burp."

Sadly, we are unlikely to relive another 12-second burp as Ferrell explained he wouldn't have been able to promote a follow-up without being honest about why he'd taken the job.

Had Ferrell accepted the opportunity to return as Buddy, he would have walked away with a cheque for $29 million (£23.6m).

I know a lot of people who would put on an adult-sized elf outfit for a lot less, but Ferrell explained: "I would have had to promote the movie from an honest place, which would've been, like, 'Oh no, it's not good. I just couldn't turn down that much money.'

"And I thought, 'Can I actually say those words? I don't think I can, so I guess I can't do the movie'."

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Topics: Elf, Will Ferrell, Christmas