Two decades later, the Dude still abides. When The Today Show reunited The Big Lebowski stars Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, and Steve Buscemi to reflect on the 20th anniversary of the Coen brothers’ beloved cult film, it didn’t take long for the actors to relish reliving their experiences.
Asked for his first reaction to reading the script, Goodman said that he found it immediately “laugh-out-loud funny.” For those unaware, Goodman’s performance as Walter Sobchak, who is still calmer than you are, is one of the funniest comedic showcases of the last few decades — which, as Buscemi noted in the interview, culminates in an incredible ending scene.
“I loved it, I thought it was wild and weird and funny, but i have to say, when I was reading the part of Donny, I kind of didn’t get it,” Buscemi said. “I felt bad for the guy. I felt sad, like why does Walter bully him all the time? But then my favorite scene is when you’re throwing the ashes.”
The film ends with Goodman’s Walter and Bridges’ Jeff “the Dude” Lebowski giving an impromptu funeral for Donny. Unfortunately, the only receptacle they can afford to hold Donny’s ashes is an empty Folger’s coffee can, and their oceanside goodbye gets hilariously messed up by unexpected wind. The moment Buscemi mentioned the scene, Goodman started reciting Walter’s eulogy for Donny from memory.
“Theodore Donald Kerabatsos loved to surf…” Goodman began.
“You can do that whole thing verbatim!” Bridges exclaimed.
“I can barely remember my own name,” Goodman said.
Today interviewer Harry Smith explained the most vivid example of the co-stars’ enduring camaraderie. Even after he and the crew packed up, the three actors kept talking for hours amongst themselves at the Smokehouse in L.A.
“When we finished, it felt like we could have gone on forever. Well, they did go on forever,” Smith told his Today colleagues afterward. “They sat in a banquette and ate dinner, and I think they probably closed the place. They really loved the experience they shared.”
“Missing some of our cast here, but it was a blast getting back together with John and Steve,” Bridges wrote in his own tweet afterward.
Watch the full segment above.