One of the most memorable aspects of the hit comedy film There’s Something About Mary was the character of Puffy, the dog. Puffy was Mary’s beloved pet, who did not take kindly to the courtship of Ben Stiller’s character, Ted. Many of the funniest scenes in the film can be attributed to Puffy—such as the action-packed comedy scene where Puffy attacks Ted. Although Puffy is one of the best parts of the film, many people don’t know much about this hilarious pooch. If you’re interested in learning more about this comedic pup or you’re simply a lover of movie trivia, consider the following interesting trivia about Puffy from “There’s Something About Mary.”
Fake dogs were used for the action sequences
In the scenes where Puffy attacks Ben Stiller’s character and finds herself thrown around, slapped and even zapped were done using fake prop dogs who were attached to strings to give them a lifelike appearance. Any scenes where Puffy’s dog actor–named Slammer–might have been hurt were done using these fake dogs.
Slammer did get into a full body cast
Although the action scenes were done using fake dogs, the iconic scene where Puffy appears in a full body cast after her battle with Red was actually filmed by the real Slammer. A three-piece, cloth-lined cast costume was created for this scene and the dog was only in the costume for about 10 seconds.
The full body cast gag was so popular that the costume department created several prop versions to display at the film’s special premieres. These displays generated a lot of interest from those who attended the premires; so much so that the film’s producers commissioned the costume department for additional toys props of Puffy in a body cast. However, because these wrapped props were time consuming to create, only a very limited run of about 860 “body cast” Puffy toys created. Today, they can fetch fairly high prices on the secondhand market.
Some of the scenes with Puffy were improvised Dog actors, despite their extensive training, can sometimes be predictable—especailly on a set where anything can happen. Some of the scenes with Puffy included degrees of improsiviation because of the dog not doing exactly what it was told—the outakes of the film reveal even more instances where Puffy the dog inspired some truly hilarious improvisation material.