“That Happened To Me”: Jeff Daniels’ Apparent ‘Career Suicide’ In Dumb And Dumber Scene Struck A Chord With Clint Eastwood After A Date Went Wrong


Jeff Daniels was ready to dive deep into the comedy world when agreed to the Farrelly brothers’ buddy comedy film Dumb and Dumber. Working alongside Jim Carrey, Daniels wanted to make sure that he didn’t want to be remembered as ‘Jim and the other guy’. Despite coming from dramatic roles, Daniels did some of the most humiliating scenes that brought out the best comedy in the film.

One scene involved the actor having an intestinal purge on his romantic interest’s toilet. Daniels was concerned that the scene would end his career. However, a little appreciation from Clint Eastwood, who could relate to the scene, reassured him that his career was intact.

Jeff Daniels Feared That Dumb and Dumber‘s Toilet Scene Would End His Career

Jeff Daniels is currently in the limelight for his portrayal of Charlie Croker in the Netflix drama, A Man in Full. While the show and Daniels’ performance are receiving critical acclaim, the actor reminisces about his role in Dumb and Dumber. As the film approaches its 30th anniversary this year, Daniels opens up about the hilarious toilet scene in the film to USA Today.

Before Dumb and Dumber, Daniels’ portfolio consisted of more serious films like Terms of Endearment, Arachnophobia, and Speed. However, he shared that he wanted to “shake it up with a comedy.” His agents warned him against taking on the role but he dismissed those concerns.

The Peter Farrelly-directed film included one scene, where Jim Carrey‘s Lloyd Christmas pulls a prank on Daniels’ Harry Dunne by lacing his coffee with laxatives. This causes Harry to violently defec ate in a broken toilet in his romantic interest Mary Swanson’s apartment.


When it came to shooting this scene, Daniels suddenly feared that it would be a career suicide. He took his concerns to Carrey who advised that it was going to be great and that Daniels just needed to go all the way with it. That’s exactly what Daniels did, creating a laugh riot for the audience. The Newsroom actor told USA Today:

It’s one thing to read the toilet scene, but then the day comes and we’re actually going to do the toilet scene. I told Jim, ‘This is either the beginning of my career or the end of it.’ Jim, who is fearless, told me, ‘It’s going to be great. You’ve just got to go all the way with it.’

Daniels gave his all to the scene and almost passed out from the effort. Fans will never forget the animated facial reaction of the actor and how he moved his pelvis around in the scene. But he was still grappling with the fear that his serious acting career was over… until he met this Hollywood legend.

Clint Eastwood Could Relate To Jeff Daniels’ Toilet Scene In Dumb and Dumber

Jeff Daniels’ performance got the best praise from Dirty Harry himself. Clint Eastwood came to meet with him at a golf tournament and congratulated him on his role as Harry Dunne. He specifically mentioned the toilet scene in the film and shared that it happened to him on a date.

He shared with Daniels that he really wanted to impress his date but the shellfish from lunch caused a similar situation for the Unforgiven actor. Daniels shared:

Clint says to me, ‘I just saw Dumb and Dumber and you know, the toilet scene? That happened to me.’ And then he tells a story about dating this woman that he really wanted to impress, but the shellfish hit him the wrong way from lunch.

Daniels is sure that he did beyond his job for the film. His fears were completely alleviated when the film became a cult hit and he got to do serious roles even after the film. He shared that the film “will be funny 40 years from now.”