Almost nothing spreads faster on the Internet than rumors of a popular movie possibly getting a sequel. Unfortunately, Dirty Work is not a particularly popular movie; so, it took until this morning for me, Dirty Work’s biggest fan, to find out that apparently director Bob Saget and company have approval from some “big cheeses” to explore making a sequel. They’re not there yet, but forward progress is being made. So, if everyone involved could stop uhhhh lifting weights and start writing the script, that would be great.
The off-handed comment was made this summer during Bob Saget’s appearance on The Bill Bert Podcast with Bill Burr and Bert Kreischer. The two hosts wanted to talk about SNL's Norm Macdonald because he’s a genius and an absolute legend, and the subject of Dirty Work came up. That’s when Saget dropped this little nugget that I just got around to hearing…
We are talking about possibly trying to do a sequel. And we’ve got some permission from the big cheeses. But we’re not there yet.
When Dirty Work was first released, the initial reception did not go as anyone would have hoped. The movie only made $10M at the box office (off a $13M budget), and it received almost universally negative reviews. In the time since, however, it has built up a small but very loyal cult following that proudly includes both myself and my co-worker here at CinemaBlend Cody Beck. I can’t speak to what anyone else likes about it, but for me, it’s the tone.
Throughout its runtime, Dirty Work has this weird tone that almost undermines the plot of the movie itself. A lot if it is Norm Macdonald refusing to take anything seriously and delivering most of his lines with a smirk, but everyone else involved participates to some extent too. They all follow the beats and move forward the plot, but they don’t let you forget that they’re in a stupid movie with a stupid plot.
Take one scene where Norm and his sidekick Artie Lange, who is great in the movie, get revenge on some bros they hate by telling them fake cops are robbing frat houses. They then call the real cops to report a robbery and direct address them as “real cops.” Or take the homeless characters played by veteran comedy writers Jim Downey and Fred Wolf. The movie repeatedly begins giving them breakthrough moments with sweet music where they philosophize about where they’re at in life, each of which is abruptly ruined by Norm interrupting. It’s like they’re undercutting the emotional beats of their own movie, and for a certain type of viewer (me), it’s hilarious to see.
I have no idea if the Dirty Work sequel will actually happen, but for those of us who love it, it’s really fun to think about. I’d love to see what all the characters are up to. I only wish Chris Farley was still around to bring back his fake nose.