John Larroquette is best known for his role on Night Court, but he lent his voice to one of the most iconic horror films of all time. After returning to his famous part as Dan Fielding in the new Night Court revival, the actor confirmed a long-standing online rumor. It’s been said for decades that director Tobe Hooper actually paid him with marijuana to narrate the prologue of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre back in 1974.
“Totally true,” Laroquette admitted to Parade. “He gave me some marijuana or a matchbox or whatever you called it in those days. I walked out of the [recording] studio and patted him on the back side, and said, ‘Good luck to you!'”
As Larroquette recounts, he and Hooper forged an instant connection back in 1969 when he was tending bar in Colorado. Four years later, as Laroquette embarked upon his acting career in Hollywood, Hooper extended him a special invitation to join him on a revolutionary endeavor that would alter the course of horror cinema forever. “Tobe heard I was in town and asked for an hour of my time to narrate something for this movie he just did,” Larroquette explained. “I said, ‘Fine!’ It was a favor.”
John Larroquette’s narration opens most of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films
Loosely based on the true story of serial killer Ed Gein, 1974’s iconic horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre ended up being a box office smash. It earned 30 million dollars on a budget of only 100,000. It follows a group of teenagers who stop at an isolated home in Texas for assistance after their van runs out of gas. Little do they know that this place is inhabited by Leatherface. He’s a chainsaw-wielding killer adorned with a human skin mask – ready to systematically terrorize them one by one. Its extreme violence elicited mixed feedback from critics upon release. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was banned in numerous countries across Europe and South America due to its brutal nature. However, now the film is held in high regard for its near documentary style and fever-dream editing.
Initially met with a chilly response, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise is huge today. It consists of nine movies, comic series, and video games. The series’ first two films were directed by Hooper himself. He later produced another prequel movie in 2006 before passing away in 2017. In honor of this beloved director, a restaurant set inside the house from the original film was renamed “Hooper’s”. Larroquette has been the go-to narrator for subsequent entries in this horror franchise, most recently 2022’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
However, the veteran actor no longer is paid in pot for his narrating skills. “You do something for free in the 1970s and get a little money in the ’90s,” Larroquette said. “It’s certainly the one credit that’s stuck strongly to my resume.”