After Jimmy Fallon announced that dancing on the set of “The Tonight Show” had been banned, Kevin Bacon knew what he had to do and he was ready. Tearing into a remake of his famous dancing scene from the 1984 hit, “Footloose,” Bacon was joined by other dancers and came live onto the stage with Kenny Loggins’ classic song on the soundtrack.
Bacon appeared on the show to celebrate the 30 year anniversary. Reading from a scroll reminiscent of the Old Testament saints, Fallon declared dancing at NBC had been outlawed. Following Bacon’s tremendous performance, Fallon had to retract the ban and allow dancing.
Behind the Scenes of the Original Footloose and Kevin Bacon
Footloose is an American musical by Herbert Ross. Filmed in 1984, the movie is about a city boy, Ren McCormack, who heads to a rural town from Chicago. McCormack is a fanatic about dancing and the small midwestern town he and his mother move to outlawed dancing. A local minister, played by John Lithgow, had persuaded the town to outlaw “sinful gyrations and the devil’s music” following the death of two local teenagers. The events in the movie are based on actual events that occurred in the community of Elmore City, Oklahoma.
Dean Pitchford wrote the screenplay and lyrics for the movie. Co-produced by Paramount Pictures, the movie was directed by Herbert Ross.
Both Tom Cruise and Rob Lowe were originally supposed to play Bacon’s role. The people casting the show were impressed by Cruise’s dancing — and tight underwear — in the film Risky Business. Cruse was unavailable because he was already committed to a different project.
Lowe went to the movie’s auditions three times and had the dancing chops and “teen look” that the director was looking for. An injury kept Lowe from taking the part.
Bacon had already been offered the main role for the classic Stephen King movie, Christine. He chose instead to go with Footloose. Bacon starred with Lori Singer who played the daughter, Ariel, of Lithgow’s character. Daryl Hannah had originally been offered the part, but turned it down in order to play Madison in Splash.
Sixteen other actresses, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Brooke Shields and Heather Locklear, were all considered for the female lead. Sara Jessica Parker received a Best Young Supporting Actress Award for her role as Ariel’s friend Rusty. Chris Penn, younger brother of Sean Penn, found himself being taught how to dance in the movie by his friend Ren.
Various locations in Utah County, Utah were used for filming. The tractor scenes and high school scenes were filmed around Payson, Utah. The church scenes were taped in American Fork, Utah and the steel mill shown in the movie was the Geneva Steel mill. The “High Spot” restaurant was the location of the drive-in and the building is now an auto parts store. The final scene was filmed in Lehi, Utah.
In his dance scene at the warehouse, Bacon had four stunt doubles. One double each for the stunts and dancing and two gymnastics doubles.
Most of the scene’s in Bacon’s performance on The Tonight Show were his, but the studio is keeping a lid on any information about who filled in for some of the more athletic shots.
Everything, even The Tonight Show, is better wrapped in Bacon.
By Jerry Nelson