If you've enjoyed the cinematic work of Quentin Tarantino, you have The Golden Girls to thank. This week, Tarantino appeared on The Tonight Show with host Jimmy Fallon to speak about his career. Going back to the filmmaker's roots, Fallon asked Tarantino to explain the interesting connection between Tarantino's first movie, Reservoir Dogs, and the '80s sitcom The Golden Girls. As it turns out, if it wasn't for Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia, Tarantino may not have ever gotten Reservoir Dogs made, essentially making his directing career possible.
As Tarantino explains in his Tonight Show interview, he had pursued acting work before becoming a movie director. Unfortunately, Tarantino did not find much success as an actor, though his headshot did land him a gig as an Elvis impersonator on an episode of The Golden Girls. Although it was a bit part, Tarantino managed to be featured in both installments of a two-part episode, doubling his pay as an extra. The residuals Tarantino would then earn from the brief scene would be just enough to get him by until he could launch his legendary directing career with Reservoir Dogs, and the rest, as they say, is history.
"It became a two-part Golden Girls, so I got paid residuals for both parts. And, it was so popular, that they put on a "Best of The Golden Girls," and I got residuals every time that showed. So, I got paid maybe $650 for the episode, but by the time the residuals were over, three years later, I made like $3000, and that kept me going through our pre-production time trying to get Reservoir Dogs going."
Of course, Fallon also had a clip of the footage of Tarantino's appearance on the classic sitcom. Standing amongst a crowd of Elvis impersonators at Sophia's wedding, Tarantino can be seen delivering his best dance moves reminiscent of the King of Rock 'n Roll. Clearly, the future filmmaker is out of sync with the rest of the impersonators in the group, and as Tarantino also reveals, this was because he was totally singing a completely different song than the others. The clip gave the studio audience a big laugh, and Quentin Tarantino also seemed rather amused to revisit the scene so many years later.
The Golden Girls starred Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Betty White, and Estelle Getty as four mature women sharing a home in Miami. Running for seven seasons, the '80s comedy series remains one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. In addition to Tarantino, the series hosted many notable stars in brief acting roles. This includes George Clooney, Mario Lopez, Rita Moreno, Burt Reynolds, and Leslie Nielsen.
Tarantino's latest movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is now available on home video. Some fans of the filmmaker say the acclaimed movie is Tarantino's best work yet. In any case, from Reservoir Dogs to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, we may never have gotten any of it at all if not for Sophia Petrillo getting hitched on a classic episode of The Golden Girls. You can watch Tarantino tell the story in the YouTube video below, courtesy of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.