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Cabin Boy is a 1994 fantasy comedy film directed by Adam Resnick and produced by Tim Burton which starred comedian Chris Elliott. Elliott co-wrote the film with Adam Resnick. Both men worked for the Late Night with David Letterman TV show in the 1980s, as well as the short-lived Fox sitcom Get A Life in the early 1990s.

The project was originally to be directed by Tim Burton, who had contacted Chris Elliott after seeing Get a Life episode Neptune 2000. Writer Adam Resnick took over the direction after Burton was offered the film Ed Wood.

Plot summary

Elliott plays a virginal snobby "fancy lad" school boy named Nathaniel Mayweather, who, upon graduation, mistakes the fishing ship The Filthy Whore for the Queen Catherine, a luxury cruise liner bound for Hawaiimarker. Mayweather learns of his mistake only after the ship sets sail, so he is forced to do his best to convince the four filthy seamen to take him to Hawaii to be reunited with his hotel-owner father, played by Elliott's real life father, Bob Elliott.

Nathanial convinces the ship's cabin boy, Kenny, to change course for Hawaii, but when they land in a storm in Hell's Bucket, Kenny is knocked overboard and Nathaniel must take over the role of ship's cabin boy. The crew (and accidental passenger) of The Filthy Whore then encounter a number of strange and disturbing beings as they continue on through Hell's Bucket, including an iceberg monster and Chocki the man-shark. Nathaniel also fishes out a woman from the ocean, iron worker and swimmer Trina, played by Melora Walters.

The film includes a brief appearance from Elliott's former boss, David Letterman, as the crusty fishing village sock monkey salesman. He utters his famous line; "Would you like to buy a monkey?" Letterman preferred to be credited as "Earl Hofert" for his role. It also features former Late Night with Conan O'Brien sidekick Andy Richter as the Filthy Whore's dullard of a first mate, Kenny. Cabin Boy also features a brief, uncredited cameo appearance by Alfred Molina as Nathaniel's teacher.

The crass fishermen are played by Ritch Brinkley (Get A Life), Brian Doyle-Murray (Get A Life), James Gammon (Major League) and Brion James.


Hip hop producer Dan "the Automator" Nakamura named his publishing company, Sharkman Music, after the film. References to the film have appeared in multiple works by Nakamura. For example, the Bulk Recordings edition of Kool Keith's debut solo album Dr. Octagonecologyst, contains a dialogue excerpt from the film preceding the song "halfsharkalligatorhalfman".


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