The film was mostly shot in Bangkok, Thailand, and at the time, several hundred male students from the International (American) School of Bangkok (ISB) were recruited as extras to perform in the multitude of shots showing American GI's throughout the film. As a courtesy, Robin Williams actually came to ISB and put on a stand up routine for all students in the 10th grade and above.
Robin Williams's portrayal of Adrian Cronauer has led to confusion as to the beliefs of the real Cronauer. Cronauer has said that the film is about 45 percent accurate, according to a biography on Robin Williams. Cronauer has said that the film misrepresented him to make him seem anti-war, when he was, in his own words, "anti-stupidity". In fact, today Cronauer - who is now a lawyer - remains an active Republican and was a vice-chairman of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. Furthermore, Cronauer has also said that if he'd done half the things Williams did in the film, he would've been court-martialed and sent to Fort Leavenworth.
The script went through several revisions after it was originally drafted by Adrian Cronauer in 1979. Cronauer first pitched it as a TV series, then a Movie-of-the-Week. It was the latter treatment that landed in the lap of Robin Williams, who realized the DJ role would be the perfect outlet for his brand of comedy. The original treatment by Cronauer was completely re-tooled for Williams.
No Beatles songs were played because at that time the copyrights to their songs had not been released for use in movies or any other media outlet. This was also the case with the film Pirate Radio. The DJs worshipped the Beatles and talked about them often but they could NOT play their songs.
Bruno Kirby said he enjoyed working on this film more than any others in his career. He also said he could never tell a fan this, as they all wanted to hear that he was proudest of The Godfather: Part II (1974).