Before filming the scene in which Sheriff Dollard (played by Chris Penn) pulls the car over at the roadside, Patrick Swayze secretly placed a corn cob down the front of his underwear. Penn's expression of shock upon putting his hand up Swayze's dress is not faked.
Wong Foo, or "Fooey" as his friends called him, was the head bartender at the China Bowl restaurant. It was on 152 west 44th Street east of Broadway and closed in the 1993. The walls of the restaurant were covered with head shots of famous actors and actresses who had stopped by the place.
Director Beeban Kidron gave birth to her first child, Noah Kidron-Style (from her relationship with Spencer Style), on the last night of filming. Noah is listed in the film's crew credits as "Best Baby" (a word play on the crew term "Best Boy").
Several character names are taken from classic literature. Virgil and Beatrice appear in Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy", while Billy Budd and Crazy Elija appear in Herman Melville works, "Billy Budd" and "Moby Dick", respectively.
The passage, "That season we were loaded with pizzazz. Earrings of fuchsia and peach. Mind you, peach. And hats. Hats, hats, hats for career girls," does not appear in the book "D.V.", but the passage, "How I adored Paris!" marks the beginning of Chapter Twenty-One.
Golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez won an undisclosed sum from Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment after complaining that John Leguizamo's character shared his name. Rodriguez claimed that being linked to a gay character who dresses in drag had harmed his reputation.
The early scene with Robin Williams was filmed at the Canton Restaurant located in the Journal Square section of Jersey City NJ. The restaurant had been an institution for 50 some years. Sadly it closed 10 or so years ago. It had a beautiful circular dance floor in the center of the dining room The set dressers only had to add the framed photos and small touches around the wooden banquettes.
The hotel where the basketball tournament and subsequent hotel stay for Chi-Chi, Noxema and Vida (The Omaha New Tower Inn) was sold in 1996 and was eventually torn down in September of 1997. A strip mall now occupies the space and is called The Tower Plaza.