On Artie Lange's stand-up comedy DVD, Artie Lange: It's the Whiskey Talkin' (2004) an audience member asks him to sign his DVD copy of the film. He does so, and then gives the fan ten dollars, saying "you don't see Ben Affleck doing that for Gigli (2003)!" Lange then mentions that the review in his home town paper, The Star Ledger, said that he "had all the charm of a date rapist", to which MacDonald replied (in a sincere attempt to cheer him up) "that's a lot better than saying you look like a regular rapist!"
In the scene where Mitch (Norm MacDonald) and Sam (Artie Lange) are getting berated by Mr. Hamilton (Don Rickles), Don Rickles started ad-libbing insults. At one point, Don Rickles started insulting Norm McDonald, and not his Mitch Weaver character. This, of course, didn't make it into the film, but the "baby gorilla" line, directed towards Sam, was used.
According to Chevy Chase, he was impressed by the original script's raunchy, R-rated, "over the top" tone (particularly a filmed, but ultimately cut, gag involving MacDonald and Lange delivering donuts that had been photographed around their genitals), and went so far as to tell MacDonald and Lange to not allow any changes. However, the studio insisted on a PG-13 rating, and re-scheduled the film's release from February to June, where it fared poorly against blockbusters like Godzilla (1998). Unfortunately, no alternate scenes had been shot, and the dialogue could only be changed with the actor's re-recording their lines. This may explain why some of the dialogue is dubbed in certain scenes.
Artie Lange was wary of working with Chevy Chase after having heard many stories from friends and colleagues about Chase's nastiness, but in his book "Too Fat to Fish", Lange recounted that he loved working with Chase and they became good friends. Lange also recounted that Chase warned him that MGM would force them to make the film PG-13 rated for release even though it was written and filmed as an R-rated film, and told him to fight that move. Lange, Norm MacDonald, and the rest of the cast and crew did fight for the R, but the studio ultimately refused because they said that there was not a large audience for R-rated comedies at that point; as Lange sadly noted in his book, "Dirty Work" was ultimately moved to an earlier release date in part to stay clear of There's Something About Mary (1988), which was not only an R-rated comedy, but became one of 1998's biggest blockbusters and revived the entire R-rated comedy genre for years to come.
Posters for two James Bond films are seen throughout this movie. The first poster seen is for Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) at the movie theater, where Mitch and Sam are briefly employed. The second poster seen, is for From Russia with Love (1963), during the sabotage of the building at 99 Franklin Street.
Due perhaps to MacDonald not being known as a leading man and mediocre promotion, the film only grossed $13 million. It has, however, done exceptionally well on home video, gaining a cult following over the years. MacDonald has even thought of writing a sequel.