You Can Thank Nicholas Brendon’s Buffy Audition For The Avengers’ Shwarma Joke

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The Avengers shwarma scene joke post-credits Joss Whedon Buffy the Vampire Slayer Nicholas Brendon audition Xander

If we did a roundup of Best Movie Scenes of 2012, the post-credits shwarma scene from The Avengers would be near the top. It was a simple, wordless, hilarious bit of comic gold, classic Joss Whedon. At the time of the movie's release, all the press said that Robert Downey Jr. ad-libbed the line while playing Tony Stark in the aftermath of the huge battle. But we've since learned that not only did it come from Whedon himself, but it came from Whedon circa 2003.

Sharp-eyed YouTuber Buffyfan45 was watching the special features from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and happened upon this interview with Whedon and Nicholas Brendon, who of course we all grew up loving as the show's celebrated normal guy Xander Harris. They're fondly remembering Nicholas' audition for the show back in the mid-'90s, which he mostly screwed up. But of course he got the part, so what happened?

“I will tell you the word that probably changed your life,” Whedon says. “Shwarma.”

As Nicholas laughs along, Whedon tells the whole story: “We brought him in, we weren’t sure, we had other people, it wasn’t a slam dunk, it almost never is. Nicky just tore the place apart, was just weird. We hadn't seen it before. And afterwards he was like, ‘Does anybody feel like shawarma? I feel like some shawarma.'”

Tony Stark makes a quip about shwarma partway through The Avengers, and when he comes hurtling back to Earth after his big sacrifice, he says almost the exact same line. From the DVD commentary, we know that Downey Jr.'s ad-libbing involved Whedon throwing him some lines. When he wasn't quite happy with what Tony says after being revived, Whedon mentioned the shwarma line… and the rest is superhero movie history.

It's really great to see this throwaway moment from Whedon history used in such a perfect way some fifteen years later. Does this mean we might see Brendon in The Avengers 2?

[via The Mary Sue]

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