Today I learned that Ben Stiller was considered the role of the defrosted caveman in the 1992 comedy Encino Man. However, Brendan Fraser ultimately landed the breakthrough part, partly due to Stiller's scheduling conflict. Pauly Shore, who played the Valley dude "Stoney" Brown in the movie, recently shared Stiller's screen test on YouTube. In the clip, Stiller acts alongside Keith Coogan (Adventures in Babysitting), who lost the role of the California teen that discovers the caveman frozen in ice to Sean Astin. As you'll see, Jeff Maynard (UHF) also auditioned for Stoney's part, prompting Shore to comment, "not cool dooodzzzz!!"(Neatorama)
[Encino Man Director] Les Mayfield: [Stiller] demonstrated the potential of the character and he was absolutely fantastic. What I recall is, once we actually got our start dates locked up, there was a conflict and he wasn't available.
[Encino Man Producer/Writer] George Zaloom: He was even screen-tested. And he did a really good job. But at some point, we had seen Brendan. Brendan just nailed it.