SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure yet, that's bogus, so it’s discussed as though you have below.
When you think about it, the idea of a time-traveling phone booth is just as silly as a time-traveling DeLorean, or any other cinematic time-traveling contraption – except for maybe a hot tub. But Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’s creators – director Stephen Herek (Critters) and writers Ed Solomon (Men in Black) and Chris Matheson – were no doubt going for the goofy from the ship up. As such, it’s one of the reasons the movie remains most excellent, and Bill & Ted's phone booth (on loan from Rufus) the stuff of love.
How unlikely is it that a movie like Bill & Ted’s became a hit in the first place, forget about standing the test of time travel? I mean, the premise is bonkers: The two most stoned dudes in San Dimas start a band that changes the course of time, so much so that George Carlin zips back from Futuristic City in the year 2688, via electrified phone booth no less, to guide the duo to a rocking, time-traveling history report starring Sigmund Freud, Napoleon, Mrs. Noah Arc, Billy the Kid, Dave Beeth-oven, Abraham Lincoln, Genghis Khan, and So-Crates (all of whom somehow fit in a time-traveling phone booth), which allows them to pass history, avoid Bill getting sent to military school, and keep on rocking so hard in the free world that they change the world into a most outstanding utopia.
Granted, when you’re talking about a band as shredding as Wyld Stallyns, it makes a bit more sense.
Besides, these were the late ‘80s, pivoting into the early ‘90s, and times were a bit bonkers. Pauly Shore and Brendan Fraser can attest to that. Yet while those two haven’t exactly flourished lately, Bill S. Preston Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan, and their mighty time-traveling phone booth, have gained cult legend, and successfully launched the even more unlikely career of Keanu Reeves, action star. I can only hope that perhaps in the utopian future, Alex Winter is churning out questionable karate kicks too.
Of course, none of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (or their subsequent bogus journey to hell, two full seasons of animated adventures, and the Boom! Studios comic) could have happened at all without the time-traveling phone booth -- which is itself even funnier nowadays, seeing as phone booths have pretty much gone the way of the dodo. But not Bill and Ted’s booth, oh no, not by a long shot. May she sail again soon!