The following is a series of short write-ups on recurring sketches that appeared four or fewer times on Saturday Night Live
. Some characters who fit into this category do not appear here because they fit better into one of the other categories listed below. Furthermore, characters that are played by current cast members won't show up here until that cast member has left the show.
Character Lists: Alphabetical and Chronological
7 Degrees Celsius
- See entry: 7 Degrees Celsius on Saturday Night Live musical sketches.
See Main Article for Adult Students
April May June
Tracy Morgan parody
-era science fiction
movies, albeit with a sexually irrepressible astronaut
. Morgan crooned a surprisingly catchy Sinatra-style theme song while sauntering in front of a low-budget "alien planet
" with suitcase in hand. After this title sequence took up half the sketch, a typical "episode" would feature a remarkably attractive alien such as Brittany Murphy
begging our hero's help to save her people, while an oblivious Astronaut Jones propositioned her relentlessly. The closing credits informed us that the "Astronaut Jones" was written and directed by Tracy Morgan, who was also responsible for the hair and makeup.
Episodes featuring Astronaut Jones
Adam Sandler plays an audience member who interrupts sketches (Example: Cutting off "Pat" (Julia Sweeney) when Pat is about to say what sex he/she is.)
Barry Gibb Talk Show
Talk show hosted by the former Bee Gee
, portrayed by Jimmy Fallon
. Justin Timberlake
appeared as his brother, Robin
Played by Phil Hartman
during his two hosting stints on SNL
was an acting coach that was prone to being overtly aggressive with his students.
- See entry: Candy Slice on Saturday Night Live musical sketches.
Captain Jim & Pedro
portrayed by Tim Meadows was an urbane sea captain who was trapped on a desert island with a mentally challenged first mate Pedro
(played by Adam Sandler). Captain Jim would often explain his efforts to leave the island, with Pedro making bizarre non-sequiturs, usually involving the killing of monkeys. It should be noted that Pedro is remarkably similar to a less profane version of the Buffoon, a recurring character on Sandler's album "They're All Gonna Laugh At You."
In this type of sketch, the host of the show would advertise a restaurant they owned. Past sketches have included:
There was originally a Celebrity Restaurant sketch where Paris Hilton owned a seafood restaurant, but Hilton rejected it after learning that one of her lines was, "Hi, I'm Paris Hilton, and I have a lot of crabs!" (a double entendre referencing crab lice).
Chi Chi & Consuela
Two young Hispanic women played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mary Gross who were obsessed with television. Their catch phrase was a heavily accented " LET'S WATCH TV !!! "
Christmas is Number One
A Christmas song where Horatio Sanz
would play a Martin Backpacker travel guitar and sing, Jimmy Fallon
, would play a keyboard which was slung around Chris Kattan's neck, and Tracy Morgan would dance. The song lyrics were repeating that different people were wrong and Christmas was number one.
Craig Sundberg, Idiot Savant
Craig Sundberg was a recurring character on SNL played by one-seasoner, Anthony Michael Hall. Sundberg was a teenager who was very intelligent and talented, despite his vacuous facial expression and stilted speech that suggested that he was mentally retarded.
- See entry: Derek Stevens on Saturday Night Live musical sketches.
Dick Clark's Receptionist
In this sketch, David Spade
would play a snotty receptionist
who wouldn't let anyone go into the office. Every attempt was met with a sarcastic "And you are...?" or "And he would know you from ...?" Every one got this treatment, no matter how well known or important, even Jesus Christ
David Spade has said that he created this character after Patrick Swayze hosted SNL; the character is based on Swayze's personal assistant.
as a disc jockey
- See entry: Dwight MacNamara on Weekend Update characters.
Played by Gary Kroeger. In one sketch, dates Julia Louis-Dreyfuss.
During this ABC’s Wide World of Sports
-type absurdist parody, sports reporter Joe Piscopo
pro Eddie Atari
) from the inside of his "spaceship." Piscopo asks Eddie in the heat of his arcade battle what keeps him going, to which the silver-spacesuit-donning Eddie replies "Quarters, Man!"
Cutting to actual screens of Asteroids, Eddie Atari proceeds to blow up asteroids, a UFO and a badly superimposed Goodyear Blimp, which sends Piscopo into a rant reminiscent of the Hindenburg Disaster broadcast. (Season 6: Episode 8; 24 Jan. 1981)
The Elevator Fans
Famous stars get stuck in an elevator with exuberant fans Kevin Nealon
and Dana Carvey
, who sing repetitive song lyrics until the stars can't take it anymore.
Episodes featuring The Elevator Fans
Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute
Played by Dan Aykroyd
with Garrett Morris
as his pimp
Frank Gannon, P.I. P.I.
P.I. P.I. stood for "Politically Incorrect Private Investigator." Kevin Nealon
portrayed Gannon, who would frequently make ignorant assumptions based on stereotypes, such as meeting an African-American medical doctor and assuming that her doctorate was in Jazz Music or African-American studies.
Frank & Papa
Gene the Ex-Convict
Gerald "T-Bone" Tibbins
"T-Bone" is a socially-awkward Southerner
played by David Koechner
. In one sketch, he plays an executioner who continually fakes out the prisoner by pretending to flip the switch on the electric chair. T-Bone would return to the screen in 2007
on Comedy Central
's The Naked Trucker and T-Bones Show
Get Off The Shed!
As it was his first ever SNL sketch, "Get Off The Shed!
" introduced Will Ferrell
to the world on the first episode of SNL's 21st season (host: Mariel Hemingway
; musical guest: Blues Traveler
). Ferrell portrayed a patriarch named Frank Henderson, who would address his off-camera children to get off their backyard shed as he was grilling hamburgers
and entertaining houseguests. The man would talk to his guests, frequently interrupting himself to tell his children to "Get off the shed!" As the sketch wore on, the character became more abusive in his language and threats toward his children as the guests became more and more disgusted at his antics. The sketch appeared again on the same season, on an episode hosted by Christine Baranski
(with musical guest The Cure
). Both sketches also featured David Koechner
and Nancy Walls
as Henderson's friends, Tom and Susan Taylor. As shown on the Best of Will Ferrell DVD, Ferrell came up with this character himself and used it for his audition.
In this series of memorable sketches, Tom Hanks
and Jon Lovitz
portray a pair of hapless bachelors who suavely attempt to hit on every woman that walks by. None of the females ever respond, or even seem to notice them, and the two simply respond to each other in the same suave manner as they are rejected by each one. In between each proposition, they constantly make comments about how pathetic their lives are in the same tone, frequently high-fiving
one another. Created by Robert Smigel
and Conan O'Brien
, they were based on one time when they were girl watching, and Smigel said, suavely, "Hello!" to a girl, who passed them by, prompting O'Brien to say, in the same tone, "And goodbye!"
is a fictional character
, a humorous Jewish
counterpart of Santa Claus
. Portrayed by Jon Lovitz
, the character made two appearances, "The Night Hanukkah Harry Saved Christmas" and "The Night Hanukkah Harry Saved Easter". Both sketches were written by Al Franken
Hanukkah Harry is portrayed as a man in an old-time traditional vest (coat removed) and fur hat with a grey beard. During the eight days of Hanukkah, he rides in a wagon (similar to that of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof), pulled by three donkeys (named Moishe, Herschel, and Schlomo). Much like Santa, he delivers presents (which are often practical rather than fun, such as socks) to children during the eight days of Hanuakkah. However, instead of residing at the North Pole, Hanukkah Harry and his workers (who are elderly Jewish retirees being paid "under the table" so as to avoid losing their social security benefits) reside in Miami and wear blue clothing otherwise reminiscent of Santa and his elves. During the sketch, he would exclaim, "oy, presents" upon entering homes during the nights of Hanukkah.
The Herlihy Boy
portrayed The Herlihy Boy
in a series of fake commercials, accompanied by an unnamed character, possibly his father, played by Chris Farley
. Both talking to the camera, they would try to convince the audience that the Herlihy boy was responsible enough to care for a vacationing family's home. The Herlihy boy would repeatedly promise to take care of various things around the home, and plead with the viewers to trust him. The camera would then pan to Farley who would angrily demand that the viewer trust the boy. As the commercial went on, the Herlihy boy would admit that while house sitting he would do bizarre things to the family's home and Farley would become more and more agitated to the point of screaming and crying. By the end of the sketch it would become noticeably difficult for Sandler to maintain his composure and not break character. The character was named for long-time Sandler collaborator Tim Herlihy
was a sketch reminiscent of the Olympia Cafe
("Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger") sketch of the 1970s
. Rob Schneider
, Adam Sandler
, Chris Farley
, and Robert Smigel
played the staff of the restaurant and Mike Myers
or Tim Meadows
would play the customers. The premise of the sketch was that the customer felt that his gyro was dry and asked for more juice. The staff would then ask, "You like-a the juice?
" in a suggestive manner. Following each response, the various staff members would continue making comments in the same vein, such as "Juice is good, huh? Juice make sandwich better? I get you the juice
". The staff was exceptionally smarmy.
In one episode, the "juice" had turned rancid, and Rob Schneider's character has to go to Mount Olympus to get more juice and is greeted there by Zeus (Phil Hartman) alluding that the juice was in fact the mythical food of the gods, ambrosia. Schneider eventually rushes Zeus through his speech as he is only interested in the juice. We are then introduced to Stavros God Of "The Juice".
One of the Hub's Gyros sketches ends with David Spade demanding the sketch end after a handful of cast members (including the restaurant staff themselves) admitting that the sketch is running long, and that it was the "same thing, over and over again".
The real Hub's Gyros is located in Chicago, IL and the restaurant features painted murals of scenes from the sketches on its walls. Sketch writer Robert Smigel was a frequent diner there when he lived in Chicago.
Iris De Flaminio
, a parody of a stereotypical has-been Jewish-American Tin Pan Alley
songwriter, more currently the host of a late-night talk show. Short first played the character on SCTV
, and later played the character again on Primetime Glick
The character is said to have written over 2000 songs and, after some reminiscing, has occasion to improvise new ones with the phrase, "Give me a C, a bouncy C...". He can never seem to finish any of them however, as he finishes each song with "...and da, da, da-- dee, dee, dee-- whatever the hell else ya wanna put in there...", then swearing, choking on his large cigar, and coughing up phlegm.
Jimmy Fallon and various guest hosts play elitist store clerks who insult and shun their customers. Will Ferrell plays their supervisor, another snobbish hipster, who arrives on a mobility scooter, and always has some pressing issue that needs to be addressed, via an incredibly small cell phone (which gets smaller with each appearance, until the last one, in which he pulls out a large, old-fashioned cell phone, announcing that "big is the new small"). Horatio Sanz has a recurring role as customer who is repeatedly abused by the clerks.
The Jones Brothers
The Jones Brothers are recurring characters during SNL's 1985-1986 season. The Jones Brothers, named Ned and Fed, were two drugged-out inner city street hustlers played by feature player Damon Wayans (who played Ned) and repertory player Anthony Michael Hall (who played Fed) who starred in two fake commercials, selling stolen merchandise, including bikes, TVs, computers, stolen purses with I.D., and (in their final appearance on the episode hosted by Griffin Dunne with musical guest Roseanne Cash) cable television. A version of this sketch would appear on In Living Color as "Homeboy Shopping Network".
plays Judy Miller
, a hyper little girl with an overactive imagination, playing with her dolls, a bridal veil and other toys and clothes in her bedroom, while acting out and narrating her own imaginary "show" with great enthusiasm, sometimes to her downstairs mother's exasperation.
On the first episode featuring this sketch, Gilda Radner had broken her ribs during dress rehearsal when she slammed herself against the door. Despite this, Radner went out and performed the sketch on the live show.
The Leather Man
Played by Jimmy Fallon, the Leather man was a sexual and persuasive owner of a leather shop and referred to leather as a "second skin".
Played by David Spade
, Karl was the nosy, irksome owner of a video rental
where celebrities occasionally dropped by.
The Livelys was a recurring sketch on SNL's low-rated sixth season about a game show host Phil Lively (played by Charles Rocket) and his wife (played by Gail Matthius) who treated life as if it were just a game show. The couple lived with Phil's father, a cantankerous old man who was never seen but was heard shouting orders at them (played by longtime SNL announcer Don Pardo). Whenever visitors came to the Livelys' home, they were quizzed. If they answered incorrectly, they would be thrown out of the house (this is particularly true in one sketch where fellow Jean Doumanian castmember Ann Risley plays a retirement center owner who wants Phil's father to come with her and Phil asks the owner to give him one good reason why Phil's father should be in a retirement home http://snltranscripts.jt.org/80/80jlivelys.phtml).
Lothar of the Hill People
Portrayed by Mike Myers, Lothar
dressed in the manner of prehistoric man, and tended to focus on "timeless problems" such as the difference between men and women, the implication being that nothing had changed between the modern day and prehistoric times. The capstone joke was that the warriors had not "walked with a woman" in many moons, when another warrior admitted that he "walked by himself". The name may have been a twist on the name of a psychedelic band from the late 1960s, Lothar and the Hand People
The opening title sequence from this sketch comprises stock footage from the movie Conan the Barbarian.
Lyle the Effeminate Heterosexual
Lyle the Effeminate Heterosexual
(full name: Lyle Billup) was a character played by Dana Carvey
in the late 1980s on Saturday Night Live
. Lyle was a straight man with a lisp and outrageously stereotypical homosexual mannerisms. Everyone in the sketches thought he was gay, including his wife and children.
The basic premise of a "Lyle" sketch found Lyle giving sexual advice to someone; that someone would then respond along the lines of "How would you know, aren't you gay?" At this, Lyle would gasp in dramatic surprise while looking into the camera: "WHAAAAAATT??!! Why, that is just INSANE!"
This sketch had its own theme song, as have many sketches on Saturday Night Live, regardless of how short-lived they were. Other similar examples are "Nicole, the Girl With No Gay-Dar" (Rachel Dratch), "Passive Aggressive Pam" (Ana Gasteyer), as well as "Massive Headwound Harry", another Carvey character.
Episodes featuring Lyle the Effeminate Heterosexual
The Mall Sketches
Originated in a sketch about "The Scotch Boutique", a store that sold nothing but adhesive tape. This sketch revolved around the inanity of a store offering such a specialized product line. Customers came in with the mistaken assumption that the store sold other stationery items or even audio cassettes (though the store did make photocopies at the bargain price of nine cents each).
A follow-up sketch appeared in the episode hosted by Rick Nelson. Nelson and Bill Murray played the proprietors of "D & R Men's Hair Stylists", an upscale men's barber shop located in the same mall as the tape store. Dan Aykroyd appeared as the owner of a men's suit store. Much of the sketch revolved around the lack of business in the mall and Gilda Radner appeared as wife of the tape store's owner who cheerfully remarked that the tape store was very busy, as owners of other stores in the mall needed to buy tape to put up their "Going Out Of Business Sale" signs. Mention is also made of a pet shop where no dogs have been sold in such a long time that all the dogs are eating "Cycle 4" (The "Cycle" brand dog foods were prepared to fit the needs of dogs at specific stages in their development. "Cycle 4" was for older dogs.)
was seen during the "Suckerpunch" Gameshow sketch on the December 14
episode of SNL
. This character played the audience member in the isolation box. He was eventually "suckerpunched" by Steve Martin after being led out of the box in a blindfold. At that point he fell to the ground, remaining there for the rest of the sketch.
was a recurring character during SNL's
low-rated sixth season (when Jean Doumanian was producer) played by Denny Dillon
. Mary Louise was an emotionally disturbed child who liked to torture people with her hand puppet, Sam the Snake.
Marvin & Celeste
Melanie the Babysitter
was a quasi-superhero character created by Mike Myers
. He was the alter-ego of middle-aged Ed Miles who, merely by virtue of being middle-aged, "possessed powers and knowledge far beyond younger men," in the words of his theme song. Accompanied by his sidekick, "Drinking Buddy" (Chris Farley
), he offered to those younger than himself his hard-won wisdom about matters such as car maintenance, sex, and escrow accounts. His catchphrase
, "Whaddya lookin' at? You're lookin' at my gut, aren't ya?! Well, I'm workin' on it!", didn't catch on, but Myers chose a similar catchphrase for his more popular Simon
character: "Were you looking at my bum? Bum-looker
Episodes Featuring Middle-Aged Man
Mighty Mack Blues
- See entry: Mighty Mack Blues on Saturday Night Live musical sketches.
Mr. Short-Term Memory
played Mr. Short-Term Memory
on occasion when he would host SNL
. Due to getting hit on the head by a pear which had fallen from a tree, San Bernardino
advertising man Jeffrey Morrow (Hanks) had no short-term memory
. Thus, he constantly forgot about things which had just occurred...and even things which had occurred long ago. The most famous of these sketches found Jeff appearing on "Game Beaters" (a fictional game show)--continuously forgetting the question asked him. (Actually, he didn't remember being asked a question at all, or even where he was or why!) Moreover, Jeff was continuously amazed to find Tony Randall
--his celebrity partner--sitting next to him. He kept begging for Randall's autograph, which the Odd Couple
star gave him, but to no great effect: "What, do you just hand these out to people you bump into on the street? That's kind of sad...TONY RANDALL! I am a big fan of yours!! Can I have your autograph please-please-please..."
Later, Kevin Nealon played a similar character called Mr. No Depth Perception whose ability only to see in two dimensions caused mishaps such as shouting to persons next to him (or whispering at those far away) and accidentally backing a truck into his house.
Was a character played by Robin Duke as the hypothetical (and similarly attired) wife of entertainment personality Mr. T
. She had her own brand of Bloody Mary mix. (This character was probably inspired by the appearance of Mr. T on the show, and the real-life "Mr. & Mrs. T" cocktail mixes marketed by Motts, Inc.)
was a waitress played by Cheri Oteri
. Nadeen was rude to her customers and spoke in a very thick New Orleans "patois
" accent that was hard to understand. Her catch-phrase was "simma down now!"
Nicole, The Girl With No Gay-Dar
) was a character who frequently went to gay bars
or all-male parties looking for dates, and was completely oblivious to the fact that all the men were overtly homosexual
. The title refers to the cultural concept of gaydar
, or the intuitive ability to distinguish homosexuals from heterosexuals.
portrays a man who only speaks in operatic voice on Weekend Update
, with the lyrics subtitled for the viewer's enjoyment. He would sing short current-events stories usually involving himself, dressed in a cape, white gloves, and long stringy black hair.
This sketch features a man named Ron (played by Rob Schneider
) who gets excited to the point of orgasm
over the simplest of things. He also had a French cousin ("L'homme Orgasme") played by Tom Schiller
Episodes featuring Orgasm Guy
Out Of Africa
plays a hippie
shopkeeper who sells rare and ancient African
and South American
artifacts. Whenever a customer inquires about a certain item, he explains what it is (which usually involves some kind of holy or ceremonial ritual), and then when they invariably ask what it's used for, his answer is always, "You put your weed in there!"
At the end of almost every sketch the shopkeeper would be placed under arrest for marijuana possession, usually given away by his own nervousness. When a cop (played by Charles Barkley) enters the store to tell him he left his car lights on, the shopkeeper gives himself away by adamantly proclaiming that "there's nothing in here that you could put weed into!" Another time police came to the shop to investigate a robbery, when the shopkeepers are nervous; despite the fact they themselves were the ones who called the police.
In the 2002 Rob Schneider film The Hot Chick, the same character was played by Adam Sandler.
Phillip the Hyper Hypo
was a Hyperactive
child who appeared in two episodes. The first was hosted by Nicole Kidman
), the second by Kim Basinger
). Phillip was played by Mike Myers
and the sketch took place on a playground where he was accompanied by the female host. Phillip wore a red helmet with his name on the front and was attached to the jungle gym by a harness. He would have hyperactive outbursts and the sketch would culminate with the female character giving chocolate
to Phillip, causing him to "freak out" and rip the jungle gym from the ground and run down the street pulling it behind him.
Frankie and Willie
Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest played a pair of blue collar workers who would pass the time at their jobs by discussing their masochistic habits (i.e. running a cheese grater over their bare skin, pouring lemon juice into a paper cut, shaving their buttocks and squatting in a bowl of gin). Another "hook" featured in sketches involving these two characters was the quirk that the two men seemed to know each other so well that they finished each other's sentences in an odd way. For example, if Frankie were discussing how he spent the weekend prodding the webbing between his thumb and forefinger with a shrimp fork, he might be unable to come up with the phrase "shrimp fork". He would make a hand gesture that vaguely suggested the item and Willie would suggest "Shrimp Fork?" and Frankie would say "Yeah, that's it!" Crystal's catch-phrase following a particularly cringe-worthy practice was " Ooh, I hate when that happens!"
The Rocky Roads
was portrayed by Molly Shannon
. O'Malley was a fifty-year-old widowed housewife
who was not ashamed to reveal her age to anyone in the room ("I'm fif
ty!"). The character enjoyed going out for auditions and job interviews (seeking positions usually filled by younger people) to prove age doesn't matter. Despite her age, she prided herself on being extremely agile, regularly proclaiming that she liked to "Kick
... and KICK
!" O'Malley's age would sometimes catch up with her, but she always charmed her potential bosses by eventually proving she had what it took, allowing her to land every job she tried out for.
The Sensitive Naked Man
Rob Schneider portrayed a social worker who was sensitive toward others and attempted to solve problems. Unfortunately, many of the problems stemmed from the reaction to his nudity, such as when his son was teased at school about his father's nudity, which the Sensitive Naked Man attributed to his poor paying job as a social worker. His nudity was often creatively obstructed, though there were a couple of instances where Schneider's bare backside was clearly visible.
Shower Mike with Richard Herkiman
was a sarcastic SNL
character portrayed by Norm Macdonald
. There is no set theme among the different appearances; aside from the character being named "Stan Hooper", the sketches are all unrelated.
Hooper first appeared in a sketch where he visits a psychic (played by host Laura Leighton), who correctly sees the most intimate details of his life, but incorrectly states that Hooper once lived in Dayton, Ohio. As the psychic continued to reveal details, even conjuring up the ghost of Hooper's dead mother, Stan continuously reminds the seer that he never lived in Dayton.
Stan also appeared as a contestant on a religious game show, where the host (played by Nancy Walls) would read the question and the answer, and Hooper would only need to respond with "Yeah, I knew that" to win the game. The other contestants and host were amazed at how much Hooper knew about the Holy Bible as he raked in the money. Hooper was so nonchalant about the game show that he was eating a McDonald's meal while appearing.
MacDonald borrowed the character's name for his short-lived 2003 sitcom, A Minute with Stan Hooper, although the character's traits were vastly different.
This series of sketches showed a group of Seinfeld
-esque stand-up comedians
played by Tom Hanks
, Dennis Miller
(in one of his rare, non-Weekend Update
performances), Jon Lovitz
, and (originally) Damon Wayans
, as seen backstage at a comedy club
. While waiting to go onstage, they would mill around and rant with each other, applying observational comedy
to various commonplace subjects. They often began by questioning, "What's the deal with (subject)?", then putting their comedic take on it, and always concluding with the statement, "I
want to know!" They usually drank coffee
, fueling further discussions (such as, what Colombian
coffee tasters do on their coffee breaks) and repeatedly used the expression, "Hey
!" (and variations, such as, "I mean, Hey
On one occasion, Dennis Miller and Jon Lovitz's characters got into a heated debate over a new name for half and half dairy creamer. Miller said they should call it "crilk", while Lovitz argued that it should be "meam". They went back and forth like this a few times until a fight broke out, with Miller trying to wrestle Lovitz to the ground.
A very similar sketch was done some years later, featuring a group of similar comedians, (albeit, an entirely new cast), on a Jeopardy like game show titled "Stand Up & Win" with a host played by Jerry Seinfeld (as a direct parody of his own stand-up act). The biggest laugh was garnered by Rob Schneider in the category "Oprah" commenting on her weight changes "...Come on, pick a body and go with it." (It should be noted that the original sketch first appeared in 1985, before Seinfeld was a well-known comic.)
Starkeesha & Appreciante
Two stereotypical "ghetto" black girls. Starkeesha was played by Finesse Mitchell
Stuart Rankin, All Things Scottish
Stuart Rankin was a Mike Myers creation. He was an irascible old Scottish man who owned a shop called "All Things Scottish." He greeted customers and answered the phone with the phrase, "If it's not Scottish, it's CRAP!" The sketch mainly consisted of people coming into his shop looking for Scottish things, and then being berated for their lack of Scottishness. A common joke was that a customer would come in asking for something that was Irish in origin. An enraged Myers would yell at them to get out, one such time pulling out a map and yelling, "Oh, it's the same thing, is it? Here's Ireland, here’s Scotland, here’s the bloody sea!! There's nae difference?"
Susan the Transsexual
Played by Phil Hartman
was a frequent guest on Sprockets
. Susan was extremely mannish, with poorly gobbed on lipstick and a deep, husky voice.
The Sweeney Sisters
Played by Jan Hooks
and Nora Dunn
, they were a bad lounge type act that would play very small gigs such as Bar Mitzvahs and prisons. They sang medleys that included very unexpected songs such as Hava Nagila
and would be overly chipper unless the song called for a melancholy number. They would break in an out of emotions in an instant but always came back to their overly happy and chipper mood no matter what the occasion, almost always eventually breaking into "Clang, Clang, Clang!" - their rendition of The Trolley Song
Tales From The Barbecue
Tales From The Barbecue
was one of the few recurring sketches that featured Tim Meadows
in his first three seasons with Saturday Night Live
. Unfortunately, only two sketches of this kind were aired. Meadows played a greying patriarch, known only as "Pop", with a flair for barbecuing. Each sketch illustrated through flashbacks how Pop (his young counterpart played by Chris Rock
) used his barbecuing skills to save the day. In one sketch he battled Nazis
, and in another he saved Christmas
in the role of Santa Claus
Episodes Featuring "Tales From The Barbecue"
Terrell and his wife
Terrell and his wife
are played by SNL
writers J. B. Smoove
and Paula Pell
. They would often be in the audience during a celebrity host's monologue and ask questions.
Terrence Maddox, Nude Model
played Terrence Maddox
, a homeless
(and possibly mentally ill) Vietnam War veteran
who would be hired at the last minute to model in the nude for an art class. Terrence is a disgusting, repulsive, filthy slob, with one testicle who may or may not have hepatitis
. He would usually end up doing something so disgusting (for instance in one sketch he proceeded to make nachos on his bare chest proclaiming “The Body Heat Melts the Jack”) that the students in the class would complain and ask him to leave. This would cause Maddox to break into a fit of wheezing tears, after which he would proceed to stand up and eloquently defend his dignity. The impassioned speech, though usually culminating in a threat involving him waiting in the parking lot or defecating on the students' cars, would inspire the students to paint and sculpt masterpieces illustrating his strange behavior. Each sketch would end with Maddox pointing to his winking eye and saying "Wink!" In one episode Drew Barrymore played Ferrell's girlfriend and we learned they met when she was an underage prostitute in Vietnam.
That Black Girl
That Black Girl (real name: LaToya Marie) is a recurring character played by one-season castmember, the late Danitra Vance
. LaToya Marie (much like Vance herself during her tenure on SNL) was a struggling actress trying to hit the big time, despite that she was always put in racially stereotypical parts. The sketch title is a parody of the sitcom "That Girl".
The second part of this skit involved "guest director" Francis Ford Coppola contrasting the first part with gritty urban '70s style realism.
That White Guy
Theodoric of York
Theodoric of York
was a medieval
character played by Steve Martin
. He was sought for help in times of trouble by others who lived in his village. In the first such sketch which aired on April 22
, Theodoric was a barber who posed the rhetorical question
of whether it would be better to use scientific method
and clinical procedures in medicine
or to still believe that disease was caused by a patient swallowing a toad
or perhaps a small dwarf
. He seemed on the verge of creating modern medicine.
In his next appearance on November 4, 1978, Theodoric was a judge who posed the rhetorical question of whether it would be better to try cases using law and evidence and court procedure rather than trials by torture or other superstitious means. He seemed on the verge of creating the modern legal system.
The final tie-in with the sketches was that when at this historical turning point, Theodoric would ask himself if he should dedicate his life to forwarding mankind to a greater good through new learning and philosophies or perpetuate ignorance and superstition. Inevitably he would respond to this dilemma with a resounding "Nah!," as the character turns from the verge of enlightenment and embraces ignorance and superstition.
, also called "Tiny E" by his companions, was a miniature (about 2 inches tall) Elvis Presley
, as portrayed by Nicolas Cage
(and in later appearances, by Rob Schneider
) in a series of sketches. He would frequently remark jokingly upon how "huge" certain objects were ("Look at at that salt shaker! That thing's huge!"), to which everyone around him would laugh and fawn over him ("Good call, Tiny Elvis!"). However, he was easily roused to anger when his compatriots, Sonny and Red (a reference to Presley's real life bodyguards, Sonny
and Red West
), would comment on how cute he was. The character was apparently a parody of the ludicrously self-assured persona assumed by Presley in his many movies, and the equally ludicrously sycophantic
followers that attended upon him in those films.
In one sketch, Tiny Elvis was further shrunk in a lab and became Microscopic Elvis.
Tiny Elvis made another appearance in the 1990s as a popular freeware desktop application, where a tiny Elvis would periodically appear on the user's computer screen and make comments such as "Whoah! Check out that desktop! That sucker's huge!", and an announcer would declare that "Elvis has left the desktop." when the application was closed.
Total Bastard Airlines
portrayed an arrogant steward on "Total Bastard Airlines
". The sketches took place at the end of a flight, as passengers filed off the airplane past him and the other flight attendant (Helen Hunt
in the first sketch, and Ellen Cleghorne
in the second). They insincerely wished these patrons well, and passive aggressively insulted them. They would end each exchange with a disdainful "buh-bye". Note: Steve Martin appeared in the second sketch as the pilot.
Although the cynical "buh-bye" became a popular catch phrase, Spade admitted in a guest appearance on Weekend Update that it was an annoying phrase that needed to stop.
Episodes featuring Total Bastard Airlines
The Two Sammies
- See entry: Uncle Jemima on Saturday Night Live TV show sketches.
was played by Buck Henry
. The character was easily identifiable as pedophile
to adult viewers and would babysit for young female characters played by Gilda Radner
and Laraine Newman
, who were naively unaware of his true motives.
Henry's character would convince the girls to pose for his Polaroid in a "goofy sisters photo session" where Radner and Newman would raise their shirts to cover their eyes in child-like shyness of Uncle Roy, who would become aroused. He would also have presents hidden in his pockets and give the girl's "horsey rides".
At the end of each "Uncle Roy" sketch, the parents, typically played by Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd, would come back just in time to stop Uncle Roy's advances. They too remained unaware of his true motives.
It should be noted that the sketch was performed on SNL in the late 1970s. The same sketch, or one with a similar theme of pedophilia, would probably result in heavy criticism from American audiences if performed today. This is evident from the harsh reaction to the 1994 "Canteen Boy" sketch, where a Boy Scout leader, played by Alec Baldwin, made homosexual advances on a grown scout played by Adam Sandler, which audiences believed to be an underage character. Baldwin would later make a statement that the sketch was done in innocence, since the character was an adult, and it was never implied that he was supposed to be a child.
Outside of SNL, Uncle Roy is also the name of an unseen character in the Dysfunctional Family Circus series on the Internet. Unlike SNL's Uncle Roy, the Uncle Roy on DFC is not a pedophile, but a homosexual relative who has had relations with Bil Keane (implied through many captions on DFC).
Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer
Played by Phil Hartman
, Cirroc Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer
fell into a crevasse
and was later thawed out by scientists. The modern world, he says, frightens and confuses him, yet he is a highly educated and well-spoken trial lawyer. He uses his background to pretend to be naive and obtain his selfish goals by appealing to the sympathies of the Judge and jury. This results in frustration for his adversaries who can see right through him. Sometimes the sketch would have "sneak peeks" at next week's supposed episode. One such sneak peek showed an intoxicated Cirroc on an airplane demanding another gin and tonic
, only to have the stewardess say that the chief steward ordered no more alcohol to be served to Cirroc. Cirroc becomes irate yelling "I will sue you and whole crummy airline!". This was probably one of the few times he did not have his way.
Vickie & Debbie
(played by season six castmembers Denny Dillon and Gail Matthius) were teenaged girls with stereotypical "valley girl
" accents who hung out at malls or bothered people.
Vickie (played by Gail Matthius) first appeared in the first episode of season 6 (hosted by Elliot Gould) where she played a teenage girl who goes on a blind date with a middle-aged man (played by Elliot Gould). The first time Vickie was paired with Debbie (Denny Dillon) was on the Ellen Burstyn episode in a controversial sketch where Vickie and her best friend, Debbie, question a planned parenthood specialist as Debbie believes she may be pregnant.
Incidentally, despite leaving SNL, Gail Matthius did not let her Vickie character die. The character later appeared on the short-lived sketch series Laugh Trax, and was later adapted into the characters Kelly Generic on Bobby's World and Shirley the Loon on Tiny Toon Adventures (both voiced by Matthius).
Played by Gilbert Gottfried
and Denny Dillon
, Pinky and Leo Waxman
were a bickering, middle-aged Jewish
couple and hosts of the public access talk show "What's It All About?". On the show, celebrity interviews were often disrupted by the Waxmans' marital issues. In one sketch on the episode hosted by Deborah Harry
(with musical guest Funky 4 + 1
), it's revealed that the Waxmans have a niece (played by Deborah Harry
) in Soho
who is a lesbian.
It should be noted that this sketch strongly seemed to be an inspiration for Mike Myers' Coffee Talk sketches, especially the first installment on the Elliot Gould/Kid Creole and the Coconuts episode, in which Pinky and Leo discuss Barbra Streisand.
were a series of sketches with a very simple premise: cast members would play characters with unusually large rear ends. Recurring Widettes include Bob Widette (Dan Aykroyd
), Betty Widette (Jane Curtin
), Jeff Widette (John Belushi
), and Tammy Widette (Gilda Radner
), which got laughs based on the name's similarity with that of country
singer Tammy Wynette
These sketches were parodied in 1993 on The Simpsons when Krusty the Clown starred on "Tuesday Night Live" in a sketch entitled "The Big Ear Family". They (along with the similar sketch, The Coneheads) were also parodied on In Living Color as the "Buttman" family (about a family with naked buttocks as foreheads). Blue Collar TV, in 2004, also copied this sketch, as every member of the family would wear an enormous fat suit.
Episodes Featuring The Widettes
Wong & Owens, Ex-Porn Stars
Cast members Jim Breuer
and Tracy Morgan
would play a pair of former porn actors who had grown tired of "the business" and decided to seek out other work. Nevertheless, whatever job they attempted, whenever anyone made a request that could be interpreted as a double entendre
, the two would revert to their porn training and begin dancing suggestively and removing clothing. This would lead to multiple chastisements by their supervisor, with the two of them giving defenses like "This is all I know!" and "I'm just tryin' to get into your world!"
Woodrow the Bum
portrays the homeless and crazy, but also harmless and sensitive Woodrow
. Both appearances involve Woodrow approaching and attempting to be friendly with beautiful female celebrities (Britney Spears
and Kate Hudson
), whereupon he is ridiculed and laughed at by the stars' fans and associates, which makes him cry. This embarrasses the celebrity into chastising the crowd, feeling sorry for Woodrow, and offering to walk him home. When asked where he lives, he points to a manhole cover a few feet away. After the celebrity promises to return shortly and follows Woodrow through the manhole cover, Woodrow attempts to impress and be a gracious host by offering cans of soup and pretending to take a cell phone call with a block of wood. Ultimately he expresses his admiration and gratitude by serenading with a romantic song containing bizarre and insane lyrics (i.e, "Make a doo-doo by the floor"). This leads the celebrity to fall in love with Woodrow and decide to stay with him in the sewer. The sketches would then end with the crowd above calling down for the celebrity to come back out or they're coming down to get her. Woodrow is forced to admit that they are from two different worlds and that their relationship can never last. They promise to never forget each other and the celebrity leaves. The final shot is Woodrow alone in the sewer with a broken heart.
featured Adam Sandler
as a depressed geriatric named Hank Gelfand, and Chris Farley
as his effervescent, perky wife, Beverly Gelfand. Beverly would explain at the beginning of the sketch that she and her husband plan on going out to a restaurant for a special occasion, but that they can't decide where to go. Then she produces her Zagat's New York Restaurant Guide
and proceeds to read random listings from it aloud. After virtually every line spoken by Bev, Hank responds with a line of disinterest such as, "Day and night she talks, each word more useless than the next. (pause) Give me cancer
". In its last sketch, Hank rips up the Zagat's book and Bev picks up a TV Guide
instead, prompting Hank to intentionally overdose
on his heart pills.
Episodes featuring Zagat's
Z105 with Joey Mack
portrays Joey Mack in this series of sketches lampooning crazy morning radio shows
. The scene was set in a radio station, with Mack the only operator on duty, though he provided all the voices to the many wacky characters on his show. Mack would often welcome guests (usually SNL's host as his or her self), who would always leave early as one of Mack's characters would make fun of them, only to have Mack apologize for the character whose voice he supplied.