SNL Transcripts: Saturday Night Live in the ’90s: Pop Culture Nation: 05/06/07

 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Special: Saturday Night Live in the ’90s: Pop Culture Nation

Tom Davis: For me, it was a changing of the guard, you know? Lorne, wisely, is keeping “Saturday Night Live” about young people.

Rob Smigel: It’s hard to imagine right now, but there were practically no sketches that we did, between ’85 and ’90, that involved teenagers, uh — or things that teenagers watched.

Jimmy Fallon: The 90’s, especially, I think, are the years where it was speaking to me, like I kinda got the jokes, or related to, uh — uh — the references.
Gap Girls: 01/15/93

Lucy: God, I love these fries!

Boss: [ laughing ] If you love’ em so much, why don’t you marry ’em! [ eats some fries ] Can I have some?

LucyUm.. sure, Cindy, go ahead..

Boss: [ munches away ] These are good!

Kristy: Uh.. Cindy, can you leave some for us?

Lucy: I thought you were, um, trying to lose weight?

Boss: [ grabs Lucy’s collar ] Lay off, man, I’m STARVING!

Norm MacDonald: It was a different kind of comedy, and so, uh — some people got it, and some people didn’t! [ laughs ] But, to Lorne’s credit, sometimes he’d say to me, “I don’t get it, but I understand the young people get it.” And, of course, that’s what’s important.
Nirvana performs “Smells Like Teen Spirit”: 01/11/92

Nirvana: [ singing ]“With the lights out,
it’s less dangerous!
Here we are now,
entertain us!
I feel stupid,
and contagious!
Here we are now,
entertain us!

Lorne Michaels: The press, which was primarily baby boomers, writing, uh — and baby boomers owned the show, and there was a kind of a virginity of, uh — “Well, we know what a big “Saturday Night Live” show is, and this is the way you’re supposed to be it.” And the idea that this cast, particularly with Adam and Farley, is that they were playing to their kids. It was a big shift.

Tim Herlihy: It was a weird year because Phil Hartman had left the year before. We almost couldn’t lose anybody more important than him.

Rob Smigel: A lot of people had left. Jan was gone, and Carve was gone. So you lose those core people, and then you’re left with what the show was toward the end of that run. They were great performers, you know, but they were more personality acts.

David Spade: We’re there — they’re saying the show’s horrible, it used to be funny. And then we leave, they go, “You guys were great.” I don’t know. We had one guy — a reporter for New York Magazine, uh — we let him in for two weeks, buddied up with him.. let him into our home.

Steve Koren: We thought he loved the place — he was there, he seemed real happy, hanging out with people, getting drunk with people in the local bar —

Norm MacDonald: And, uh, just laughed hysterically at — especially at Farley and Sandler, because they were so explosively funny.

Steve Koren: Then, suddenly, he comes out with an article — “Saturday Night Dead.”

David Spade: And me, Chris, and Adam were on our way to, you know, go beat him up, old school style. Like: go find him, beat him up, let him know that’s how it is.Everyone was pissed. Lorne stopped us. Lorne said, “I won’t fire you guys.” But it was that — that — that everyone was just that worked up that we got that tricked and that screwed from a guy, um — a guy trying to make a name for himself.

You Think You’re Better Than Me?: 05/13/95

Pete Toman: Hey! Welcome to “You Think You’re Better Than Me?”, the show for regular guys. Not uppity guys who think they’re better than us!

Tim Herlihy: I thought it was really funny here, in ’94-’95. But the ratings really were in, like, freefall. It was very strange that it never, you know — I didn’t know it at the time, but looking back now, and having — you know — it was sort of, you know, a freakish occurrence.
You Think You’re Better Than Me?: 05/13/95

Pete Toman: [ reading from the category: “Cut Off By A Mercedes” ] “You’re driving down the highway, minding your own buisness, and some guy with a ponytail driving a –” [ Danny buzzes in ] Danny?

Danny: Pull up alongside the guy, stick my ass out the window and scream, “You think you’re better than me?!!”

[ correct answer dings ]

Pete Toman: Damn straight! Freakin’ fruitcake with a ponytail!

Michael Shoemaker: The idea that Adam Sandler, who was one of the biggest movie stars coming out of the show, was there during what was considered a “bad” time, or that Mike Myers was — was there in that year, doesn’t really make sense. But, now, people look back and say, like, “Oh, well, those were the good times. It’s this bunch that I don’t care for.” And it’s always that way.

Bill Swerski’s Super Fans: 03/25/95

Tood O’Conner: Oh, you know that “Saturday Night Live” show? Oh, it got way worse. Oh, yeah — it’s just sad. They got that fat guy screamin’ all da time. Come on! Pull da plug on dat freakin’ thing, huh?

Lorne Michaels: It’s interesting because, in that 90’s, there was a sort of perfect storm when the press were beating us up, and the network had, quote unquote, “created” “Friends”. Although, I’m sure the producers of the show had something to do with it. There was just this absolute certainty of where they stood on comedy.

David Koechner: I would argue that, even among that year when people weren’t liking something, every week there was something that someone was talking about, and was memorable.
Weekend Update with Norm MacDonald: 04/08/95

Norm MacDonald: This week in the O.J. Simpson trial, the infamous bloody glove was finally introduced into evidence. And O.J. didn’t help his case any by blurting out, “There it is! I’ve been looking all over for that thing!”

Fred Wolf: [ laughs ] Behind the control room, when we were putting on the show, you could just see these executives through the glass window. They would all be relegated to this one area there, and.. they’d be white-faced sometimes, they really would be really worried about some stuff.
Sheryl Crow performs “If It Makes You Happy”: 10/05/96

Sheryl Crow: [ singing ]“If it makes you happy
It can’t be that ba-a-a-a-a-d
If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad?”

Michael Shoemaker: It’s even hard to believe now — how much intereference there was — but there was. They had a lot to say, and they were there a lot more.

Lorne Michaels: [ laughs ] We got paid a lot of visits in the mid-90’s, yeah.

Rick Ludwin: Lorne and others on “Saturday Night Live” were asked to come out to the West Coast. Lorne hated that, because, I think, he felt he was being called into the Principal’s office.

Marci Klein: It was a meeting about just who NBC wanted us to fired, and the changes that needed to be made. It was definitely the first time that I had been in a meeting like that.
Total Bastard Airlines: 03/19/94

Steward: Buh-bye.

Stewardess: Buh-bye. Buh-bye. Buh-bye.

Steward: Buh-bye.

Marci Klein: They wanted everybody gone. I mean, they wanted all, really, of the stand-up types.
Total Bastard Airlines: 03/19/94

Passenger 2: Uh, excuse me, could you tell me —

Stewardess: Buh-bye. I’m sorry, what part didn’t you understand — the buh or the bye? Buh-bye.

Tim Meadows: Who can work when you — and write comedy — when you are under the impression that you’re going to be fired in the next few weeks? Or, the network doesn’t like you and they don’t want you there?
Total Bastard Airlines: 03/19/94

Passenger 4: [ angry ] What did you say to me?!

Steward: [ defensive ] What?! I said “Buh-bye!” I just said “Buh-bye” 40 times in a row, why would I say anything else, it doesn’t make sense! Did I just say something without knowing it? No! Go! Buh-bye!

Lorne Michaels: Somebody asked Warren Littlefield — in some interview — they asked him about my job, and he said, “Well, everything’s up in the air.” I thought, “Well, that’s — that’s reassuring.”
Total Bastard Airlines: 03/19/94

Steward: Buh-bye.

Passenger 7: I’m gonna be waiting for you outside in the terminal!

Steward: Great! Buh-bye.

Passenger 7: No, no, no, there’s more! I’m gonna pound your face in.

Steward: Okay, slick. Buh-bye.

Passenger 7: I’m gonna destroy you.

Steward: Buh-bye!

Passenger 7: I am gonna kick the crap out of you!!

Steward: Yeah?! Buh-bye!

Stewardess: Buh-bye.

Mike Myers: It was not hard to leave. I loved being on the show, but, still, I am honored that I was part of that history. You know? But six years is a long time to do anything. You know?

Kevin Nealon: And I had been there for nine years, too, so it was a long run for me, and I was looking to do something different.

Al Franken: My thing was me. I just said, “Okay, you know, I should grow up and do something else and see what else is out there.” [ laughs ]

Tim Meadows: In retrospect, they got rid of a lot of really good people — Sandler and Farley — yeah, they basically cleaned house that year. And, I think, Spade.. myself.. and Norm MacDonald, probably, were the only ones who came back.

Jimmy Fallon: One of my favorite sketches of all time is when they’re daring each other to jump in a polar bear cage —
The Polar Bear Sketch: 05/13/95

Jay Mohr: Hey, look at this polar bear cage.Hey, you think I can swim the little moat both waysbefore the bear eats me?

Adam Sandler: Five bucks says you can’t.

Jay Mohr: All right. Read ’em and weep, myfriend!

[Mohr jumps the railing into the polar bear pit. Hedisappears from view and we hear a loud splash as hehits the water below.]

Jimmy Fallon: And the next guy jumps in — he got eaten by the polar bear!
The Polar Bear Sketch: 05/13/95

[Sandler climbs the railing and jumps into the pit.]

Adam Sandler: Wheeeee!

[Sandler disappears with a splash.]

Jimmy Fallon: Blood flies in their face —
The Polar Bear Sketch: 05/13/95

[The polar bear roars and eats Sandler who yells “Oh,my God!” Sandler’s blood splashes up on Farley andMacDonald.]

Norm MacDonald: Well, uh, Farley, did you ordid you not hear me tell him that, ah, there was abear still in that cage, eh?

Jimmy Fallon: And then they get in an argument, they’re like, “Well, he’s got all the beer money –“
The Polar Bear Sketch: 05/13/95

Chris Farley: I’m goin’ into the polar bearcage and get myself some wallets so I can get somebeer money! Adios!

[With an incomprehensible exclamation, Farley haulshimself over the railing and falls into the pit with asplash.

Jimmy Fallon: So, really, they were all killing themselves off. But that was one of my favorite sketches, not even knowing that they weren’t going to return. But there was, you know — I — I — I like that. I like it when peoople leave. They say “Thanks,” we say “Thanks,” and now we’re going to have to try and love these new people.
Green Day performs “When I Come Around”: 12/03/94

Green Day: [ singing ]“No time to search the world around
Cause you know where Ill be found
When I come around”

Coming up Next: ’95-’96

SNL Transcripts

SNL Transcripts: Saturday Night Live in the ’90s: Pop Culture Nation: 05/06/07

 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Special: Saturday Night Live in the ’90s: Pop Culture Nation

Weekend Update with Norm MacDonald: 10/07/95

Norm MacDonald: Thanks! I’m Norm MacDonald, and now the fake news. Well, it is finally official: murder is legal in the state of California.

Tina Fey: Norm was, probably, the last dangerous cast member. In the good way. In, like, you didn’t know — he might say whatever he wanted.

John Goodman: It was the perfect tone for “Update”, for me, because Norman couldn’t give a damn about anything.
Weekend Update with Norm MacDonald: 12/03/94

Norm MacDonald: Kenny G has a Christmas album out this year. [waves] Hey, happy birthday, Jesus! Hope you like crap!

Don Ohlmeyer: Norm did, I thought, a terrific job for a couple of years. And then, that season… it just was flat.

Jim Downey: We wanted to be like a punk segment, sort of like — like — in the 70’s, where it was very bare-bones and — and — and not — and no cuteness.
Weekend Update with Norm MacDonald: 09/27/97

Norm MacDonald: Well, according to published reports, Michael Jackson’s wife is now pregnant with the pop star’s second child. Asked why he decided to become a father again so soon, Jackson explained that his seven-month-old son is starting to lose his looks. [ some boos ]

Norm MacDonald: [ chuckling ] So, it wasn’t a studio crowd-pleasing… effect. It was never aimed at the studio audience, you know? It was always aimed directly at me. I just wrote what I knew was funny.
Pearl Jam performs “Not For You”: 04/16/94

Pearl Jam: [ singing ]“This is not for you
This is not for you
This is not for you
Oh, never was for you… noooooooo!!!”

Weekend Update with Norm MacDonald: 03/15/97

Norm MacDonald: [ finally realizes he’s looking into the wrong camera, looks into the live camera ] You know, it would probably be better if I was over on this camera…

Rick Ludwin: There was a period when Norm was not as well-prepared as he probably should have been… and… “Update” wasn’t ready to be seen at the run-through —
Weekend Update with Norm MacDonald: 03/15/97

Norm MacDonald: [cheers and applause, the view shifts, a grinning Norm turns to the live camera] Okay. Well, now that I’m over on this camera, it’d probably be better if you put the cards over here! [greater cheers and applause]

Rick Ludwin: — which we viewed as a problem.

Lorne Michaels: But… you know, I’ve been there a long time, so I can tell you that there’s some consistency to the disorganization.

Ken Aymong: Don didn’t want Norm doing “Update” any more. [ he shrugs his shoulders ] You know, I wanted it to stop raining. You know? I mean, I didn’t take it as any more than that.

Don Ohlmeyer: You know, having come from a producing and directing background, you know, I always used to hate… network executives who would tell you how to fix a show.

Lorne Michaels: Don had come out of producing, so there was a lot more “I’d do it this way.”

Rick Ludwin: Lorne was always professional, and he would always listen politely, but he would ultimately ignore all the suggestions, which would… make some of the people on the West Coast, uh — angry.
Pearl Jam performs “Not For You”: 04/16/94

Don Ohlmeyer: And I said to Lorne, you know, “We’ve gotta fix this,” and he says, “Well, you know, they’re doing the best they can do.” I said, “Well, if that’s the best they can do, then we’ve gotta get somebody else in there.” And Lorne fought me on it. It was the only thing — in the time that I was there — that we really had knock-down, drag-out arguments about, and he felt that there needed to be a change, but he wanted to wait until the end of the season.

Jim Downey: They pretended to believe that it was going to be an enormously popular decision, for which the public would thank them, and, in fact, the human emnity of the TV critics was really something to see. Time Magazine had a thing about it, and even printed up a little postcard to send to NBC to — to dump on them.

Michael Shoemaker: When it happened, that Norm wasn’t taken off of “Update”, um, I don’t think that any of us expected that that could happen, because, before or since, it’s never been that kind of network. Complete interference. And it came at such a crazy time.

Jim Downey: Mike Shoemaker calls me on the phone and says, “Two things — uh, you and Norm are fired, and, uh, Chris Farley’s dead.”

Michael Shoemaker: It was the Christmas break… Farley had just died… and, I think, Lorne was at the funeral… and… it just all kind of happened.
Garbage performs “When I Grow Up”: 03/20/99

Garbage: [ singing ]“Trying hard to fit among you
Floating out to wonderland
God I’m pregnant
Damn the consequences.

When I grow up
I’ll be stable
When I grow up
I’ll turn the tables.”

Lorne Michaels: I said, at the time, that it was the child that John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd didn’t have. But he — he — you know, when he was a boy, he actually taped his eyebrow up, to try and, uh, look like John Belushi.

Tom Davis: For those of us who lived through the Belushi thing — we just saw it coming. And it was just like looking at a puppy next to a highway.

Al Franken: It’s not like he didn’t try, it’s not like he didn’t try. He must have done… twelve rehabs, or something like that.
Permission to Host: 10/25/97

Chris Farley: But that was then — this is now! This time, I’m not just talking the talk! I’m gonna be walking the walk on this one!

Tim Meadows: [ pats Chris’ back ] And he’s got a GREAT sponsor, who’s here to keep an eye on him.

Chris Farley: Yeah!

[ Chevy Chase enters Lorne’s office ]

Chevy Chase: Hey, Lorne!

Chris Farley: Yes!

[ the audience cheers ]

Lorne Michaels: You’re — you’re Farley’s sponsor? You just got out of Betty Ford!

Chevy Chase: [ chuckles ] Well, that’s neither here nor there, Lorne! The important thing is that Chris has been doing great! [ rubs Chris’ head ] He’s been completely sober for — what? — two weeks.

Chris Farley: Six!

Chevy Chase: Six! Whatever. But what counts is: Chris is not just talking the talk… he’s walking the walk.

Mark McKinney: He had big American fame — BIG american fame. I don’t know, I think that’s pressure. It sounds great, you know, for everyone who dreams of fame, if that’s what you want. But I remember just looking at him, and going, “Uh, that must be tough to handle.”

Alec Baldwin: I think it was John Goodman who once said to me that it’s very hard for the Falstaffian Man to weather that kind of response they get from the public. I mean, Chris told me the same thing. Chris said everywhere he went, he would walk into bars and restaurants for years — just his entire life — and he never paid for a drink. Everywhere got their arm around him, they wrapped ihm in a headlock, they were hugging him and saying, “You! You! Your drink’s on me!” It was like the party just unpacked right in front of you.

Tim Meadows: The last month or so before he passed — I don’t think about that stuff as much. You know? I think about the guy who used to drop his pants when I was coming offstage back at Second City, uh — just to make me laugh! [ he laughs ]

Ken Aymong: It was pretty rough stuff. And then, you know, Phil Hartman, I mean, that’s — that’s beyond words.

Norm MacDonald: They were, like, the happiest guys about performing. They both have their greatest joy in just making people laugh than any performer I’ve ever seen.
Coming up next… Norm Vs. The Network

SNL Transcripts