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

Gangsta Rap Dance Smashes!: 12/04/93

Richie: Hey, everybody! I know what will REALLY get this party going! [ holds up album ] It’s Jukebox’s collection of Gangsta Rap dance tunes!

Adam McKay: Let’s face it — “SNL” comes from a tradition of, like.. white, snarky, smart-ass comedy. It doesn’t come from that tradition of, like, “Def Comedy Jam.”

[ image: The NFL on Fox: 01/08/94 ]

Jim Downey: You’re never gonna be the voice of Black America, probably.
Black History Month: 02/25/95

[ Ellen Cleghorne and Tim Meadows sit at a desk ]

Ellen Cleghorne: But — on an up note — this marks the first time in the history of “Saturday Night Live” that two African-American cast members have opened the show by saying, in unison…

Both: [enthusiastically put their heads together and shout] Live from New York–!

Chris Farley: [abruptly enters and puts his arms around Ellen and Tim, interrupting] Hey, guys! What’s up?! [audience cheers and applauds for a grinning Farley as Ellen and Tim look glum and upset]

Chris Rock: Their guys would probably rather do a sketch with, you know — about John McLaughlin than Flavor Flav. That’s just — [ laughs ] that’s just — [ laughs ] that’s just, you know, there’s a lot of white guys on this show!

En Vogue performs “Free Your Mind”: 03/21/92

En Vogue: [ singing ] “Before you can read me, you got to learn how to see me
I said free your mind and the rest will follow
Be color blind, don’t be so shallow.
I said free your mind and the rest will follow
Be color blind, don’t be so shallow.”

The Dark Side with Nat X: 11/10/90

Nat X: Peace, brothers and sisters, and welcome to the show! I’m your host, Nat X! In the next 15 minutes – that’s right, this is the only 15-minute show on TV. Why? Because the man would never give a brother like me a whole half-hour!

Tina Fey: I think black culture has yet to really — really, really — break out on “SNL.”

[ image: World Series: 10/23/93 ]

Tim Meadows: If you don’t have any other.. African-American writers on the staff, then.. you don’t have anybody who really thinks like you.

Weekend Update with Norm MacDonald: 10/01/94

Tim Meadows: I swear to God, there are only a few things that really get to Tim Meadows: racism, sexism and no hockey!

Tim Meadows: I wouldn’t say it’s tougher, but I would say it’s a little tougher. [ laughs ] [ image: Tim Meadows as Darius Rucker in ABC News Special: 10/21/95 ]
The Ladies Man: 10/04/97

Caller #2: Uh, hello, Ladies Man? Yeah, uh, I’ve been with my girlfriend for a few years now, and we like to have sex and all, but —

Leon Phelps: Hey, that sounds good to me!

Caller #2: It gets kind of boring, so is there any way we can, uh, spice up our love life?

Leon Phelps: Well, yes, uh — there are a number of possibilities that you can pursue. Uh — may I suggest you consider the butt?

Caller #2: [ quickly hangs up the phone, eager to take suggestion ]

Rob Smigel: They’ll hire the one black writer for Chris Rock. You know — “He’ll help Chris!”
2 Live Crew Party: 09/29/90

[ Luther Campbell’s agent pours a drink ]

Agent: A lot of these people don’t know how hard it is to write what you write.

Luther Campbell: [ sighs ] Now, people think you can just throw a “lick-lick” here, and a “bitch-bitch” there — “lick there, bitch, bith, bitch, lick it, bitch!” and get a song!

Fred Wolf: It, maybe, didn’t exploit him, but, really, I feel like it brought him out to an audience that came to understand how funny he was.

[ image: Nikey Turkey: 11/17/90 ] [ image: Russell Simmons’ Def Magic Show Jam: 03/20/93 ]

Chris Rock: I remember talking to Eddie Murphy when I first got hired, and I wasn’t getting on, and he just kept saying, “You’ve gotta write Update pieces — man, you gotta do that straight-to-camera, man.”

Weekend Update with Kevin Nealon: 09/26/92

Chris Rock: You know, I hated school. You know why I hated school? Because I was the only black kid in my grade — the whole grade! I felt like Franklin from the Charlie Brown Show. You ever see Franklin? 25 years, not one line! Nothing! 25 years, man. I mean, everybody on Charlie Brown’s got their own little character that’s all thought out. You know, Linus got the blanket.. Lucy’s a bitch.. Schmoly plays the piano.. Peppermint Patty’s a lesbian. You know? Everybody’s got their thing, except Franklin! Give him something! Damn! Give him a Jamaican accent or something! [ speaks in Jamaican accent: ] “C’mon Charlie Brown leave me alone, mon!” I mean, come on!

Macy Gray performs “I Try”: 01/15/00

Macy Gray: [ singing ] “I believe that fate has brought us here
And we should be together
But we’re not
I play it off, but I’m dreaming of you
I’ll keep my cool but I’m feenin’.
I try to say goodbye and I choke
I try to walk away and I stumble
Though I try to hide it, it’s clear
My world crumbles when you are not near.”

Steve Koren: You know, the 90’s was interesting because I think it’s the first time when the show was dominated by former stand-up comedians.

Chris Kattan: Sandler was stand-up, and Spade was stand-up, and it was like a stand-up element. And, uh, Norm — Norm MacDonald was a stand-up.

[ image: Larry King’s News & Views ]

Norm MacDonald: Like, the first season I would just talk straight into the camera, ’cause I knew I — I knew I always knew how to talk into cameras. As you can see. [ laughs ]
Weekend Update with Kevin Nealon: 10/09/93

Norm MacDonald: I was thinking about it the other day, and I realized that what scares me most about going in prison isn’t the loss of freedom or the, uh, stigma, or even the separation from family. For me, the scariest thing about going to prison is, uh — you know, it’s the, uh — you know, the, uh — [ pause ] anal rape! [ waits for the audience to appreciate the joke ]

Jimmy Fallon: [ smiling ] At the time, I was like — no, he’s so good! [ laughs ] The dude is so confident with that great joke, that he’s just going to sit there until people finally get it, and process it, and go: [ exhales ] and just laugh.

David Spade: Stand-ups are good at writing stand-up, but it’s so different. I mean, basically, I would do Weekend Update — and i’d just do my act.

Weekend Update with Kevin Nealon: 05/07/93

David Spade: By the way, when you’re at a show and the band says, “Here’s something from our new album, why don’t they just say, “Everyone, get up and go to the bathroom.”

David Spade: And then, when I tried to write Hollywood Minute, people said, “You know, you always read these magazines and talk out loud at the writer’s table about this celebrity, or this, or you just kinda make fun of them — try that.” So I put it together, did it at read-through, it killed, and Lorne’s, like, “You found your voice. Love it.”
Weekend Update with Kevin Nealon: 12/04/93

David Spade: Macauley Culkin! Hi. First of all, your dad’s nuts. Secondly, let me tell you something, kid: you’re cute, you’ve got blonde hair, everyone loves you, it’s true. Here’s the catch: I used to look exactly like you when I was ten! Alright? Oh, yeah! [ softly ] Oh, yeah. this is where you’re headed, buddy! Welcome to Hell!

Kevin Nealon: I think you’ll see a lot of stand-ups are more comfortable doing Weekend Update features. Someone like Adam Sandler, or Chris Rock.

Weekend Update with Norm MacDonald: 02/18/95

Opera Man: [ pictured: Brad Pitt ] “Brad Pitt sexiest
“People” wrote-o
Operaman say
Recount the vote-o!”

Michael Shoemaker: Adam redefined what it was like to be a cast member, ’cause he didn’t have to be in sketches with people. Adam would score on Adam’s terms.

[ image: Iraqi Pete: 02/16/91 ] [ image: Caracci’s Pizza: 10/03/92 ] [ image: Sleepy Head on Weekend Update with Kevin Nealon: 03/13/93 ]

Tom Davis: His style of — of comedy was doing these funny, wimpy characters that — that Lorne didn’t get for a while, ’cause he’d read these things at read-through that didn’t seem to be about anything, and there was no jokes, there was just these: [ imitates Adam Sandler ] [ image: Hitting on Women: 04/11/92 ] [ image: Office Thanksgiving Party: 11/21/92 ] [ image: French Class: 02/13/93 ]

But, then, Lorne saw it, and put him on Update with his guitar —

Weekend Update with Kevin Nealon: 02/13/93

Adam Sandler: [ singing ] “My mom bought you when I was just thirteen,
the brightest red sweatshirt I ever seen.
She got an extra large so I wouldn’t grow out,
“That’s too big for you!” the other kids would shout.
But we stuck together, we didn’t quit,
and now the children say, “What a perfect fit.” ”

Kevin Nealon: We played off each other well, because Sandler would do this crazy, absurd character, like, you know — the Halloween guy, or Opera Man, or Cajun Man — it usually ended with “Man”!And, uh — and I would play the straight, uh, news anchor.
Weekend Update with Kevin Nealon: 02/13/93

Adam Sandler: Kevin, please help me out.
[ singing ] “I love you sweeeeatshirt!”

Kevin Nealon: “Red hooded.”

Adam Sandler: “Sweeeeatshirt!”

Kevin Nealon: “Dip, dip, dip.”

Adam Sandler: “Sweeeeatshirt!”

Kevin Nealon: “Shama lama ding dong.”

Adam Sandler: “Sweeeeatshirt!”

Rob Smigel: It was incredibly subversive because his material appeared to be, you know, borderline retarded — [ laughs ] to one section of the audience, because of the subject matter. But, he was doing some of the most inventive stuff that had EVER been done on the show. He was really deconstructing sketch comedy.

Weekend Update with Kevin Nealon: 10/30/93

Adam Sandler: [ holding a pickle under his nose ] “I’m Crazy Pickle Moustache!”

Rob Smigel: He was kind of exposing character premises, for what they were — which were, you know, naked gimmicks.. that we used to.. make money not having to lift things. [ laughs ]

Michael Shoemaker: By the time we got to the 90’s, these were all pretty original types.
The Dogs: 12/05/92

The Dogs: [ singing ] “But I’m baa-aa-aad!
Bad bad baa-aa-aad!
Bad bad baa-aa-aad!”

Michael Shoemaker: Now, every couple of years we maybe get another Sandler. But, there wasn’t one like him then.

Coming up Next: Saturday Night Dead… Again

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

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