Sparky Griffin: Hello, everybody, and welcome, once again, to “The Blame Game”. I’m Sparky Griffin. I didn’t pick the name, they just hung it on me when I was born. Okay! Let’s meet our first contestant. We have a businessman who’s a member of the Suburban Homeowner’s Committee, a husband and a father – John Robbins. Come on out, John! [ John steps up to his podium ] John, tell me a little about this Suburban Homeowner’s Committee. What do you do?
John Robbins: Well, basically, we stop people from putting up things we don’t like.
Sparky Griffin: Oh? Well, good for you! Okay! And now, let’s meet our other contestant – Jamal Thompson. Jamal? [ Jamal steps up to his podium ] Now, it says here that you’re a husband and a father, a member of the Nubian Neighborhood Coalition and the African-American Reparations Committee. Welcome, Jamal.
Jamal Thompson: Hello there, Sir.
Sparky Griffin: So, what does your work on the Reparations Committee involve?
Jamal Thompson: Well, Sir, basically, we seek reparation from the white government for what they’ve stolen from the black man.
John Robbins: Good! Then I’ll send you a bill for the Club on my steering wheel!
Jamal Thompson: Why don’t you go put on a pair of Docker’s and watch another episode of “Mad About You”?
Sparky Griffin: O-kay! Well, I guess we should start the game! Now, the first round is worth 50 points, and our first category is “Famous Accidents”.
John Robbins: [ hitting the buzzer prematurely ] I’m sorry.
Sparky Griffin: Do you want to wait for the question? Okay. Who was responsible for the Chicago Fire of 1871? [ John hits his buzzer ] John?
John Robbins: Was there a looting afterwards?
Jamal Thompson: No, embezzling.
Sparky Griffin: Okay, Jamal, that’s your turn.
Jamal Thompson: Finally. 300 years later.
John Robbins: Here we go again, same old song and dance!
Jamal Thompson: Listen, Sir, I neither sing nor dance!
Sparky Griffin: Alright, let’s calm down here. The answer was a cow, a multi-colored cow.
John Robbins: A multi-colored cow? What are you, a liberal?
Jamal Thompson: What are you, racist?
Sparky Griffin: No, I am a game show host. A game show host. No points there. Alright, next question: Who was responsible for the development of the Atomic Bomb? [ Jamal hits his buzzer ] Jamal?
Jamal Thompson: That is a Eurocentric question, probably made by a panel of white European males. It has no relevance to me or the African people!
Sparky Griffin: Ah. Okay, I’ll take that as “Don’t Know.”
John Robbins: Well, I would know, but I couldn’t get into a good college because of affirmative action.
Sparky Griffin: Alright, I’m sorry. The correct answer was Robert Oppenheimer.
John Robbins: Figures.
Jamal Thompson: Figures.
Sparky Griffin: Alright. [ John hits his buzzer ] I’m sorry – what that sound means is that it’s time for the Lightning Round, [ John gives a quizzical look ] where we give you a problem, and you tell us who you feel is responsible. Jamal?
Jamal Thompson: Alright, let’s do it!
Sparky Griffin: Alright. Drugs.
Jamal Thompson: White people!
Sparky Griffin: Unemployment.
Jamal Thompson: White people!
Sparky Griffin: O.J.’s murder trial.
Jamal Thompson: Whitey!
Sparky Griffin: Inflation.
Jamal Thompson: Korean grocers!
Sparky Griffin: Ooh. Okay, Jamal, very good. On a Blame Scale, you scored 100 points. Now, it’s your turn, John. Are you ready?
John Robbins: Ready! [ hits his buzzer ]
Sparky Griffin: Overpopulation.
John Robbins: The Chinaman.
Sparky Griffin: Immigration.
John Robbins: Mexicans.
Sparky Griffin: The deficit
John Robbins: The Jews.
Sparky Griffin: Crime
John Robbins: [ laughs and points to Jamal ]
Sparky Griffin: Okay, well, you also scored perfectly! Nobody wins, because we’re out of time, but you will receive a consolation prize. Paula, come out here, honey, and show them what they’ve won.
[ Paula holds up the prize on another part of the set ]
Paula: Don’t patronize me. My name isn’t “Honey.” You’ve won a clock!
John Robbins: What a bitch!
Jamal Thompson: Yeah, she probably wants to be a man!
Sparky Griffin: Well, they want to do everything a man does, but they aren’t capable. Then you accidentally walk into the ladies room naked, and they file charges. So, what are you gonna do? Okay! Well, tune in next week, everybody, and, until then, when something goes wrong in your life, it’s not your fault, because..
[ open on stock footage from the film “Braveheart” ]
[ dissolve to SNL’s set, cast members dressed as characters from “Braveheart”, all crowded around a stone staircase that leads up to audience seating in the balcony ]
[ trumpets sound ]
Warrior: We await William Wallace! He who is called.. Braveheart!
[ the crowd cheers the arrival of Braveheart, who, despite the triumphant soundtrack, doesn’t appear ]
Warrior: Uhh.. we await.. Braveheart!
[ from an angle looking down, the crowd cheers louder, but Braveheart again fails to appear ]
Warrior: [ tries again ] We await our leader, the man they call.. Braveheart!
[ the crowd cheers once more, but Braveheart still fails to appear. They are all dumbfounded at the absence of Braveheart. ]
[ cut to Lorne Michaels’ office, where Chevy Chase, dressed as Braveheart, sits in front of Lorne’s desk ]
Chevy Chase: All I’m saying, Lorne, is that I’m a little uncomfortable doing this Braveheart sketch, that’s all.
Lorne Michaels: Chevy, the whole point of this sketch is to showcase your fall. People expect to see you fall. It’s a tradition.
Chevy Chase: Well, th-that’s why I’m uncomfortable. I mean, I’ve been eating all summer, Lorne. Eggs, mostly – but deep-fried. I’m out of shape, and I really don’t want to get hurt.
Lorne Michaels: Why, you got something coming up?
Chevy Chase: [ sheepishly ] No. But.. it’s a Braveheart sketch. The movie’s almost a year old. I mean, it’s not exactly cutting-edge parody!
Lorne Michaels: Hey, kids, are still talking about it.
Chevy Chase: I’m not going to do it.
Lorne Michaels: [ digests the information ] I was hoping you wouldn’t force me to do this.
Chevy Chase: What? [ watches, as Lorne pulls open a drawer and retrieves a huge stack of papers ] What’s that? [ Lorne drops the huge stack onto the desk ] My old contract? You’re not going to.. hold me to something I signed twenty years ago, are you?
Lorne Michaels: Hey, you still owe us seven shows.
Chevy Chase: Come on, Lorne, I’m too old for this. It’s stupid and unsafe for me to go out there and take a fall. Did my doctor call? I’m having problems with my neck.. my back..
Lorne Michaels: Chevy, I really wish that I could help you, but, uh.. remember, you left. You know? So I’m calling it in. It’s the network, okay? Do a funny fall, announce Lisa Loeb.
Chevy Chase: Geez.. [ Chevy stands, obviously in great pain ] Oh..
Lorne Michaels: You’ll be fine.
[ Chevy exits Lorne’s office ]
Lorne Michaels: [ looks offscreen ] Mariel? Can I get a cup of coffee?
[ last week’s host, Mariel Hemingway, steps up to Lorne’s desk and pours him a cup of coffee ]
Mariel Hemingway: Want anything else, Lorne?
Lorne Michaels: No. I’d like to be alone.
Mariel Hemingway: Okay. [ she walks away ]
[ cut to Chevy exiting Lorne’s office and walking behind audience members seated at the balcony. Jim Breuer is standing by the wall. ]
Jim Breuer: [ to himself, as Chevy passes ] Holy cow! [ strides behind Chevy ] Mr. Chase!
Chevy Chase: [ responds without looking ] Yeah?
Jim Breuer: Jim Breuer. I’m a new cast member!
Chevy Chase: Oh, that’s great. [ turns to acknowledge Jim ] Sorry. It’s nice to meet you, Tim.
Jim Breuer: It’s Jim!
Chevy Chase: Yeah. Whatever. Hope you can save the show.
Jim Breuer: This is so great to have you here, you know? I used to watch you all the time. You know, ’cause I’m like you, I like to do physical comedy.
Chevy Chase: Great. Look, Bobby, uh —
Jim Breuer: Jim! Jim.
Chevy Chase: Yeah, whatever. I-I-I gotta do this “Braveheart” thing, so it’s nice talking to you. Maybe I’ll see you at the party, or something.
Jim Breuer: Mr. Chase, you’re not gonna go down this stairfall, are you? [ the angle cuts to look up toward them, the other cast members still standing on cue at the bottom of the staircase ] I mean, this is kind of crazy, don’t you think? You’re a 55-year old, you shouldn’t be doing this stuff.
Chevy Chase: I’m 49. Okay? Betty?
Jim Breuer: Jim.
Chevy Chase: Jim. [ Chevy stops at the top of the staircase, sighs; Jim looks sorrowfully at him ] Now, Jim.. Lorne wants me to do a fall. I owe him seven shows.. there’s a good chance I won’t get hurt, and.. you know, this is comedy, so what the heck?
Jim Breuer: Mr. Chase.
Chevy Chase: Yeah?
Jim Breuer: Let me do the fall. You know, I’m at that age where I just feel I’m invincible, you know? And I love to hear the laughter! Come on!
[ soft music pots up ]
Chevy Chase: Betty — that’s exactly how I used to feel. [ sigh ] Life is going to one continuous party, I thought that things were going to be.. going my way continually. A little fall here, a little fall there, some laughter, then I cash the elephant check. But, after a while, I started noticing back pains that hadn’t been there before, aches in the morning, and I-I-I-I turned to pills. Pils aren’t good for you, Betty. I think they’re what gave me that bout of syphilis. [ Jim nods his head ] Don’t contradict me, my wife is watching. Soon, it was pills in the morning, pills at night. Back pains, they just kept coming. I was in and out of rehab so many times, they gave me my own doggie door, Butch. [ sighs ] I’m turning 48 tomorrow, and I don’t like what life has become. and you won’t like your life, either, if you go the fall route. Take it from me.Wow, Mr. Chase. Thanks. I think I really learned something from you today, you know? I think I’m going to take a more.. cerebral approach to comedy, you know? None of this fall stuff. Man, you’re the best, Chevy.
Chevy Chase: Thanks, Ron. [ a beat, before he pushes Jim down the stairs ]
[ the cast members standing at the bottom of the staircase cheer as Jim tumbles down to their feet ]
[ cut back to Chevy at the top of the stairs, as he looks directly into the camera ]
Chevy Chase: “Live! From New York –“
Beth McCarthy V/O: Chevy, we already did that.
Chevy Chase: Oh. [ regains himself ] Uhh.. ladies and gentlemen, uhh.. Lisa Loeb! and Nine Stories!
Jack Handey V/O: One time I was walking through the field behind our house, when this man jumped out and grabbed me. He was wearing a striped uniform and his ankles were chained together. He told me to get him some food, and some tools to get the chains off his legs. And if I didn’t, he would kill my whole family.
[ cut to young Jack sitting in front of the TV set, eating a popsicle ]
Chevy Chase: [ with his arms wrapped around Lisa Loeb and Don Novello; faces Lisa ] Thank you very much, Lisa Loeb. [ turns to face Don ] Thank you, Don. [ looks around, confused ] What happened to Mariel? Thank you. Mariel! Thank you, cast! Thank you, Lorne! I had a great time.
[ INT. CLOTHING DESIGN FIRM ]
[ KATIE, a 30-something career woman, comes in and shakes hands with our NARRATOR. ]
Narrator: I remember the day Katie came to work at Blair Fashion. We clicked right away! What a little pistol she was!! So much energy!
[ Katie guides the seamstresses in the factory. ]
Narrator (V/O): Sometimes she’d create two, or even three, dresses in one day.
[ The narrator peeks over to Katie in mild scorn, who’s working to little or no difficulty. ]
Narrator: She made quite an impression on our head designer.
[ Katie presents a dress design to the board. The narrator grimaces as the head designer and his colleagues laud Katie’s creation. ]
Narrator: It’s hard to keep up with Katie.
[ The narrator taps her wristwatch at Katie’s desk to indicate lunchtime to Katie as the large clock behind her displays 11:55 AM. Katie politely declines. ]
Narrator (V/O): After a while, she got too busy to have lunch with me.
[ The large clock displays 10:17 PM. The cleaning woman buffers the floor. Katie’s still hammering away at her desk. ]
Narrator (V/O): She was kind of making us all look bad…
[ Katie takes measurements on a model wearing her design. A migraine hits Katie. ]
Narrator (V/O): One day I noticed Katie really stressed out.
[ Katie massages her forehead. ]
Narrator: That’s when I suggested Lobotol.
[ CLOSE-UP: HAND DISPENSING “LOBOTOL” ]
[ SUPER: NO NEED TO CONSULT A PHYSICIAN BEFORE USE. ]
[ The narrator holds Katie’s hand holding two Lobotol pills to her mouth until she swallows them. Katie gives in. ]
Narrator: My husband gave it to me when he thought I was asking too many questions… it practically saved our marriage.
[ SUPER: THREE WEEKS LATER… ]
Narrator (V/O): A few weeks later, Katie was much better!
[ The narrator is wearing a more elite business suit and giving directions to the employees. ]
Narrator: Thanks to Lobotol, not only did I get my friend back, but I also got a raise! Careful, Katie!
[ Katie is covered in tulle from head to toe. She scans the room with a vacant mind. ]
[ DISPLAY: LOBOTOL ]
[ SUPER: USE ONLY AS RECOMMENDED BY A “FRIEND” ]
Announcer: Lobotol – now available without a prescription.
Adam McKay O.J. TodaySummary: Bill McDonald (Will Ferrell) and the O.J. coverage gang segue to footage of Johnnie Cochran (Tim Meadows) dissuading use of the “evidence card” during the O.J. Simpson trial.
Recurring Characters: Bill McDonald, Johnnie Cochran, Robert Shapiro, F. Lee Bailey, Barry Scheck, Judge Lance Ito.
Weekend Update with Norm MacDonaldSummary: Nancy Walls reads a handful of news stories that elicit sad head-shaking from herself and Norm MacDonald.
Blues Traveler performs “Run-Around”
The TelephoneSummary: A housewife (Mariel Hemingway) asks her husband (Will Ferrell) to help get her off the phone with talkative relatives, but his attempts border more on creepy and disturbing than helpful.
SummaryAfter 20 years of laughs, SNL seemed on hard times, having fallen into the trap of predictable and uninspired comedy. Producer Lorne Michaels was left with no choice but to rebuild his cast – something he hadn’t done for almost ten seasons, but needed to do fast.
Of the 1994 cast, Kevin Nealon finally retired after nine seasons, while cast members Adam Sandler and Chris Farley were released of their contracts and allowed to venture to Hollywood to produce and star in overhyped movie vehicles. Lorne even fired the much underused Tim Meadows, but decided to rehire him at the last minute in order to balance the cast. A lucky move for Meadows, who finally started appearing in more sketches this era than he did the last.
Holding on to Tim Meadows and three other cast members (Norm MacDonald, Mark McKinney and David Spade), as well as one promising featured player (Molly Shannon), Lorne brought in six new performers (Jim Breuer, Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, David Koechner, Cheri Oteri and Nancy Walls) who would bring unpredictable comedy back to the show. This season’s “Wake Up & Smile” sketch is perhaps the greatest evidence of that claim.
They take a little getting used to, but this group proved to be the start of a new direction for SNL.