If you were pop culture-cognizant in the ‘90s, then there’s probably a special place in your heart for the slew of films based on Saturday Night Live sketches released in the early part of the decade. Coneheads. Wayne’s World. It’s Pat.
But you probably haven’t heard of The Saturday Night Live Movie. We hadn’t either, until very recently.
A copy of the script of the never-made sketch-based feature film, dated July 26, 1990, reached the desk of Drew McWeeny at HitFlix, who read it and posted the details. The writing credits reveal a jaw-dropping roster of comedy talent, including Al Franken (D-Minn.), Greg Daniels (The Office), Lorne Michaels, Robert Smigel, George Meyer (The Simpsons) and Conan O’Brien.
The Saturday Night Live Movie was a series of satirical shorts based on the theme of “a night at the movies,” including a send-up of the pre-preview movie theater greeting message, an O’Brien-penned instructional video on how to effectively sneak into movie screenings for an entire day and “Dad’s Car,” a parody of the unruly-teen genre popularized in the ‘80s with films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Risky Business.
The full sketch list is below:
“Welcome To The Movies” by Conan O’Brien, Robert Smigel, and Greg Daniels
“Young Bush At Yale” by Jim Downey, Al Franken, and Robert Smigel
“Cineplex” by Robert Smigel, Conan O’Brien, and Greg Daniels
“Appeal #1” by Jim Downey and Al Franken
“Romance” by Al Franken and Tom Davis
“Crack Rap” by Al Franken and Tom Davis
“Appeal #2” by Jim Downey and Al Franken
“Dad’s Car” by Robert Smigel, Conan O’Brien and Greg Daniels
“Bum Piss Canyon/Apology” by Tom Davis, Jim Downey, and Al Franken
“Appeal #3” by Jim Downey and Al Franken
“E.T.’s” by Greg Daniels, Robert Smigel, Jim Downey, and Conan O’Brien
“On The Farm” by Robert Smigel, Conan O’Brien, Greg Daniels, and Al Franken
“Wonderful Life” by Jim Downey and Al Franken
“Tip Stealer” by George Meyer
“Movie’s Over” by Conan O’Brien, Robert Smigel, and Greg Daniels
“Blooper Credits” by Conan O’Brien and Jim Downey
According to McWeeny, the jokes, as one might expect, run on both ends of the spectrum: some are highly topical and era-specific (“Wonderful Life” lampoons Ted Turner and colorization, “Young Bush at Yale” depicts a zany love triangle between George H.W. Bush, Barbara Pierce and Jack Kennedy in their college years), others would be at home on Saturday Night Live today (“Tip Stealer,” as the title would indicate, focuses on the life of a professional gratuity grifter).
For more details from the script, check out McWeeny’s article. Or, you can just use your imagination and dream of great things that never shall be. Heavy sigh.