What if Greg Daniels, James Downey, George Meyer, Tom Davis, Al Franken, Conan O’Brien, and Robert Smigel got together and co-wrote a feature-length Saturday Night Live sketch movie? To answer, such a movie would never be filmed and released while most of the writers would eventually part company with Saturday Night Live, leaving us with nothing but the proposed movie script to ponder what could have been. The script, dated for July 26, 1990, fell across the desk of Drew McWeeny over at HitFix recently and he has kindly shared the details of the ultimate sketch movie that never was.
Written as a satirical anthology in the vein of The Kentucky Fried Movie and centered around the theme of “a night at the movies,” the proposed film, titled The Saturday Night Live Movie, featured several sketches that send up everything from trailers and genre movies to celebrities, movie credits, and the communal, tacky-floored movie theater experience. According to McWeeny, many of the segments, which he was able to read in full, contain extremely dated material, particularly the one making fun of George H.W. Bush. Other segments, he says, are a delight. In particular are "Dad's Car," which lampoons '80s teen movies about the folks going out of town and leaving the 17-year old in charge, and "Tip Stealer," an absurdly silly sketch about just what the title says—a professional tip stealer—that runs for 21 pages and supposedly is a satirical take on crime films. More extensive descriptions of each segment can be read over at HitFix. Here's a breakdown of the segments and their writers:
"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
In addition to the sketch writers, Lorne Michaels and Bonnie and Terry Turner receive additional writing credits on the cover page for unknown work contributed to the script. Otherwise, this all-star roster of SNL veterans, and in some cases Simpsons stalwarts, shines light on an untraveled direction for SNL movies that perhaps should have been taken.
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