Revealed: The Lost Early-90s SNL Movie That Might Have Actually Been Good

By Katey Rich 2010-07-19 08:31:09discussion comments
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The legacy of the SNL movie is a pretty shaky one, primarily because each of the films take on the dubious task of making a feature about a character or a concept that worked best in five-minute bursts. But why hasn't there ever been a movie to just riff on the general concept of SNL, presenting a series of sketches instead of one long narrative? It's been done before by anthology films like Kentucky Fried Chicken and The Ten, and believe it or not, at one point in the past some of SNL's greatest minds gave it a shot, and failed.

Well, they failed in that they didn't get the film made at least-- as described by Hitfix's Drew McWeeny in his latest "Saturday Night at the Movies" column, the script they came up with was pretty solid. Not surprising, given that Al Franken, Robert Smigel, Greg Daniels, Jim Downey, George Meyer and Conan O'Brien were all contributors. Written in 1990, the film was made up of 16 different sketches, some of them long enough to be short films-- "Young Bush At Yale," "Tip Stealer"-- and others more surreal and shorter-- "Welcome to the Movies," "Bum Piss Canyon"--and was apparently as up-and-down as your average SNL episode. Some bits were apparently genius, and others, like "Crack Rap," might be bad and racist enough to end Franken's political career. In the end McWeeny says "I'm sort of amazed they never made some version of the film," especially since it was made in that early-90s era when Wayne's World proved you really could have a hit SNL movie.

The strangest part about all of this is that McWeeny asked The Other Guys director (and former SNL head writer) Adam McKay about the script over the weekend, and McKay had never even heard of it. How secret has this script been kept? And does that secrecy mean we might be able to expect a newer version at some point? Read McWeeny's thorough and excellent piece and tell me you don't wish this movie, for all its flaws, had managed to see the light of day.
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