David Spade has plenty of experience with playing assistants, thanks to his longtime role on Just Shoot Me, but he also played Dick Clark’s really bitchy (fictional) receptionist in a really funny segment for the show. The sketches featured David Spade’s signature smart aleck-y style on the late night series, but as it turns out, the character was actually modeled after someone David Spade met in real life: Patrick Swayze’s assistant.
During Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, David Spade told a funny story about the “weird way” he had been treated by Patrick Swayze’s assistant when he was on Saturday Night Live. Apparently Swayze was hanging out in the writer’s room, by himself, and so Spade tried to go in to talk to him, only to be physically blocked by the aforementioned assistant. This is what ensued:
I go, ‘Oh, I just wanted to say hi to Patrick,’and she goes ‘And you are..?’ And I go ‘Uh... I’m David Spade?’ And she goes, ‘And he would know you because?’ I go, ‘Oh, I’m a writer here [at SNL].’ And she goes ‘*sigh* riiiight, you’re a writer here at SNL? Mmm, it’s just, he’s so crazy right now. Can you come back in a little bit? It might be a better time.’
Now, we obviously have very little way of knowing whether or not Swayze had given his assistant explicit instructions not to be disturbed, but we do know he was hanging out in the writer’s room, not his dressing room, reading a magazine, so he couldn't have been all that busy. Honestly, it sounds like she was being annoying for the sake of being annoying from the facts we have. David Spade may have brushed it off, but then he said nearly the exact same thing happened when tried to contact Lorne Michaels in Los Angeles. Thus, a sketch was born.
It’s been a while since Spade was on Saturday Night Live, but luckily, NBC has a ton of old SNL sketches available online, and David Spade’s amusingly bitchy receptionist is absolutely one of them. You can check out one of the sketches featuring MC Hammer, below (or this one with Roseanne).
This sketch is a little similar to other sketches we got from Spade over the years, including the airline attendant with the “buh-bye” catchphrase and his now-infamous “Hollywood Minute” sketches that made his distinct personality shine. Unlike a lot of those sketches, the backstory of this one makes it even better because you can just envision the tone of voice the girl must have had when she was speaking to Spade all those years ago. The joke's really on her, though.
Saturday Night Live is currently airing its 41st Season. You can catch new episodes starting on January 16, 2016. Here's what else is coming up this winter.