Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.
TV URBAN LEGEND: A sketch written for a 1975 episode of Saturday Night Live ended up being used fourteen years later on the show.
Tom Davis and Al Franken were early writers on Saturday Night Live, staying with the show for its entire first five year run.
They were working on the show when, during the 18th episode of the first season, the actress Racquel Welch hosted the show.
That particular show is famous for being the episode where Lorne Michaels first made his “offer” to the Beatles to reunite for $3,000.
During that episode, according to Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad’s book, Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, Franken and Davis wrote a sketch called Planet of the Enormous Hooters, which would be a take-off a Twilight Zone episode where a beautiful woman is ostracized because everyone else on the planet is hideous. In the sketch, Racquel Welch’s breasts would be considered puny to the people of the Planet of the Enormous Hooters. The sketch ran at dress, but Welch did not like it, so it was dropped.
You would figure that would be it, right?
As mentioned earlier, Franken and Davis left the show when Lorne Michaels left after the fifth season of the show.
However, in 1985, the writing pair RETURNED to the show.
And in 1989, they re-used their sketch from 1975, this time for Host Dolly Parton.
Parton was happy to do it, and the sketch made it to air this time around…
Here‘s a neat site with a transcript of the sketch.
Fourteen years after the sketch was written, Al Franken and Tom Davis got their sketch on the air (it’s a little bit like the opening episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip). And twenty years after getting “Planet of the Enormous Hooters” on to the air, Al Franken was elected to the United States Senate.
Life’s pretty unpredictable sometimes!
The legend is…
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future urban legends columns! My e-mail address is [email protected]