It's Pat

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It's Pat
A large person stands naked in the center of the poster, with a big pink question mark covering their body
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAdam Bernstein
Produced byCharles B. Wessler
Screenplay by
Based onThe character
by Julia Sweeney
Music byMark Mothersbaugh
CinematographyJeff Jur
Edited byNorman Hollyn
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • August 26, 1994 (1994-08-26) (United States)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$8 million[1]
Box office$60,822[2]

It's Pat is a 1994 American comedy film directed by Adam Bernstein and starring Julia Sweeney, Dave Foley, Charles Rocket, and Kathy Griffin. The film was based on the Saturday Night Live (SNL) character Pat, created by Sweeney, an androgynous misfit whose sex is never revealed.

Dave Foley plays Pat's partner, Chris, and Charles Rocket, another SNL alumnus, plays Pat's neighbor, Kyle Jacobsen.


Pat Riley is a chubby, whiny, and obnoxious job-hopper of indeterminate gender who is searching for a steady foundation in life. Pat encounters Chris, whose sex is also unrevealed. The two fall in love, and get engaged. Meanwhile, Pat's neighbor, Kyle Jacobsen, develops an unhealthy obsession with unveiling Pat's sex, and begins stalking Pat. Kyle sends in a tape of Pat performing karaoke to a TV show called America's Creepiest People, bringing Pat to the attention of the band Ween, who feature Pat in one of their performances; Pat plays the tuba. When Pat learns that Ween intended to only use Pat for one gig, Pat and Chris break up.

Kyle steals the laptop containing Pat's diary and tries to coerce Pat into revealing the computer's password, so he can access the files. Pat's only answer is that the word is in the dictionary. Kyle then begins to type in every single word in the dictionary.

Meanwhile, a gang of thugs intent on discovering Pat's sex begin harassing Pat, and Pat becomes distraught over the thugs' androgynous nature. Pat goes to complain to Kathy, a friend who is a therapist and host of a radio talk show. When Pat gives acerbic reactions to call-in listeners, the station fires Kathy and replaces her with Pat.

Kyle ends up going through the entire dictionary until he reaches the last word, "zythum" (an Egyptian malt beer), which is the password. After reading through the diary, he discovers no new information in regards to Pat's sex, and finally snaps.

Kyle calls into Pat's radio show, and tells Pat to meet him at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, stating that this is the only chance for Pat to retrieve the laptop. Pat arrives to find Kyle dressed exactly like Pat. Kyle demands that Pat strip naked, but Pat runs off into a Ween concert. After Kyle corners Pat on a catwalk, Pat falls, and Pat's clothes get caught on a hook. This tears off Pat's pants and lowers Pat in front of the cheering audience, though Pat's genitals are revealed neither to Kyle nor to the moviegoer. Kyle is subsequently taken away by security guards. Pat then runs to see Chris, just as Chris is leaving on an ocean liner. In an epilogue, Pat and Chris get married.

During the end credits, Kathy is now hosting her radio show again and the first caller is none other than Kyle, whose obsession with Pat has driven him to cross-dressing.



The film was written by Sweeney, Jim Emerson (Sweeney's friend from their days with The Groundlings,[3]), and Sweeney's former husband, Stephen Hibbert.[3] While at the Groundlings, Emerson suggested that the character Pat, at the time a "character based on annoying co-workers who don't leave you alone", be made androgynous.[3]

Three months before the film's release, Sweeney commented on her initial reluctance to do a film based on Pat:[4]

I resisted it completely. I just didn't know how we could make it last for two hours. But 20th Century Fox was really keen; our producer was really keen. So we thought, OK, we'll write the script. And after three months, we fell madly in love with the script. Unfortunately, Fox did not.

Touchstone Pictures decided to produce the film, after Fox bowed out.[4]

Quentin Tarantino revealed that he was an uncredited writer on the script.[5][6]


It's Pat has a rare 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 11 reviews.[7]

Variety magazine called the film "shockingly unfunny", noting that Sweeney had "perversely turned the relatively harmless TV character into a boorish, egotistical creep for the bigscreen", the film's "only really funny bit is Sexual Personae author Camille Paglia, deftly parodying herself, commenting on the significance of Pat's androgyny".[8] Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote: "It's Pat offers a simple message of self-acceptance, asserting that what counts is who you are rather than what your gender may or may not be. The trouble is that its telling is truly terrible."[9] TV Guide called it "yet another tepid film comedy based on a recurring "Saturday Night Live" sketch". They conclude "the story goes nowhere, and if the film ran longer than its 80 minutes, it would have become too tedious to tolerate".[10]

The film opened in only three cities[11] (33 theaters[2]). Its total gross was $60,822. As a result, the film was pulled from theaters after its opening weekend.[citation needed]


It's Pat was a multiple 3rd place nominee at the 16th Golden Raspberry Awards, though the film's cast and crew lost in every category to Showgirls:

At the 1995 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards, the film was nominated for Worst Picture but lost to Showgirls. However, Julia Sweeney did win Worst Actress for this film. Later, the Stinkers released their user-constructed "100 Years, 100 Stinkers" list in which visitors determined the 100 worst movies of the 20th century. It's Pat ranked in the bottom 20 at #7.[12][13]


No soundtrack album was released. The songs from It's Pat are listed below as shown within the film's credits:[citation needed]

  1. "It's Pat Theme" - Christina Zander, Julia Sweeney, Cheryl Hardwick
  2. "Walz Pompadour" (written by Tom Elliot)
  3. "Poem of Crickets" (written by 長沢 勝俊 (Katsutoshi Nagasawa))
  4. "Delta Swelter" - Gary Fletcher, Paul Jones, Dave Kelly, Tom McGuinness, Bob Townsend
  5. "The Cool Look" - Johnny Hawksworth
  6. "Brain Women" - Mark Mothersbaugh
  7. "Everybody Loves Somebody" - Julia Sweeney
  8. "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" - Aerosmith
  9. "Le Freak" - Julia Sweeney
  10. "Paero" - Phillippe Lhommt, Jacques Mercier
  11. "Pork Roll, Egg and Cheese" - Ween
  12. "How's It Gonna Be" - The Dead Milkmen
  13. "Bring It to Me" - Collective Thoughts
  14. "Don't Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)" - Ween
  15. "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" - Gladys Knight & the Pips


  1. ^ It's Pat: Julia Sweeney's gender-bending character goes to Hollywood, but can he ... er ... she ... er ... er ... Pat cross over?, a September 1994 article from Rolling Stone>
  2. ^ a b It's Pat at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ a b c Pat's World — It's Funny Business, Hard Work And A Little Too Much Attention For Julia Sweeney, a January 1993 article from The Seattle Times
  4. ^ a b Up From the Tube, but Then Down the Drain, a May 1994 article from The New York Times
  5. ^ Peary, Gerald (1998). Quentin Tarantino: interviews. United States of America: University Press of Missouri. pp. xviii, 126. ISBN 1-57806-050-8.
  6. ^ "Interview: Quentin Tarantino". Playboy. November 1994. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  7. ^ It's Pat at Rotten Tomatoes
  8. ^ Joe Leydon (August 25, 1994). "Review of It's Pat". Variety magazine.
  9. ^ Kevin Thomas (February 3, 1995). "MOVIE REVIEW : 'It's Pat' Takes Ambiguous Look at Life". Los Angeles Times.
  10. ^ "It's Pat".
  11. ^ How I Spent My Cancer Vacation, a December 1996 article from Time magazine
  12. ^ "The 100 Worst Films of the 20th Century". The Stinkers. Archived from the original on June 22, 2001. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  13. ^ "The Top 10 Worst Films of All Time". The Stinkers. Archived from the original on April 13, 2001. Retrieved 18 September 2019.

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