Recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches introduced 1985–1986

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The following is a list of recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches introduced between November 9, 1985, and May 24, 1986, the eleventh season of SNL.

Cabrini Green Jackson[edit]

A Danitra Vance sketch. Debuted November 9, 1985.

Appearances
Season Episode Host Notes
11 November 9, 1985 Madonna
11 November 23, 1985 Pee-wee Herman
11 December 21, 1985 Teri Garr
11 January 25, 1986 Dudley Moore
11 April 12, 1986 Oprah Winfrey
11 May 17, 1986 Jimmy Breslin

The Jones Brothers[edit]

A Damon Wayans and Anthony Michael Hall sketch. Debuted November 9, 1985.

The Limits of the Imagination[edit]

The Limits of the Imagination was a short-lived sketch featured on the 1985–1986 season. It featured Randy Quaid as "The Floating Head", a Rod Serling-like character who would introduce a creepy, Twilight Zone-esque story with a weak ending (or no ending at all). The title was also reminiscent of the 1960s sci-fi anthology The Outer Limits.

Appearances
Season Episode Host Notes
11 November 9, 1985 Madonna In a loose parody of The Twilight Zone episode "The Hitch-hiker", Madonna plays a female motorist who is being followed by a crazy man (played by Jon Lovitz) living in the trunk of her car.
11 December 7, 1985 John Lithgow Joan Cusack, Robert Downey Jr., Nora Dunn, and Terry Sweeney play restaurant patrons who are trapped at an "all-you-can-eat" fish restaurant where patrons are forced to eat everything on the menu.
11 January 25, 1986 Dudley Moore Dudley Moore plays a bad comedian who sells his soul to the devil (played by Jon Lovitz) in order to be popular.
11 February 8, 1986 Ron Reagan In a parody of several Twilight Zone episodes, notably "Person or Persons Unknown", Ron Reagan Jr. plays a man who is treated like a stranger by his wife (Joan Cusack), son (Robert Downey Jr.), and friends (Jon Lovitz, Damon Wayans, and Dan Vitale).
11 February 15, 1986 Jerry Hall Jerry Hall plays "Maggie the Cat" from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, who traps and seduces a gay man (played by Terry Sweeney) in her hotel room.
11 May 10, 1986 Catherine Oxenberg, Paul Simon Young Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel (played by Robert Downey, Jr. and Anthony Michael Hall) sell their souls to the Devil (Jon Lovitz) for success. Later, an elderly Paul Simon (who appears as himself) lives out his personal hell of listening to Muzak versions of his greatest hits while stuck in an elevator.

The Pat Stevens Show[edit]

Nora Dunn played the host, a somewhat dim, shallow, ex-model who thought Vogue was literature. Debuted November 16, 1985.

Appearances
Season Episode Host Notes
11 November 16, 1985 Chevy Chase
11 November 23, 1985 Pee-wee Herman
11 December 14, 1985 Tom Hanks
11 January 25, 1986 Dudley Moore
11 February 8, 1986 Ron Reagan
11 February 15, 1986 Jerry Hall
11 April 12, 1986 Oprah Winfrey
11 May 17, 1986 Jimmy Breslin
12 December 6, 1986 Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Martin Short
12 January 31, 1987 Paul Shaffer
12 April 11, 1987 John Lithgow
13 October 31, 1987 Dabney Coleman
13 February 20, 1988 Tom Hanks
14 October 8, 1988 Tom Hanks
14 November 19, 1988 John Lithgow
14 February 18, 1989 Leslie Nielsen
15 February 24, 1990 Fred Savage

Craig Sundberg, Idiot Savant[edit]

An Anthony Michael Hall sketch. Debuted November 16, 1985.

Tommy Flanagan, the Pathological Liar[edit]

The Pathological Liar is a character created and portrayed by Jon Lovitz, often appearing on Weekend Update segments to share his farcical views. The character's name was Tommy Flanagan (/fləˈnɡən/ flə-NAY-gən) – not to be confused with the jazz pianist) – and he would tell outrageous whoppers in an effort to make himself seem important (such as his claim that he invented rock and roll). One recurring lie was claiming he was married to Morgan Fairchild, and thus had seen her naked, "more than once." His devious look, hand rubbing and nervous speech made it clear he was making up lies, one after the other, on the spot. After a particularly outrageous lie he would often use an old Humphrey Bogart line, "Yeah! That's the ticket!", as a catchphrase.

One of his biggest lies, however, would work to his great advantage. During the cold opening when Jerry Hall hosted, Flanagan claimed to be an old friend of her then-boyfriend Mick Jagger; when Jagger entered moments later, he shocked her by revealing that the two were longtime friends, and had actually spent the previous weekend together, while she had no idea of his whereabouts, on a fishing trip. As he and Hall got up to leave, Jagger told Flanagan, "I owe you for this one," before opening the show.

Appearances
Season Episode Host Notes
11 November 16, 1985 Chevy Chase
11 November 23, 1985 Pee-wee Herman
11 December 14, 1985 Tom Hanks
11 January 25, 1986 Dudley Moore
11 February 15, 1986 Jerry Hall
11 February 22, 1986 Jay Leno
11 March 15, 1986 Griffin Dunne
11 March 22, 1986 George Wendt, Francis Ford Coppola
11 April 12, 1986 Oprah Winfrey
11 May 10, 1986 Catherine Oxenberg, Paul Simon
11 May 17, 1986 Jimmy Breslin
12 October 11, 1986 Sigourney Weaver
12 November 8, 1986 Rosanna Arquette
12 December 6, 1986 Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Martin Short
12 January 24, 1987 Joe Montana, Walter Payton
12 February 21, 1987 Willie Nelson
12 May 23, 1987 Dennis Hopper
14 April 1, 1989 Mel Gibson
23 November 8, 1997 Jon Lovitz

Master Thespian[edit]

Jon Lovitz plays a ruthlessly ambitious, egomaniacal actor who spoke with a plummy "Shakespearean" English accent and often elicited the sympathy of other characters in the sketch, only to reveal the ruse by declaring his catchphrase, "Acting!" His arch-rival and mentor, Baudelaire (John Lithgow), often had the last laugh in the escalating one-upmanship, in reality childish pranks and paperthin disguises that they both fell for, ostensibly due to their brilliant acting. On the few occasions we actually see him act, it is clear that he is not as good as his reputation would have us believe, on occasion seeming completely oblivious to the concept of acting. The sketch debuted December 7, 1985 and appeared 13 times between 1985 and 1989.

In 2016, Lovitz stated that the character was based on Canadian actor William Needles, who was his drama professor at the University of California at Irvine.[1]

Appearances
Season Episode Host Notes
11 December 7, 1985 John Lithgow
11 January 25, 1986 Dudley Moore
11 February 15, 1986 Jerry Hall
11 March 22, 1986 George Wendt, Francis Ford Coppola
11 April 19, 1986 Tony Danza
12 November 22, 1986 Robin Williams
12 April 11, 1987 John Lithgow
13 December 19, 1987 Paul Simon
13 January 23, 1988 Carl Weathers
14 November 19, 1988 John Lithgow
14 December 10, 1988 Kevin Kline
14 February 25, 1989 Glenn Close

The Rudy Randolphs[edit]

A Randy Quaid and Robert Downey, Jr. sketch. Debuted December 7, 1985.

Appearances
Season Episode Host Notes
11 December 7, 1985 John Lithgow
11 January 18, 1986 Harry Dean Stanton
11 March 15, 1986 Griffin Dunne

The Stand-Ups[edit]

A Tom Hanks and Jon Lovitz and Damon Wayans and Dennis Miller sketch. Debuted December 14, 1985.

Appearances
Season Episode Host Notes
11 December 14, 1985 Tom Hanks
11 February 22, 1986 Jay Leno
13 February 20, 1988 Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks reprised his Paul character from this sketch in a Cut For Time "Bruce Chandling" Weekend Update feature on October 22, 2016 (Season 42, Episode 4).

That Black Girl[edit]

A Danitra Vance sketch. Debuted January 18, 1986.

Vinnie Barber[edit]

A Jon Lovitz sketch. Debuted January 18, 1986.

Mephistopheles[edit]

A Jon Lovitz sketch. Debuted January 25, 1986.

Appearances
Season Episode Host Notes
11 January 25, 1986 Dudley Moore
11 May 10, 1986 Catherine Oxenberg, Paul Simon
11 May 24, 1986 Anjelica Huston, Billy Martin
12 November 8, 1986 Rosanna Arquette
12 December 6, 1986 Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, Martin Short
12 February 21, 1987 Willie Nelson
14 December 17, 1988 Melanie Griffith
14 February 18, 1989 Leslie Nielsen
15 March 24, 1990 Debra Winger
15 May 12, 1990 Andrew Dice Clay

The Big Picture[edit]

A Weekend Update commentary segment with A. Whitney Brown.

Appearances
Season Episode Host Notes
11 February 8, 1986 Ron Reagan
11 February 22, 1986 Jay Leno
11 March 15, 1986 Griffin Dunne
11 April 12, 1986 Oprah Winfrey
11 May 10, 1986 Catherine Oxenberg, Paul Simon
11 May 24, 1986 Anjelica Huston, Billy Martin
12 October 11, 1986 Sigourney Weaver
12 November 8, 1986 Rosanna Arquette
12 November 22, 1986 Robin Williams
12 January 24, 1987 Joe Montana, Walter Payton
12 February 14, 1987 Bronson Pinchot
12 February 21, 1987 Willie Nelson
12 April 11, 1987 John Lithgow
12 May 9, 1987 Mark Harmon
12 May 23, 1987 Dennis Hopper
13 November 14, 1987 Robert Mitchum
13 December 12, 1987 Angie Dickinson
13 January 30, 1988 Carl Weathers
13 February 27, 1988 Judge Reinhold
14 October 15, 1988 Matthew Broderick
14 November 5, 1988 Matthew Modine
14 December 10, 1988 Kevin Kline
14 January 21, 1989 John Malkovich
14 February 25, 1989 Glenn Close
14 May 20, 1989 Steve Martin
15 September 30, 1989 Bruce Willis
15 October 21, 1989 Kathleen Turner
15 October 28, 1989 James Woods
15 March 17, 1990 Rob Lowe
15 April 21, 1990 Alec Baldwin
15 May 19, 1990 Candice Bergen
16 October 27, 1990 Patrick Swayze
16 January 12, 1991 Joe Mantegna
16 February 9, 1991 Kevin Bacon
16 March 16, 1991 Michael J. Fox

Babette[edit]

A Nora Dunn sketch. Debuted February 15, 1986.

Appearances
Season Episode Host Notes
11 February 15, 1986 Jerry Hall Weekend Update
11 April 19, 1986 Tony Danza Weekend Update
12 December 13, 1986 Steve Guttenberg Weekend Update
12 February 14, 1987 Bronson Pinchot
12 April 18, 1987 John Larroquette Weekend Update
12 May 16, 1987 Gary Shandling Teeny Café
13 October 24, 1987 Sean Penn Teeny Café

The Further Adventures of Biff and Salena[edit]

The various mundane events in the lives of a seemingly mentally disabled couple (Jon Lovitz and Joan Cusack). Debuted February 22, 1986.

Actors of Film[edit]

A Nora Dunn and Robert Downey Jr sketch. Debuted March 22, 1986.

Appearances
Season Episode Host Notes
11 March 22, 1986 George Wendt, Francis Ford Coppola
11 April 12, 1986 Oprah Winfrey
11 May 24, 1986 Anjelica Huston, Billy Martin

References[edit]

  1. ^ Beitz, Mike (April 17, 2016). "Stratford Festival hosts touching tribute to William Needles". Stratford Beacon-Herald.
Preceded by
Recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches introduced 1984-1985
Recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches (listed chronologically) Succeeded by
Recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches introduced 1986-1987