Recurring Saturday Night Live characters and sketches introduced 1985–1986
- 1 Cabrini Green Jackson
- 2 The Jones Brothers
- 3 The Limits of the Imagination
- 4 The Pat Stevens Show
- 5 Craig Sundberg, Idiot Savant
- 6 Tommy Flanagan, the Pathological Liar
- 7 Master Thespian
- 8 The Rudy Randolphs
- 9 The Stand-Ups
- 10 That Black Girl
- 11 Vinnie Barber
- 12 Mephistopheles
- 13 The Further Adventures of Biff and Salena
- 14 Ashley Ashley
- 15 Jimmy Chance
- 16 Babette
- 17 References
Cabrini Green Jackson
A Danitra Vance sketch. Debuted November 9, 1985.
The Jones Brothers
The Limits of the Imagination
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.
Episodes featuring Limits of the Imagination
- Madonna/Simple Minds: 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.
- John Lithgow/Mr. Mister: 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.
- Dudley Moore/Al Green: Dudley Moore plays a bad comedian who sells his soul to the devil (played by Jon Lovitz) in order to be popular.
- Ron Reagan Jr./The Nelsons: 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).
- Jerry Hall/Stevie Ray Vaughan: 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.
- Catherine Oxenberg and Paul Simon/Ladysmith Black Mambazo: 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
Craig Sundberg, Idiot Savant
An Anthony Michael Hall sketch. Debuted November 16, 1985.
Tommy Flanagan, the Pathological Liar
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 (// 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.
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.
The Rudy Randolphs
A Randy Quaid and Robert Downey, Jr. sketch. Debuted December 7, 1985.
That Black Girl
A Danitra Vance sketch. Debuted January 18, 1986.
A Jon Lovitz sketch. Debuted January 18, 1986.
A Jon Lovitz sketch. Debuted January 25, 1986.
The Further Adventures of Biff and Salena
The various mundane events in the lives of a seemingly mentally disabled couple (Jon Lovitz and Joan Cusack). Debuted February 22, 1986.
A Nora Dunn character from the recurring sketch "Actors of Film". Debuted March 22, 1986.
A Robert Downey, Jr. character from the recurring sketch "Actors of Film". Debuted March 22, 1986.
A Nora Dunn sketch. Debuted April 19, 1986.
- Beitz, Mike (April 17, 2016). "Stratford Festival hosts touching tribute to William Needles". Stratford Beacon-Herald.