The Lighter Side: Don't You Hate It...

Many, many years ago, I was a fan of Saturday Night Live. Back in those days, Martin Short was one of my favorites on the show. He and another guy did a hilarious segment. In it, they would say and do stupid and unlikely things and end each story with, "I hate it when that happens. Don't you hate it when that happens?!"

(Update: Although Martin Short was one of my favorites, so was Bill Crystal. It turns out it was Billy Crystal, not Martin Short in the skit. Thanks to David for the heads up on that.)

Here's one of the transcripts. It's just as ridiculous and almost painful to read as it was to watch.

For example, one of them told the story of how he stuck his head in his oven, turned it up to 400 degrees and kept it in there until it felt like his head would explode. He ended the story by saying, "I hate it when that happens. Don't you hate it when that happens?" To which his partner would respond, with a nod and a sigh, "Yeah, I hate it when that happens."

Things that don't just happen. It's ridiculous. It's code for, "Why in the world would you ever do that? That never just happens. You did it to yourself!" Each week, the two would culminate their stories of almost masochistic proportions with, "Yeah, I hate it when that happens."

I saw a story in the headlines this week that is actually quite sad. But, it reminded me of SNL and Martin Short. The Washington Post ran a story entitled
"NY Man Accused of Throwing Dog Out Window." My first thought, upon reading the headline was, "Don't you hate it when that happens?"

Sometimes I hear people talk about the choices they make. And, it feels like an "I hate it when that happens" moment. I'll just tell you one story. Some good friends of mine have several children. (I'll use different names in order to protect the accused.) Recently, two of them were playing together and got into a fight. Later when I asked the mom what happened, she said little Joey just ran right into his big brother's fist.

Don't you hate it when that happens!

Any other SNL favorites? Or, other "hate it when that happens" stories? (HT: David)


At 11/12/2005 10:35:00 AM, Anonymous david said...

You've got the right sketch but it was Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest that did it. It's funny how SNL has created some pretty funny phrases that have made it into our contemporary lexicon. Maybe requests for favorite SNL sayings?

At 11/12/2005 11:47:00 AM, Anonymous aj4runner@yahoo.com said...

Probably my favorite SNL skit of all-time, "Behind The Music: Blue Oyster Cult".


Bruce Dickinson.....Christopher Walken
Eric Bloom.....Chris Parnell
Buck Dharma.....Horatio Sanz
Alan.....Chris Kattan
Bobby.....Jimmy Fallon
Gene Frenkle.....Will Ferrell

Announcer: After a series of staggering defeats, Blue Oyster Cult assembled in the recording studio in late 1976 for a session with famed producer Bruce Dickinson. And, luckily for us, the cameras were rolling.

Bruce Dickinson: Alright, guys, I think we're ready to lay this first track down. By the way, my name is Bruce Dickinson. Yes, the Bruce Dickinson. And I gotta tell you: fellas.. you have got what appears to be a dynamite sound!

Eric Bloom: Coming from you, Bruce, that means a lot.

Buck Dharma: Yeah. I mean, you're Bruce Dickinson!

Alan: It's incredible!

Bobby: I can't believe Bruce Dickinson digs our sound!

Bruce Dickinson: Easy, guys.. I put my pants on just like the rest of you - one leg at a time. Except, once my pants are on, I make gold records. [ the group laughs ] Alright, here we go. "Don't Fear the Reaper" - take one. [ exits into the control booth ]

[ the group begins the song. Bobby slaps the drums, Eric jams his guitar, and Gene bangs on a cowbell. ]

Eric: [ distracted by Gene banging the cowbell ] Okay! Wait! Wait! [ the group cuts off their instruments ] Bruce, could you come in here for a minute, please?

Bruce Dickinson: [ stepping out of the booth ] That was gonna be a great track. Guys, what's the deal?

Eric: Are you sure that was sounding okay?

Bruce Dickinson: I'll be honest.. fellas, it was sounding great. But.. I could've used a little more cowbell. So.. let's take it again.. and, Gene.

Gene Frenkle: Yeah?

Bruce Dickinson: Really explore the studio space this time. I mean, really.. explore the space. I like what I'm hearing.

[ the group starts the song again, as Gene bangs more wildly onto the cowbell while dancing crazily. In the booth, Walken is smiling to keep from laughing. Before the session is interrupted, Frenkle misses a beat on his cowbell.]

Eric: Okay, wait! Stop! I'm sorry. Bruce, could you come back in here, please?

Bruce Dickinson: [ stepping out of the booth ] Fellas.. now, we just wasted two good tracks! That last one was even better than the first!

Eric: Well, it's just that I find Gene's cowbell playing distracting! If I'm the only one, I'll shut up.

Buck Dharma: It was pretty rough..

Gene Frenkle: You know, I could pull back a little. If you'd like.

Bruce Dickinson: Not too much, though! Fellas, I'm telling you - you're gonna want that cowbell on the track!

Gene Frenkle: You know what? It's fine. Let's just do this thing.

[ the band starts the song once more, with Gene banging the cowbell right next to Eric's ear until Eric pushes him, causing Horatio Sanz to fall ]

Eric: [ stopping the song again, fighting Gene ] Come on, people!

Bruce Dickinson: [ running out of the booth again ] That.. that doesn't work for me. I gotta have more cowbell!

Alan: [ grabs Gene's shirt ] Don't blow this for us, Gene!

Bobby: [ cracks up ] Yeah, quit being so selfish, Gene!

Gene Frenkle: Can I just say one thing?

Bruce Dickinson: Say it, baby. Say it.

Gene Frenkle: I'm standing here, staring at Bruce Dickinson!

Bruce Dickinson: The cock of the walk, baby!

Gene Frenkle: And if Bruce Dickinson wants more cowbell, we should probably give him more cowbell!

Bruce Dickinson: Say it, baby!

Gene Frenkle: And, Bobby, you are right - I am being selfish. But the last time I checked, we don't have a whole lot of songs that feature the cowbell.

Bruce Dickinson: I gotta have more cowbell, baby!

Gene Frenkle: ..and I'll be doing myself a disservice -- [begins to slightly laugh. Jimmy Fallon turns away and bites down on his drumstick to keep from laughing] -- and every member in this band, if I don't perform the hell out of this.

Bruce Dickinson: Guess what? I got a fever! And the only prescription.. is more cowbell!

Gene Frenkle: Thanks, Bruce. But I think, maybe if I just leave.. and, maybe I'll come back later, and we can lay down the cowbell. [ starts to leave the studio ]

Bruce Dickinson: Aw, baby..

Eric: Gene, wait! Why don't you lay down that cowbell right now. With us. Together.

[ everyone agrees ]

Gene Frenkle: Do you mean that, Eric?

Buck Dharma: He speaks for all of us.

Gene Frenkle: Thank you.

Bruce Dickinson: Babies.. before we're done here.. y'all be wearing gold-plated diapers.

Alan: [ confused ] What does that mean?

Bruce Dickinson: Never question Bruce Dickinson! Roll it! [ exits back to booth ]

Eric: [ ready to lay the complete track down ] 1, 2, 3, 4.

[ the band starts up again, this time Frenkle is playing the cowbell in tune with the band. Close-up on Gene as he bangs the cowbell to freeze-frame with graphic: "In Memoriam: Gene Frenkle: 1950-2000" ]


Will Ferrell playing the cowbell:
More cowbell!!!

At 11/12/2005 02:23:00 PM, Blogger Mark Daniels said...

It reminds me of an old stand-up routine--from the 60's. The comic affected a sad visage and said that his uncle, through no fault of his own, had just been put into prison for life. The uncle, he explained, was a butcher and had been bounding around the corner of a sidewalk, holding a knife, when he accidentally ran into another man...twenty-seven times.

Mark Daniels

At 11/12/2005 04:22:00 PM, Blogger Jaymeister said...

I'm not sure how we follow a story of a dog being thrown out a window with SNL routines, but I'll weigh in on this. One of my all time favorites was another one with Crystal and Guest, when they did a parody of a PBS documentary from that time about the old Negro Baseball Leagues. (Yogi Berra: "They were great ballplayers, and they gave us Smelt Night too.")


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