'SNL' Tidbits for September 26, 1998

By Sean Bradley


Richman Featured on Tonight's Premiere

Jonathan Richman, the troubadour who crooned throughout "There's Something About Mary," flew into New York City Thursday night to be part of the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live," which "Mary" co-star Cameron Diaz is hosting. Accompanied by drummer Tommy Larkins, Richman will lend his comic music to a skit.

Hartman's Last 'Simpsons' Voice-Over Airs Sunday

This Sunday (8 p.m., Fox), "The Simpsons" features Phil Hartman's last guest voice appearance.

In the episode, Bart, tending to a motherless nest of birds, watches a nature documentary hosted by Hartman's Troy McClure, his hilariously slick former B-movie idol and all-purpose host of infomercials, award shows, telethons, do-it-yourself videos, and educational films, who is known for his self-promoting introductions. (In this episode, it's "Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You may remember me from such nature films as 'Earwigs: Eww' and 'Man vs. Nature: The Road to Victory.'")

Sunday night's episode will be dedicated to Hartman, and Fox says that "out of respect and remembrance" for him, "Simpsons" producers have retired his recurring characters.

Kattan to Make His Letterman Debut

Chris Kattan will make his debut as a a guest on CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" this Monday. "Late Show," which earlier this month won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy/Variety/Music Series (the category "SNL" last won in 1993), airs at 11:35 PM, ET. Also featured on Monday's program will be Fran Drescher, and the music of Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach.

Kattan joins Darrell Hammond and Cheri Oteri has the only members of the current cast to have appeared on "Letterman." However, two of last season's regulars -- Jim Breuer and Norm Macdonald -- have also guested on the show.

'Shoot Me' with Gasteyer & 'NewsRadio' with Hartman Tribute Earn High Ratings

Overnight Ratings for the season premieres of "Just Shoot Me" and "NewsRadio" were strong this week.

"Shoot Me's" premiere featured Ana Gasteyer as a nanny who sleeps with David Spade's character. The show earned a solid 11.9/17, and won the time period. It built on the ratings of its lead-in, the series premiere of Nathan Lane's "Encore! Encore!", witch only pulled a 10.4/15.

A touching "NewsRadio" -- which dealt with the death of Phil Hartman's character, Bill McNeal -- attracted a much larger-than-usual audience. The episode won the the time period with a 10.9/16, and built on its "3rd Rock From the Sun" lead-in, which scored an 8.4/12.

'Roxbury': It's a Guy Thing

Dark Horizons ( commented on a test screening of "A Night at the Roxbury":

"The first test screenings for this film adaption of the SNL sketch were conducted on Thursday in Phoenix. So how did they go? The men in the audience were apparently rolling on the floors in laughter, the women began walking out after 20 minutes."

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