'SNL' Tidbits for March 15, 1999

By Sean Bradley

What Was That?

Ever wonder why, on very rare occasions, something appears at the bottom of your TV screen while you're trying to enjoy "Saturday Night Live"?

For those that don't know, that "something" is called a cue card. Cue cards are the large cards which provide dialogue for the "SNL" players, who don't have time to memorize all their lines, and they were visible in three sketches during this past weekend's Ray Romano-hosted episode.

How did this happen three times in one night? Well, in one instance, a camera guy got too close and bumped one of the cue card guys. The other two occurrences were just the result of the cue cards getting too close -- something which rarely happens.

Behind the Scenes for Romano Episode

From my "SNL" source, here are some backstage tidbits for the Ray Romano episode this past weekend.

Tim Meadows was wearing a wig throughout the majority of the show because his dread-locks just wouldn't be appropriate for some of his sketches ... The hilarious "Office guy resorts to crying" sketch was written by Will Ferrell himself, whom I'm now guessing spends a lot of time around little kids ... The Suel Forrester sketch is written on the aforementioned cue cards just as it sounds (i.e. basketball was written out "ba-da-baw").

Crystal Flick to Pass $100 Million at Box Office

Ex-"SNLer" Billy Crystal officially has a hit on his hands ... his first in years.

"Analyze This," starring Crystal as a shrink and Robert De Niro as a nerve-racked gangster, remained No. 1 for a second consecutive weekend with $15.7 million for the Friday-to-Sunday period, according to studio estimates issued Sunday.

The three-day total for the Warner Bros. film dipped just 15 percent from its opening round, the best hold in the top 10. Its per-screen average of $6,188 was also the highest in the top 10. After 10 days, it has earned $40 million.

Barry Reardon, the studio's president of distribution, predicted it would surpass the $100 million mark. The comedy is benefiting from good word of mouth and starting to attract younger moviegoers, he said.

Oscar Presenter Rock Gets a Gift Bag

Ex-"SNLer" Chris Rock won't go home from next week's Academy Awards ceremony empty handed.

As a thank you, producers are giving Rock and all the other presenters a gift bag filled with expensive, luxury items. Included in each goody bag will be an Armani silk tie, a Salvatore Ferragamo silk scarf, Ray-Ban shades, and a TAG Heuer 2000 Exclusive Sport Watch, among other presents, reports "UPI." The gift bags are estimated to cost $15,000 each.

The Academy Awards ceremony airs next Sunday on ABC. The evening will begin with a new, live, 30-minute nationally telecast "Oscar Preview Show" beginning at 8:00 p.m., ET. The "Preview Show" is directed by Paul Miller, "SNL's" director from 1986-89.

'SNLers' on the Tube

Here are appearances "SNL" alumni will be making on late-night talk shows this week:

"Late Show with David Letterman," CBS

* Mon 3/15 former cast member Mike Myers (Rerun 3/25/97)
* Wed 3/17 former cast member Bill Murray (Rerun 3/18/98)

"Tonight Show with Jay Leno," NBC

* Fri 3/19 former cast member Rob Schneider

"Late Night with Conan O'Brien," NBC

* Mon 3/15 former cast member Dan Aykroyd (Rerun 2/5/98)
* Tue 3/16 cast member Darrell Hammond

"Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," ABC

* Mon 3/15 former featured player Jay Mohr

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