Sprockets (Saturday Night Live)


Sprockets (Saturday Night Live)
Title card from Saturday Night Live's Sprockets, with the title superimposed over the flash of a nuclear explosion.
Mike Myers as Dieter.

Sprockets was a recurring, fictional West German television talk show sketch created by actor, writer and comedian Mike Myers with Canadian actor Dana Andersen for Second City Theatre. Myers later ported the character to television for the Canadian sketch comedy show It's Only Rock & Roll and the American sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.

Myers played "Dieter", a character based on a waiter Myers encountered in Toronto,[1] a bored, disaffected West German expressionist and minimalist who would interview celebrities in whom he was demonstrably barely interested, and then invariably sought to bring the discussion around to his "limited" monkey, Klaus, seated on a platform atop a miniature column.

The sketch made fun of German art culture in the 1980s. Appearing asexual or effeminate, and rotating his shoulders (he occasionally described becoming so excited that his genitals were sucked up into his body cavity), Myers' costume in the character of Dieter consisted of tight black leotards, black turtleneck sweater, round, wire-rimmed glasses, and slicked-back hair. The skit itself featured, most notably, a section entitled Germany's Most Disturbing Home Videos, which showcased scenes of old men's heads spinning around, dying cats, ants, and other disturbing sights.

The theme song for the sketch is Kraftwerk's 1986 song "Electric Café", sped up by playing the 33⅓ rpm album at 45 rpm, then looped.[citation needed]

Memorable phrases from the sketch that are well known by fans were "touch my monkey!" and "liebe mein affe-monkey!" ("love my monkey!"), a recurring reference to Dieter’s pet monkey, Klaus (to touch him was a privilege, Dieter would tell his guests), "your story has become tiresome" whenever Dieter became bored with a guest (as he invariably would), "I'm as happy as a little girl", and "now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve dance!", which was always uttered frantically at the end of the show, followed by some techno-dancing on the set.

Some later sketches featured Dieter outside of his talk show environment starring in parodies of game shows, TV dance parties, and art films.

Contents

List of SNL episodes featuring Dieter

All appearances were in the form of "Sprockets" shows, except where indicated.

Karl-Heinz Schelker (Kyle MacLachlan) obliges Dieter's request to "touch my monkey".

Proposed film adaptation

The sketch was to be the basis for a film to be released in 2000, featuring Myers, David Hasselhoff, and Jack Black, but abandoned on May 30, 1999 after Mike Myers became dissatisfied with his own script.[6] Less than a week after Myers informed Universal Studios of his decision, Universal sued Myers for their $3.8 million in pre-production costs.[6]

References

  1. ^ "Profiles of Mike Myers and Julia Roberts". CNN. 2002-08-03. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0208/03/pitn.00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  2. ^ "Sprockets 1989-04-15". Saturday Night Live Transcripts. http://snltranscripts.jt.org/88/88qsprockets.phtml. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  3. ^ "Sprockets 1989-09-30". Saturday Night Live Transcripts. http://snltranscripts.jt.org/89/89asprockets.phtml. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  4. ^ "Sprockets 1990-09-29". Saturday Night Live Transcripts. http://snltranscripts.jt.org/90/90asprockets.phtml. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  5. ^ "Sprockets 1992-05-16". Saturday Night Live Transcripts. http://snltranscripts.jt.org/91/91tsprockets.phtml. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  6. ^ a b "A Done Dieter". Entertainment Weekly. 2000-06-16. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,276429,00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 

External links


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