Will Ferrell, John Oliver, Bowen Yang,  and Rachel Dratch on "Late Night With Seth Meyers" in "Second Chance Theatre"

Seth Meyers Brings Back Canned SNL Sketch With Will Ferrell, John Oliver, Bowen Yang & Rachel Dratch

Courtesy of NBC. Photo credit: Lloyd Bishop.

Ever made a joke that was too niche, it bombed? Well, you’re in good company. Will Ferrell, fan favorite funnyman, wrote a sketch during his time on Saturday Night Live about a super fan of Gabe Kaplan, star of the 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter. While the sketch didn’t make it to the Studio 8H stage, it was given another life on a segment on Late Night With Seth Meyers called Second Chance Theatre, where SNL sketches that were once cut finally get their time to shine.

In Ferrell’s failed sketch, three coworkers, played by John OliverBowen Yang and Rachel Dratch, congregate in the lunchroom excitedly discussing Gabe Kaplan showing up at the office. Doug, played by Ferrell, is mad his coworkers didn’t scour the office for him since he is such a mega fan of Kaplan. Doug not only got a perm and grew out his mustache to look like the actor, he also says he only started working there because he knew Kaplan was a client. Doug makes them swear to let him know next time Kaplan is at the office to which his coworkers begrudgingly agree to after having called him a freak. The sketch ends with Kaplan calling saying he needs someone to bring his briefcase that he left in the office to his house. Instead of inviting Doug along, his coworkers leave to all help with Kaplan’s briefcase.

Will Ferrell, John Oliver, Bowen Yang, Rachel Dratch & Seth Meyers discuss cut SNL sketches.

Upon finishing the sketch, the comedic giants sit down with Meyers to talk about the sketch. Oliver and the rest of the cast are unafraid to admit that the sketch bombed during dress rehearsal and that Kaplan is a hilariously irrelevant celebrity to base this around. However, contrary to its lack of success in dress rehearsal, the video gained 4 thousand views over the course of me watching the video. As of 2:30 this afternoon, the video has garnered 141,044 views on YouTube.

The SNL alums reminisced about their time at the historic comedy sketch show and the location that was famed for being terrible to rehearse sketches. Dratch named the spot “shit can alley." The name stuck partly because those sketches always got shitcanned and partly because they found cans full of urine from the 50s in that spot. Meyers attributes this to the fact that they didn’t have time during live TV in the 50s to run to the bathroom and Ferrell responds by impersonating the mid century cast saying, “Ahh, I’ll be on the can…Literally.”

Ferrell was not the only one to have a failed sketch, Dratch, Yang and Oliver shared similar stories of their worst bombs. Dratch and Yang both had sketches they felt strongly about getting turned down at the table read. Oliver, coming from a stand-up background, said he once emptied a room in Edinburgh. To be fair there were only four people in the place but after the first two left in the first 5 mins he was left with a couple. The husband said he was going to the bathroom and left, which was, as Oliver puts it, “an act of unbelievable cruelty to his wife” who slowly reached for her bag. When Oliver asked if she was leaving, she said, “I think I might” which left the lighting guy who said, “Do you want to keep going?”

Even the greats fail but must pick themselves up. Seth Meyers’ Second Chance Theatre celebrates those failures and allows us to enjoy never before seen passion projects of comedic legends.

Watch the canned SNL sketch here!

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