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Since 1980, the weekly sketch show “Saturday Night Live” has produced eleven feature films based on its characters. “The Blues Brothers” was released in 1980 and remains one of our favorite “SNL” movies (though it’s debatable how much of an “SNL” movie it is with no Lorne Michaels attached). It was another 12 years before another “SNL” movie came out, and it was worth the wait. The 1990s were the heyday for a proliferation “SNL” movies, beginning in 1992 with the beloved “Wayne’s World.”
The rest of the decade was hit or miss for “SNL” movies in terms of quality. We saw the return of Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtain in the heartwarming “Coneheads.” Will Ferrell got his first leading role with “A Night at the Roxbury.” There was an awful “Blues Brothers” sequel for some reason. And does anyone even remember they made an entire movie with Julia Sweeney’s androgynous character, “It’s Pat”?
“SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels was seemingly out of the movie business at the end of the decade after the Tim Meadows film “The Ladies Man.” But a 2009 Pepsi/”SNL” collaboration on a Super Bowl commercial led to the 2010 box office bomb “MacGruber.”
Even after eleven movies, we’re left with one “what could have been?” One of the show’s most popular sketches from the 1990s would have seen Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, and David Spade starring in a feature length movie based on the so-called Gap Girls.
The Sketch Was Rooted In Reality
Whenever my wife jokes with me about eating too much, I growl in my best Chris Farley impersonation, “Lay off me, I’m starving!” The popular Gap Girls sketch featuring Farley, David Spade, and Adam Sandler is memorable enough to be quotable 30 years later. And it almost became “Saturday Night Live’s” twelfth movie.
The sketch ran from 1993 to 1995 and had the trio of comedians dressed as women, portraying vapid Gap employees offering terrible fashion advice to customers. Their social lives and gossip took precedence over their jobs, leading to some hilarious moments.
David Spade created the sketch and shared where the inspiration came from while reminiscing with Sandler on his talk show “Lights Out With David Spade” in 2019. The comedian said:
“I wrote that mostly because I went to the Gap in Arizona on Christmas break and I was just standing there and [the employees] were like, ‘You weren’t in the folding meeting, we’re all supposed to be in every folding meeting.’ I’m like, there’s a folding meeting? … So I was basically gathering everything they really said and made us do it.”
According to Spade, after he and Chris Farley made “Tommy Boy” and “Black Sheep,” Lorne Michaels suggested that the popular sketch be made into a feature-length movie.
Unfortunately for all of us, it never happened. In an era where “SNL” was cranking out movies based on a lot less, the question is, why not Gap Girls?
Spade Barely Had Enough Material For The Sketches
Even though David Spade created the Gap Girls sketch, he also takes the blame for why it was never made into a movie. On a 2022 episode of his “Fly On The Wall” podcast, Spade revealed that material for the sketches was hard to come by, let alone enough for a full movie:
“Things [Gap Girls] had against it were me writing it, which was probably the first thing, and then I was running out of sketch ideas that were four minutes long. I remember we did one about ‘Jeopardy’ because ‘Gapardy’ just sounded like a funny name for a sketch, but there was no sketch [material]. So I go, ‘If me, [Chris] Farley, and Adam [Sandler] are the contestants, it will be funny.'”
With that, sadly, the idea for a Gap Girls movie was permanently shelved. It’s hard to know how the beloved sketch would have translated to the big screen. But you have to think that with the chemistry of Spade, Farley, and Sandler in the mid-1990s, it would have found a way to succeed. Taking the Gap Girls outside of the store, like a movie surely would have, often led to the most memorable sketches, including the Gap Girls at the food court.
Spade called Farley’s “Lay off me, I’m starving!” moment when the other girls give Cindy a hard time about losing weight “one of my proudest moments of a line I’ve written, because he did it so great.”
With Farley no longer with us and Spade and Sandler well past their “SNL” comedy days, all we’re left with are the three seasons of sketches of the Gap Girls. And that leaves us, like, totally sad and stuff you guys, ugh!
Read this next: All 10 Chris Farley Movies, Ranked Worst To Best
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