Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Whole List of Stuff That’s Gonna Freak You Out

On Saturday, November 9, 2002, I stayed in, despite it being the autumn of my third year of college and despite Isla Vista parties abounding around me. Two roommates and I drank beer and watched a Nia Vardolos-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live. Second from last in the queue of sketches in this glorious, Tina Fey-era episode was one titled “Glenda Goodwin, Attorney at Law.” I loved it, but I’d wouldn’t watch it again until tonight.

As near as I could tell, neither Comedy Central nor E! reruns of SNL ever bothered with the Nia Vardolos episode, possibly because network execs had since realized that the success of My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding was a fluke and that people didn’t care for Vardolos. Perhaps they objected as well to the musical guest, Eve. I’ll never know. But I can say that videos of this sketch have been impossible to come by, possibly because every other person on the planet didn’t enjoy it as much as my twenty-year-old self did. I had given up. However, today, I had to sign up for Hulu Plus for work purposes — oddly enough, to get a decent screengrab of a 2001 episode of SNL in which Mena Suvari appears as Aaron Carter and raps about helping wash his grandmother’s hair — and I realized after work that this had finally given me access to this much-sought-after (by me) sketch. I rewatched it, for the second time ever and for the first time sober. I still enjoyed it, though not as much as I thought I would. So I got drunk and rewatched it. I still just enjoyed it, and though I plan to continue drinking until it’s hilarious — I’m blacked out as I type this, BTW — I figured the least I could do would be to reproduce it for people who read this blog and the surprisingly many people who stumble onto it looking for Glenda Goodwin. I’m not sure how to steal Hulu’s magic and reproduce the video itself, so I felt the best I could do would be screengrabs and a synopsis, which, yes, would hammer Maya Rudolph’s comic timing into plain text but at least would get the point across. So here, then, in the best way I can imagine, is “Glenda Goodwin, Attorney at Law.”

[Dated clip of two cars crashing]

Have you been injured in an auto accident? Fallen and hurt your back? How about burnt you hand on a fryer?

Sure, personal injuries are serious business. But who’s going to represent you when you have personal injuries of a more unusual nature, like being attack by werewolves? Or what about pirates? Hi, I’m Glenda Goodwin, attorney at law. Have you or a loved one been injured in some freaky situation that you are scared to tell other attorneys about?

Well, now you don’t have to worry about it. Because I am here to represent you in all personal injury claims, no matter how scary. Like…

>You think I’m foolin’? Well, why don’t y’all listen to this?

Testimonial: I rear-ended a pick-up trick, and was going to have to pay thousands of dollars in damages. Then i talked to Glenda Goodwin, and she convinced me that an invisible robot took control of the wheel and forced me to hit the truck. And then the invisible robot forced me to flee the scene. I know it sounds crazy to sue an invisible robot, but Glenda Goodwin convinced me she could get me a settlement of over $6,000.

Case pending!

Thanks, Joan Petriccelli. But the horror doesn’t stop there. You heard about that guy who was stealing construction equipment? Turns out a mummy put a hex on him and told him to do it. And I will do my stuff and get him his money from that mummy and the U.S. government.

Case pending!

I also got a whole list of stuff that’s gonna freak you out. You can come to me if you’ve been bothered by any of the following, such as:


Tyrannosaurus Rexes

Alien dudes

Count Draculas


The boogeyman



Sea monkeys

Minotaurs [pronounced “MY-no-taurs”]

Lou Ferrigno

Portraits with moving eyeballs


And Forny Numbskruls [Unsure of transcription here. Anyone?]

Man, I almost broke into a sweat just looking at those things. But don’t take my word for it. I got a whole bunch of people that want to talk. Just listen to this:

I was using a ladies’ room at Target, but there was no sign to indicate that they had just mopped the floor. I was coming out of the stall, and slipped on a [Dubbed over in Glenda Goodwin’s voice: Thunderwolf]. Luckily, [Dubbed: Glenda Goodwin] got a settlement of over $50,000. Thanks, [Dubbed: Glenda Goodwin].

Hey, no problem. No case is too big, too weird or too small. Call me, Glenda Goodwin: I’ll believe ya. And I may be able to get you some money, too. [An ape in a space helmet charges into frame.]

Aaahhh! I’ll sue you!


That’s it. Didn’t enjoy it? Go have a few and try again. Glenda showed up in three subsequent sketches that I know of: one in the Kate Winslet-hosted episode about Halloween costumes and another in which she hosted a community forum talk show alongside her “stone cold lesbian” friend Renata (Rachel Dratch). Easily her most famous appearance happened long after Maya Rudolph left SNL, in the Will Ferrell-hosted season finale that aired in May 2009. Maya randomly showed up at a funeral and sang about sasquatch. (And she did so to much applause, considering the obscurity of the original sketch.)

The important thing to take away about Glenda Goodwin is this: She is the single recurring SNL character who most believes in sasquatch.

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