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Mr. Saturday Night is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that marks the directorial debut of its star, Billy Crystal.

Mr. Saturday Night
Directed byBilly Crystal
Produced byBilly Crystal
Written byBilly Crystal
Babaloo Mandel
Lowell Ganz
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 23, 1992 (1992-09-23)
Running time
119 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$43 million
Box office$13.3 million

It focuses on the rise and fall of Buddy Young Jr., a stand-up comedian. Crystal produced and co-wrote the screenplay with the writing duo Babaloo Mandel and Lowell Ganz. It was filmed from November 1991 to March 1992 and released on September 23, 1992, by Columbia Pictures. Co-star David Paymer received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.



Mr. Saturday Night details how stand-up comedian Buddy Young Jr. became a television star, with the help of his brother and manager, Stan, but alienated many of those closest to him once his career began to fade.

Through a series of flashbacks, the brothers are seen during childhood entertaining their family in the living room. The older Buddy continues his career as a comic in the Catskills, where he meets his future wife, Elaine.

Buddy's fame grows, as does his ego. He hits the big time with his own Saturday night television show. But despite the warnings of his brother, Buddy uses offensive material on the air, costing him his show and beginning his career slide.

As an older man, long past his prime, Buddy is estranged from Stan as well as from his daughter, Susan. A chance at redemption comes when a young agent named Annie Wells finds him work and even gets Buddy a shot at a role in a top director's new film. Buddy nevertheless gives in to his own self-destructive nature, continuing to take its toll on the comic's relationships with his family.



Comedians Jerry Lewis, Carl Ballantine, Slappy White, and Jackie Gayle appear in the New York Friars' Club scene.



The opening title sequence was designed by Elaine and Saul Bass.

The film is based on the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update sketch in which Billy Crystal plays Buddy Young Jr. reviewing a restaurant he went to.


Critical receptionEdit

The film received mixed reviews from critics. It holds a 58% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 26 reviews with the consensus stating: "Billy Crystal's flawed directorial debut can't seem to decide whether it wants the viewer to love its protagonist or hate him, but it features fine work from Crystal and his co-stars".

Box officeEdit

The film was a box office bomb in the United States, recovering only half of its budget.[1] According to it grossed less than $14 million.


Paymer was nominated in 1992 for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. At the Golden Globe Awards, Paymer was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture and Crystal was nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.

During the Academy Awards the next year, Crystal hosted. When doing his traditional Best Picture medley, Crystal added his movie to the list, immediately afterwards adding the line, "I just wanted to see how it feels."

Home mediaEdit

The film was released twice on DVD, the first time on December 8, 1998 by PolyGram Video, and again on June 4, 2002 by MGM Home Entertainment.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Weekend Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. October 6, 1992. Retrieved 2011-05-30.

External linksEdit