Mr. Saturday Night

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

Mr. Saturday Night
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBilly Crystal
Written byBilly Crystal
Babaloo Mandel
Lowell Ganz
Produced byBilly Crystal
CinematographyDonald Peterman
Edited byKent Beyda
Music byMarc Shaiman
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 23, 1992 (1992-09-23)
Running time
119 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$43 million
Box office$23 million[1]

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.


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.

As Buddy's fame grows, so 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 causing his career to suffer, officially ending when his stand-up act on the Ed Sullivan Show is scheduled right after the Beatles' first US appearance, leading to his act being ignored and cut short. Furious over being snubbed, he goes into an offensive tirade and quits.

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 hurt his 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 Makatura Bass and Saul Bass.


Critical receptionEdit

Mr. Saturday Night 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".[2] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[3]

Box officeEdit

Mr. Saturday Night was a box office bomb in the United States and Canada, grossing $13.3 million,[4] less than a third of its budget.[5] It grossed $23 million worldwide.[1]

Awards and nominationsEdit

At the 65th Academy Awards, David Paymer was nominated for Best Supporting Actor (the film's only nomination). Billy Crystal also hosted the ceremony, during his traditional Best Picture medley, Crystal added the movie to the list, immediately afterwards adding the line, "I just wanted to see how it feels, so sue me."

Award Category Nominee(s) Result
Academy Awards[6] Best Supporting Actor David Paymer Nominated
American Comedy Awards Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture (Leading Role) Billy Crystal Nominated
Artios Awards[7] Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film Casting – Comedy Pam Dixon Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards[8] Most Promising Actress Julie Warner Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[9] Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Billy Crystal Nominated
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture David Paymer Nominated
Political Film Society Awards Peace Nominated
Young Artist Awards Best Young Actor Co-Starring in a Motion Picture Jason Marsden Nominated

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.

Stage adaptationEdit

On November 10, 2021, it was announced that the film would be adapted into a Broadway musical opening at the Nederlander Theatre the following spring. Crystal would reprise his role as Buddy Young Jr. and write the book with Ganz and Mandel, with music by Jason Robert Brown and lyrics by Amanda Green. Paymer would also reprise his role as Stan. Also in the cast would be Randy Graff as Elaine, and Chasten Harmon as Annie. The show would be directed by John Rando and choreographed by Ellenore Scott.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Planet Hollywood". Screen International. August 30, 1996. pp. 14–15.
  2. ^ "Mr. Saturday Night (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Home - Cinemascore". Cinemascore. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Mr. Saturday Night".
  5. ^ "Weekend Box Office". The Los Angeles Times. October 6, 1992. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
  6. ^ "The 65th Academy Awards (1993) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Archived from the original on November 9, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2011.
  7. ^ "Nominees/Winners". Casting Society of America. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
  8. ^ "1988-2013 Award Winner Archives". Chicago Film Critics Association. Retrieved August 24, 2021.
  9. ^ "Mr. Saturday Night – Golden Globes". HFPA. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  10. ^ Paulson, Michael (November 10, 2021). "Billy Crystal to Return to Broadway in 'Mr. Saturday Night'". The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2021.

External linksEdit