Who was my (?)famous(?) sub?
September 15, 2008 5:37 PM   Subscribe

I have incredibly vague memories of being told a substitute teacher I had in grade school was on SNL. Who could it possibly be?

I was real young at the time, so I don't remember the specifics, but this is what I recall:
- No idea exactly when it was, but I couldn't have been more than 10, so I'd guess 1988-1992 would be the only reasonable range.
- I feel pretty confident that it was a white male with dark hair. I'm not 100% confident about the hair.
- It was in North/Central NJ.
- I don't know if he was a cast member or what. I just remember someone telling me he was on SNL and not really knowing what that meant.

I've done some basic attempts to figure this out, including googling "XXX"+"substitute teacher" for the guys on this list, but nothing useful so far.

Any ideas?
posted by frankdrebin to Society & Culture (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
He could've been an extra or a writer that made an appearance in a sketch, in which case he's probably lost to obscurity.

You can look up actual cast members here.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:55 PM on September 15, 2008

Response by poster: PS - Anyone who can conclusively prove it was Phil Hartman or Kevin Nealon wins all sorts of prizes.
posted by frankdrebin at 5:55 PM on September 15, 2008

Phil Hartman joined SNL in 1986, so the likelihood of his being a substitute teacher in Jersey around the turn of the 90s is possible, but I'm gonna say improbable. Nealon joined at the same time and was on the show until the mid-90s.
posted by rhizome at 6:16 PM on September 15, 2008

The actual town might help, as I feel like this is the sort of thing Jersey townies make a big deal of and would remember (I, for one, am very proud of North Plainfield native John DiMaggio, aka the voice of Bender on Futurama).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:36 PM on September 15, 2008

I'm from Lawrenceville, where Jon Stewart attended in the 80s and bartended locally afterward. It's not outside the realm of possibilities he subbed as well. He wasn't on SNL at the time, but was on Comedy Central and MTV.
posted by tremspeed at 6:42 PM on September 15, 2008

My wife's father--Bernie Travis--(died 1984) had a few bit parts and was an extra on a few SNL episodes. One from 1983 with Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito stands out. He was also an actor and starred in an obscure bio picture of Lenny Bruce called "Dirtymouth" a year or so before the much more well-known Dustin Hoffman film, "Lenny."

Alas, I doubt your substitute was Bernie Travis, as he lived and worked almost exclusively in Manhattan and did no teaching that I'm aware of. Plus, the timeframes don't match up.

However, some school districts keep records of their substitute teachers indefinitely. If you're really serious about finding the answer to this, you might contact your school's personnel clerk with a nicely-worded letter. You might posit that you're writing a semi-fictional memoir and want to get right a half-remembered childhood scene involving this substitute teacher...
posted by mrbarrett.com at 7:40 PM on September 15, 2008

IMDb episode cast list will allow you to find the bit players and others who might not be listed as part of the official cast. That link starts with the 1987 season, scroll up ro down for other seasons. Click on the episode to get the cast list for it.

Do you know if the guy might have been a musician or writer or other non-actor?
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:39 PM on September 15, 2008

Sounds a lot like Joe Piscopo
posted by dinger at 7:46 PM on September 17, 2008

Response by poster: PhoB - It was in Plainfield, actually! My old comic shop owner was friends with DiMaggio, or something. He mentioned it casually in conversation once, and I was suitably impressed.

dinger - I said the same thing and my girlfriend said I was an idiot. I emailed him via the site, I don't think I'll hear back.

mrbarrett - I'm trying that tomorrow! thanks!
posted by frankdrebin at 6:34 PM on September 18, 2008

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