Watch Every Episode of Late Night’s ‘Second Chance Theatre’

In nearly 50 years of Saturday Night Live, there are thousands—if not tens of thousands—of sketches that never made it to air for one reason or another. For the past decade, Seth Meyers has attempted to right what he believes are wrongly axed sketches with “Second Chance Theatre.”

The segment, which is only an occasional feature on Late Night with Seth Meyers, allows SNL alums the space to re-stage their favorite sketches that never made it past dress rehearsal. With the help of Late Night’s writers and some special guest stars, they perform the sketch for Meyers’ audience and follow it up with a post-sketch discussion.

Here’s a complete guide to the “Second Chance Theatre” productions Late Night has staged so far. Some feel like hidden gems; others less so. After all, as Meyers once put it, “Some were cut unfairly. Some… were cut for cause.”

“Jennjamin Franklin” (2014)

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In the inaugural Second Chance Theatre, Will Forte stars as Jennjamin Franklin, a high-pitched, Ben Franklin-esque blind date to Jason Sudeikis‘ Grady Wayne Gacy. They’re joined by Fred Armisen and Vanessa Bayer. If you’re assuming it ends with a prolonged test of Forte and Sudeikis’ “kissing chemistry,” well then you assumed wro-iiight!

“Juggling Lessons” (2014)

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Sudeikis plays a juggling instructor who desperately wants to know why nobody will take him up on his coffeehouse flyer advertising juggling lessons. It went to dress once in 2008, for Five-Timer Jonah Hill’s first hosting gig. A rewrite was also submitted for Louis C.K. in 2012, but never staged.

“Wanna Come With?” (2016)

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Kenan Thompson and Greta Gerwig co-star In this sketch, which features Andy Samberg as a drunk coworker at an office happy hour who won’t stop asking coworkers if they’ll join him on a trip to the bathroom. It was inspired by Samberg’s habit of asking the same question to his SNL friends. (Samberg once told Conan O’Brien that the bathroom on the 17th floor of 30 Rock was a long walk from his office, and that he “notoriously [gets] lonely really fast.”)

For the Q&A, the cast members were joined by the sketch’s co-writer Colin Jost and The Lonely Island’s Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone.

“Jon Bovi” (2019)

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Forte and Sudeikis’ “Jon Bovi” revival was unlike past and future “Second Chance Theatre” sketches for two reasons: It restaged a desk piece from “Weekend Update,” and it was a lost installment of a recurring sketch that did air on SNL.

The pair’s “Bon Jovi opposite band” Jon Bovi debuted in a sketch in 2006, then recurred three times as an “Update” bit in 2009. The one reprised here, which was planned for a December 2009 episode in which the real Bon Jovi was musical guest, finds the duo putting a “Yuletide twist” on some of their opposite covers, in what could have marked their last appearance on Saturday Night Live.

“Griff Banks the Sensitive Bully” (2020)

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Samberg’s Griff Banks is an insult-hurling high school bully who—as one might glean from the title—can also be easily reduced to tears himself. The sketch went to dress twice, once when Emma Stone was hosting and later with Gabourey Sidibe, where it was intended for the live show but was “cut on air.” Without this “Second Chance Theatre,” which guest stars Kenan Thompson and John Mulaney, the phrase “gaping snorf” might never have been uttered on television. (Writers Colin Jost and Rob Klein joined the cast for a Q&A.)

“Unicorn” (2020)

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Late Night’s only COVID-era Second Chance Theatre was pre-recorded with each character shot individually. The sketch—about a group of unicorns who have to be put down for eye infections—was co-written by Sudeikis and Mike O’Brien, and intended for SNL’s Betty White-hosted episode. The role of the “unicorn euthanizer” was intended for White, a noted animal activist. Though the sketch always involved a stuffed unicorn rather than real horses, White’s team refused to do it at first, though ultimately agreed as long as a very serious post-sketch disclaimer was inserted into the script—but it died at dress. Two years later, O’Brien attempted the sketch with Will Ferrell, but it didn’t fare much better. In an interview, O’Brien and Sudeikis offered a bunch of additional info on the “uphill battle” this sketch faced.

“Mr. Kotter” (2024)

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This revival was years in the making, sort of. Ferrell and Meyers first threw around the idea of reviving “Mr. Kotter” during a 2017 appearance on Late Night. It finally happened upon Ferrell’s return to Studio 8G in June, when viewers were treated to the tragic story of a Gabe Kaplan-obsessed office worker whose colleagues fail to alert him when the real Gabe Kaplan stopped in. John Oliver, Bowen Yang, and Rachel Dratch join in the fun.

These seven revivals are the only Second Chances that Late Night with Seth Meyers has staged so far in its 10-year run, but there are bound to be more on the horizon.

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