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'Peepers': The best 'SNL' movie that never was

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Considering all the Saturday Night Live characters that have had their own terrible feature films (Stuart Saves His Family, anyone?), it’s mildly surprising that Chris Kattan‘s man-monkey Mr. Peepers never landed a vehicle of his own. Comedy writer Justin Becker wanted to rectify that — sort of. On a lark, he wrote a full-length script based on the character, calling it Peepers: A Canticle and listing C.L. Kattan as the author. Then he and a handful of co-conspirators clandestinely left copies of the screenplay — a scene-by-scene homage to the classic 1979 Peter Sellers film Being There — on bookstore shelves throughout California, ”like a demented Johnny Appleseed,” he says. When a copy landed on the desk of SF Weekly‘s Albert Samaha, a full-blown viral mystery was born: Did Kattan really write this? For the record, no. (The actor was not available for comment.) ”I didn’t expect this level of interest,” says Becker, who writes for Cartoon Network’s MAD and also for the Los Angeles Times. ”The end-all for me was just putting it in bookstores and seeing if anybody found out.” While Becker never intended the script to be shot, it is surprisingly hilarious. (Becker includes a backstory explaining its existence, writing in the introduction that Kattan finished it on Sept. 10, 2001, only to see the project get buried because of a scene where Peepers humps then president George W. Bush‘s leg.) If you don’t have time to hunt in random bookstores, Becker uploaded Peepers as a PDF to literature-sharing website Scribd.com so everybody — including Kattan — can check it out. ”[Kattan] probably thinks I’m making fun of him, but I’m not really. Maybe a little,” says Becker, who hasn’t spoken to the SNL vet. ”Though to his credit, he didn’t make a Mr. Peepers movie.”

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