As Donald Trump gets prepared to be sworn in as president, he will be told all of the nation’s secrets, from Area 51 to the password for the White House Wi-FI. According to Norm Macdonald, starting at Saturday Night Live also means getting classified information, and he was given the scoop courtesy of Chris Farley.
On Thursday night, Conan O’Brien hosted a de facto SNL reunion on his TBS talk show with fellow alums Macdonald, Adam Sandler, David Spade, and Rob Schneider guesting. During the discussion, Macdonald recalled his first time meeting Farley, where the late actor took him aside to share a revelation about an iconic character on the sketch series.
“He took me back, he said, ‘I’ve got to tell you a secret about SNL,’” shared Macdonald. “He secreted me into this room and he locked it and made sure it wasn’t bugged. He said, ‘I got a secret to tell you.’ I was very honored to have this. And then his secret was — he said, ‘This doesn’t go past these walls. Pat is a woman!’”
Usually revealing the gender of a character wouldn’t seem like much of a secret, but it is when it comes to Pat O’Neill Riley. The humor behind Julia Sweeney’s popular SNL character was everyone’s inability to figure out if Pat was male or female. Any attempts in sketches by others to learn Pat’s gender was often met with a joke that shed no further light on the situation.
The character appeared frequently throughout Sweeney’s four-season run on the show and even spawned a spin-off movie, It’s Pat, which performed poorly both commercially and critically.
Watch the Macdonald clip below. And, because the holidays are pretty much upon us, you’ll find a Pat sketch below that.