On December 6, 1986 Steve Martin
, Chevy Chase
, and Martin Short
hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live
to promote the release of their upcoming film Three Amigos!
. It was in this episode that Steve
shared his wishes for the holidays with the audience in the following monologue called A Holiday Wish
. Much like how his later piece Ode to a Woman
was a satirical look at sappy love poems, A Holiday Wish
pokes fun at all those schmaltzy Christmas wish
es people have during the holidays that imply that the songs of sweet innocent children embody love and kindness for all mankind.
The piece begins innocently and stereotypically enough with a wish for the world's children to come together and sing.
If I had two wishes I could make this holiday season, the first would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing in the spirit of harmony and peace...
Typical enough fare for this type of piece, but things really take a turn towards comedy when Steve wishes for money - and not just any money, but money in a Swiss bank account of all things. It would seem that he's been thinking over his wishes for quite some time and has them perfectly calculated.
And the second would be for 30 million dollars a month to be given to me, tax-free, in a Swiss bank account.
After which he gives up on conventional requests outright, wishing for...
... all-encompassing power over every living being in the entire universe.
Of course then we add in the all-encompassing power over everything and, of all things, a month-long orgasm, taking us way off the deep end with legitimate thoughts of happiness for the world pushed to the wayside.
... one month each year to have an extended 31-day orgasm, to be brought about slowly by Rosanna Arquette and that model Paulina-somebody, I can't think of her name. Of course my lovely wife can come too and she's behind me one hundred percent here, I guarantee you.
By this point Steve realizes that the logistics of gathering all the children of the world is a futile project; there's no way that such a thing could happen and, besides, he figures that if the world were to blow up tomorrow then all he'd be left with is his first wish: children singing. So now we have the fine-tuning phase of the whole operation:
So -- we reorganize! Here we go. First, the sex thing. We go with that. Second, the money. No, we got with the power second, then the money. And then the kids. Oh wait, oh jeez, I forgot about revenge against my enemies! Okay... revenge against all my enemies, they should die like pigs in hell!
Finally, in an almost-convincing return to his senses, Steve rejoins reality:
And, of course, my fifth wish would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace.
Like many other Steve Martin routines, A Holiday Wish begins with the low-key material and crescendos into a way-out romp into madness, yet the entire piece develops so naturally that it's believable for this Christmas wisher to fall into the trap of greedy requests. After all, who wouldn't want the money and the power and the sex thing and the revenge against enemies? This segment often resurfaces on SNL Christmas clip shows and reruns on Comedy Central, for it is truly a classic piece of Steve Martin humor.
Special thanks to GrouchyOldMan for his help in providing a springboard in bringing this up to copyright compliance code.