Yesterday, the first news a lot of us heard was that Stuart Scott had passed away after a long battle with cancer. For me, it was one of those “I never quite realized how much I liked someone,” kind of moments. He was always there. He was so ingrained in our lives, a lot of us probably didn’t even notice how ingrained he really was.
Proof of his undeniable presence in popular culture: In March of 1999, Ray Romano hosted Saturday Night Live in what turned out to be a pretty OK show — everyone remembers the Blue Oyster Cult Behind the Music parody (aka “More Cowbell”), but the Meat Loaf edition from this show was pretty good! – but it also featured what would turn out to be one of the more popular sketches from the last 20 years.
Tim Meadows plays Stuart Scott, bellowing out “Booyah” with every NBA dunk highlight — even as a parody, Meadows yelling out Scott’s catchphrases still sounds cool. Ray Romano plays Chet Harper, who so desperately wants to be Stuart Scott, he comes up with dumb catchphrases like, “Hey, look at me; I’m a little teapot, I’ll run right up your dress.” And, of course, the now-infamous “Sweet sassy mollassy.” (Jimmy Fallon even shows up for a second.)
It’s kind of fitting that Scott was so good that even when SNL parodied him, even they focused on how these catchphrases could all go so terribly wrong coming out of the mouth of the wrong person.
Mike Ryan has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and GQ. He is the senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.