Chris Kattan's "Brilliant" Lost Mr. Peepers Screenplay Involves Humping George W. Bush
There's little doubt a good number of pop culture enthusiasts have wasted many hours wondering what it would be like if Mr. Peepers -- Chris Kattan's sexually charged, apple-fiending, monkey-like character from SNL -- played the lead role in Being There -- the 1979 classic about a simple-minded man whose simple-minded phrases get interpreted as an Oracle's wisdom.
Sometimes answers fall from the sky, sometimes they arrive at the SF Weekly office in a manila envelope with an anonymous note reading, "I found this at City Lights."
The envelope contained a bizarre and amusing book that claims to have been "written by C.L. Kattan" called Peepers, a canticle. It is -- allegedly -- an unproduced screenplay for "a feature length film [based] around a character that communicated solely with the word 'Bah' and whose only interests were the rapid devouring of apples and humping the shows' rotating hosts," the preface describes. Further, this screenplay is "a work of pure art that would no doubt send shock waves through the multiplexes, and indeed even the bedrock of American culture."
The back cover of the paperback copy calls Peepers, a canticle "the brilliant, unproduced screenplay by the acclaimed wit and seminal comic actor Chris Kattan."
The story follows the rough plot of Being There, with the gardening metaphors of Chance -- the Peter Sellers character -- replaced by Mr. Peepers' apple-eating and humping. Peepers' antics produce an ironic decontextualization on par with New Yorker cartoons.
After Peepers gets hit by Eve Eleazar's limo:
Eve: May I ask your name?
Mr. Peepers: Bah!
Eve: Pardon me, was that Mr. Bahb?
Mr. Peepers: (still indistinct) Bah!
Eve: Oh ... Mr. Bob Bahb ... as in Robert Bahb? You're not related to Barry and Moochelle Bahb are you?
Based on our brief investigation, it appears to be an elaborately concocted satire, complete with a "Supplemental Material Section" featuring an interview transcript from a panel presentation titled "Peepers and Post-Modernity: Kattan in Conversation."
We talked to a couple of City Lights employees, neither of whom had heard of the book, which lists 2012 as the publication year and states that it is copyrighted to Christopher L. Kattan. The book's ISBN did not show up in the store's database.
The website for Durrod University, listed as the publisher, is almost certainly fake -- as evidenced by its unclickable headers. However, it does lead to a link for Durrod University Press' "website," a Scribd page with a single upload: Peepers (where it can be read in entirety). It was uploaded on March 9. The email provided, firstname.lastname@example.org, does not function.
The preface explains that Kattan finished his masterpiece on Sept. 10, 2001. By the next day, though, the world had become "a hothouse inhospitable to the rare genus of plant that had taken root in his genius over the last several months" and the film was "deemed too political by studio executives in the emotionally charged atmosphere of the early aughts."
Hoax or not, it's fascinating and often very funny. Here's what happens when Peepers meets President George W. Bush:
President Bush: Do you agree with Ben, Mr. Bahb? Are we finished? Or do you think we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives and he just misunderestimated me?
Mr. Peepers: Bah!
He spits apple into Bush's face and then finishing the apple, hands him the core.
President Bush: (a pause) ... An apple core?
Mr. Peppers: Bah!
President Bush: (staring at Peepers) ... Apple cores... (confused) Yes, I see... apple cores. While it may look like rubbish to the untrained eye, all the elements necessary for growth are contained within. In the seeds. (smiles at Peepers) Yes, indeed...
As Bush heads out, "Peepers jumps into the President's arms and humps him."
The story ends as such:
Still entranced by the rivulets, Peepers walks forward into the lake. Only he does not submerge.
Peepers is walking on the water.
He reaches the middle of the lake before realizing what he's doing. He looks around in mute surprise. He lays down on the surface of the lake and begins to hump it with deliberate thrusts. He is having sex with the entire earth.