Anthony Perkins lampoons himself in SNL Classic – The Norman Bates School of Motel Management

Published April 26, 2011


Frequent visitors to TheWordslinger know of my love for obsession with the films of Alfred Hitchcock – especially his 1960 classic PSYCHO.  (See my article PSYCHO BABBLE – The Legacy of Norman Bates for more on that movie, its three sequels, and how a charming young man with Oedipal issues, taxidermal tendencies, and a love of cuuuuuutlery changed Hollywood forever.)

In March of 1976, seven years before he returned to play Norman Bates in 1983’s PSYCHO II (one of the best horror movies of the 80s), Anthony Perkins hosted the sixteenth episode of the first season of Saturday Night Live.  While the entire episode featured Perkins lampooning his quirky image, he surprised (and delighted) many by reprising his role of Norman Bates in a 3-minute skit.

For many years, Perkins despised his Norman fame – the role which made him a worldwide star, but also forever typecast him.  This very funny sketch, however, may have been near the point where Perkins decided to stop fighting the inevitable, and embrace the role which made him a household name.  And he did.  (See that aforementioned PSYCHO BABBLE article for more on that.)

Never seen it?  That’s why I’m here.  Check it out.

WORDSLINGER UPDATE 3/13/2017 – Aaaaaand … that video has, of course, been taken down. Can’t find it anywhere except for SNL’s YouTube channel where you’ll pay a buck ninety-nine. So, as a consolation prize, here is a 1990 Oatmeal Raisin Crisp commercial where Tony plays (wait for it) a cereal killer.