Season 4 Episode 22

Sinking Ship

Aired Tuesday 8:30 PM May 12, 1998 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
308 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The episode spoofs the movie Titanic, where Walt and Dave sketch Lisa nude and give her heart shaped necklaces. Soon, though, the ship starts to sink...

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  • About this episode

    This had great costuming.
  • The employees at WNYX are the crew on the Titanic as it starts to go down.

    This was a hilarious yet extremely unusual episode. By flashback episode, I mean they flashback about 85 years to the sinking of the Titanic. This was very similar to the episode they had when they were on a space station in the far future. It is wildly bizarre but explains quite a lot about the history of the Titanic. For instance, it reveals that Matthew Brock was responsible for the sinking of the ship by not spotting the iceberg. They did an excellent job of placing each character in a role that wasn’t so different from that of the normal show with the exception of Vicki Lewis, who was reportedly shooting a movie at the time. All in all, it ended up well for the most of the cast (Phil Hartman says Dave Foley drowned during filming) and they answered everyone’s question, “What would it be like it the crew at WNYX was on the Titanic?”moreless
Maura Tierney

Maura Tierney

Lisa Miller

Stephen Root

Stephen Root


Dave Foley

Dave Foley

Dave Nelson

Andy Dick

Andy Dick

Matthew Brock

Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan

Joe Garelli

Phil Hartman

Phil Hartman

Evelyn William "Bill" McNeal [ Season 1 - Season 4 ]

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Bill: Dave, your reputation has been indelibly besmirched.

    • Phil Hartman: (after the episode ends) Well, there you have it. Kind of a downer, huh? Especially with everyone dying and Matthew and I eating each other, and all of that, but it's just a TV show. None of us really died. Right, gang?
      (The cast, minus Vicki and Dave enter wearing towels.)
      The Cast: Right, Bill!
      Phil Hartman: Hey, where's Dave?
      Andy Dick: Dave drowned while we shot that last scene.
      Phil Hartman: Oh, what about Vicki?
      Stephen Root: Off making a movie in Toronto.
      Phil Hartman: Oh, okay. Uh, so, only one person died, and one is off working on her feature film career, so it all evens out. Goodnight, everybody!
      The Cast: Goodnight, folks!

    • Bill: Hold that boat! I've got a heart condition! And I'm a woman!

    • Phil Hartman: Oh. Good evening. I'm Phil Hartman from the NBC sitcom...
      Offstage Voice: NewsRadio.
      Phil Hartman: Yes. Exactly. Those of you who faithfully tune in to NewsRadio whenever we're on, enjoy following the misadventures of our little crew at WNYX. But every now and again we, and by we I mean the inconsiderate jerks who write this crap and then force me to say it, WE like to kick back and say "What if". For example what if WNYX wasn't a radio station at all, but rather a massive luxury liner called "Titanic"? Well tonight, with a budget of over $200, we hope to answer that question. So sit back. Relax. Don't be afraid to cry. I do it every day. Tears of joy. Because of high quality NewsRadio episodes like the one you're about to see.

    • Phil Hartman: It's just a TV show, nobody really died.

    • Bill: Do you want to borrow my gun?

  • NOTES (5)

    • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Costuming for a Series.

    • The episode features a Celtic flavored version of the theme song for both the opening and closing credits.

    • Syndication edits out the throwaway scene at the credits where Bill/Phil concludes the story with the cast standing with him wearing terrycloth robes. Since this was the last scene Phil Hartman filmed before his death, and there is reference to Dave Foley drowning, they may have edited it out for reasons of sensitivity.

    • Vicki Lewis was uncredited in this episode and she did not appear.

    • This episode was titled "Sinking Ship." It was Phil Hartman's last episode and when he left Saturday Night Live Phil compared it to leaving a sinking ship. The two quotes listed earlier are two more examples of irony of Phil's tragic death.