Season 4 Episode 22

Sinking Ship

Aired Tuesday 8:30 PM May 12, 1998 on NBC



  • Trivia

  • Quotes

    • 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

    • 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.

  • Allusions