The X-Files

Season 7 Episode 19

Hollywood A.D.

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Apr 30, 2000 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
282 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Mulder and Scully watch a movie with themselves as characters and are thoroughly disgusted at how they and their case are portrayed on the big screen. They recount how 18 months earlier they were followed around by a Hollywood producer while investigating a case concerning 'The Lazarus Bowl' a mythical piece of pottery reputed to have inscribed on it the words that Jesus Christ spoke when he raised Lazarus from the dead.moreless

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  • Hollywood A.D.

    Hollywood A.D. was a perfect and extremely awesome episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because this episode was different and the story was a great stand alone poke fun at itself pleasure. I loved the sense of humor and I was laughing quite a few times. It was kind of awesome to see Skinner put the agents on probation so quickly and I loved how Mulder wanted to spend the time off. Seeing the characters meeting the actors playing them was engaging and it was great how Tea asked Dana how she ran in those shoes! It was hilarious when Scully, Mulder and Skinner were all on the phone in their bubble baths and Mulder accidentally spoke to Skinner about him thinking it was Scully. I loved how every thing played out and Mulder reacting the way he did in the theater was interesting. Skinner was very nice in letting the agents have an F.Bl.I. credit card to use for the night, I see where our tax dollars are going, just kidding the deserve it!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • An episode filled with zombie snipers, bubble baths and Garry Shandling.

    God, this might be one of my least favorite episodes the show has produced to date. Chris Carter and his writers have been known to experiment and tinker with the show at times, but this just felt like one step too far in the opposite direction.

    We get a weird opening sequence with Garry Shandling playing Fox Mulder and Tea Leoni (Duchovney's real life wife) playing Scully. The opening sequence is some sort of movie scene, and we learn that a movie has been made about Mulder and Scully's life and one of their cases. The rest of the episode jumps back in time as we view bits and pieces of the case the movie is based on and how the writer came up with the idea. The episode plot itself has something to do with religious forgery, something called the Lazarus Bowl that apparently can raise the dead and a priest who bought forged letters from a guy named Micah Hoffman.

    It's a pretty weak story, and it's even weaker when the show runners tried to adapt it to a movie. Whoever wrote the episode (I missed it on the credits) did a poor job of mixing the humor and the horror that the show is usually good at doing. Instead, everyone was joking around and Skinner was acting like a goof the whole time. It frustrated me to see the writers lose focus here on what made The X-Files such a good show. How can we go back to the insanity and the eeriness of the myth-arc after seeing such weird stuff? It feels weird to me.

    I don't know, perhaps I'm being too harsh. But I'm not one to give a show a low grade without due process and analyzing it for a bit, but a day after seeing this, I have to admit, I was really disappointed and frustrated.moreless
  • Painful to watch. Hated it. I give this episode the finger.

    Painful to watch. Hated it. I give this episode the finger. I'm sure all of the "insiders" to the series got a chuckle or two out of Hollywood A.D., but as an avid fan, I see this episode as one that should never have been made, more suitable to the pages of Mad Magazine. As if the entire series broke character for one episode. Detritus of The X-Files canon. This episode marks the decline of the series. Every quality series has it's low point, and Hollywood A.D. is the low water mark of The X-files. On a positive note, the bit with A.D. Skinner in the bubble bath was funny, though painfully inappropriate.moreless
  • Duchnovy returns to the writer/director chair with a hilarious look at the mess that Hollywood would make of an X-Files movie.

    While not flawless the way that "Bad Blood" was, this episode stands up with the other comedy episodes and holds its head high. Duchovny's wit and comedic timing shine through in a script chock full of "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" in-jokes and references. And they mostly work. His real-life wife Tea Leoni guest-stars as herself as the movie Scully and Gary Shandling gives a great performance as the movie version of Mulder. The overarching X-File concerning the Lazurus Bowl isn't spectacular, but David clearly did some research, and it's mostly just a plot device to set up the inept Hollywood interpretation anyway, so...

    We even get funny Skinner here, and that's a beautiful rarity that must be savored. The only real faults in the show are a dancing pile of bones and a large dance number featuring zombies at the end. The latter at least ties into some previous dialogue, but it's still quite a bit too much and crosses from funny into silly.

    But all in all, another great humor episode that puts Duchovny at 2-for-2.moreless
  • Duchovny's take on Hollywood - a very funny, very knowing episode that will please fans and newcomers alike.

    Once again, the X Files takes an unexpected turn down the comedic avenue it's so good at travelling.

    I agree with the person who wrote that the timeline is off somewhat, but I guess they couldn't pretend the film could be made in a couple of months. There is a lot to like here, though. The story is funny (sometimes a bit on the silly side), and the casting of Tea Leoni as Film Scully is wonderful. The scene where she asks Scully to teach her how to run in heels, whilst Gary Shandling tries to ascertain Mulder's boxer shorts arrangement is hilarious.

    The scene in the bathtubs (very Doris Day & Rock Hudson, which I guess makes the Skin Man Tony Randall) is also funny.

    The quest for the Lazarus Bowl is less successful, though rather interesting. I think the trouble is that as a viewer I was much more interested in the filmmaking part than the mystery itself.

    I also liked Wayne following Mulder and Scully around, though I think the one scene that didn't work at all for me was the dancing bones. I liked the comment later that it must have been CGI, but it didn't really add anything to the episode and frankly just looked daft.

    I dont' agree about the dance sequence at the end being wrong - I think it was a nice way to finish, to bring Mulder's idea that zombies don't just eat - that they dance and make love too. OK, it's a little wacky as an ending, but it fits somehow.moreless
Tim Roe

Tim Roe


Guest Star

Barry K. Thomas

Barry K. Thomas

Sugar Bear

Guest Star

Tina M. Ameduri

Tina M. Ameduri


Guest Star

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Assistant Director Walter Skinner

Recurring Role

Bill Dow

Bill Dow

Dr Charles Burks

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Towards the end of the autopsy scene, Scully has her back to the wall while talking to Mulder on her phone. If you look closely, you can see the crew member's shadows moving across the wall behind her.

    • When the cell phone rings during the scene in the crypt, Mulder uncovers the dead body with the phone in its hand. The display on the phone says "Micah Hoffman". Why then would they assume that it was Micah Hoffman's phone since caller ID indicates who is calling, not who owns the phone.

    • This episode was loosely based on the real life case of Mark Hofmann who many believe is the one of the most successful forgers in history. He successfully fooled the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to buying counterfeit documents that cast the church in bad light.

  • QUOTES (21)

    • Federman: Well. From counter culture to counterfeiter.
      Mulder: Alright, one more pun and I pull out my gun.

    • Rational Zombie: Come on, man. Don't break the bowl. We don't want to go back to being dead. There's no food, no women, no dancing. Save the bowl and we'll dump that Ciggy-Smoking Stooge for you and you'll be the new King of the Dead.
      Garry Shandling as Mulder: I'd rather serve in Heaven than rule in Hell.

    • Movie Director: Turkey. Miss Leoni's shoulder is made out of turkey.

    • Garry Shandling: Do you dress on the right or the left?
      Mulder: Wh..huh..what do you...
      Garry Shandling: Look, I play a character, I need to find his rudder, his center...
      Mulder: I guess mostly to the left.
      Garry Shandling: Mostly?
      Mulder: Most of the time.
      Garry Shandling: Wardrobe!

    • Mulder: Federman, that wasn't a movie, that was real life.
      Federman: The difference being?

    • Scully: Mulder, we should have a warrant.
      Federman: Hey, it's only the Constitution. No big deal.

    • Federman: You want my advice? You're both crazy.
      Mulder: Why do you say that?
      Federman: (to Mulder) Well, you're crazy for believing what you believe. (to Scully) And you're crazy for not believing what he believes.

    • Scully: Did your linguist happen to translate it?
      Burks: Yes, he did. It's in two parts. The first part, here, roughly translates to "I am the walrus. I am the walrus. Paul is dead. Coo-coo-ca-choo." Although, there is no Aramaic word for "walrus", so it literally says "I am the bearded, cow-like sea beast."

    • Scully: Mulder, I have something to confess...
      Mulder: What's that?
      Scully: I'm in love with Associate Producer Walter Skinner.

    • Mulder is watching Plan 9 from Outer Space
      Scully: How -
      Mulder: 42.
      Scully: You've seen this movie 42 times?
      Mulder: Yes.
      Scully: Doesn't that make you sad? It makes me sad.

    • Skinner: Agent Scully... if I'm carrying Marilyn Monroe's purse do you assume that I slept with J.F.K.?

    • Federman: Just curious if she's more than your doctor.
      Mulder: Enough, Wayne.
      Federman: Hey, whatever.

    • Zombie actor: The people are made out of turkey!

    • Garry Shandling as Mulder: You know, seven long years I've been waiting for just the right moment, Scully.
      Téa Leoni as Scully: Oh, you're a sick man, Mulder. Go on.
      Garry Shandling as Mulder: I love you, Scully. No ifs, ands or...
      Téa Leoni as Scully: Bees.

    • Scully: Mulder...
      Mulder: Yeah?
      Scully: Do you think it's at all possible that Hoffman is really Jesus Christ?
      Mulder: Are you making fun of me?
      Scully: No.
      Mulder: Well, no, I don't. But crazy people can be very persuasive.
      Scully: Well, yes, I know that. Maybe true faith is really a form of insanity.
      Mulder: Are you directing that at me?
      Scully: No. I'm directing it at myself and at Ed Wood.

    • Cigarette Smoking Pontiff: I'll offer you a deal. You give me the Lazarus bowl and I'll give you Scully.
      Téa Leoni as Scully: Mulder!
      Garry Shandling as Mulder: How about this deal? You give me Scully, I don't smash the Lazarus bowl and shove the pieces where the Son of God don't shine you Cigarette-Smoking Mackerel Snapper.

    • Scully: It's all over now.
      Mulder: No, no, it's just beginning. Hoffman and O'Fallon were these complicated, flawed, beautiful people and now they'll just be remembered as jokes because of this movie. The character based on O'Fallon is listed in the credits as "Cigarette-Smoking Pontiff". How silly is that?
      Scully: Pretty silly.
      Mulder: Yeah, what about us? How are we going to be remembered now 'cause of this movie?
      Scully: Well, hopefully, the movie will tank.
      Mulder: What about all the dead people who are forever silent and can't tell their stories any more? They're all going to have to rely on Hollywood to show the future how we lived and it'll all become... oversimplified and trivialised and Cigarette-Smoking Pontificised and become as plastic and meaningless as this stupid plastic Lazarus Bowl.
      Scully: I think the dead are beyond caring what people think about them. Hopefully we can adopt the same attitude. You do know that there aren't real dead people out there, right? That this is a movie set?
      Mulder: The dead are everywhere, Scully.

    • Mulder: (on phone) Hey Scully, Skinman's calling from a bubblebath.
      Skinner: It's still me, Mulder!

    • Mulder: Uh... So what are you up to right now, sir?
      Skinner: I'm taking a bubble bath.

    • Téa Leoni as Scully: Wait, wait, Mulder... I can't.
      Garry Shandling as Mulder: I know this feels wrong because we're friends and we treat each other as equals, but-
      Téa Leoni as Scully: No, no, it's not that. It's not that.
      Garry Shandling as Mulder: Well, what then?
      Téa Leoni as Scully: I'm in love with Assistant Director Walter Skinner.
      Mulder: That's it, Scully, I can't take it any more.
      Scully: Shh, Mulder, sit down.
      Garry Shandling as Mulder: What does he have that I don't have?
      Téa Leoni as Scully: A bigger flashlight.

    • Mulder: (to Skinner) Sir, have I pissed you off in a way that's more than normal?

  • NOTES (8)

    • While taking the bubblebaths, Scully tells Mulder that she thinks that both Téa Leoni and Gary Shandling have a crush on Mulder. Both are in-jokes: the first to the fact that Leoni and Duchovny are married; and the second to the fact that on the Larry Sanders Show, Larry Sanders, played by Garry Shandling, thought that David Duchovny had a crush on him.

    • Although not proven to be true, Jodie Foster's name came up when describing Scully's character portrayal. Jodie Foster was one of the choices to play Scully but Foster's contract banned her from playing an FBI agent in anything other than The Silence of the Lambs.

      She went on to voice the tattoo Betty in the Season 4 Episode 13; 'Never Again.'

    • Not only was Scully modelled on Jodie Foster's character in The Silence of the Lambs; moreover, when Foster refused to continue the role in the sequel Hannibal, Gillian Anderson was offered the part (which was finally played by Julianne Moore).

    • Mulder suggests Richard Gere to play him in Federman's movie, an in-joke as David Duchovny was often compared to Gere during the early years of his career.

    • If you look very closely you'll see that in the scene in which the characters which are "loosely" based on Mulder and Scully roll down the hill it's actually David Duchovny and not Gary Shandling who's rolling downhill with Téa Leoni.

    • Scully is described as "Jodie Foster's foster child on a Payless budget" - referencing the fact that Agent Scully was indeed originally modeled on Foster's character from Silence of the Lambs.
      Mulder is described as a "Jehovah's Witness meets Harrison Ford's Witness" - Harrison Ford's Witness is the answer David Duchovny got wrong on "Who Wants to be A Millionaire".

    • David Duchovny and Téa Leoni were married on 6th May 1997 and Téa gave birth to their daughter Madelaine West on 24th April 1999.

    • If you look closely as the camera pans over the audience in the theater, you can see Chris Carter, actors Minnie Driver and David Allen Grier and several crew members watching the movie. Both Driver and Grier starred with Duchovny in the movie "Return To Me" which was released a few weeks before this episode aired, which probably accounts for them being on the show.

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Movie Connection: Plan 9 from Outer Space.

      Mulder is watching this movie and quoting the lines from it as Scully walks in. The plot of Plan 9 being about aliens raising human corpses to become their slaves, the theme of resurrection runs throughout this episode.

    • Biblical Connection: I am who I am.

      This is one of the usual translations of the supposedly true name of God - YHWH.

    • Mulder: Twisted sister my type of nun, ya know.

      This is a reference to the Heavy Metal band Twisted Sister which was popular from 1972-1988 then 1997 - present.

    • Garry Shandling asks Mulder whether he dresses on the left or the right. This refers to tailored men's pants having a little extra room in the top right or left inseam to accommodate male anatomy. This is why he calls "Wardrobe!" after asking about this.

    • Wayne Federman: You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

      This is a quote from the Bob Dylan song "Subterranean Homesick Blues."

    • Chuck Burks: The first part here roughly translates as "I am the walrus. I am the walrus. Paul is dead. Coo-coo-ca-choo."

      This is a reference to a song called "I am the Walrus" by The Beatles. Paul McCartney is one of the Beatles.

    • Wayne Federman: How about the Shroud of Turin?

      The Shroud of Turin is an ancient linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to be crucified. Many worshippers believe it could be the cloth that covered Jesus Christ when he was placed in the tomb.

    • Wayne Federman: It's a Silence of the Lambs meets Greatest Story Ever Told type thing.

      Two films. Silence of the Lambs is a thriller about the cannibal Hannibal Lecter who aids an FBI agent (Jodie Foster, who was already mentioned earlier in the episode) in the search for a murderer. For the sequel to this movie, Hannibal, Jodi Foster declined to return as the Clarisse Starling. Gillian Anderson was briefly considered to replace her, but her contract with X-Files did not allow her to take a role as another FBI agent.

      Greatest Story Ever Told is a drama about the life of Jesus Christ.

    • Scully: you've seen this movie 42 times?

      The number 42 is the answer to life, the universe, and everything, according to popular science fiction series, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy written by Douglas Adams.

    • Mulder: Man-o-Manischewitz

      Mulder's comment has also been featured for over twenty years as a tag line for Art Kumbalek, a fictional columnist or Milwaukee (WI US) newspaper Shepherd Express. Each week, Art For Art's Sake opens with, "I'm Art Kumbalek and man oh man manischewitz what a world, ain'a?"

    • Name: Micah Hoffman

      Micah Hoffman was named for Mark Hoffman. In the 1980's, Mark Hoffman made extremely good forgeries that seemed to cast doubt on the origin of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). The most prominent of these was the 'Salamander Letter' that received national coverage. The forgeries passed several tests and were at one point declared authentic, but Hoffman's Mormon accomplices were threatening to expose him as a fraud. Hoffman planned to kill them by blowing them up with home made bombs. When one of his own bombs went off early and hurt him, it started an investigation that exposed most of what he had sold over many years as fake, including the Salamander Letter, rare coins, other documents etc.