Years before creating and starring in the show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rachel Bloom wrote and performed a musical sketch about a young actress’s obsession with Space Jam, the 1996 animated and live-action crossover starring Michael Jordan and a bunch of Looney Tunes.
Jesse and Rachel talk about the compromise she made between musical theater and sketch comedy. Along the way they discuss the importance of nailing down a premise when writing, how rhyming can ruin a joke’s potential, and most importantly, why Space Jam?
Watch Rachel’s “Space Jam” here, and read along with the lyrics below.
“Space Jam” Lyrics
I'VE NEVER FOUND A TRUE CALLING
I WOULDN'T CALL THEATER MY LIFE
FROM VOCATION TO VOCATION
LOCATION TO LOCATION
I'M JUST LOOKING FOR SOMETHING ENTHRALLING.
(spoken) It's true.
I'VE NEVER HAD MY OWN "THING"
UNREMARKABLE: A COMMUNISTS' DREAM.
BUT THERE IS ONE MOVIE
THAT'S JUST SO DAMN GROOVY
IT GIVES ME A REASON TO SING.
AND THAT IS THE MOVIE
OH MY GOD I LOVE THE MOVIE SPACE JAM!
HAS ANYONE ELSE HERE SEEN SPACE JAM?!
ALLOW ME TO DESCRIBE THE PLOT OF SPACE JAM!
THE SETTING IS CIRCA 1996
AN INNOCENT AGE, I RECALL.
MICHAEL JORDAN GOT HIMSELF IN A FIX
'CAUSE NOW HE PLAYS MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.
MEANWHILE, ON A PLANET FAR OFF IN SPACE
SOME CARTOON ALIENS HAVE AN AMUSEMENT PARK
BUSINESS IS BAD, THEY'RE GONNA SHUT DOWN THE PLACE
TILL THE ALIEN CEO HAS A GENIUS SPARK!
(spoken) He's voiced by Danny DeVito.
THE PLAN IS TO KIDNAP THE LOONEY TUNES
WHO IN THIS FILM ARE SELF-AWARE AND HAVE FREE WILL
AND ONCE THE ALIENS KIDNAP THE LOONEY TUNES
THEY'LL ENSLAVE THEM TO CREATE A COMEDY MILL!
(spoken) Now at this point, you're probably like, "What do cartoon aliens kidnapping Looney Tunes have to do with Michael Jordan?" Well that's the magic of-
MUCH MORE HAPPENS IN THE MOVIE SPACE JAM!
AREN'T YOU STARTING TO GET EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED WITH SPACE JAM?!
RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU WANNA HEAR MORE ABOUT SPACE JAM!
I'd actually prefer if you stopped.
Oh, come on!
I want to hear about something EMOTIONAL.
Ok, fine. I'll talk about the time I came out of the closet instead, ok?
Uh, yeah, that'd be great.
Ok. Well, when I first realized I was gay, I thought that no girl would ever-
SO THESE TINY CARTOON ALIENS GO TO LOONEY TUNE LAND/
AND GET LAUGHED AT 'CAUSE THEY'RE SO SMALL/
HA HA HA!
OK, that's not what I meant...
THE LOONEY TUNES WANNA DEFEND THEMSELVES
SO THEY CHALLENGE THEM TO A GAME OF BASKETBALL
BUT THEN THE ALIENS TO GO A BASKETBALL GAME
TO STEAL THE TALENTS OF THE PLAYERS IN THE NBA
AND THEN THEY BECOME MONSTERS- NO- MONSTARS!
WHICH MAKES THE LOONEY TUNES DESPERATE IN A MAJOR WAY!
(spoken) And then, one day Michael Jordan is playing golf with Larry Bird and Bill Murray and he gets sucked down a golf hole. And this is when you're like "Oh man, this movie just got intense. I might have to leave the theater it's so intense!" And when Michael Jordan gets to Looney Tunes Land, he's surprisingly calm for what just happened to him, dubious really, because he just says, "What are you guys doing here?"
SO THE LOONEY TUNES TELL MICHAEL THAT THEY'RE GONNA BE SLAVES
UNLESS HE HELPS THEM WIN
MICHAEL AGREES LIKE THE MENSCH HE IS
AND SO THEY START PRACTICIN'
You're just singing the plot of the movie Space Jam!
It's really important to me!
Yes, but why? Why is "Space Jam" so important to you?
WHEN I WAS 5 MY DADDY LEFT
AND MY MOMMA WAS ADDICTED TO COKE
SO I JOINED A GROUP OF RUNAWAY KIDS
WHO WERE JUST AS SAD AND BROKE.
THEN ONE NIGHT, THIS BOY NAMED JAKE
GAVE ME MY FIRST KISS.
BUT THE DAY AFTER THAT, HE DIED OF AIDS
MAKING ME ASSOCIATE SICKNESS WITH BLISS.
AFTER GOING ON A 3 DAY METH BINGE
I DECIDED TO KILL MYSELF
WHEN SUDDENLY, LIKE AN ANGEL, LIKE A BEACON
I SAW THE POSTER FOR "SPACE JAM."
AND THAT'S WHEN I REALIZED:
IF LOONEY TUNES CAN PLAY BASKETBALL
WHO SAYS I CAN'T QUIT DRUGS?
IF TINY ALIENS CAN BE LARGE AND SCARY
THEN I CAN PUT MYSELF BACK TOGETHER.
EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE IN "SPACE JAM"
SO EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR ME.
I WAS ABOUT TO JUMP IN FRONT OF A TRAIN.
WHEN "SPACE JAM" ENDED MY PAIN.