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‘Hans and Franz’ Pump Up America in Timeless SNL Skit
Screenshot from YouTube: Saturday Night Live</a

Saturday Night Live is a comedy gold mine for hilarious skits and sketches over the years. The show is where numerous famous actors, actresses and comedians first got their start, including Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Adam Sandler and many, many more.

Some of the best skits have stood the test of time. Even the sports-related sketches like John Belushi’s Olympic skit and Peyton Manning’s kid-pelting United Way skit never get old. Let’s not forget the time John Cena made an appearance and mocked Alabama athletics either.

Everyone knows there was only one skit in this department that became world famous in the 1980s and 1990s, and that’s “Hans and Franz.” Inspired by the life of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the two muscular characters debuted in 1987 and have been pumping up puny viewers, inspiring Hans and Franz costumes, and making America laugh ever since.

SNL’s “Pumpin’ Up with Hans & Franz”

Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon first debuted as these goofy Austrian body builders obsessed with lifting weights and shaming those who don’t on NBC’s Saturday Night Live in 1987.

The two jocks not only idolize but are also related to world-famous body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger, which is obvious from the posters and cutouts plastered behind them.

In the first “Pumping Up with Hans and Franz,” the duo introduces their fake muscles and iconic catchphrase: “We want to pump you up!” They go on to call those at home “flappy pathetic losers” and use confusing yet funny wordplay in other phrases like, “Hear me now and believe this later.”

At the end of their original skit after flexing a bit, Hans and Franz preview their home workout video. Things began getting out of hand and the pair start to turn laughably mean by calling out their audience.

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“That’s right you just get out of our face and have another bowl of Haegen Daz,” says Hanz, played by Carvey.

“If you don’t work out somebody should grab you by the jockstrap and give you the wedgie of your life,” says Franz, played by Nealon.

“Yeah, you fat slutty pigs,” Hanz continues.

How Hans and Franz Originated

Hans and Franz may hail from Austria, but the idea for the skit was born in Iowa.

According to the Des Moines Register, Nealon came up with the concept in a Des Moines hotel room while watching an Arnold Schwarzenegger TV interview during Nealon and Carvey’s comedy tour in 1987.

Hans and Franz then debuted their massive biceps in the first episode of Season 13 on October 17, 1987, with Steve Martin hosting.

Nealon recalled to Entertainment Tonight how much fun he had playing these characters.

“We loved doing Hans and Frans, Dana Carvey and I,” he said. “Every day we wrote those characters we couldn’t stop laughing in the writers room because they’re so pathetic.”

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Hans and Franz Nearly Starred in a Movie

Yes, these Austrian workout freaks nearly headed to Hollywood to star in their very own movie: Hans & Franz: The Girly-Man Dilemma.

Considering the success of Wayne’s World, which was a spin-off from an SNL skit, the writing team of Nealon, Carvey, Conan O’Brien and Robert Smigel had a chance to cook up a knee-slapping classic. Schwarzenegger even agreed to co-star in the movie and co-produce it.

The movie’s premise revolved around Hans and Franz hoping to become movie stars the way Schwarzenegger did. Once Schwarzenegger backed out of the idea, though, the movie was never made.

Other Hans and Franz Skits

​Hans and Franz became a classing recurring skit.

In 1991, they met cousin Arnold and guest-lectured a fitness program for children. Schwarzenegger steps in once the two begin emphasizing poses and oiling for body building competitions rather than exercising properly, even calling them losers.

Arnold then flexes his chest muscles alongside Hans and Franz for an amusing finale.

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Hans and Franz sucked the fat out of Roseanne Barr (played by Victoria Jackson) using a liposuction machine in another skit. They also hilariously responded to Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder’s comments about black athletes having larger muscles.

Hans and Franz’s ridiculous skit was cut short once Carvey left the show in 1993. They reappeared SNL’s Weekend Update in 1996 when Carvey hosted.

To the applause of many fans who remembered them, though, Hans and Franz trained Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in a 2014 State Farm commercial.

Carvey scored big in Wayne’s World (1992) and Wayne’s World 2 (1993), and Nealon went on to star in many Adam Sandler movies. However, none of them played characters as funny as Hans and Franz.

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Patrick has spent parts of the last four years covering University of Florida athletics and spent two seasons with Major League Baseball. He's a baseball junkie who spends his days defending Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. A recent Gator grad, Patrick currently resides in Gainesville, Florida.
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