When Lucy Lawless Impersonated Stevie Nicks & Imagined Her as the Owner of a Bad Tex-Mex Restaurant: A Cult Classic SNL Skit

What we wouldn’t give to trav­el back in time to Sedona, Ari­zona for a non-social­ly-dis­tanced $2.99 Tues­day night bur­ri­to spe­cial at Ste­vie Nicks’ Faji­ta Roundup, the hun­dredth best restau­rant in this 161-restau­rant town accord­ing to one rat­ings site.

Alas, the clos­est this Fleet­wood Mac‑flavored Tex-Mex estab­lish­ment has ever come to phys­i­cal exis­tence was in Octo­ber 1998 when actor Lucy Law­less, famous then as now for play­ing Xena the War­rior Princess, was host­ing Sat­ur­day Night Live.

The day before the Wednes­day table read to deter­mine which sketch­es will make it on air, writer Hugh Fink got wind of Law­less’ Ste­vie Nicks imper­son­ation (she also does a mean Chrissie Hyn­de…)

Fink thought this was some­thing to build on, inspired by his dad’s Fleet­wood Mac fan­dom, and the fact that Nicks’ star had dimmed a bit since the band’s 70’s hey­day, when its mem­bers’ inter­per­son­al rela­tions were a hot top­ic and Rumours, still the 8th best sell­ing album of all time, dom­i­nat­ed.

He joined forces with fel­low staff writer, Nicks fan Scott Wainio, tar­ry­ing ’til the wee hours of Wednes­day morn­ing to begin cast­ing about for com­ic ideas of how the sexy, shawl-draped fairy god­moth­er of rock ‘n’ roll might spend her off duty hours, now that “Lind­say Buck­ing­ham and cocaine” were in the rear view.

They decid­ed that hav­ing her own a bar­gain-priced local eatery sim­i­lar to the ones Fink remem­bered din­ing in as a tour­ing stand up was their best bet…and what more fit­ting locale than New Age mec­ca Sedona?

Plot-dri­ven SNL skits often peter out en route from a strong open­ing premise to the end­ing.

As a com­mer­cial par­o­dy, Ste­vie Nicks’ Faji­ta Roundup has no such trou­ble.

As Fink recent­ly recalled in an inter­view with The Ringer’s Dan Devine:

I want­ed this com­mer­cial to come off as not a classy, nation­al­ly pro­duced ad, but clear­ly a cheap, local­ly pro­duced com­mer­cial for a shit­ty restau­rant and that’s why, even in the script, at the time, I put in those cut­aways of, like, real­ly unap­peal­ing, bad-look­ing food with the price, and adver­tis­ing spe­cials. Comed­ical­ly, I thought it’d be even fun­nier if the restau­rant was cheap. The research depart­ment had to get me pho­tos of the Mex­i­can food, which I would approve. I would tell them, ‘No, I want it to look shit­ti­er than that. That looks too good.

The research depart­ment def­i­nite­ly deliv­ered. As did New Zealan­der Law­less, though she lacked the cul­tur­al ref­er­ence points to get the joke, and game as she was, dis­creet­ly tried to get pro­duc­er Lorne Michaels to pull the skit, wor­ried that it was a lead bal­loon.

It came by its laughs hon­est­ly in per­for­mance, the audi­ence eat­ing up retooled Fleet­wood Mac hits pro­mot­ing bur­ri­tos and nachos, but with Youtube some 8 years away, Ste­vie Nicks’ Faji­ta Round Up fad­ed into obscu­ri­ty….

It took a man with vision and a long mem­o­ry to bring it back.

In 2012, Matthew Amador truf­fled up the fond­ly remem­bered clip and start­ed a Face­book page for the hypo­thet­i­cal restau­rant, large­ly so he could claim it had catered the end-of-year intern-appre­ci­a­tion buf­fet at the cast­ing agency where he was work­ing.

The first likes came from the duti­ful interns, but even­tu­al­ly the page attract­ed oth­er like­mind­ed fans, who’d caught the orig­i­nal per­for­mance over a decade before.

It has since migrat­ed to Twit­ter, where “Stevie”—the first female dou­ble inductee to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame —is eager­ly await­ing reopen­ing while remind­ing her fol­low­ers that the Roundup’s tables “have always been a MINIMUM of 6’ apart, giv­ing you a safer din­ing expe­ri­ence you’ll nev­er for­get and giv­ing me plen­ty of room to twirl depend­ing on the length of my fringe.”

View the full tran­script here. And yes, you are cor­rect, that’s Jim­my Fal­lon at the piano, in his 3rd SNL appear­ance.

via The Ringer and Metafil­ter

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Ste­vie Nicks “Shows Us How to Kick Ass in High-Heeled Boots” in a 1983 Women’s Self Defense Man­u­al

How Fleet­wood Mac Makes A Song: A Video Essay Explor­ing the “Son­ic Paint­ings” on the Clas­sic Album, Rumours

Actress Lucy Law­less Per­forms the Pro­to-Fem­i­nist Com­e­dy “Lysis­tra­ta” for The Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life Pod­cast

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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Comments (6)
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  • Janet says:

    Just won­der­ing how Ste­vie Nick­’s felt about the spoof? Lucy has Ste­vie’s moves down to a tee.

  • Tom says:

    OMG this is too good. Although I’m a huge fan of Lucy Law­less, and Ste­vie Nicks, I only found this skit because I’m a huger (bigli­er? got­ta ask DT) fan of Ayun! This sto­ry lift­ed my spir­its and made me laugh out loud — Thanks!!

  • Zachary S says:

    OMG! I have been look­ing for this clip online for so long! This was such a good sketch haha!

  • Suzanne says:

    To my Beau­ti­ful Musi­cal Queen Ste­vie Lynn Nick­’s .. I per­son­al­ly think that SNL and Lucy Law­less owe you a sin­cere Apol­o­gy for dstast­ful­ly mak­ing fun of Your Gifts Tal­ent, Vocal­ly, as one of the Great­est Female Musi­cal Women with Gold LPs awards plat­inum awards , Rock N Roll Hall of Fame accom­plish­ments. and how you have been a true inspi­ra­tion for the whole Musi­cal World.

  • Mary says:

    They don’t need to apol­o­gize. Ste­vie Nicks loved the sketch.

  • Mary says:

    She thought it was fun­ny.

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