See You Next Wednesday

john landis

See You Next Wednesday‘ is a recurring gag in most of the films directed by John Landis, usually referring to a fictional film that is rarely seen and never in its entirety. Each instance seems to be a completely different film. Landis got the title from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’; it is the last line spoken by Frank Poole’s father during Poole’s videophone conversation.

In Landis’ first film, ‘Schlock’ (1973), SYNW is mentioned twice and shown as a poster. Brief casting and plot descriptions are given each time it is mentioned, making it clear that this is in fact two different films both titled ‘See You Next Wednesday.’ In the sketch comedy film ‘The Kentucky Fried Movie’ (1977), the film is a melodrama presented in ‘Feel-Around,’ a technique where an usher stands behind each movie patron and does things to them as they occur in the film, enhancing the movie-going experience, at least until the scene where the woman puts a knife to the man’s throat.

In ‘The Blues Brothers’ (1980), SYNW is glimpsed on a billboard which also features a huge gorilla. It also appears on the cinema sign behind where the Nazi Pinto crashes through the road. The film is directed by the fictional Carl La Fong, a reference to the W. C. Fields comedy ‘It’s a Gift’ (1934) and a character name Landis has used as an anonymous credit on a number of his other films. In ‘An American Werewolf in London’ (1981), SYNW is a stag film being shown in a seedy London porno theater. Advertised as ‘A Non-Stop Orgy,’ scenes from the movie are actually shown as the characters talk in the theater. A poster of SYNW can also be seen on the wall in the Tube station.

In Trading Places (1983), a poster for SYNW is glimpsed in Ophelia’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) apartment. On this poster it is directed by William Wyler and stars Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon, and David Niven (the real director and stars of the 1939 version of ‘Wuthering Heights’). The poster features the quote, ‘L’un des 10 meilleurs Films du Monde’ (‘One of the 10 Best Movies in the World’). In the Michael Jackson music video ‘Thriller’ (1983), it is spoken by a deputy in the horror movie Michael and his girlfriend are watching, and also visible as a poster on the outside of the cinema as they leave. In ‘Twilight Zone: The Movie’ (1983), a German character says ‘see you next Wednesday’ in German.

In ‘Spies Like Us’ (1985), an army recruiting poster can be seen behind Colonel Rhumbus (Bernie Casey) right after the vertical impact simulation scene that says ‘The army can teach you a skill. See You Next Wednesday.’ In ‘Coming to America’ (1988), a poster for SYNW is shown on a subway station. It stars Dan Akroyd, Sybil Danning, Jamie Lee Curtis, Moe Howard, and James Brown. In the ‘Dream On’ (1990) series’ first episode, directed by John Landis, Martin (Brian Benben) says to his maid (Marianne Muellerleile), ‘See you next Thursday,’ she corrects him saying, ‘Wednesday.’

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