Broadway remains closed, but Seth Meyers’s “Second Chance Theatre” is open for business and proud to introduce its esteemed new “Second Chance Children’s Theatre Company” repertory branch. Meyers had fellow Saturday Night Live alums Jason Sudeikis and Mike O’Brien on his show to talk about their sketch that failed to make it to air on two separate occasions, called “Unicorn.” O’Brien wrote the sketch in 2010 for host Betty White to play a “cold animal euthanizer,” and it almost ran, until O’Brien was called into her dressing room where “her manager, who’s much older than her, started to lay into me, slapping the coffee table saying, ‘We said no animals!’” Unicorns aren’t real, of course, and they were played by stuffed animals in the sketch, but don’t tell Rose Nylund that. They tried to stage the sketch three seasons later with Will Ferrell, but unicorn murder doesn’t go over so hot with audiences, regardless of who’s holding the air gun to their fictional heads.
Too edgy for SNL, “Unicorn” makes for the perfect “Second Chance Theatre” sketch, filmed across three different backyards and seamlessly edited together (at one point, Sudeikis throws an apple to O’Brien, and the effect is flawless). And rather than have Nasim Pedrad and Abby Elliott play the poor kids who name their unicorns only to watch them succumb to a nasty eye infection, Meyers’s and Sudeikis’s actual kids play the roles. They’re the best part of the whole thing, even though Meyers had to take his son Axel out of most of the shots, “because he was so excited about the decorations that he kept just screaming ‘Happy birthday!’” Just call them the Not Ready for Bed Time Players.