Last fall when I was living in Washington, I saw a road sign for a town called Tukwila
. It caused the most random flashback. Suddenly I had this vision of John Malcovitch sporting a blonde ponytail sitting crosslegged in his chair, wearing plaid flannel, talking about his driftwood sculptures. No, this wasn't for real, but a scene from a Saturday Night Live episode from a million years ago in which he played a driftwood sculptor from the Pacific Northwest. Does anyone remember that one? It was brilliant (everything Malcovitch does is pretty much brilliant), and remains one of my all time SNL favorites. When I saw that sign, I realized, whoever wrote the skit had to have based the name of Malcovitch's character -- Len Tukwilla -- on the name of this town.
On a Malcovitch mission, I went on a mad Googling rampage to find this skit. It wasn't on YouTube, nor could I find mention of it. I was positive that it would turn up, somewhere, someday. And tonight, voila, I finally found it. Len Tukwilla, Driftwood Sculptor. How I love pop culture.
The website Retro Junk
writes, "Attitudes" - this was a talk show on Lifetime in the1980's and I believe the early 1990s. Jan Hooks is Nancy Glass, and Nora Dunn is Linda Dano (who looks much like the REAL Linda Dano). [Guest] John Malkovich is Len Tukwilla, a driftwood sculptor from the Pacific Northwest - somewhere in Washington. (pics courtesy of Retro Junk)"First I sand the wood until it is smooth, then I oil it until it is soft. It's usually a bird or a whale or a knotted, twisty shape."
John Malcovitch hosted this SNL episode on January 21, 1989, and the skit is actually included in the '88 Best Of:
I'm going to track this down and watch that skit again, since I've been obsessed with finding it for over a year. I will finally get peace from not having to search anymore for Len Tukwilla, Driftwood Sculptor.