What’s that name?

SNL just did a funny reworking of a skit from a few weeks back, a game show parody called “What’s That Name?” Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga both played themselves as the contestants. The joke was that Gaga could remember the names of random fans with whom she’s had a conversation, while Timberlake couldn’t even remember the names of a woman he’d slept with two weeks earlier … or one of his N’Sync bandmates.

It was a funny skit, but it reminded me of a similarly-themed and even funnier skit from back in the late 1980s. Paul Simon was the guest host, and the skit had him waiting in line to get into a movie and, like Lady Gaga in tonight’s skit, remembering the names of everyone in the line who happens to speak to him.

There are several examples, each more absurd than the last. It starts with a session musician who played on one of his albums and then finally gets to something along the lines of “Yeah, Bill! Of course I remember you. You sat in the sixth row at a concert I played in Kansas City in 1982.”

Then, he’s approached by another character in the skit – not played by an SNL cast member, but a real person, a tall, curly-headed fellow, playing himself.

“Do I know you?” Simon asks, puzzled at last.

“Paul, it’s me, Artie. Artie Garfunkel.”

“Garfunkel … Garfunkel … Nope, doesn’t ring a bell.”

I roared when I saw this. I’m not sure why it never turns up on any of the various clip shows or documentaries.