There are few long-running character skits that have been imitated as often as Saturday Night Live Spartan cheerleaders. As a result of their often inappropriate antics, they have become somewhat iconic for SNL skits.
Saturday Night Live Spartan Cheerleaders’ Signature Themes
During the 1990s, Cheri Oteri and Will Farrell played the socially awkward Spartan cheerleaders as a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live. Craig and Ariana decide to form their own cheerleading squad after being rejected by the regular squad.
In and of itself, wearing cheerleading uniforms at school events where you aren’t wanted is inappropriate. As well as Craig and Ariana’s cheering, they often displayed a lack of taste, which contributed to the humor of the skit. It wasn’t uncommon for them to cheer about safe sex, G-strings, or something else equally inappropriate for an event like school roll call in between some of their more common cheers.
They were ranked on the “tackiest” list because they shouted the innuendo (such as “Safe Sex”) much like you would say “Go, Fight, Win” at the end of a cheer.
The viewer first sees the pair cheering at a football game before a Spartan cheerleader (a guest star) tells them to go home. During their next skit, the basketball game, the principal tells them to leave their cheerleading uniforms on his desk on Monday.
Craig heartbreakingly tells him that they cannot turn their school spirit on and off. Eventually, the SNL Spartan cheerleaders are shown out of context.
In an awkward roll call cheer, Ariana and Craig started with “Cha-cha buchee…”. While one partner clapped, the other cheered their fantastic performances.
The Perfect Cheer
The perfect cheer served as a way for Craig and Ariana to supposedly smooth over conflict during the skit, and it was an iconic way to conclude the dialogue. It was actually some poorly choreographed dance moves to whatever popular song was playing on the boom box, not a cheer.
Spartan cheerleaders often have off-camera counterparts who they yell at during events. Particularly, Ariana has Alexis, who plays out the two-faced nature of teen relationships mockingly. In the hospital where Craig and Ariana volunteer, they accidentally stumble upon Alexis giving birth, one of the few sideline characters that makes an appearance.
Craig’s parents often spoke off camera with Alexis in addition to Alexis. In most cases, guest stars would help round out the skit.
Finding Clips and Information on the Saturday Night Live Spartan Cheerleaders Skits
Spartan Cheerleaders Craig and Ariana can still be found performing in a variety of places if you missed them in action or were too young to see them.
Those of you who want to mimic the skits later can read just the transcripts. There are several sites that offer written transcripts of all of the skits from each episode, including SNL Transcripts. Classic favorites include:
- A script for Spartans’ cheerleaders’ first ever skit at a football game
- Spartans Basketball Game Transcript
- A transcript of Spartans’ skit for the chess tournament
- Spartans’ wrestling tournament transcript
- There are several Spartan skits on both volumes of The Best of Will Farrell.
Spartan cheerleaders are one of the funniest skits on Saturday Night Live, always inappropriate and usually hilarious.