Kyle Mooney is Saturday Night Live’s current weirdo-in-residence, specializing in deeply discomforting portrayals of weird, sweaty, off-putting nerds, like fictional comedian Bruce Chandling and real-life politician Lincoln Chafee. But as a Mashable piece by Sandra Gonzalez reveals, Mooney doesn’t confine his obsessive quirkiness to Studio 8H. The sketch comedian also has a very decent collection of VHS cassettes going in his New York apartment. It’s an assemblage of obsolete entertainment Mooney has been carefully hoarding since his college days, mostly out of nostalgia for the youth he spent parked in front of a television, watching rental tapes from Blockbuster. So dear is this tape collection to the 31-year-old, California-born performer that he brought it with him when he relocated to New York, despite the expense and inconvenience. The article paints Mooney as sort of a happier, better-adjusted Charles Foster Kane, except instead of squirreling away art treasures from Europe, he’s squirreling away copies of old Will Vinton claymation specials.
What else does Mooney’s precious VHS tape collection contain? A lot of the titles are simply movies from the 1980s and 1990s that formed Mooney’s comedic and artistic sensibilities early in life. There’s some Gremlins in there, a smattering of Ninja Turtles, plus Mac And Me, Beetlejuice, Little Monsters. The usual. Want to watch D.A.R.Y.L. or Wild Style in their slightly grainy, 1.33:1 incarnations? Mooney’s got both of those, plus The Wizard, Beat Street, and a strange religious video called The Adventures Of Prayer Bear, among dozens more. Naturally, these tapes have influenced the work Mooney does on SNL. “I can’t think of specific sketches I’ve written at the show that stole from the VHS I have,” the comedian says, “but thematically and stylistically they’ve all kind of seeped into my subconscious, and I probably reference them without even knowing.”