Jesse Jarnow

the new york word exchange

Recently, I remembered a Saturday Night Live ad parody from the ’80s for the New York Word Exchange. It starred the late (and sorely missed) Phil Hartman as spokesperson Don Bingham. He offered financial advice for those interested in the burgeoning word market. It was fantastical, and kinda reminded me of one of my favorite books when I was a kid, Crawford Killian’s Wonders, Inc, which is I think why it’s stuck with me.

Strange thing is, it fairly predicted the value of domain names when the cyberboom hit.

I wish I could quote the sketch itself, but I don’t have a copy and — besides an entry on an SNL fan site, which reveals that the bit aired on November 22, 1986 — there doesn’t seem to be any public, digital evidence of its existence: no clip, no transcript, no nothin’. That surprised me. Part of the reason I didn’t post about this sooner is because I figured the geeks woulda been all up on it a long time ago. At any rate, I’m happy to release the meme back into the blogospherical wild.