Charles Barkley's 1993 contact high and Nirvana's SNL outtake

Pop culture, capitalism, and entertainment in the 1990s created unanticipated and strange fellow travelers. In this clip of outtakes from Saturday Night Live, posted by Nirvana Biglove, NBA star Charles Barkley is standing with members of Nirvana – Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic – while practicing the announcement for the 1993 season premiere.

"Hi, I'm Charles Barkley, host of the season premiere of Saturday Night Live with Nirvana. Look, Ma, your favorite, Nirvana."

This is a master session in non-verbal communication, or in entertainment speak, acting; the band members record an album with their emotions and body language. Grohl's eyes are bigger than Barkley's ego, and he seems uncomfortable, uncertain, and perhaps confused, with his eyes blinking as if to keep his face in check as Barkley delivers his lines. Cobain is having trouble containing his (silly) laughter as his face settles on a "yikes" configuration. Novoselic raises his eyebrows ever so slightly as if saying, "alrighty then," while looking to the production staff for direction.

Apparently, during the filming for the premiere, Barkley was getting (a contact) high. "Every time those guys from Nirvana opened up their door, I got like a contact high," Charles recalled. "It was like one of those big mushroom clouds came. I was scared to go to the airport … 'Do not go to the airport!'"