Comedy superstars perform "Hans & Franz: The Girlyman Dilemma": The Podcast

One of the most popular SNL sketches of the late 1980s was Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon's "Hans and Franz," about two Austrian weightlifting cousins of Arnold Schwarzenegger with a fitness TV program to "pump you up."

What no one knew until now is that in the early '90s, the two comedians teamed up with Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel (my own comedy hero) to write a movie about the characters. Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted to do the movie, which apparently is what earned the project a green light.

But after the script was written, the plug was pulled, and the movie never got made. Now, over 30 years later, the four are performing the script on Conan's podcast, "Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend," in a series of episodes. The first episode came out a few days ago, and below is a video of the podcast performance.

This first episode is pretty damn funny, and the movie would have had a Austin Powers / Pee Wee's Big Adventure vibe.

In the episode, Conan explains that they were naive to write the movie around Schwarzenegger's participation.

"One of the things that a sensible person would have done, if we had been sensible… is to write a movie that maybe Arnold has a quick cameo in, because Arnold was at the time was the biggest movie star in the world. What we did, which shocks me now up on re-reading it, is — I remembered Arnold was in it, but I forgot that Arnold is in it more that anybody. So we hung the entire project…"

And of course, when Schwarzenegger backed out, the movie was dead. On the podcast "Good One," Robert Smigel says that he heard that Schwarzenegger left the project because his action-parody movie The Last Action Hero came out and didn't do well at the box office, and so he didn't want to do a self-referential parody of his persona again.

Here's a 1987 SNL Hans & Franz sketch.