Twenty-one years ago today, on Nov. 13, 1999, Garth Brooks performed double duty on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. The singer served as the host of the show, while his alter ego, Chris Gaines, performed as the musical guest.
Brooks’ appearance on SNL was widely regarded as a success. The country music hitmaker shared a skit with comedian Tracy Morgan, in which Morgan famously criticized Gaines to Brooks, saying, “The dude is chicken, and he’s fat, too … If you were that big, they be calling you Girth Brooks.” Readers can watch the skit here.
Brooks’ appearance on Saturday Night Live came less than two months after the Sept. 28 release of his album Garth Brooks in … the Life of Chris Gaines. The record was originally intended to be part of a movie, The Lamb, which was to be released on Brooks’ own Red Strokes Entertainment, with the country superstar taking on the leading role. The Oklahoma native released In the Life of Chris Gaines to generate publicity for the movie, which centered around a musician conflicted about what style of music he wanted to pursue, all under the public’s watchful scrutiny.
Unfortunately for Brooks, The Lamb never materialized, and the record was not nearly as successful as his previous ones. It sold just over 2 million copies — a far cry from his 1997 Sevens album, which achieved diamond status, signifying sales in excess of 10 million units.
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.
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