Rachel Bloom’s Space Jam

Years before creating and starring in the show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rachel Bloom wrote and performed a musical sketch about a young actress’s obsession with Space Jam, the 1996 animated and live-action crossover starring Michael Jordan and a bunch of Looney Tunes.

Jesse and Rachel talk about the compromise she made between musical theater and sketch comedy. Along the way they discuss the importance of nailing down a premise when writing, how rhyming can ruin a joke’s potential, and most importantly, why Space Jam?

Watch Rachel’s “Space Jam” here, and read along with the lyrics below.

“Space Jam” Lyrics

I'VE NEVER FOUND A TRUE CALLING

I WOULDN'T CALL THEATER MY LIFE

FROM VOCATION TO VOCATION

LOCATION TO LOCATION

I'M JUST LOOKING FOR SOMETHING ENTHRALLING.

(spoken) It's true.

I'VE NEVER HAD MY OWN "THING"

UNREMARKABLE: A COMMUNISTS' DREAM.

BUT THERE IS ONE MOVIE

THAT'S JUST SO DAMN GROOVY

IT GIVES ME A REASON TO SING.

AND THAT IS THE MOVIE

SPACE JAM!

OH MY GOD I LOVE THE MOVIE SPACE JAM!

HAS ANYONE ELSE HERE SEEN SPACE JAM?!

ALLOW ME TO DESCRIBE THE PLOT OF SPACE JAM!

THE SETTING IS CIRCA 1996

AN INNOCENT AGE, I RECALL.

MICHAEL JORDAN GOT HIMSELF IN A FIX

'CAUSE NOW HE PLAYS MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.

MEANWHILE, ON A PLANET FAR OFF IN SPACE

SOME CARTOON ALIENS HAVE AN AMUSEMENT PARK

BUSINESS IS BAD, THEY'RE GONNA SHUT DOWN THE PLACE

TILL THE ALIEN CEO HAS A GENIUS SPARK!

(spoken) He's voiced by Danny DeVito.

THE PLAN IS TO KIDNAP THE LOONEY TUNES

WHO IN THIS FILM ARE SELF-AWARE AND HAVE FREE WILL

AND ONCE THE ALIENS KIDNAP THE LOONEY TUNES

THEY'LL ENSLAVE THEM TO CREATE A COMEDY MILL!

(spoken) Now at this point, you're probably like, "What do cartoon aliens kidnapping Looney Tunes have to do with Michael Jordan?" Well that's the magic of-

SPACE JAM!

MUCH MORE HAPPENS IN THE MOVIE SPACE JAM!

AREN'T YOU STARTING TO GET EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED WITH SPACE JAM?!

RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU WANNA HEAR MORE ABOUT SPACE JAM!

ZACH (V.O.)

I'd actually prefer if you stopped.

RACHEL

Oh, come on!

ZACH (V.O.)

I want to hear about something EMOTIONAL.

RACHEL

Ok, fine. I'll talk about the time I came out of the closet instead, ok?

ZACH (V.O.)

Uh, yeah, that'd be great.

RACHEL

Ok. Well, when I first realized I was gay, I thought that no girl would ever-

(singing again)

SO THESE TINY CARTOON ALIENS GO TO LOONEY TUNE LAND/

AND GET LAUGHED AT 'CAUSE THEY'RE SO SMALL/

HA HA HA!

ZACH (V.O.)

OK, that's not what I meant...

RACHEL

THE LOONEY TUNES WANNA DEFEND THEMSELVES

SO THEY CHALLENGE THEM TO A GAME OF BASKETBALL

BUT THEN THE ALIENS TO GO A BASKETBALL GAME

TO STEAL THE TALENTS OF THE PLAYERS IN THE NBA

AND THEN THEY BECOME MONSTERS- NO- MONSTARS!

WHICH MAKES THE LOONEY TUNES DESPERATE IN A MAJOR WAY!

(spoken) And then, one day Michael Jordan is playing golf with Larry Bird and Bill Murray and he gets sucked down a golf hole. And this is when you're like "Oh man, this movie just got intense. I might have to leave the theater it's so intense!" And when Michael Jordan gets to Looney Tunes Land, he's surprisingly calm for what just happened to him, dubious really, because he just says, "What are you guys doing here?"

SO THE LOONEY TUNES TELL MICHAEL THAT THEY'RE GONNA BE SLAVES

UNLESS HE HELPS THEM WIN

MICHAEL AGREES LIKE THE MENSCH HE IS

AND SO THEY START PRACTICIN'

FOR THE-

ZACH (V.O.)

Stop! Stop!

RACHEL

What?

ZACH (V.O.)

You're just singing the plot of the movie Space Jam!

RACHEL

It's really important to me!

ZACH (V.O.)

Yes, but why? Why is "Space Jam" so important to you?

RACHEL

WHEN I WAS 5 MY DADDY LEFT

AND MY MOMMA WAS ADDICTED TO COKE

SO I JOINED A GROUP OF RUNAWAY KIDS

WHO WERE JUST AS SAD AND BROKE.

THEN ONE NIGHT, THIS BOY NAMED JAKE

GAVE ME MY FIRST KISS.

BUT THE DAY AFTER THAT, HE DIED OF AIDS

MAKING ME ASSOCIATE SICKNESS WITH BLISS.

AFTER GOING ON A 3 DAY METH BINGE

I DECIDED TO KILL MYSELF

WHEN SUDDENLY, LIKE AN ANGEL, LIKE A BEACON

I SAW THE POSTER FOR "SPACE JAM."

AND THAT'S WHEN I REALIZED:

IF LOONEY TUNES CAN PLAY BASKETBALL

WHO SAYS I CAN'T QUIT DRUGS?

IF TINY ALIENS CAN BE LARGE AND SCARY

THEN I CAN PUT MYSELF BACK TOGETHER.

EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE IN "SPACE JAM"

SO EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR ME.

I WAS ABOUT TO JUMP IN FRONT OF A TRAIN.

WHEN "SPACE JAM" ENDED MY PAIN.