Glengarry Glen Ross first hit movies theaters 20 years ago today, bringing David Mamet's play about the desperate measures salesmen will take when their jobs are on the line to the big screen. The film didn't do well at the box office in its original run, but it's become a cult classic for its depiction of cutthroat company men and their copious profanity. The most enduring part of the film is undoubtedly Alec Baldwin's "Always Be Closing" speech. "We're adding a little something to this month's sales contest," he informs a team of underperforming salesmen, practically oozing with disdain. "As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado ... Second prize? A set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired." The monologue wasn't even in Mamet's original play, but since the film came out, the speech has become synonymous with Glengarry Glen Ross, spawning countless parodies. To mark the film's 20th anniversary, we've rounded up the best ones.
Public radio is about as far from Alec Baldwin's intimidating character as you can get, and NPR affiliates love subverting their un-intimidating reputation in Glengarry spoofs. Here's WBEZ boss Torey Malatia—the guy This American Life lampoons in their closing credits—berating volunteers during the Chicago station's pledge drive:
WNYC enlisted Baldwin himself, the host of their show Here's The Thing, for their pledge drive:
In fact, Baldwin has been game to parody his iconic performance more than once. Here he is on Saturday Night Live, chewing out Santa's workshop elves. Look out for his force-of-habit flub on the "Always Be Cobbling" line:
Liam Kyle Sullivan, the guy behind that "Shoes" video you watched like 20 times back in 2007, uploaded a version that motivates Youtubers to "Always Be Posting:"
When the infamous 47% video leaked, pundits immediately started comparing Mitt Romney with Baldwin's character, who likes reminding people that he makes $970,000 a year and drives an $80,000 BMW. It was only a matter of time before someone overlaid Baldwin's monologue on the footage:
G4's Attack of the Show transposed the scene to an electronics store, replacing the middle-aged salesmen with teenage nerds:
Selling Girl Scout cookies might not be as tough a racket as selling property, but this girl sure makes it seem like a pretty intense gig. And of course, because this is the Internet, there's a version with a little kid lisping his way through Baldwin's abusive lines.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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