There was this homeless newspaper in New York called Street News. So my idea was the editorial meeting for Street News. Everyone in there is, you know, a paranoid schizophrenic. The editor goes, “Okay, what do we got? I’m looking for a three-part piece on, uh, urinating on an ATM. Anybody? It’s a Lifestyle piece. Johnson, what do you got?”
“I’m doing a thing on how the Empire State Building’s made of cotton candy!”
“I like it! Get on that right away!” No one ever liked that one. I pitched that one about 20 times.
I had another one called Dick Blocker, who was a cock blocker. There’d be a charming guy talking to a girl and then Dick Blocker would show up. [He would say:] “Have you heard about that charming murderer that’s been hanging around? Have you heard of the charming rapist?” He would wreck everyone’s chances of getting laid. So yeah, that one didn’t work.
And then, the first year I was there, the phrase the “N-Word” was relatively new. And my first week on SNL, Time magazine said “The N-Word” on the cover. It was a big story, and they made up that phrase. So my idea was to go on Update and join Kevin Nealon and say, “I don’t even know what the ‘N-Word’ means. You know, there’s so many words that start with N. There’s nectarine, there’s n*****…” And then it would be like the second word I said.
You know, I did that in front of the whole table, and it was dead silence. And I had to go apologize to six African Americans. That’s the one that didn’t work out the worst of all of them. Trying to explain satire to 50 people. I remember halfway into it, someone said, “Aww come on!” and I knew I was in trouble.
|—||Tina Fey, on Norm Macdonald’s time on SNL|
Can they make a movie where every single person in any shot of the movie is a former SNL castmember?
|—||Dick Ebersol, on former SNL head writer Michael O’Donoghue’s return to the show after Lorne Michaels’ departure in the early 80’s|
Bill Murray on Gilda Radner:
"Gilda got married and went away. None of us saw her anymore. There was one good thing: Laraine had a party one night, a great party at her house. And I ended up being the disk jockey. She just had forty-fives, and not that many, so you really had to work the music end of it. There was a collection of like the funniest people in the world at this party. Somehow Sam Kinison sticks in my brain. The whole Monty Python group was there, most of us from the show, a lot of other funny people, and Gilda. Gilda showed up and she’d already had cancer and gone into remission and then had it again, I guess. Anyway she was slim. We hadn’t seen her in a long time. And she started doing, “I’ve got to go,” and she was just going to leave, and I was like, “Going to leave?” It felt like she was going to really leave forever.
So we started carrying her around, in a way that we could only do with her. We carried her up and down the stairs, around the house, repeatedly, for a long time, until I was exhausted. Then Danny did it for a while. Then I did it again. We just kept carrying her; we did it in teams. We kept carrying her around, but like upside down, every which way—over your shoulder and under your arm, carrying her like luggage. And that went on for more than an hour—maybe an hour and a half—just carrying her around and saying, “She’s leaving! This could be it! Now come on, this could be the last time we see her. Gilda’s leaving, and remember that she was very sick—hello?”
We worked all aspects of it, but it started with just, “She’s leaving, I don’t know if you’ve said good-bye to her.” And we said good-bye to the same people ten, twenty times, you know.
And because these people were really funny, every person we’d drag her up to would just do like five minutes on her, with Gilda upside down in this sort of tortured position, which she absolutely loved. She was laughing so hard we could have lost her right then and there.
It was just one of the best parties I’ve ever been to in my life. I’ll always remember it. It was the last time I saw her.”
"hmmm…. We gotta fill in some time for Update. Any ideas?"
"hey remember that character Dana Carvey used to do?"
"Carson? That was great."
"Ummm…? I give up. Who?"
"Grumpy Old Man."
"…uh, yeah I kinda remember that. It was funny, i guess."
"Great! Then it’s settled. We’ll rip off that."
if I worked at SNL I would take a page out of Michael O’Donoghue’s playbook from the eighties and adopt the view that SNL sucks and is beyond saving, so it’s time to go “VIKING DEATH SHIP”
which basically means “let’s just accept cancellation as on it’s way and try to do the most insane fucked up shit we can do with this show in order to send it to hell with a bang”
take a fucking guess who has the longest Weekend Update tenure in SNL history?
I’ll give you a hint: it’s a guy, and he’s not funny, and it’s Seth Meyers.
“It was incredibly subversive, because his material appeared to be borderline retarded to one section of the audience because of the subject matter, but he was doing some of the most inventive stuff that had ever been done on the show. He was really deconstructing sketch comedy. He was kind of exposing character premises for what they were; which were naked gimmicks that we use to make money not having to lift things.”