Sunday, February 20, 2005

How to be a writer for Saturday Night Live

[Scene: conference room at NBC. Chinese food containers are scattered around the table. A group of youngish writers are discussing a skit.]

“I have an idea. Do you know how when you go to a restaurant, sometimes the waiter will say ‘Careful, the plate is hot?’”

“Not if you’re having sushi.”

“Stay with me here. So the plate is hot. What if the plate is really hot?”

[murmur of appreciation]

“Yeah, it’s so hot that the waiter has to use oven mitts.”

“And then what?”

“Well, then the next plate he puts down is even hotter and sets the table on fire.”

“So the plates are hot?”

“Hot?!? They’re super hot! Don’t you see? We’re taking an everyday situation and extrapolating it to an unrealistic degree. Exaggeration equals comedy, man!”

“What happens next?”

“The next plate: even hotter. It melts through the table.”

“Uh-huh.”

“The last plate is so hot – I mean hot – that the waiter has to serve it with a welding mask and tongs. It’s glowing red. When the diner looks at it, she vaporizes from the heat.”

[silence]

“Because it’s, you know, really hot.”

“How do you plan to wrap this up?”

[silence]

“How about if Satan comes out and reveals that it’s a restaurant in hell?”

“So it’s hell, but no fire and brimstone? Only the plates are hot?”

“Yeah, they’re hot. Hotter than you might normally expect.”

2 comments:

Uncle Mikey said...

SNL is on a long slide, although you have to give them some credit for the botox sketch. Debbie Downer is tired as hell, and Update is becoming singularly unfunny. Without Poehler and Armisen, SNL would be unwatchable.

The Magpie said...

Sorry. SNL has been on about a 20-year slide with some intermittent breaks hither and thither. Poehler does have the occasional one-liner (and they're well-done) but as for the remainder of the crew....GET OFF THE HASH, MAN.

I have a couple of contentions:
(1) That, if SNL's current crew is any evidence, we have raised an entire generation of people who do not possess a sense of humor; and
(2) NYC is further evidence that if you put that many people in a small area, wierd shite comes out.

This crew might be funny if they had spine enough to get away from the PC happycrap.