How do you lampoon 'Saturday Night Live'?

Don’t know which of NBC’s two proposed backstage-at-Saturday Night Live series will be better (or make it to primetime first), but Aaron Sorkin’s has better leakers than Tina Fey’s.

Someone’s circulating Sorkin’s pilot script, and New York magazine’s account of it makes it sound scathingly satirical and Network-esque. Reportedly, the Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip script has its Lorne Michaels figure getting fired after delivering a Howard Beale-type rant on the air — this after network suits make him swap a politically incorrect sketch (”Crazy Christians”) for a hack-y recurring bit (”Peripheral Vision Man”). Not that West Wing creator Sorkin is above making fun of himself as well; the replacement producer is reportedly a drug fiend who dates a famous newspaper columnist (much as airport drug-bust casualty Sorkin once dated Maureen Dowd of the New York Times).

Of course, for both Sorkin and SNL insider Fey, the real-life backstage drama at SNL offers 30 years worth of shenanigans and scandals to make fun of: the drug-fueled early years; the live F-bomb that got the late Charles Rocket fired; Elvis Costello getting banned for not sticking to his set list; Nora Dunn boycotting the week that Andrew Dice Clay hosted; Sinead O’Connor’s papal provocation; O.J. Simpson needler Norm Macdonald running afoul of NBC exec/O.J. pal Don Ohlmeyer; Mike Myers modeling Dr. Evil after Michaels; and last year’s Ashlee Simpson snafu.

Which SNL moments would you like to see Sorkin and Fey write into their scripts?


Comments (38 total) Add your comment
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  • dave

    how about michaels offering money for the beatles to reunite?

  • Tommy Marx

    Maybe they can go where Saturday Night Live’s been afraid to go for years now and feature a skit that’s funny.

  • Esther Kustanowitz

    I think they should have characters do “skit deathmatches”–Pat vs. Mary Catherine Gallagher, and then the winner gets to face off against the winner of the Gobi v. Debbie Downer match.
    And as to how to lampoon SNL? A comedy group does it every week in NYC, at a show called “Saturday Night Rewritten,” in which they rewrite the previous night’s SNL sketches. Haven’t seen it yet, but am certainly planning on it….

  • Christopher

    I’m thinking the oft-rumored backstage fistfight between Chevy Chase and Bill Murray would be a must-send-up. Didn’t Toby and Josh swing at each other once on The West Wing?

  • MadBrian

    Anyone remember Larry the Lobster? There must be a backstory there. Also, don’t forget Andy Kaufmann.

  • Ricky T

    I would like to see Sorkin write about how Tina Fey’s inept handling of the headwriting duties at SNL has absolutely killed the show for the last 3+ years.
    She sucks so bad I am surprised that the show is even still on the air. Maybe Tina Fey could actually come up with something funny to write about, but given her track record I seriously doubt it.
    Fire her already and make the show watchable again.

  • Clark

    How about that time Jimmy Fallon did a sketch and didn’t ruin it by laughing at himself even once?
    oh, wait, that never happened….

  • Scott

    I agree, fire Tina Fey. I’m sick of her tired, repititious jokes about the current administration. I am interested in watching SNL to laugh not be propagandized. Instead of working on a behind the scenes show, how about fixing what is already broken. I’m out.

  • Michael P

    Nobody has yet mentioned about Ashlee Simpson and her lip-syncing snafu. I mean, how could you really expect that there could be a show about the backstage of SNL, without referring to that? It was the weirdest thing, and nobody has brought it up yet. C’mon people. How could that not be a key part of this type of program? I mean really.
    What’s that? It is in the article itself, you say? And they even use the word snafu?
    Never mind.

  • Bill VanStone

    Oh, to have Will, Molly, Anna, Chris, Tim and Cheri back again. Oh, what rapture!!

  • jason t.

    Tina Fey needs to go away. The point is to make *other* people laugh–not just yourself.

  • John Rice

    I agree that Tina Fey should be fired, along with most of the cast.Tina has a huge contract, yet the show isn’t even funny. Horatio Sans seems so amused with himself during each skit, yet he manages not to amuse anyone else. They need to dump most of the cast and start over.
    The show needs some players that can acutally imitate people, they only have Daryl Hammond now. Back in the days of Phil Hartman, the show was funnier bdcasue he could actually play characters, not just use his own voice.

  • Jim B

    No argument here on the lack of talent shown by the current cast. Good God, how do you justify keeping Horatio on the show, let alone having him do the Update for a few weeks? No wonder he can’t keep a straight face. And Will Forte’s Bush impression is so weak it make Frank Caliende’s (MAD TV) look Emmy-worthy.
    Actually, I still like Tina doing the news (unlike Amy Poehler, who should stick to skits), but this show desperately needs a new head writer and some cast housecleaning.

  • Rafael

    It is almost unbelievable that this is the same show that once had the likes of Mike Myers, Chevy Chase, Adam Sandler, or Gilda Radner among its cast. Anybody that is young enough not to remember these would serioulsy doubt the sanity of us in the “old guard” that tell them that SNL WAS actually a funny show.
    I believe that aside from an overall disgraceful and unfunny cast today, the writing is shameful and even borderline moronic. Starting with the overpaid and underperforming (how is that for an understatement?) Tina Fey. What (or who) did she do to get this stint?
    She is a complete and total disgrace and this, again, may be an understatement. More capable people are fred every day from their jobs for much, much less. What are they waiting for?

  • Kris Clean

    They really should spend a lot of time poking fun at the lip-syncing thing. Seems like half the SNL “musical performers” aren’t actually singing.
    I attended the show the week after Ashleygate, which featured Eminem (10/30/04). I thought that surely he wouldn’t lip-sync right after that huge brouhaha. A few days after the show, I heard on radio that he did. I checked out TIVO, and sure enough, I saw where you can hear rappin’, but Eminem’s lips weren’t a-flappin’.
    Honestly, lip-syncing should be banned from SNL.

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