Skit Ideas Not Even Good Enough for Saturday Night Live


32 Responses to “Skit Ideas Not Even Good Enough for Saturday Night Live”

  1. andyhavens says:

    Kinda what Omir said above, but it’s a union thing, too. They’re not allowed to take unsolicited writing of any kind if it’s a Writers Guild shop. In college, I once sent a fully written skit to SNL and called to find out afterward if they’d received it. A very nice customer service person replied (very politely and apologetically) that they couldn’t take script submissions, and that the mail would have been opened and destroyed by someone not on the writing staff. She was, as I said, very nice about the whole thing.

    If you really want to get a skit idea on SNL, do something laughably stupid in politics or entertainment, or injure yourself setting off a new meme.

  2. Anonymous says:

    any one of these ideas is better than the Gilly sketch they keep doing

  3. stevehops says:

    I worked for Warner Bros. for a while in Burbank. People would actually throw their scripts over the studio lot wall. They had guy whose job it was to collect them all and toss them in the dumpster.

    There was one particular spot where it was easy to toss them over the wall. The studio eventually just parked an open dumpster there. People didn’t realize they were throwing them right into a dumpster. I watch the dumpster fill up, it took about 3 months.

    • penguinchris says:

      That’s really funny about the dumpster. I bet there was some decent stuff in there, though, especially compared to most of the crap that comes out of Hollywood. And it’s not like it’s easy to get a break, no matter how good you are, so throwing your script over the wall probably seems like a good idea once you’ve tried everything else and no one was willing to even read the title.

      Anyway back on topic, I think some of these ideas are OK, but in order to be funny they’d have to be substantially changed. I was expecting much worse ;)

      I’m not sure what’s wrong with the McHale’s Navy one – I would like to know what that idea was – I know that show and I’m pretty young (24). Of course SNL doesn’t tend to do many direct pop culture references, to their credit, instead trying to be original (not that I’ve watched very much SNL, but I can’t think of any well-known skits that were directly based on something else, though I’m sure there are some).

      • A New Challenger says:

        Celebrity Jeopardy! immediately springs to mind, and usually they’ll lampoon whatever the week’s host is/was involved with as well.

  4. danwarning says:

    “The album was ranked number two in the 1991 book The Worst Rock ‘n’ Roll Records of All Time by Jimmy Guterman and Owen O’Donnell”

    -from Metal Machine Music’s wikipedia page

    Ahh, now it makes sense

  5. laureltree says:

    Folks watch absurdly interactive TV, where viewers can do wild things with a remote.

    wait… you mean the Wii?

  6. Anonymous says:

    The depressing thing is that all of those ideas are way better than the stuff they come up with now. Today it seems to be all TV shows whether they’re boring new ideas or spoofs. I miss the days when SNL did funny situations.

  7. flappy says:

    Pure Comedy Gold!

    Love the one about buying a laptop with a smaller hard drive!!

  8. jalexei says:

    In your defense, I chuckled at the “Schneider’s List” concept, though I realize most folks between 30 and 40 would assume “Rob”, and most younger than that wouldn’t have any context at all.

  9. Philipshade says:

    A) I doubt Lou Reed ever listened to MMM all the way through. I’d go with Meat Beat Manifesto’s Armed Audio Warfare if you want something similar, but listenable.

    B) The driving instructor skit remind me a lof to Monty Pythons sex ed. skit from Meaning of Life where Cleese brings in his wife and has sex in front of the class.

  10. Eric says:

    How bizzare, I keep inadvertantly hitting some key combo that makes a back button.
    Regardless, I chuckeled at the Sex Test and the Sloth Pitch.
    As an aside, today in 1975 marked the premier of NBC Saturday Night with George Carlin as the guest host.

  11. mccrum says:

    I’d watch Chris Farley as a Mary Kay salesperson.

    I also find it amusing that these days you can get Photoshop, a camera, a printer with a battery and on the streets of New York have a business producing photos with an NBC celebrity. In fact, I may stop by Times Square tonight and start doing that outside Madame Tussaud’s…

  12. eyeruh says:

    You lost me at “I am never going to listen to Metal Machine Music again”.

  13. KeithIrwin says:

    I don’t think that the problem was the quality of the ideas. I think that the problem was that SNL didn’t really take ideas for sketches. It’s easy to have ideas for sketches. It’s much tougher to write good sketches. If you’d written some of them and then submitted them, they might have bought some of them from you.

  14. mellowknees says:

    I just have to say that I’m adding a new thing to my List of Things to Do When I Get a Time Machine:

    #3) Convince Lorne Michaels to do the Chris Farley as a Mary Kay salesman skit, because I have a feeling it would be one of my favorites still today if it had ever happened.

    (Things #1 and #2 have to do with historically important removals of leaders and/or muckrakers).

  15. Anonymous says:

    Really, any of these could have been developed into a funny sketch. Or, painfully bad ones.

  16. JamesMason says:

    I had a similar “problem” in submitting an idea to “The Onion” in that they don’t take submissions. I finally decided to e-mail it to customer service or something and of course never heard back. So I will use this forum to share my brilliant headline (inspired from reality) that would be perfect…

    House-Husband Finally Vacuums Stray Tiny Legos Instead of Picking Them Up.

    • Eric says:

      The reason they did not use your idea was you fell outside the Onion Editorial voice.
      It should have read
      Area House Husband…..

  17. lasttide says:

    This actually sounds a lot like real SNL sketches. The premise is possibly funny when described, but the actual sketch goes on forever with no real humor.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe that’s how SNL should air. They can just give elevator pitches of the funny scenarios and skip the production. They’d save a ton of money on salaries both on the writing and acting sides, and the overall show quality might actually improve!

  18. Anonymous says:

    The interactive TV idea was done on “Not the Nine O’Clock News” in the UK in the late 70s or early 80s…sadly I can’t find the sketch through Google… I recall that in addition to having “Sex” and “Violence” buttons, you could also control the level of “Irony”…Very british, wot?

  19. ControlFreakPR says:

    Jimmy, I think I, I think I love you.

  20. pffft says:

    These skits are surprisingly consistent with the quality of actual SNL skits in the mid-90′s, so I’m surprised you didn’t get a bite on them… :)

  21. Anonymous says:

    They did the “watch a couple having sex” skit back in the Dan Ackroyd days. But it wasnt a “driving teacher”. It was the Supreme Court.

  22. Brainspore says:

    I gotta agree with KeithIrwin that at least part of the problem is that coming up with an idea for a sketch is pretty different than actually writing a good sketch (same goes for a novel, movie, video game, painting etc). Anyone who works in a creative field can tell you the real challenge is in the execution.

  23. EliZ says:

    The problem with almost all SNL skits (before I stopped watching them and switched to ipecac) is the ending. They didn’t have one.

    The super-powered TV remote has lots of potential, not least for audience interaction. “What’s the ‘splash’ button do? Oh.”

    Maybe you ought to file suit against Adam Sandler for Click?

    • knoxblox says:

      Yeah, it seems Lorne’s never been very good at finding comedians who understood the importance of a good wrap-up/punchline.

  24. Omir the Storyteller says:

    I’d like to see how SNL would have staged an ATM dispensing a taxi.

    Actually I would guess no one from the writing staff ever saw your work. As far back and 1974 I was reading that no one in TV would look at unsolicited, unagented manuscripts for fear of getting sued if they decided to come up with an idea that was even remotely close to something that came over the transom.

  25. anechoic says:

    ‘I am never going to listen to Metal Machine Music again.’
    this says it all I suppose

  26. mrgerbek says:

    I fully enjoy the idea of asking about variation in the food products at McDonalds.

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