This is something Lorne has said often about “Saturday Night Live,” but it’s a great lesson in not being too precious about your writing.
You have to try your hardest to be at the top of your game and improve every joke until the last possible second, but then you have to let it go.
You would think that in your capacity as a producer your job would be to churn up creativity, but mostly your job is to police enthusiasm.
You may have an occasion where the script calls for a bran muffin on a white plate, and people from the props department show up with a bran cake in the shape of Santa Claus sitting on a silver platter that says “Welcome to Denmark” on it. And you have to find a polite way to explain that the character is Jewish, so her eating Santa’s face might have negative connotations, and the silver tray, while beautiful, is creating a weird glare on camera, and maybe let’s just go with the bran muffin on the white plate.
What I learned about bombing as a writer for “Saturday Night Live” is that you can’t be too worried about your permanent record.
Yes, you’re going to write some sketches that you love and are proud of forever—your golden nuggets.You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. (And I’m from a generation in which a lot of people died on waterslides, so this was an important lesson for me to learn.) You have to let people see what you wrote.It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated. What I learned about bombing as an improviser at Second City was that, while bombing is painful, it doesn’t kill you.I went up to the seventeenth-floor offices, whose walls were lined with archival photographs from the show—Jane Curtin ripping her shirt open on “Weekend Update,” Gilda Radner in a “Beach Blanket Bingo” sketch, Al Franken’s head shot!Then I sat on a couch and waited for my meeting with Lorne.I arrived for my job interview in the only decent clothes I had: my “show clothes”—black pants and a lavender chenille sweater from Contempo Casuals.This must be how people feel when they really do go to school naked by accident.Then it transitioned to Sullen Teen-Age Girl and Generous Stepfather, then to Mr. I’ve learned many things from Lorne—in particular, a managerial style that was the opposite of my usual Bossypants mode.A TV show comprises many departments—costumes, props, talent, graphics, set dressing, transportation.“Flenderson’s Poverty Barrels: Replacing Clothes Despite Being More Expensive Since . If you’re sitting in the Harvard Lampoon Castle with your friends, you can perfect a piece of writing so that it is exactly what you want and you can avoid the feeling of red-hot flop sweat—especially because you won’t even be there when someone reads it.But when you’re improvising eight shows a week in front of drunk, meat-eating Chicagoans you experience highs and lows.