Exclusive - Kurt Braunohler - Interview with "Saturday Night Live" Writers

New York Comedy Festival Season 1, Ep 1 01/11/2011 Views: 1,795

The writers from "Saturday Night Live" describe a character that never made it to air. (4:09)


This is Kurt Braunohlerfor Comedy Central

in the New York Comedy Festival.

I am here with the writersfrom Saturday Night Live.

Hi, guys.

ALL: Hi.

-You guys produceunder great duress.

I mean, if there was onething you could change

about the process,what would it be?

-We name a specific crew member?


-I feel like you wouldn'twant another hour

to work on it,because it's not bad.

Because you would justlike, I think, fine tune

in a way that wouldn'tmake it any better.

-If you could stopthe news sometimes

that would be theone thing to do.

So you could freeze what thenews cycle is, like, Wednesday.

-And then have all if yourgreat jokes on Wednesday for it.

-It would just be like, ah,that would be the biggest story.

-What host surprisedyou the most?

Like, you didn't expectit, and you were like, oh,

my God that was so much fun.

-Out of guys, we've had a bunchon in these last few years,

is Jon Hamm.

Who I just don't think we knewwhat kind of sense of humor

he was going to have.

We were reallyexcited to have him

because we wereall "Mad Men" fans.

But, uh, he kindof was-- I think

he was like the way Baldwinwas when he first did the show.

Like, I don't think peopleknew how good a sense of humor

he had.

-Are there any favoritesketches, or characters, that

never made it to air, but thatyou still really believe in?

SETH MEYERS: I don't know.

-Believe in?

-Believe in, yeah.

-I'm talking about true belief.

-I don't believe in thingsthat got on the air.


-There's so much.

You know, like, Will Fortewas the last cast member who

would never letgo of a character.

Because he was trulya man of belief.

He was like probablythe biggest, the most

absolutist in comedyI've ever known.

And one of the most brilliantcomedy minds I've ever seen.

But when he left, youknow, he brought a few

like final deadcharacters with him.

-Yeah, yeah, yeah.-That's true, yeah.

-Genjamin Franklin.

-Genjamin Franklin.

-Genjamin Franklin.

-Which was a woman, right?


-A woman who looked exactlylike Benjamin Franklin.


But that wasn't thepoint of the scene.


-It was almost never addressed?

-It was like, addressedin the beginning.

-She said, somebody said,you know who you like?

And he said, Sorrell Booke.

He was the guy whoplayed Boss Hogg.

He had never-- it hadnever occurred to him.

-It was like--

-So the audience wason board from page one.

-And since the audience doesnot know the titles of sketches,

it wasn't as if they werelike, oh, Genjamin Franklin.

At least we know what this is.

-Hey, Jost?

J Jost, you have tocome join this panel.



-Just come sit in this chair.

This is Colin Jost.

This is really nicehow it worked out

because this is how work works.

Colin is always thelast guy to show up.

COLIN JOST: What's going on?-How are you, Colin?


COLIN JOST: Uh, thank you.

-Sit right down.

We're just doinga quick interview.


-How does it feel to the baby?

The baby in the group.

-It feels great.

How does it feel tobe asked the question,

how does it feel to be the baby?


-I like that you picked upthat we don't call him new guy,

we call him the baby.

-The baby.

-Where's the baby?

-He likes my shirt.

-You clearly told himthat's what you call me.

Um, what-- whatwas the question?

-I mean like, what's one thingthat you've learned-- learned

this last year that youwere surprised, that you

didn't think waspart of the process?

-I guess the quick turnaround.

Because I'm used tolike, at my other job

it was like not producingsomething as quickly.

-I think sometimes thingslike the cold open monologue,

like, how late in the week wemight not know what they are.




-But cold open because ofnews kind of changing around.

And then like monologueit's just so important

to find something that thehost is like comfortable with.


-Because that's the thingthat's probably furthest away

from anything they'veever done before.

KURT BRAUNOHLER:Right, of course.

-Just like walkout as themselves,

and stand on the stage, and justsort of, like, be themselves.


-So, uh, that is-- those arethe things that you don't sort

of fine tune as much until,like, 10 o'clock at night.

-And that we'refiguring the show

out as it's happening, too.

-Yeah, right.

-I think that people think thatit's all laid out in one order

and things have tochange because of timing

and during theactual 90 minutes.

-All right.

Thank you-- thank you, guys,so much for being here.

-Thank you, Kurt.

-Thank you, John.

-Again, for Comedy Central andthe New York Comedy Festival,

I'm Kurt Braunohler.

We're here with the writersfor Saturday Night Live.

-You have to standthere and we just

got to get somecut to so it looks

like you were herefrom the beginning.