An Rare Inside Look at What Makes 'SNL' Tick
By Andrea Chalupa Posted Apr 13th 2010 04:16PM
Meyers also admitted that he's relieved he gets to do more writing than acting. "As a sketch writer, I prefer writing for other people. When I used to be in sketches, and Lorne [Michaels] still begs me to be in them, and I refuse," he joked. "I feel a lot of relief not being in them."
Wiig, a stand-out for her zany characters like Gilly and Kathy Lee Gifford, says she writes her own characters. "It helps, I think, if you're part of the writing process. You know that person who's in your head."
Moderator Fallon called out Fred Armisen for doing tons of improv on the show. Meyers chimed in with the fact that some of Armisen's cue-cards during Weekend Update are blank, an unnerving site, Meyers said. One character that Armisen cited he does off-the-cuff is Nicholas Fehn, a rambling headline reading stand-up comedian who never makes a point. And earlier in the evening, he and Wiig broke out into their Lawrence Welk-inspired improv singing duo, garbling a request for the audience to turn off cell phones.
The talk inevitably turned to one of the show's biggest ratings-makers, Sarah Palin. Fallon asked Meyers, who wrote the majority of the Palin sketches, whether he felt it shaped the 2008 Presidential election. "I think it's too nerve wracking that it shaped anything," he said. "In comedy, you don't have high expectations. I'm just sort of glad we got away with it."
When asked by a fan in the audience what's next for him after he inevitably "graduates" 'SNL,' Meyers said, like any Phd student, he's just going to wing it.
Other discussion highlights included Bill Hader glowingly discussing Phil Hartman as a source of inspiration for landing impersonations; Kenan Thompson admitting that he refuses to watch himself on the show even though his mother TiVo's every episode; Andy Samberg explaining that he produces and mixes the music for his viral 'SNL' digital shorts in his office using Protools, and Fallon refusing to take a question from the audience asking how cast members manage not to break character, something the giggle-crazy Fallon was notorious for doing while on 'SNL.'
The discussion was sponsored by The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for its members.
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