Still moping about my rejection notice from NBC's Late Night Writers Workshop. I pulled out the one essay question earlier, since it dovetailed so nicely with the SNL video they posted on-line. So, what the heck, while I'm at it, I'm just going to post all my various essay answers over the years. Maybe this'll force me to write brand new ones to the 4 or 5 questions they seem to rotate through each cycle. Maybe read them and avoid my pitfalls, whatever they may be...
Well, it's that time of year again, when my annual rejection from the NBC Late Night Writers Workshop program arrives. Each year, NBC opens its doors to young aspiring comedy writers and me. It's weird, doing this so long makes you completely aware that the odds are against you, always. Yet, when the email came announcing they didn't select my application, it hurt. Again. I know I'm good. I'm just not good enough.
The fact that it's NBC doing this is what makes it so attractive to me. I made it the topic of one of my essays in my 2014 packet:
Why do you want to write for Late Night Television?
Growing up, NBC was a neighborhood to visit. So many of their various comedy and variety shows, as mentioned above, devoted time to talking about the NBC commissary, the parking lot, other NBC shows and stars and beautiful downtown Burbank. NBC was meta before meta was a thing. Bits happened backstage, in the audience, behind the scenes.
Saturday Night Live carried on this tradition for a long while; cold openings in the cast locker room, opening bits in the hallways (hi, Lama!, hi, Mr. Lincoln!), invitations to the Beatles to appear, (setting up one of the longest running gags on TV).
Then, for a while, it seemed to slide away. Granted, not much was happening around NBC that made you think things were going on behind the scenes. It was taken over by bigger and more nameless corporations. "30 Rock" tried to keep the concept going, but it always felt like you were peeking behind the scenes of an alternate universe.
Then Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett brought it back. It started with videos about back stage relationships and kept going from there. His latest got cut for time, but it's about as meta a glimpse of backstage as you could get. It's just odd, though, how the backstage of SNL comes back to life in their video shorts.
or Skit Happens
During my time with Olympia Dukasis' Whole Theater, I managed to impress Ms. Dukasis with my comedy material. Here's how I know:
At this time, 1988, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” had a mini-tradition of asking Oscar nominees for best supporting actor to host the show. And they asked Ms. Dukakis. Good for her. But then the weirdest thing happened. Tom Gilpin called me aside after one of our rehearsals and asked me if I wanted to meet with Olympia Dukakis. Sure?
Freelance writer, still hacking away.