(I've written about my brushes with SNL before, but since no one really reads blogs, I'm doing it again.)
One of the local groups using my material around this time was a comedy troupe called "Style Without Substance." They were an amazing group of performers that operated out of the Whole Theater in New Jersey, which was founded and run by the Oscar-winning actress, Olympia Dukakis. She attended many of the performances of the group, gave us advice and was aware of our work. One day she asked the group leader, Tom, for a meeting with me, the writer member. No one knew what was going on. Nervously I attended, clueless as to why she wanted to meet with me.
This was in 1988. Ms Dukakis was riding high off the movie "Moonstruck." She had been nominated for an Oscar. At the meeting she told us she had been invited to host an episode of SNL. She accepted but felt she needed to be a proactive host. She wanted show up at SNL with some material in hand, stuff she would like to do. That was why she called us in, she wanted to ask me to write some sketches for her . If I did, she would present them to the producers. I was floored. This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have my material seen by the comedic Valhalla and I was going to seize it.
I couldn’t believe my luck! My sketches were going to be presented to SNL! Then my luck became more believable: That March, the Writers Guild went on strike. All TV and film production shut down. SNL went dark for that week and for many, many weeks after. Olympia Dukakis never got to host. To balance out that disappointment, she did win the Oscar in April.
Coincidentally, my Mt. Olympus sketch focused on the Muses wanting Zeus to pay them more for their work and reuse, parodying the labor issues of Hollywood '88 and the ultimate reason for the WGA strike; payment for VHS sales. Look at me, Mr. Soothsayer.