Get Famous Friday 2010: Lorne Michaels Vets Chicago

Just about once a year, Saturday Night Live comes to see what players or writers Chicago has to offer and this week was the week!


This year he had Chicago Improv vets Seth Meyers and recent hire Pat O’Brien in tow. I wouldn’t regularly write it up as it’s an annual event, but this year it was the second year that there was no improvisation… the performers were asked to do a 5 minute piece demonstrating a few characters (very similar to what the standard “callback” auditions have been for several years.) 

The SNL contingent visited the iO Theater on Thursday and Friday evenings and then headed over to Second City to see both the etc stage and the Mainstage shows. 
It’s always a paradoxical situation; the years spent building an ensemble based on the idea of “Support Your Fellow Players” flies in the face of the funniest person will get flown to NYC to audition for a slot on SNL. 
And the numbers are daunting to say the least… will you be A)experienced/talented enough to be “put up” by a theater for a showcase, and B)when do they come? (it’s not a set time/date… and they might not even come any given year.) There’s a lot of luck involved, but as Thomas Jefferson said, “I find the harder I work, the luckier I get.”
Does this mean that improv is out for the SNL audition process? Even though I found it very odd for a scripted show to audition improvisers, I rather enjoyed the idea of the biggest comedy show in America employing improvisation as a barometer of talent.
So far, we know that a few people have been asked to fly to New York for an interview… we’ll (I’m so third person) keep you posted! 
And here’s the SNL audition of my all-time favorite cast member, Mr. Phil Hartman:


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  • Phil Hartman, why are you always *yelling* at me?

  • interviewing for writers or performers?? Regardless, if they all go together, that's going to be an award plane ride

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