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DickDaring
04-02-2007, 07:13 PM
Has anyone here ever submitted a sketch packet to SNL?

If so, would you mind posting what their submission requirements are? I'm guessing several sketches and some Weekend Update material, but it would be great to hear from someone who's actually been through the process.

scriptwriterNYC
04-02-2007, 07:37 PM
You'd have to send it through an agent/manager. SNL doesn't read unsolicited material.

DickDaring
04-02-2007, 09:13 PM
My agent is in the process of contacting them. I posted the question here in case anyone had gone through the submission process themselves.

So, if anyone has, and would like to share info about the packet requirements, (or any other experiences re SNL submissions) I'd be very grateful.

:)

fraggle
04-03-2007, 03:43 PM
a sketch packet. a bunch of sketches. maybe 15-ish pages of material.

weekend update is a different animal. they buy individual jokes from a wide range of writers, most of whom aren't on staff.

the thing that gives me pause about your post is that you shouldn't have to come here to ask that question. if you're good enough to submit to snl, then you probably have years of experience writing and performing at second city or groundlings or the ucb or some other established theater, and you would know approximately one billion people who have been through this process who you can go to for advice. you would also probably know at least a few people who are current working at snl.

if you don't know any such people, then you probably don't have enough experience in sketch.

also, your agent should know what the submission requirements are for every show on tv.

santino2699
04-03-2007, 05:41 PM
a sketch packet. a bunch of sketches. maybe 15-ish pages of material.

weekend update is a different animal. they buy individual jokes from a wide range of writers, most of whom aren't on staff.

the thing that gives me pause about your post is that you shouldn't have to come here to ask that question. if you're good enough to submit to snl, then you probably have years of experience writing and performing at second city or groundlings or the ucb or some other established theater, and you would know approximately one billion people who have been through this process who you can go to for advice. you would also probably know at least a few people who are current working at snl.

if you don't know any such people, then you probably don't have enough experience in sketch.

also, your agent should know what the submission requirements are for every show on tv.

That's pretty presumptuous, Fraggle.
This person obviously has enough talent to have landed an agent.
Dont' discount them before they've even tried. For all we know, he/she/it could have 15 incredible sketches in spite of not knowing anyone on staff there.

s

Mr. Quill
04-07-2007, 11:34 PM
You might want to focus on a smaller fish. I don't know how talented you are, but SNL is a pretty big goal.

DickDaring
02-02-2009, 07:30 PM
the thing that gives me pause about your post is that you shouldn't have to come here to ask that question. if you're good enough to submit to snl, then you probably have years of experience writing and performing at second city or groundlings or the ucb or some other established theater, and you would know approximately one billion people who have been through this process who you can go to for advice. you would also probably know at least a few people who are current working at snl.

if you don't know any such people, then you probably don't have enough experience in sketch.

also, your agent should know what the submission requirements are for every show on tv.

Wow, your response was textbook posing/douchebaggery. No wonder you crawled away from the boards.

:)

DickDaring
02-02-2009, 07:32 PM
You might want to focus on a smaller fish. I don't know how talented you are, but SNL is a pretty big goal.

Yes, let's all aim as low as possible.

Kwinnky
02-02-2009, 08:48 PM
Yes, let's all aim as low as possible.
I think he meant work your way up. Start in comedy clubs, make some connections, etc.

Sinnycal
02-02-2009, 09:06 PM
if you don't know any such people, then you probably don't have enough experience in sketch.

Second City has been the show's bread and butter for decades, but the show has sucked for years, so there's that. The best stuff on SNL nowadays comes from Andy Samberg and the dudes from The Lonely Island.

DickDaring
02-02-2009, 10:25 PM
I think he meant work your way up. Start in comedy clubs, make some connections, etc.

Doubtful. A check of his post history shows little more than fake loglines ginned up to start flame wars, and trollish, unhelpful responses.

My original question was a query to anyone who had gone through the submission process, not a plea for career counseling from a moron.

PaleWriter
02-03-2009, 06:30 AM
Career counseling from a different moron. Just so I can read my own words, I'll chime in. I have no idea about a submission packet or who to go through, but...

When I was at Second City in Chicago (studied at their Conservatory; I was not a Main Stage, ETC, Donny's Skybox, or TourCo performer), SNL would "scout" cast members (mostly from the Main Stage and ETC) and hire them as performers AND/OR writers.

Tina Fey, who was a star on the Second City Main Stage, started at SNL as a writer .

What the other poster should've said is that if you're near LA, Chicago, or NY - try to get involved in groups like Second City, ImprovOlympic, UCB, Groundlings, etc. They (SNL) seem to pull a lot from groups like that. It's like their minor leagues. Not to mention, those on SNL staff who hire writers may be impressed if you have a background at their comedy alma mater.

If none of these are nearby, start an improv/sketch group (like The Lonely Island) and tape your sh*t. Get it out there.

Hopefully this doesn't come off as crummy career advice. Something to consider should your agent not be able to get through.

winter dreams
02-03-2009, 06:54 AM
Dick: considering that your original post was nearly two years ago, what happened? Did your agent submit your packet?

qualitycontrol
02-03-2009, 10:34 AM
When I was at Second City in Chicago (studied at their Conservatory; I was not a Main Stage, ETC, Donny's Skybox, or TourCo performer), SNL would "scout" cast members (mostly from the Main Stage and ETC) and hire them as performers AND/OR writers.

This is good advice, Dick.

If you really want to work in late night comedy; work on your improv, sketches, and even stand-up. That's what my experience has been by just being around the NYC comedy scene and not really trying to get into it -- a new SNL cast member used to actively teach courses at UCB.

I also spent time working on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and at the time Demetri Martin was on the writing staff who got found through stand-up, left to do bits on The Daily Show, and is now about to host his own show on Comedy Central.

DickDaring
02-03-2009, 11:56 AM
PaleWriter:

Thanks for the very helpful advice. Much appreciated. :)

DickDaring
02-03-2009, 11:57 AM
[quote=qualitycontrol;494657]This is good advice, Dick.

Yes, it is. :)

zazzo2003
02-03-2009, 12:00 PM
I know writers (past and present) and performers on SNL. I have been on the 17th floor at 30Rock and watched it all go down in the writers room as well....

A sketch packet is great if the material is laugh out loud funny. You have to beat out 'seasoned' comics, writers, sketch performers, stand ups who have current relationships with the staff and actors of SNL. OR Be so amazing in person that Lorne gushes over you.

Sometimes, you're asked to perform in a show case at UCB in LA or NYC, Groundlings, Second City, or ImprovOlympic (now iO) - (maybe Boom Chicago too in the NL) it's an improv showcase to prove you can write on your feet. You have to be funny 24x7... Some of those writers eventually become cast members and do an audition (Tina Fey, Al Franken, etc.). Writing on your feet is important.

If you've already established contacts at SNL - reach out to them and ask them for guidance. If not, you're going to have a tough road ahead. If in NYC, "The PiT Theatre" and UCB has sketch writing programs - even if you feel you rock - it doesn't hurt to take these classes and make connections with UCB folks who have written for SNL or other shows in the past. They usually teach the class (and yes they also may be your competition)

Many staff writers get in through persistence and contacts - but if you're funny and talented, that's how you stay at the top

Good Luck!
------------- Zazzzzzzzzz ;)

qualitycontrol
02-03-2009, 01:41 PM
If you've already established contacts at SNL - reach out to them and ask them for guidance. If not, you're going to have a tough road ahead. If in NYC, "The PiT Theatre" and UCB has sketch writing programs - even if you feel you rock - it doesn't hurt to take these classes and make connections with UCB folks who have written for SNL or other shows in the past. They usually teach the class (and yes they also may be your competition)



Expect to preform, even on a minor level, if you take a class. Even a writing one.

DickDaring
02-03-2009, 03:48 PM
Thanks to the posters from the last 48 hours for turning this into an extremely helpful thread.

ComedyScriptDoc
02-08-2009, 10:53 PM
Hi, I was a writer on SNL during the 1991-1992 season, and just happened to be browsing through these boards tonight. When I got hired, I wasn't a stand up comic, and I didn't have an agent. I did have a packet, and I got in through the back door, which is one of the easiest ways to get in, and surprisenly, no one here has mentioned it...

One of the easiest ways to get in to any show as a writer is to get ANY job on the show, first -- production assistant, personal assistant, researcher, and especially intern. I'm not even talking about writer's assistant. ANY job gets you IN THE OFFICE, so that you see and know the writers on a daily basis.

Most people like to help people they like, and after working on the show in your particular job for a while, if you let the other writers know you want to be a writer and ask them if you can submit material, if it's good enough something, eventually, WILL happen.

And, if it's not good enough, they'll help you with that too, because they KNOW you and hopefully LIKE you.

The turn around rate in TV is really fast too, so writers you meet on a show one year then go on to develop their own shows within the next couple of years and, again if you're good, it's very easy to get hired this way.

For all you who are in their 20's this is THE way to break into Late Night comedy writing, if you're not a stand-up. About 50% of the people I know who are really big writers got in this way. If you're young enough, do it. And, if you're in college, even better because that means you can apply to be an intern. I, myself, had two interns working for me during the time I was at SNL and one of them now is one of the heads of HBO.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

The Road Warrior
02-09-2009, 03:42 AM
http://hubpages.com/hub/SNL-Cast---Bios-and-Photos

This may be of interest. Above has some audition information.


John Belushi's "Luck of the Irish" sketch is a favourite -- but came across this recently - his Brando/Godfather impression is a masterclass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwqorRnsfMo&feature=related

qualitycontrol
02-09-2009, 09:39 AM
For all you who are in their 20's this is THE way to break into Late Night comedy writing, if you're not a stand-up. About 50% of the people I know who are really big writers got in this way. If you're young enough, do it. And, if you're in college, even better because that means you can apply to be an intern. I, myself, had two interns working for me during the time I was at SNL and one of them now is one of the heads of HBO.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

It is a good point but I didn't seem to think it was that realistic (maybe I'm a pessimist) while I was an intern on Late Night with Conan O'Brien from 2004-2005. We actually were presented with a lot of rules and guidelines, such as: if you were attempting to pitch a joke in any regard you'd be fired from your unpaid position.

It sounded like there were a lot of obnoxious people trying to harass the writers in the past and so they put up an iron curtain. They also eliminated watching rehearsals live for interns because some in the past had actually stopped Conan and gave him notes on his monologue presentation.

It was helpful in terms of learning the day to day and perhaps on another show or maybe if I hung around longer and got to know more people, it could've paid off, but in my experience -- they will be on the defensive.

I do owe my day job career to this internship, it really helped me climb the ropes in TV. I am just not writing for it, unfortunately.

I suppose if you hang in there and get hired to staff, it might be easier to become more friendly enough with writers for one of them to read your packet. My writing dreams were never to write on late night comedy, though, so I might've squandered this opp. before it began.

PaleWriter
02-09-2009, 10:45 AM
"They also eliminated watching rehearsals live for interns because some in the past had actually stopped Conan and gave him notes on his monologue presentation."

Are you sh*tting me? Man, that takes balls. Please tell me Conan went Christian Bale on 'em.

ComedyScriptDoc
02-09-2009, 11:34 AM
I'm sorry your experience on Conan was bad. I think every show is different, and every year is different, depending on the particular writers and people on staff and their maturity level and character.

I, personally, would help someone if I was working on a show and they came to me sincerely...and most writers I'm friends with are the same. The people who tend to be snooty and push around a lot of demeaning "rules" are people in other staff positions who are having some power play over you. You have to look at the character of who you're asking.

And, if someone's nasty, know that that's their problem and keep moving forward until you find someone who's a better person. Also know that contacts you make one year might not come to fruition for 2-3 years in terms of a writing position, but it's all about planting seeds.

qualitycontrol
02-09-2009, 11:48 AM
I wouldn't call the experience bad at all. I found it very positive, despite those restrictions. I had a great time.

And to answer Pale, I have no idea, that was a story of what happened before my time.