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"The greatest trainwreck...ever."
June 27, 2013 12:32 PM   Subscribe

SNL's Bill Hader, Rob Klein, and Jon Solomon discuss "Song for Daddy", the sketch with host Justin Bieber that never made it past dress rehearsal.
posted by Room 641-A (32 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
//jumps off building//
posted by resurrexit at 12:41 PM on June 27, 2013


The fact that this hot mess had them all in stitches suddenly makes all of their low win rate very understandable. They conceive this stuff in a bubble and/or are all the way up inside each others' asses. What they should do is sell about 12-15 tickets per week to their table read. They'd have a consistently stronger show and it'd make a fortune. And I'm not one of those "hasn't been good since (year I was 19)" people, either. They always have some wins, but most of their stuff isn't much better than this.
posted by bleep at 12:49 PM on June 27, 2013 [21 favorites]


I've discovered that you, in fact, can turn your eyes from a trainwreck.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:55 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I want that horn.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:00 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


What they should do is sell about 12-15 tickets per week to their table read.

Best idea I've heard.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:01 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Won't somebody give Amy Sedaris a real job?!
posted by mrgrimm at 1:09 PM on June 27, 2013 [15 favorites]


Apparently there are a few other SNL dress rehearsals online, including this one with Jeremy Renner; it's somewhat more funny/bizarre than the "trainwreck".
posted by mithrandir at 1:12 PM on June 27, 2013


Amy Sedaris could make some fabulous Old Spice commercials.
posted by davejay at 1:14 PM on June 27, 2013 [11 favorites]


That sketch was a delight, made all the funnier by the stunned silence of the audience. It was just so painfully awkward, I love it.
posted by kafziel at 1:16 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've just realized that this sketch is actually about their own dark professional terrors: it is composed of the following elements: Amazingly the latter two are self-fullfilling here; I like Bill Hader and I don't think the first is true.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:17 PM on June 27, 2013 [10 favorites]


Ow.
posted by WCityMike at 1:30 PM on June 27, 2013


When Bill Hader can't get a laugh out of "Could I get my kazoo, please?" the sketch has got to go.
posted by Elsa at 1:34 PM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think I've seen that band live before.
posted by drezdn at 1:35 PM on June 27, 2013


I've just realized that this sketch is actually about their own dark professional terrors:

That's a great interpretation.

I read it as yet another example of SNL's all-important drive to create off-in-their-own-little-world characters with a single hook that they can then run out in sketch after sketch. The Coneheads say they're from France. Wayne has a show in his basement. Target Lady is way too excited about Target.

This guy seemed to be "crotchety singer's sound effects don't match his crusty hard-luck stories."

"Guys, imagine Merle Haggard stepping on a whoopee cushion and thinking it's actual music. It's GOLD!"

If you hit, it graduates and becomes a movie. If you miss, well...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:38 PM on June 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Stick with it through to the commentary. There's just something about watching Hader laugh and laugh at how poorly it's going. He seems like a neat guy.
posted by eugenen at 1:43 PM on June 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


The only reason we watch SNL is to see how Bill Hader will zombie (break character and laugh) during the idiotic, unfunny sketches each week. It's a shame that's the only draw, but it's a big one, and has yet to get old.
posted by jake at 1:43 PM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


And I mean they clearly know their audience there, Stefon is written entirely to make this happen, but I get the sense that they zing him regularly with unexpected dialogue cards just to make things interesting.
posted by jake at 1:48 PM on June 27, 2013


Zombie? I'd always heard it referred to as "corpsing."
posted by stenseng at 1:49 PM on June 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


this is akin to watching the Marv Throneberry, Chris Cannizzaro, and Joe Christopher get together to recap Mets 1962 season.
posted by any major dude at 1:59 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


the greatest trainwreck ever. /obligatory
posted by mrgrimm at 2:11 PM on June 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


but I get the sense that they zing him regularly with unexpected dialogue cards just to make things interesting.

Hader has said repeatedly in interview that this is exactly what was going on right from the beginning with Stefon. The writer, John Mulaney, and the cue card guys were very openly conspiring to make Hader break. In one interview, Hader said even the make-up and sound techs were in on it. "Oh, they're really going to get you tonight, Bill."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:13 PM on June 27, 2013


It's a bit of hyperbole to label this the greatest snl trainwreck ever, unless my memories of the Adam Sandler years are somehow innacurate.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:13 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought it was quite funny. Except for when Beiber was speaking.
posted by mrnutty at 2:17 PM on June 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


Apparently there are a few other SNL dress rehearsals online, including this one with Jeremy Renner; it's somewhat more funny/bizarre than the "trainwreck".

Jeremy Renner's hosting of SNL this past year was fascinating to watch, because he so clearly epic-failed at improv comedy, but was so clearly delighted by everything going on anyway. He was so enthusiastically bad he looped around past terrible back to being hilarious again.

(It'll be interesting to see how Renner-as-Hawkeye plays out in future Avengers films. Renner's a great dramatic actor, and his Clint has had a certain dry wit, but RDJ is like The Comedy Gold That Overwhelms Everything.)
posted by nicebookrack at 2:47 PM on June 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Knowing that Bieber was on, and seeing him in very much a support role in a somewhat unfunny skit about music, and just seeing stuff not work made this absolutely perfect. The audience must have been WTF? over this - it just feels so good to see such an epic failure. The comedy is as George_Spiggot pointed out - in the absolute mismatch of the audience's expectations with the sketch. This is a tame version of the Aristocrats.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:55 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like the main reason the sketch doesn't work is that there's not enough establishment of a straight man type role for Hader to play off of. At its core the sketch has a premise of "this person is doing something weird and it's making everyone uncomfortable", which is a really common trope in sketch comedy, but most successful sketches like that need the reactions of normal people to really sell it and put things in context. For example, the famous SNL cowbell sketch got most of its laughs from Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken, but the other characters had to be upset about the cowbell for it all to come together. The biggest laugh that this sketch got was the short cutaway to the Steve Harvey audience, which was very late in the sketch, and after that the crowd seemed to buy into the concept more. A sketch where it's more from characters in the audience's point of view for something like this, like the punk rock one from WKYK (NSFW) generally work better.
posted by burnmp3s at 3:40 PM on June 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Guys, this is not good. I'm serious guys. Not good.

I'm pretty sure that the AV Club and the Splitsider website have gotten more hits than SNL had viewers this week. Which inevitably means that they're likely to turn the awkward up to 11 from here on out.
posted by Blue_Villain at 5:38 PM on June 27, 2013


What they should do is sell about 12-15 tickets per week to their table read.

I like the idea, I'd love to buy a ticket, and I favorited the comment. But. This is effectively the function of the dress rehearsal. It's a feature of the system that stuff gets chucked after dress.

One of the little-known features of the show itself is that sometimes, the version of a sketch from dress is played during the West Coast tape delay "live" show, and the version found on the DVDs may be from either the show or dress.
posted by dhartung at 10:19 PM on June 27, 2013


Does that mean that if the live version isn't as good as the dress version, they use the dress for West Coast? Cool. Yet another reason it's nicer out here.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:24 PM on June 27, 2013


I really really really enjoyed this sketch! Having something that isn't one of their infinite dumb talk show setups (although the talk show reveal was brilliant) and almost no laugh track at all was amazing. I think I would pay extra to watch a version of snl that was just the jokes without the laughs.
posted by jonbro at 2:37 AM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know that they think that's what the dress rehearsal is for, but my thought is that if they had a clearer, more realistic idea of what was going to survive earlier in the week that wasn't based on what they or Lorne liked, they wouldn't be wasting their time on badly constructed garbage like this and potentially cutting good stuff before it has a chance. SNL frustrates me because every year you can tell there's a lot of talent there that is not getting enough time to shine.
posted by bleep at 7:47 AM on June 28, 2013


One reason SNL sucks now is the people on it aren't very funny or talented. I mean I grew up on a cast that featured Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Chris Farley, Chris Rock... basically all the comic geniuses of that generation. So I've never so much as cracked a smile at anything Bill Hader has done.

But even back then, with all those hilarious people, people constantly complained about the quality. Two reasons:

1) 90 minutes a week is impossible to fill with solid sketches. Even 30 is an incredibly tall order.

but mainly

2) They go about writing the wrong way. Sketch comedy, from Groundlings on up to SNL, tends to be worshipful of the performers. Performers are encouraged to write whether they have any talent for it or not, and writers typically can't get a sketch of theirs in the show unless they write to the "strengths" of a certain cast member.

And typically that kind of writing means making up a wacky character or an impression that the actor thinks he can do. Actual writing, as in a funny story with a beginning, middle and end, falls completely by the wayside. That's why we have the cliche of the SNL skit that thinks of a joke then beats it into the ground for nine minutes. They confuse a premise with a completed piece of writing.
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:09 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


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