I always wanted to be on SNL. But I never knew what was involved in breaking into that magical world where you rubbed the right elbows and got the right meetings scheduled. It wasn’t until later, a little late but not too late, that I found out how the process really works.
You have to become famous in your own right. You have to be the top of the pops where funny is concerned – beyond the realm of mere laughter and alcohol fumes, you have to resonate with a kind of explosive power that even you don’t fully understand. Then, one day, as you’re headed back to the dressing room or the green room or wherever they stash you in between, and the applause is still ringing in your ears and you’re still moving a little fast because the adrenaline is still pumping, that’s when they’ll come to you. Just one or two men in casual suits, maybe one of them in a blazer and well worn jeans, and they’ll hand you a card and say ‘Lorne would like to see you. Bring your best 5 minutes.’ They’ll be gone too fast for you to question what happened. The card with their privileged contact information will practically evaporate in your hands.
You’ll arrive at the designated address, and the astonished doorman will have to turn a special key to allow you access to the floor where you’ll meet the producers. The elevator will open onto the empty, partition-less floor of a building that seems much bigger on the inside than it had on the outside.
Blackness will envelop you as the doors close behind you, and Lorne will be sitting before you. He will be seated in a plush leather chair, swirling the ashes of John Belushi in his urn as one might a snifter of fine brandy. You realize you’ve entered onto a low thrust stage, and as you walk toward the small white X painted on the floor, you hear Lorne intone ‘Alright, lets see what you have.’
You give him the best 5 minutes you’ve ever done in your life.
You barely have time to say ‘Thank you,’ before you feel a mild pinch in the side of your neck. Was it a blow dart, or a syringe? One can’t say, but you black out efficiently, and awake on the sidewalk outside of a three story brownstone in Yonkers. Taped to your hand is a disposable cell phone. Either it rings, or it doesn’t. Either way, behind it, in your palm, you’ll find a $20 bill which should get you to the train station.