Q. How do I query Saturday Night Live? I've written some sketches for them.
Ideally you'd have an agent, but barring that, I'd guess you contact either the production office, Lorne Michaels' office, or track down the individual writers and ask them politely if you could send them your two best sketches. They're probably always looking for people who can bring the funny.
Ken, what do you think?
Actualy SNL has a strict 'invite only' policy. You have to either A) know someone who can get them to look at your sketch packet(10 scenes usualy) or B) Get noticed as a stand up or C) Get noticed as a member of the Groundlings or the Second City.
The idea is someone has to decide your worth looking at.
Go to Second City...take all their classes etc. A friend who I knew in AZ before moving out here did this when he got to LA. This past year he was signed to SNL. Of course they never seem to use him...
I second Bry's observation, with a few additional notes: Go to your nearest improv theater--the Second City would be nice, but it's not the only option. Take a slew of classes, make friends, put up your own sketch comedy show. Tape the show and submit it to festivals. Travel around, putting up your show every chance you get. Write 100s of sketches, put them up, revise them, try them again. Make short films with a cheap camera and put those up too. In other words: If you really love sketch comedy (and don't just want to work on SNL), follow your passion. You might end up on SNL, or you might end up with a small cult following, but either way, you'll have a blast.
The comment element in all this advice?
It takes a while. And it takes a lot of effort. A lot.
The reality is if you're a young comedy writer, you may think your stuff is grand - but it probably isn't. the only way to tune your comic sensibility for sketch is to throw sketches up on stage, and hone them, and work them, and make them perfect.
As much as SNL does seem to suck (or so the hoary conv. wisdom goes) the people who write it don't...they're all very smart, and they have all been doing it a very long time. Even the twenty one year old writer, you'll find, has somehow been doing sketch stuff for five years, six years.
There's no such thing as a "brand new" comic on that show. Even Eddie Murphy had some experience when they signed him.
There's no replacement for going out and doing the work. That means improv. That means doing shows. And that also probably means that after you do it for a while and you look at the package that you want to submit to SNL you will be horrified and throw most of it away.
If you're lucky, you get the one shot. One. The only way to be ready -- is to be ready.
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