An overflowing crowd — 320 crammed in the main room, standing room only watching on closed circuit from the bar — filled Comix last night to witness a touch of Saturday Night Live and raise money for the Writers Guild of America in their ongoing strike.
Host Jason Sudeikis (Strike Beard Color Code Brown!) amiably presided, reminding the crowd a few minutes into the proceedings, "I don’t do stand-up…if that’s not evident at this point!" The Sudeikis clan is doubly hit by the WGA strike: His wife, Kay Cannon, writes for 30 Rock. "Make sure you don’t watch it on the Internet," Sudeikis implored. "At least for a little while." He also noted that during his extended free time, he has found that many people have offered sketch suggestions to him via his MySpace page. "They send in sketch ideas, which is great, because I don’t get enough of them from my family," he said. Not in a good way. Obviously. Also obvious, these suggestions and characters will never make the air: presidential candidate Capt. Donkey Dick, an extended conversation about an incident at a lighting job, Dancing With Cripples, and Chief Blubber Lips, the fat gay Indian (for diversity).
Moving on…current and former SNL writers took the stage for some stand-up sets, including Bryan Tucker, Colin Jost, Leo Allen and Eric Slovin. Which reminds me, the bigger treats last night were the videos. Slovin and Allen presented a short film of theirs, "The Photo Session," which Allen told me afterward isn’t available yet online, but you should keep your eyes out for it because it’s a fun conceptual premise and well executed.
An SNL Digital Short that didn’t make it past the dress rehearsal of the Hugh Laurie show in October 2006 featured Andy Samberg and Fred Armisen desperately trying to get noticed on Gawker‘s Gawker Stalker and US magazine’s Just Like Us features, even going so far as to saunter about the offices of Gawker and US magazine, although they apparently didn’t let on eggsactly what was up at the time. This vid climaxed with an assist from Matthew Broderick.
Two videos from SNL writer Akiva Schaffer showcased Kristen Wiig (who sat in the back of the room sporting some seriously blonde locks) in ads for "Virgania Horsen’s Hot Air Balloon Rides." No idea if this is meant for SNL or The Lonely Island or something else altogether. Either way, funny stuff.
We also saw Episode 4 of The Jeannie Tate Show (see below)…
Anchoring the show were surprise guest Janeane Garofalo (subbing last-minute for Samberg and Armisen who were no-shows) and Darrell Hammond. Garofalo joked about how the strike has impacted her new TV gig: "I was on a show called 24. Now it’s called 8. Jack Bauer’s got his work cut out for him!" Garofalo acknowledged the irony in playing a character that out-Chloe’s Chloe when she herself doesn’t have a computer or e-mail, joking that the show’s producers had to use a stunt double for her computer keyboard scenes. Also on Garofalo’s mind last night: Natalie Portman is so angelic she probably never uses the bathroom; Dane Cook’s "mass mob adulation" by his fans is what’s responsible for us being in Iraq — "his popularity to me is an X-File," she quipped; she got into beading whiling away the hours as a federal grand jury member recently; and she doesn’t want to get married or have children. As for Hammond, introduced by Sudeikis as "a comedy ninja," he barreled through 25 minutes of material and impersonations and blamed it (or credited it) to being on Vicodin.