Tribeca Talks: Will Forte, Kenan Thompson on “MacGruber” and writing their own SNL sketches

Running around the city, but here's a brief glimpse inside the panel discussion that followed Sunday's Tribeca Film Festival screening of Saturday Night, James Franco's documentary look behind the scenes of a week in the life of SNL.

Dave Karger of Entertainment Weekly wondered if cast members had a grand plan in developing a new character for the show, and the panelists — Will Forte, Kenan Thompson and Jenny Slate — said no. Slate said she just hopes to make her fellow cast members laugh at the table read, and that her first recurring character as a rookie (Teena Teena Cheneuse) came about in one of those late-night writing sessions when her original sketch (which did feature a broken doorbell) wasn't going so well. Thompson agreed that he merely hoped to be funny, rather than hoping that a character would take off and become a regular. When Karger turned his attention to Forte, he wondered about how a character can take off and become a movie, as Forte's MacGruber will do later this month.

That led to this discussion between Forte and Thompson, not just about MacGruber, but also about the importance of writing your own sketches. Roll the clip (with my apologies for not getting a better spot for audio/visual quality control purposes):

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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