How do I get in touch with someone at SNL?
March 8, 2013 5:30 AM   Subscribe

I just discovered a hilariously absurd woman on Youtube. She's completely serious, but in my opinion her video is begging to be turned into an SNL skit. How do I let someone at SNL know about this potential comedy goldmine?
posted by RingerChopChop to Grab Bag (12 answers total)
I'm sure there are writers and actors from the show on Twitter - maybe send them a message and hope they see it?
posted by backwards guitar at 5:50 AM on March 8, 2013

Here is the current writing staff at SNL. I know at least a few of them are pretty active on Twitter. John Mulaney and Seth Meyers, frexample.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:50 AM on March 8, 2013

If she's completely serious, is there not a danger of taking the piss out of an unwitting member of the public?

Not that it did the Leave Britney Alone kid much harm, but still.
posted by mippy at 5:58 AM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Twitter is probably the best way to get their attention about something like this.

And mippy, I think the moment you post something for the public to see on YouTube, you're opening yourself up to anything.
posted by JMB1138 at 6:17 AM on March 8, 2013

If she's completely serious, is there not a danger of taking the piss out of an unwitting member of the public?

IAAL, IANYL, TINLA. There is no danger.

To the merits of the question, I think SNL would only pick this up if the video in question were well-known to the public. The Leave Brittany Alone kid was a good target because millions had seen the video. It doesn't make very much sense to make a skit of a YouTube video that almost everyone in the viewing audience has never seen. It would be like making a skit about an inside joke between your friends.
posted by Tanizaki at 6:35 AM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tweet at a few of the writers, but be prepared to be ignored because I'm sure they're regularly bombarded by "I have a great idea for a sketch!" tweets.
posted by wolfnote at 7:37 AM on March 8, 2013

I'm inclined to believe SNL wouldn't bother to parody a YouTube/internet/twitter/viral thing unless it's become so huge that the majority of the viewership would know about it and get the joke.

In other words, you don't need to inform the writers about your target. If she's crazy and popular enough... they'll find her.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:59 AM on March 8, 2013

Thanks for the replies! I don't have a twitter account, but that seems to be the best way to send out the idea.

I should clarify that it's the personality of the person in the videos that's funny -- not what actually happens in the videos -- sort of like "Target Lady" or "Sally O'Malley".
posted by RingerChopChop at 8:29 AM on March 8, 2013

Not to rain on the parade, but this sort of isn't how the writing process for a sketch comedy show (or any mainstream TV show) works. Much of what writers are doing when pitching at SNL is trying to be the one whose sketch gets on air, preferably toward the front of the show, and to incidentally please their mercurial bosses while doing so.

Pop culture references (and mentions of popular YouTube videos are just that) certainly can help, because the material is familiar and engaging to an audience. But no writer who sees themselves as one of the best comedy writers on TV, as SNL writers tend to, is bereft of ideas for characters and just waiting for an unsolicited suggestion from a brand-new Twitter account about a YouTube video of an actual person's behavior to emulate.

That's not to say you don't have a good sense of what's an entertaining and absurd video on YouTube, but the connection between "I found this funny video" and "I'm going to get it to SNL and someone there will turn it into a character" is a bit tenuous.
posted by anildash at 8:54 AM on March 8, 2013 [6 favorites]

I've known a few television writers, and there is a less than zero percent chance that this will get aired on SNL or any of the other (very few) sketch comedy shows on the air. Your best bet is to take your idea to a local comedy troupe and and either give it to them or, if you're extremely lucky, sell it to them for a very nominal amount (think $25). If you live in a bigger city, there should be plenty of chances to approach members, but in all honesty your chances are none to less-than-slim of ever getting it produced in any sort of professional setting.

Alternatively, you could write it yourself, get together a few friends and shoot it with an HD camera, edit it using any one of the plethora of ways available to the amateur, and stick it up on Youtube. Promote the hell out of it - who knows, this could be the start of a whole new career.
posted by item at 9:38 AM on March 8, 2013

If it's HER video, you need HER permission to write a skit based on it. SNL and any other TV writers will not be able to adapt it without her permission, and even then, it's unlikely that they'll do so.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:11 PM on March 8, 2013

If it's HER video, you need HER permission to write a skit based on it.

That's probably not true. It's far more likely you need no permissions. If you're not directly quoting her or passing off her work as your own, and are instead lampooning her, her personality, even her presentation format, it's probably very much fair game. Parody is really well protected in defamation law, and if it's a basic idea for a show concept, that's not proprietary. Likely it would be fine, legality-wise. Ethically is another story, and interest from professional writers still another story.
posted by Miko at 8:35 PM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

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