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October 30, 2006


To celebrate the anniversary of our Lord and savior (President William Howard Taft) being nailed to a pumpkin, and then rising again three days later as a scary, scary ghost demanding candy, The Van Gogh-Goghs present our collection of Halloween comedy!

October 24, 2006

Vote on the best SNL team!

The Van Gogh-Goghs need YOU! We've created our fantasy Saturday Night Live casts! We had a draft, went through the rounds, oy such drama! Well now it's time for you, the Internet surfing public to cast your vote for the best team!!!! Use the comments link to post YOUR VOTE!

As a reminder, here are the team rosters:

Galen Black's Team: John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Jan Hooks, Tina Fey (newscaster), Don Novello, Billy Crystal, Garrett Morris, Maya Rudolph, Fred Armisen, Terry Sweeney.

Charles Rempel's Team: Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Jon Lovitz, Darrell Hammond, Joe Piscopo, Ben Stiller, Nora Dunn, Jane Curtin, Kristen Wiig, Jane Curtin (newscaster).

Rob Terrell's Team: Chevy Chase (newscaster), Will Ferrell, Chevy Chase, Chris Kattan, David Spade, Tim Meadows, Rachel Dratch, Molly Shannon, Cheri Oteri, Jimmy Fallon.

Alan Benson's Team: Al Franken, Dennis Miller (newscaster), Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman, Harry Shearer, Mary Gross, A. Whitney Brown, Tim Kazurinsky, Danitra Vance, Michael O’Donoghue.

Jason Torchinsky's Team: Phil Hartman, Chris Elliott, Chris Rock, Martin Short, Christopher Guest, Brian Doyle-Murray, Kevin Nealon (newscaster), Sarah Silverman, Julia Sweeney, Amy Poehler.

T. Mike Childs' Team: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Rob Schneider, Horatio Sanz, Victoria Jackson, Ana Gasteyer, Robin Duke, Norm MacDonald (newscaster).

Use the comments link to post YOUR VOTE for the best (and worst) team!!!

The best defense is a good offense

In the defense of his fantasy Saturday Night Live team: T. Mike has only one thing to say:

T. Mike's team eats bitches like your teams and shits them out like the bitches they are. Bitch, you just got bitch-shitted, bitch- how’s that make your bitch self feel, bitch?

All y'all haterz just be riding T. Mike's jock.

October 23, 2006

Pumpkin-mutilation tips!

It's Halloween time again, when Black Santa hitches up his eight tiny daemons to his sleigh and brings candy and terror to all the good and terrified kids. Then he chugs the glass of blood you left for him and makes his way back to his Dark Castle in Romania. Good times!

And, no Halloween is complete without some ritualistic pumpkin-multilation, so why not use these Classic Van Gogh-Gogh Pumpkin Carving tips?

October 15, 2006

Train Wrecks are Funny, Too

Disgust, pity, and dismay are like three old, dear, familiar friends to me, and this whole fantasy SNL draft thing sure gave them ample opportunity to pay me a visit. Now, I realize that my cast selections have been viewed with the most confusion and anger, so I suppose I'd better take a moment and explain exactly what the hell it was that I was thinking, and, as many of you have speculated, smoking.

First off, I don't recall smoking anything, unless you count a clove cigaratte packed with hash and soaked in PCP, which I don't.

And, for my thinking, I suspect that I viewed this whole fantasy Saturday Night Live cast thing in a very different way than everyone else. See, I was putting a lot of stock into the 'fantasy' part, meaning my goal was to pick the cast that I'd most like to see. All this crap about statistics and formulae and generally playing this thing to "win" strikes me as pretty sad, but what the hell.

Also, it should be made clear that I haven't donated any rat parts whatsoever about SNL since I was in high school. Like most dorks, I loved SNL when I was between 13-18, and it sure as hell was an influence in my dream to one day fail to make it as a bigshot comic. But, as I grew older, the shows seemed more and more tedious, and after a few years it became hard to imagine anything more unpleasant than trying to sit through the lumbering last half hour of the show. I'm wildly unfamiliar with any of the recent casts, too. Now, don't get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for those who've made it to SNL, whether I like what they do or not; it's just that recently, it hasn't grabbed me in that improper way I wish it would.

But I know what I like, and I know what and who I think is funny. And I tried to pick those people. I didn't really factor what these people did on SNL as much as their larger body of work and the percieved potential they have: I mean, after all, this is a FANTASY cast, right? So why limit a talented cast member just to what some short-sighted and unadventurous producer could see at some time in the past? I mean, my first pick was a fucking DEAD man; why can't I extrapolate some of the great stuff I know Sarah SIlverman is capable of?

And, I have another, hidden agenda: I love trouble. I like my television a bit chaotic and nothing's more exciting to see on TV than a total disaster, LIVE! I'd like my cast to have the potential for that. I think my cast may be the most likely one to get bleeped until it sounds like an EBS warning signal. I think my cast may be the most likely to have the show abruptly end midway into a wildly ill-advised but hopefully funny sketch. I hope for picketing, boycotts, fires, pixellated nudity, bedlam.

Hopefully this helps understand my cast: I have pretty much an even split between very funny, adaptable and capable players and unpredictable, funny, troublemakers.

On the stable side I have Phil Hartman, a colossally talented man who can pull off most anything; clearly, he's the foundation of whatever's going to actually work on the show. I have Christopher Guest, also a gifted character performer and improviser, and Martin Short, energetic, adaptable and solid. Julia Sweeney is a skilled character-generator and had one of the few SNL characters to make the transition to a movie (which flopped, like most of these SNL-characters- to-movies do, so I won't hold that against her). Along with them we have relative newcomer Amy Poehler, who also seems to have what it takes to hold some funny shit together, and everyone says is being used an assload in the current season. This group is Order.

Then we have Chaos. Chris Elliott, picked way too early (technically) solely because I've always found Chris Elliot hilarious and I don't give a damn what anyone thinks. He's great and a he's a loon, and I know this could be used far better than he was actually employed on the show. Remeber him on Letterman? Guy Under the Stairs? Fugitive Guy? Marlon Brando? I know that wasn't on SNL, but it's fantasy, remember? Sarah Silverman, while, yes, minimal on the actual show, has proved herself since then to be funny, offensive, and fearless: all qualities that could be put to very effective use. Chris Rock is a funny man in his own right, and has some untapped character skills once you get past that voice. He can be really great in the right contexts.

And, okay, Brian Doyle Murray was mostly picked for his mild obesity and his former work with Chris Elliott, where he always had a very funny gruff-but-revolting kind of charm.

Kevin Nealon was a good newscaster; his porn reviews consiting entirely of descibing his level of interest are now even more relevant, and I remember always liking his "what I'm really trying to say" editorials.

This is a lot of rambling, but I suppose you nice internet folks deserve some justification for my admittedly unconventional casting. I think if you keep in mind that my goals are divided between great sketch comedy and spectacular disaster, it makes sense. I expect much my cast to be banned from performing about halfway through the season, but it should prove a hell of a ride.

The Magnificent 10 Samurai

In the classic Japanese film Shichinin no Samurai, Yul Brenner plays a cowboy who along with six other gun slinging samurai protect a small Japanese village of Mexican peasants from marauding Mexican Samurai bandits. The heroes not only protect the village, but teach the townspeople to fight for themselves as well.

The Magnificent 10 Samurai will do the same and not only protect you from bandits in this league whose aim is to steal your laughter, but they will teach you poor villagers to laugh again.

The unmatched comic legends John Belushi and Gilda Radner lead my team of comedic Samurai. Each brings to the fight a wealth of characters and imitations that transcend time. Blush’s wields mighty swords and brings his shinning steel swinging: The Samurai Futaba, "Cheeboyger, Cheeboyger", Joe Cocker, The Bee, and of course the only Blues Brother that matters, "Joliet" Jake Blues. Radner enters this competition with guns a blazing: Baba Wawa, Emily Litella, the nerd Lisa Loopner, and of course the incomparable Roseanne Roseannadanna.

I could sideline both my leads for a week and you'd barely know they're gone, because Billy Crystal and Jan Hooks will be there to keep the laughs flying. You don't believe me? Billy Crystal brings Fernando Lamas, Joe Franklin, Muhammad Ali (an impression even the Champ loved) and Sammy Davis Jr. Jan Hooks can transform herself into a hilarious interpretation of any female in the news and her experience with Hillary Clinton will surely come in handy for the next two years.

When Saturday Night Live is at it's worst, usually Weekend Update is still worth waiting for. Weekend Update was the Daily Show before Jon Stewart told his first joke. There have been some mighty fine anchors through the years, but none brought the intelligent wit that Ms. Tina Fey has charmed us with. She's one of the top 3 weekend update anchors of all time, logging more time behind the desk than any other SNL alum. When you're tired of laughing at Belushi, Radner, Crystal and Hooks, Fey's gonna ride into town and give you even more to laugh at.

If I were a good sport I would tell my top players to knock off early every show and we'd catch up with them at the after party. I could, without fear, leave the final third of the show to my remaining cast and no one would turn the channel before the final wave goodnight. Just look at the rest of my field: Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Garrett Morris, Don Novello, and of course Terry Sweeney. Rudolph has the funny singing chops to skewer any pop sensation past, present or future. Her ambiguous race gives her the power to slip into any character regardless of being black, white, Hispanic or space alien. Her and Fred Armisen give me versatility in characters unmatched by any cast in this competition.

Garrett Morris is my secret weapon against whitey. Morris was woefully underused in his stint on SNL, but as a member of the Magnificent 10 Samurai that mistake will not be repeated.

I've been told Don Novello is just a one trick pony. Well, duh! That's why I picked him; I picked him for his fabulous one trick. In the current political and religious climate the world needs Father Guido Sarducci more than ever. Why SNL didn't have the good father back on the air at the height of the pedophile priest scandal is a mystery to me.

Finally, I present Terry Sweeney. There's nothing more funny in comedy than a man in a dress, if you don't believe me ask the Kids in the Hall, Monty Python and Uncle Miltie. Cross Dressing is funny and that's a fact and no one on SNL did it better.

There you have it, the best team in this fantasy league. The Magnificent Ten Samurai.

October 11, 2006

Violated by Bears Man Shirts Finally here!

Who says we don't listen to our fans? Other than our fans? Well, we do. Because we've gotten requests for Violated by Bears Man shirts, and now we have them.

Now you too can look like America's most pitiable superhero!

October 10, 2006

In Defense of The Gumby Lounge Singers

Now that the draft is complete, and Rob has enlightened us with his scientific approach to sketch comedy (which sure explains a lot about Rob’s sketch comedy “career”), I feel duty-bound to share with you the greatness that is The Gumby Lounge Singers (and if you don’t know the derivation of the name, may I suggest a more remedial class?).

Alan had a great idea about naming a bandleader, and since it was his addition to the game, I’m following his rules. I’m guessing I can pick an actual Saturday Night Live bandleader if I want, but he picked a memorable musical act from the many who performed on SNL: Shane MacGowan, drunken frontman of The Pogues. In that same vein, I’m picking a musician with a checkered SNL past: Elvis Costello. He was banned from the show for switching songs (he was asked not to play “Radio Radio” because of its lyrics, and he switched during the live show, which also put the show behind schedule), but he’s back in the good graces again, and he’s my choice to lead the band.

So with Elvis Costello conducting, and the band blaring the SNL theme, it’s time to meet the cast. Don Pardo, take it away!

I said, Don Pardo, take it away!

Hmm, Don must be at lunch. Okay, I’ll tell you about The Gumby Lounge Singers:

The men
Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Jon Lovitz, Darrell Hammond, Joe Piscopo, and Ben Stiller

This may be the best collection of male cast members in the league. I have two charismatic leading men in Murphy and Murray. Lovitz and Piscopo would be the stars on any other cast, but here they complement the top bananas with legendary characters of their own. Impressions will be a team strength, especially with Hammond and Piscopo anchoring the squad. Even Ben Stiller (who I mistakenly picked over Tracy Morgan) will contribute through his impressions and boyish charm.

The women
Nora Dunn, Jane Curtin, and Kristen Wiig

I’m very happy with the women I’ve selected, I think they are all immensely talented and three of the best actresses to perform on SNL, yet I can see that in general they fit the same category. Dunn has some crazy characters, and really it’s too early in Wiig’s career to generalize, but the three of them have a more subtle approach to sketch comedy. I could have an awesome Nora Ephron-written sketch about three society women at lunch with these ladies. I should have grabbed a goofball like Rachel Dratch or Cheri Oteri to complement the styles (hmmm, Rob has Oteri and Dratch, along with Molly Shannon; looks like he’s in the same situation only with goofballs).

The Weekend Update anchor
Jane Curtin

Like I said in the Round Ten summary, Curtin was one of the earliest (replacing Chevy Chase behind the desk), one of the longest-running (80 episodes, tied for third most all-time), and simply one of the best anchors ever on Saturday Night Live. She has a great catchphrase, “Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow,” and that is critical for a quality anchor. She’ll have to bring her “A” game every week, though; unlike other casts (especially Alan’s), my team is a little weak at Update commentaries. Thank the heavens above for Darrell Hammond.

Overall, I’m very pleased. Is this the perfect cast? Of course not, but no cast ever will. The Gumby Lounge Singers, though, has to be considered one of the favorites to win the Fantasy SNL League.

October 09, 2006

Jason, You Ignorant Slut

This is the response to Jason and Charles' responses to "SNL Draft - the morning after" email. The relevant portions of their responses are quoted within this email.

To my bitches Jason and Charles,

I expected something like this. Anger, vitriol, personal attacks. Such is the lot of the Scientist, bearing the light of truth to the world. Like a missionary bearing an altogether different kind of truth, you run at me with your spears, you tie me to the stake, you set your lions upon me. However, unlike those missionaries, I can use my Science and her collected Truths to build a force-field and deathray, fuck y'all up good, and eat some well-broiled lion meat for lunch.

Yes, I expected a reaction not unlike ignorant primitive natives hooting in fear at a flashlight. Truth is, my sweet bitches. I took a pattern of seemingly random data, data that you (in the mists of your ignorance) could only assemble into order by personal preference, and arranged it according to the hidden but undeniable order that Science, in her sweet benevolence, revealed.

Most of us have hardly given SNL a glance in recent years. The draft was doubtless biased towards the cast members of our youth. I aimed to rectify that, with Science.

Like some ancient cro-mag trying to make sense of a comet, you simply applied your personal experience and called what you saw fire, when in fact it was the coldest of space-ice streaming steam into the void. Your seemingly red-hot Martin Shorts and Chris Elliots are nothing more than that, my sweet bitches: hot air. I would no more assemble them into a cast than shove Science's sweet flashlight of truth up my own rectum.

Speaking of which, Jason said:

Billy Crystal 27.5
Tim Kazurinsky 29
Al Franken 38
Martin Short 21
Kevin Nealon 74.5
Mike Myers 72.5

These are numbers we trust? Kazurinsky trumps Crystal? Franken is
nearly twice the cast member of Short? Nealon is slightly better
than Myers?

I'm afraid, dear Rob, the only bitch here is the one that soaked
that strap-on in liquid crack before she fucked you with it.

Jason, you ignorant slut. So much must be explained to you. Please, I beg of you, stop shoving dirt into your orifices and listen to me.

Science straps on 8" inches of pure fact. Take solace in the knowledge that you're not the first to feel her gentle, truthful caresses, which to your pig-ignorant mind feels like a rough ass-fucking. You'd best bear down like you're taking a shit, brother, because when Science pushes in, it's not stopping until its entire hot load of Truth has been deposited. I assume it will be deposited in your bowels, despite the more obvious utility to your brain.

First, you neglected to account for the margin of error. I elided it from the original discussion, under the assumption that each of you would perform such a simple calculation in your head while reading the document. However, as is now clear, performing simple sums on your fingers is a skill you lack. From this it's clear that simple everyday Science, like the beautiful geometric topology of How To Tie Your Shoes, escapes you.

How do you survive? I watch you all with fascination, as you run about your daily lives as beheaded chickens jog about the barnyard. I don't quite know how you do it, but I can say this: I am going to try to be off the roads when I know you are driving.

My apologies, I did not intend a diversion comprised of an honest, frank and unemotional assessment of your qualities. I simply meant to state that, within the margin of error, yes, TK > BC.

And please take note: although this is the revealed Truth today, as we are able to refine both our data and our formula, this revealed Truth may itself be revealed as falsehood. This, of course, is the way of Science. I don't expect you to understand it, my sweet but ignorant bitches, and I expect you will now attack me, saying that I am using Science to bulwark any argument as I see fit. However, it remains Truth, too, that you're ignorant pig-fuckers, unworthy of speaking her name.

It's hardly worth my time explaining it in a way that you can understand. I would draw you a chart, but as you have no paper or pencils in this dump you call your home, and as I can only draw so many charts and diagrams with my finger in the dirt floors you use for both writing and excreting on, I hardly expect any Truth to sink into your ignorance-hardened melons.

Charles said:

You can't just take years of service without any modifiers... Also,
impressions are easier than original characters to create, thus
skewing the rankings in favor of the impersonators (Hammond,
Carver, Hartman, et al.)...And no value for "Best Of" DVDs?
Having a DVD should garner points, and more points the better
it sells.

Charles: I fully agree that the formula could use some refinement. Indeed, I was hoping to spark a discussion on that very topic, rather than simply hold myself up for public ridicule. To be clear, I was hoping for both, not just the one. Certainly, I accept the ridicule as any who attempts to bring The Way to a group of mindlessly ignorant pig-fuckers as yourselves.

Regardless, you seem to be somewhat less both pig-ignorant and pig-fucking than your fellows (who have responded with either vitriol or deaf-and-dumb silence), so let us now speak of the maths. You do know the maths, don't you?

Using your concepts combined with my own, I propose the following formula:

score = (A x m1) + (B x m2) + (C x m3) + (D x m4) + (E x m5) + (F x m6)


A = number of seasons in the cast
B = number of guest appearances
C = number of characters performed
D = number of impressions performed
E = number of SNL DVDs released under cast member's name
F = number of repeating skits cast member was a player in

and where the other factors, Scientifically known as the "mustard factorials," are:

m1 = 2.5
m2 = 3.5
m3 = 1
m4 = 1.25
m5 = 4
m6 = 2

So that, a cast member's DVD release is worth the most of all; a guest appearance, which must mean someone likes you, is worth nearly as much; and years of service count less, as do repeating skits. Appearing in skits or as repeating characters is worth something, too, so those on the cast who performed less would receive fewer points overall. Also, there are other potential variables to consider: sales figures (total units sold) for said DVDs, and number of awards won as staff members.

If you have somehow managed to read this far without hurting yourself in the brain, my bitches, I hereby open the floor -- for debate only, please, Jason, stop crapping in the corner -- to discussion on this valuable topic.

I am, sincerely, yours in Science.

SNL Draft - the morning after

This email was sent by Rob to the others the morning after the draft.

So, Good morning, bitches. (No offense intended; I use that term scientifically, as I will explain below.) I hope you've slept off your draft-induced hangovers and are now staring, groggily, at your poor excuse for a cast, wondering what in God's name you were thinking. Because your cast sucks. At least, from the scientific standpoint.

Science is that wonderful arbiter of objectivity. (Objectivity is that wonderful trait that helps us avoid, say, picking Chris Elliot when Bill Murray is still available.) Science is based on fact and observation. Using the SNL web site, I was able to download a series of facts about each of the cast members: number of seasons on the cast, number of guest appearances, number of repeating characters, and number of impressions performed. Using these stats, I devised a formula to generate each player's objective "power ranking."

The formula is weighted, so that some factors matter more (i.e. if you're on the cast for just one season, you're not getting ranked very high, no matter how many impressions you can do).

Based on this formula, the top ten cast members include: Phil Hartman (#1 power ranking), Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, Dana Carvey, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz, and Jan Hooks. Each of these had a power ranking of 78 or higher. (Galen -- your side bet was a sucker's bet.)

Now, although only a few of these are emotional fan favorites, please remember, science knows best. Many emotional favorites are near the top of the list, to be sure, so they get their due. But it's true that some founding cast members tend to trail some of the more recent cast members, perhaps because their lust for Hollywood, cocaine, or the grave led them to leave the show too early, and thus not develop the "power" of, say, a Horatio Sanz.

Some of the worst are: Peter Akroyd (1.5 power score), Chris Elliot (a 3.5 score) and Sarah Silverman (a 4.5 score) -- sorry, Jason. For reference, Gilbert Gottfried is scored at 4.5. So you can see, the rankings do work. But some of our favorites are these cellar dwellers. Drafting favorites, or hiring a cast member because you wish you could fuck her, can lead to very low power rankings, and herpes.

So, how did we do? Not so good. Galen's number-one overall pick, John Belushi, had a power ranking of 23. The number two pick overall, Charles' Eddie Murphy, had a power ranking of 40. My pick, number three overall, was Chevy Chase with a power ranking of 31. Clearly, Billy Beane we're not.

By this formula, each cast's combined power ranking is (in draft order):

Galen: 408.5

Galen's cast is, from the first pick, mid-level players. Not until he drafts Jan Hooks (his third selection) does he sniff the top ten. Don Novello (#63) was picked at least two rounds too early. Amazingly, Galen left plenty of firepower on the table with each pick. I'll admit it. He rattled me. I could not imagine what he was thinking. I suppose he was aiming for a funny, rather than powerful, cast. Weird. What saved his bacon were the late picks of Fred Amisen (power ranking of 26) and Maya Rudolph (power ranking of 18) in the late rounds. Tina Fey (#60 overall, #5 anchor) for news was a solid, although not spectacular, choice.

Charles: 472

Now, clearly, Charles knows this shit cold. He's obviously participated in many mock drafts before, and he was ready to intimidate. After Galen's pick of John Belushi for #1 overall, Charles lets Galen know: "YOU FUCKED UP!!!" Indeed, Galen did. But then so did Charles. His pick, for #2 overall, was Eddie Murphy -- a top 50 candidate, to be sure, but he ignored Phil Hartman (power ranking #1). Charles proceeds to load up from the top tier of the power rankings: Murray (#21), Lovitz (#8 power ranking), and later Hammond (#4) and Piscopo (#26). But he's picking with heart, not his brain. A man of science would have cherry-picked Hammond before Murray. And later he picks Stiller (#74), who apparently stored up his power-ranking for his own TV show. After the 4th round selection of Nora Dunn (#34), Charles thought Kristen Wiig (#82) was the best woman left -- forgetting that Tina Fey (#60) was still available as an actress. Or maybe he had the yips: Julia-Louis Dreyfus (#52), Ana Gasteyer (#12), Julia Sweeney (#49), Amy Poehler (#13), and Rachel Dratch (#11) were all available when he made his boneheaded Ben Stiller pick. But overall, Charles' cast is one of the strongest.

(I'll save myself for last.)

Alan: 257

From the very first -- Al Franken (#37) -- Alan dug himself into the cellar. It was yet another first-round selection that let #1 Phil Hartman slide. Luckily, Dan Ackroyd (#18) and Laraine Newman (#36) were huge finds lingering in the third and fourth rounds, but Alan followed those good discoveries with draft dodgers Harry Shearer (#58) and A. Whitney Brown (#71). Harry Shearer makes sense if you follow up with Christopher Guest and get some Spinal Tap skits out of it, but A. Whitney Brown in the sixth round? Hammond, Meadows, Crystal and Piscopo were all still available. (And Hammond and Meadows were still sitting at the presumed lottery picks' table, looking more and more forlorn, their mommas crying into their big hats, as minor role take their guaranteed salaries. A travesty.) Alan does show good sense in picking up Dennis Miller in the second round, #10 overall. A good choice, because aside from his low overall score (#71) as he's the #2 news anchor in the entire draft. I had planned on taking Miller with my first round pick, until I saw that Galen and Charles left Chevy Chase (#31 overall, #1 anchor) for the pickings. Alan mops up with Gross and Vance -- both going in garbage rounds as expected -- but Alan loses all sense by picking O'Donoghue (#105) in the final round, with a dozen more powerful players undrafted.

T. Mike: 534

The crazy-eye killa of this draft. He knew that, by his draft position, he'd get consecutive picks. Therefore, he could pick up any matched pair. And he got the #1 duo on the table: Myers (#15) and Carvey (#5). I'm sure he picked them in reverse power-ranking order just to fuck with our heads. Then, he picks up an all-star top-fifty supporting cast: Farley (#26), Sandler (#28), Schneider (#44), and somehow finds top-ten pick Horation Sanz (#10) in the sixth. Once the men are secured, he turns his steely-yet-crazy-eyed gaze upon the women: Jackson (#51), Gasteyer (#13), and Duke (#66). Please note that T. Mike did not make a selection below the top 66, while one of y'all bitches dipped below #66 four times -- twice below 100. Who might that be?

Jason: 337.5

Jason, who claimed at the start to be the most unprepared, proved true to his word. After a making us all look dumb with his first selection, Phil Hartman (#1), Jason stank up the joint with Chris Elliot (#108). Chris Rock (#45) was a poor third-round pick, given the talent left. Martin Short (#56), Christopher Guest (#79), and Sarah Silverman (#103) were all picked a round or two too early. What's going on? Have we found our Billy Beane? No, clearly not, as he picks the loathesome Brian Doyle-Murray (#75) and even worse Kevin Nealon (#7 anchor) for the news desk. Amy Poehler (#20) in the last round would have been an inspired selection, if it had in fact been inspired, rather than desperately picking the first remaining female cast member Galen could name.

Rob: 733

You see, you're all my bitches. Scientifically speaking, of course.

My plan was to lock in the best newscaster I could first, and then build a cast around that. I expected to settle happily for Dennis Miller, but as I said Galen rattled me, but I was able to recover and select Chevy Chase (#1 news anchor) in the first round. I took Will Ferrell (#2) in the second round, and Chris Kattan (#4) in the third -- a choice that everyone thought was mind-bogglingly dumb. (His nearly 100 power points, combined with Will Ferrell's and Tim Meadows' (#7), by themselves beats Jason's total cast score.) I was playing to win, bitches. I doubled up on Chase as actor -- a dumb move, considering who was left: Sanz, Farley, Hammond, et al. My heart was pounding with the excitement, and doubtless all that blood it sent into my brain was having some affect on my logic and reason. I knew that drafting Spade (#29) was like trading for Sprewell -- the fans will hate the move, but his 47 points were sorely needed. Then I added Cheri Oteri (#22) for the Spartan Cheerleader skit (I half expected Charles to block me on that). Then I saw Meadows (#6) was still available, so I got them too. Molly Shannon (#19) and Rachel Dratch (#11) and were also highly-ranked undrafted players, so I mopped up with them. In the garbage round, somehow Jimmy Fallon (#8 overall, 90 power points) was standing there, hat in hand, so I grabbed him. Again, my last four selections beat Alan's total combined cast score.

Now, secure in the knowledge of your bitchiness, you may be asking "These power rankings do, indeed, reveal heretofore unseen truths about the casts. But could they be improved?" Absolutely, but only in the context of the casts themselves. For instance, while my cast is entirely all-stars, what if they don't gel?

T. Mike's cast is, in fact, the cast whose parts fit together the best. This can be easily shown by listing all of the skits that his cast can perform -- i.e. Mike Myers + Dana Carvey = Wayne's World. And along these lines, Charles' cast could too be a contender for the best cast.

The next step for these rankings is for me to generate a list of all skits and all cast members, and determine the total number of known skits that can be performed by each cast. Popular or funny skits will be weighted more highly than unpopular or unfunny skits.

Then, we'll really see who's the bitch here. Scientifically speaking, that is.

-- Rob

RndDrafterDrafteeDraftee ScoreDraftee Rank
1GalenJohn Belushi5523
CharlesEddie Murphy3240
RobChevy Chase4531
AlanAl Franken3837
JasonPhil Hartman1131
T.MikeMike Myers72.515
2T.MikeDana Carvey99.55
jasonChris Elliott3.5107
AlanDennis Miller1369
RobWill Ferrell1112
CharlesBill Murray5721
GalenGilda Radner42.532
3GalenJan Hooks7810
CharlesJon Lovitz81.58
RobChris Kattan103.54
AlanDan Aykroyd71.517
JasonChris Rock2945
T.MikeChris Farley51.525
4T.MikeNorm MacDonald3241
jasonMartin Short2156
AlanLaraine Newman38.536
RobChevy Chase4531
CharlesNora Dunn39.534
GalenTina Fey1960
5GalenDon Novello16.563
CharlesJane Curtin39.533
RobCheri Oteri56.522
AlanHarry Shearer2058
JasonSarah Silverman4.5103
T.MikeVictoria Jackson2850
6T.MikeAdam Sandler48.527
jasonChristopher Guest10.579
AlanA. Whitney Brown12.571
RobDavid Spade4729
CharlesDarrell Hammond107.53
GalenBilly Crystal27.551
7GalenGarrett Morris3935
CharlesJoe Piscopo5424
RobTim Meadows966
AlanMary Gross2453
JasonBrian Doyle-Murray1275
T.MikeRob Schneider30.543
8T.MikeHoratio Sanz819
jasonKevin Nealon74.513
AlanTim Kazurinsky2947
RobMolly Shannon62.520
CharlesKristen Wiig9.581
GalenMaya Rudolph70.518
9GalenFred Armisen5126
CharlesBen Stiller1274
RobRachel Dratch76.511
AlanDanitra Vance6.593
JasonJulia Sweeney2849
T.MikeAna Gasteyer74.512
10T.MikeRobin Duke1666
jasonAmy Poehler62.519
AlanMichael O'Donoghue4106
RobJimmy Fallon907
CharlesJane Curtin39.533
GalenTerry Sweeney9.583

October 08, 2006

The Fantasy SNL League Draft: Round Ten

Eight strong rounds, and I drop the ball in the ninth. Ugh. Luckily, my tenth round is set for me; I have to pick a newscaster, and I have my pick of what’s left. I should be able to survive this.

According to our guidelines, it’s set in stone what category people will pick from: Jason and T. Mike need to choose a woman, while Galen, Rob and Alan will select a man. The only question is whom they choose.

T. Mike Childs selects Robin Duke

Not really a BAD choice, but not an inspired choice, either. It’s a selection that justifies Galen’s Top Chick Gambit in the early rounds. Duke is fine for secondary roles, and she did a great job with the “Mr. and Mrs. T’s Bloody Mary Mix” sketch. Maybe that’s exactly what he’s looking for.

Well, T. Mike? Is that what you’re looking for?:

Round 10. I got nothing. NOTHING. I needs one mo womans, and I gots NOTHING. The last name on my female list? Robin Duke. Sigh. Whatever. Take it, slink off, and console yourself with Wayne’s World, it’s party time, it’s excellent. Man, I can’t believe Alan took Mary Gross. I thought surely, SURELY, I can get Mary Gross. Julia Louise-Dreyfuss? Please. She got funny AFTER leaving SNL.

--T. Mike Childs

I don’t think Robin Duke is a whatever/slink-off kind of pick, but that’s just me. Jason has his own opinion on this pick, but I’m not going to add it to this summary. Let’s just say it has to do with Robin Duke and her stupid fucking horse face. Oh, maybe I did add it to this summary. Never mind.

Speaking of Jason, I wonder how he’ll screw this up now. If he tries to select Don Knotts in a dress, I may have to check out airfare prices, just so I can fly to L.A. and punch him in the neck.

Jason Torchinsky selects Amy Poehler

A great pick, especially for the tenth round. I was just about to congratulate him, but then Galen admitted he made the pick for Jason. Oh well, at least he’s through drafting, right?

Amy Poehler is primed to be one of the stars of the new season. She’s still a co-anchor on Weekend Update, and she has a bevy of characters and impressions at her disposal. Personally, I think she’s too hammy, but that makes this pick even better for Jason.

(Note: In the time between the draft and the posting of this round summary, there have been two episodes of the new SNL season, and they’re working hard to make Amy Poehler THE star of the show. I mean, she’s in EVERYTHING! There are only three women on the show, and she’s muscled them out of the picture. Even Maya Rudolph! And no, I’m not just saying this because I picked Kristen Wiig (who did get a bigger role in the second show) in the eighth round. Let’s get these other cast members some more face-time!)

Alan Benson selects Michael O’Donoghue

That’s a fun choice. Fun, like a prom date’s veneral disease, am I right, people? But I kid the O’Donoghue. He does have the distinction of being in the very first sketch on Saturday Night Live, and his style of humor added that edge to SNL that everyone looks back at fondly.

Alan’s take on O’Donoghue:

I'll leave the last round, Mister Mike, by just saying that there's far too little so-creepy-it's-funny stuff on modern-day TV. Also, he's Irish, so expect lots of drunken punch-ups with Shane MacGowan (my bandleader) on Saturday Night Alan.

--Alan Benson

Bandleaders! I completely forgot about bandleaders! Dammit. Okay, Alan calls MacGowan (of the Pogues, if you didn’t know) and finishes his cast.

Rob Terrell selects Jimmy Fallon

What’s funny about this pick is I don’t think Rob could pick Jimmy Fallon out of a line-up if he had to. Fallon was definitely a fan-favorite in his years at SNL, either behind the desk with Tina Fey on Update or in his dorm room hosting a talk show with Horatio Sanz.

Yes, he would have been a better pick than Ben Stiller for me, too. Shut up. I’m over that now. You’re just trying to get into my head. Well, it won’t work. Because there’s only one choice to make here. I need a newscaster, and I’m taking the best available.

Charles Rempel selects Jane Curtin (news anchor)

Okay, you DID almost rattle me, because at the last moment I was debating about that mumblemouth Colin Quinn becoming my anchor. In the end, there was never a doubt. Jane Curtin was one of the earliest (replacing Chevy Chase behind the desk), one of the longest-running (80 episodes, tied for third most all-time), and simply one of the best. Either as a solo anchor or teamed with Dan Aykroyd or Bill Murray, she’ll give my Weekend Update anchor seat some much-needed class. Plus, she has a great catchphrase: “Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.” You gotta love that in your final pick.

So now I have both parts (actor and anchor) of Jane Curtin, and I saved my draft. Hooray!

Galen, let’s end this draft of a high note.

Galen Black selects Terry Sweeney

You won’t hear a bad word from me here. Terry Sweeney is the only SNL cast member I ever met, and I think that holds true for every member of the Van Gogh-Goghs (we met him at the Big Stinkin’ Festival in Austin, Texas, one year). He was super-friendly, and even had questions about our group (he researched us through our little ol’ website).

Now, because of this meeting, I don’t know if I’ve softened my thoughts on Sweeney or not. I remember he had a high energy throughout his time at SNL, and he did a very good Nancy Reagan impression. If he weren’t there during the Anthony Michael Hall year, things might have been different. Or not. Like I say, I may be biased now.

So let this be a little lesson to you Hollywood phonies out there: be nice to your fans.

Here’s Galen’s take:

I had the final choice of the night and I threw the choice away. I have big plans for Terry Sweeney, but I could have made a better choice. Tracy Morgan was still on the list and I passed him over to take Sweeney, because men in drag are funny and there aren't many of the SNL cast who do female impersonation better. He still has the best Nancy Reagan impersonation of any of the SNL Alum.

--Galen Black

You can’t use him as a Sweeney Sister, Galen. Get that thought out of your head right now.

Round Ten recap

First, remind me to pick a bandleader. That idea by Alan was primo.

The end seemed a bit anti-climactic, didn’t it? After Alan taking Al Franken in the first round and my bumbling in the ninth, not to mention all of Jason’s nutjob moves, the final round was a little too safe. Jason and Rob got solid actors and I got a premier newscaster. Alan and Galen went sentimental, and T. Mike just decided to grab any girl and end this painful charade.

Our full rosters, with each Van Gogh-Gogh weighing in on his cast, will be posted in the next few days. Tell us who you think has the best cast, and the worst cast. Who made the dumbest move of the draft? The shrewdest?

Stay tuned… the Fantasy SNL League is just beginning!

October 07, 2006

The Fantasy SNL League Draft: Round Nine

Only two rounds left! Twelve picks to go! How will the teams stack up? Who’s going to make the big blunder this round (Jason or Alan)? Is anyone even reading this anymore?

When you’re ready, Galen.

Galen Black selects Fred Armisen

You know, at first I didn’t think much of Armisen. I saw him as one of the featured players that never makes the leap to full cast member. He had a character or two, but I never saw him becoming one of the leads.

Time has a way of making us look foolish. Armisen has become one of the main reasons to watch SNL this year. Good impressions, strong characters and solid support work have made him a steal in the ninth round for Galen.

Galen will now give his thoughts on his last two picks:

My 8th and 9th choice of the night skewed a bit younger than my previous choices, I mixed things up a bit by going to the new cast to finish off my female picks and take my next to last male pick. Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen were my late round hopefuls. I knew most of the Van Gogh-Goghs were pretty ignorant when it came to the newer cast, so I figured I could get these two performers without any problems. Maya brings me lots of current pop culture female impersonations and Armisen is one of the funniest people on today's cast. Expect to see Fericito and the Lundford Twins alternating every other week on my show and a Steve Jobs sketch at least every 4th episode.

--Galen Black

Good points, Galen. This also helps to strengthen the weak male side of Team Black. With a strong showing in the tenth, he just may have a heck of a team.

Now it’s my turn. And honestly, I’m a little panicked. I have totally forgotten who my male pick was going to be. No clue. It was in my head a minute ago, I’m sure! Now, if I weren’t so panicky, I would just pick my newscaster now and wait another round. That’s not going to happen. I’m jittery, I keep muttering that the newscaster comes last, I’m racking my brain…

And one of my two-year-olds cries. SAVED! I tell the boys I have to go check on John and I run over to the bedroom. My wife is already there, telling me she’ll take care of it, but my mind is racing so fast, trying to figure out whom I want in the ninth round, I just stare blankly and nod. Slowly, I turn… and walk back to the computer. I’m stumped. The little break didn’t jog my memory, and T. Mike’s talking trash about using my boys as an excuse. I quickly look for the biggest name and I pull the trigger.

Charles Rempel selects Ben Stiller

Yes, I know, only one year on the show. Yes, I know, he didn’t hit the heights until after he was on Saturday Night Live. But I have a strong cast so far, especially with my dudes, so I don’t have to get a lot from this pick. Stiller has a likable quality and a Tom Cruise impression in his bag of SNL tricks, and Tom Cruise is very popular to mock nowadays, and I can milk that gag like the real show, and he can…

Wait a minute. CRAP!


Luckily, this draft was done through iChat, not live. My poker face remains intact. But if anyone picks Tracy Morgan, I’m going to puke.

Let me breathe into this paper sack for a moment. Rob, make your pick.

Rob Terrell selects Rachel Dratch

Rachel Dratch was definitely on my short list for women castmembers. Unlike others I could name, Dratch’s characters had more depth, more nuances, and weren’t just a variation of Dratch herself. I know Rob’s gotta be happy about this pick.

(Note: Did anyone else see the “Law and Order” episode from this season with Nora Dunn? When did she turn into Penny Marshall? If this draft took into account anything but their SNL careers, I would start to regret picking Dunn over Dratch. I mean, how many “Laverne and Shirley” parodies can you do in 2006?)

Alan Benson selects Danitra Vance

I… I don’t know anything about her! I know she was on SNL for a year and all, but… I don’t think I’ve ever seen her perform. I heard she died, although I don’t think she died of AIDS, like other people keep telling me. I got nothing here. Was she better than Julia Sweeney? Or Amy Poehler?

Don’t know what else to say, except considering who’s drafting, I’m not that surprised.

Jason Torchinsky selects Julia Sweeney

Finally, someone’s drafted Pat.

The first time I saw “It’s Pat,” I thought it was very funny. And the second time, a little less so. Then, the next dozen times, I wondered how many times can they do the same sketch? Well, that “Single White Female” parody was pretty good. But Pat is a hall-of-fame SNL character, right?

Julia Sweeney’s more than just Pat, though. I’m shocked that she’s lasted this long. And it was Jason who was smart enough to pick her. Weird, huh?

T. Mike Childs selects Ana Gasteyer

I’m still upset about this whole Ben Stiller/Tracy Morgan business. I can’t think straight. T. Mike, just tell us why you selected Gasteyer:

Round 9: I’ve filled my male slots and news slots. I needs me women!!! Another long wait for me as the snake bites my ass now: All the decent women are getting snapped up left and right. Molly Shannon! Maya Rudolph! Rachel Dratch! Julia Sweeney! Even Mary Gross was taken! What’s left?! Doh!!! Quick, to IMDB! Panic, panic, panic, Surely there must be someone left?! Someone I’ve heard of?! Ah! Ana Gasteyer! Please, don’t let her get taken!!!! Yes, I get Ana. Phew. A decent female cast member to atone for the sentimental Victoria Jackson pick.

--T. Mike Childs

Great explanation, jackass. Well. Let me just say that Ana Gast… fuck it, let’s just end this round, okay?

Round Nine recap

Who was the bonehead this round? Me. I’m sick to my stomach. In fact, I don’t want to recap shit right now. Go away. Goodbye.

I’m sorry. It’s just the draft was going so well for me. Hey, Alan picked Danitra Vance over Julia Sweeney and Amy Poehler. That was dumb, right? Isn’t that dumber?

No, it’s not dumber. Maybe as dumb, but not dumber. Or is it? Rats. I’ve got no perspective anymore. Gotta get my head right. I’ll do better in Round Ten. Promised.

October 05, 2006

The Fantasy SNL League Draft: Round Eight

It’s getting late in the draft, and pressure’s on to find the hidden gold left in the available pool. The Van Gogh-Goghs are getting a little punchy now; the East Coast members are sleepy (it’s around midnight) and the West Coast members are starving. Something’s gotta give.

T. Mike Childs selects Horatio Sanz

When I told people about our Saturday Night Live fantasy draft, I’d ask people whom they liked, and I got a lot of answers. A frequent response was, “I have a soft spot for Horatio Sanz.” The weird thing? If someone mentioned Sanz, they always mentioned they had a soft spot for him. No other cast member was qualified with “soft spot,” and Sanz was never described without “soft spot.” Interesting, huh? I thought so.

T. Mike will now enlighten us about Horatio Sanz:

Round 8: I foolishly, offhandedly had asked Galen if there were any Not Ready for Prime Timers left. Simultaneously we realized the answer just as I realize I needs me a black man! Garrett Morris or Tim Meadows? Tough choice. Meadows was on for freakin EVER. But Morris has original cast cachet. My foolish question comes before Galen’s pick, and he snags Garrett Morris! Dammit, I’m the ONLY ONE besides that idiot Jason without a Not Ready for Prime Time Player! Fudge!!! Okay, time to punt: Tim Meadows- he’s a solid, flexible, ensemble player, just the type to work well with the big egos and more flamboyant personalities. Then Rob scoops my black man again!!! Aw hell. Now what? Danitra Vance? Ellen Cleghorne? What am I, an idiot? Ok, so no black people, time to punt: Hispanic Horatio Sanz. Also, I heard he’s funny.

--T. Mike Childs

There it is again, the fat and/or ethnic requirement. I think Galen and T. Mike got to talking together. That’s never a good thing.

Personally, I never got Sanz. If I wanted to see someone break character and laugh during sketches, I would check my local listings for old episodes of “The Carol Burnett Show.” Harvey Korman’s a better laugher. Then again, I don’t get this new comedy everyone keeps talking about. (Hiking my pants to my nipples) And keep those damn kids off my lawn!

Jason Torchinsky selects Kevin Nealon (news anchor)

So Jason says, “This is going to be unconventional…”

Oh wow. NOW it’s unconventional. I can’t wait to hear this one.

“As my newscaster…”

Okay, we’re bracing ourselves.

“Gilbert Gottfried.”

Now there’s a rule we have that states your newscaster has to have been an anchor on Weekend Update. Plain and simple, no hard words. Gilbert Gottfried has never been an anchor. Unlike The Doyle-Murray debate, this is easier to prove. There are websites devoted to Weekend Update anchors. Gottfried is on no anchor list. The pick was vetoed.

“I’ll go with my backup then. Kevin Nealon.”

How low must Kevin Nealon feel right now? He’s the second choice, after the AFLAC duck. Mr. Subliminal, porno movie reviews, solid teleprompter reading skills, and he plays second fiddle to an imbecile who was never an anchor. Well, at least Jason has his newscaster requirement complete.

Alan Benson selects Tim Kazurinsky

Okay, like everyone else in Alan’s cast, Tim Kazurinsky has the Weekend Update bits. Dr. Jack Badofsky’s sign gags, yes yes yes. Let’s continue to build up the newscast.

But Kazurinsky also brings some underrated characters to the party, and everyone could use an actor that can play tough guys as well as his nebbish bread-and-butter (don’t think he played any tough guys? What about Forrest Gregg and Ozzy Osbourne? Yeah, surprising, huh?).

Rob Terrell selects Molly Shannon


Molly Shannon was one of the bigger stars in the mid-‘90s, with recurring characters coming out the wazoo (and one, Mary Katherine Gallagher, getting her own movie). I was surprised at the number of impressions she had (32). That’s a nice bonus.

Why did she last until the eighth round? I don’t have a clue. I knew I wanted Jane Curtin and I had to get Nora Dunn to block Galen, and of course, my super-sleeper female cast member coming soon. Also, I hate that character that sits on the couch on the talk show and screams, “IloveitIloveitILOVEIT!!” Like an ice pick in the brain for me. But that’s just me.

Still, it’s a great pick for Rob. It gives him another strong woman to work with.

Charles Rempel selects Kristen Wiig

With Jason’s selection of Kevin Nealon, I have become the last one to select a newscaster. With that in mind, I’m going to wait until the last round to name my anchor. That moves my two super-sleepers up a round.

Now I have forgotten for the moment my super-secret male cast member, so I’m jumping ahead with the female sleeper: Kristen Wiig. She’s starting her second season on SNL this year, and I think she’s primed for a breakout season. I saw some great impressions from her last year, so I know she’s got talent, and with only two other women in the cast, she should have her share of roles. Plus, I now have a rooting interest in the current cast (well, I have Darrell Hammond, too, but he’s established; Kristen’s the new kid).

(Note: in the time between the draft and the posting of this entry, Saturday Night Live has had its season premiere. And… my girl Kristen didn’t get a lot of PT. Does Amy Poehler HAVE to be in everything? Seriously, give my girl some reps! Let’s make it a Wiig Party, aw yeah!)

Galen Black selects Maya Rudolph

Galen went with the new cast but a more-established name. So he has a rooting interest in this year’s cast, too. That’s nice; I’ll have someone to talk with about the show.

Rudolph’s eight seasons have produced a lot of impressions and characters, but Galen really likes that Megan character because, just like Megan, Galen always had an unrequited crush on the cutest boys in high school.

Are you reading these round summaries, Galen? Man, I hope not.

Round Eight recap

Three women, two men, one newscaster, and one dumbass move by Jason thwarted… sounds like a good round to me!

Two more cast members from this season have been selected (and three overall). Galen and I have met our three-women requirements, while the other Van Gogh-Goghs have one or two to go. Expect a LOT of ladies to go in the next round.

Surprised with some of these picks? Who is still out there, much to your chagrin? Why am I having trouble remembering my male super-sleeper pick? Do you remember it? Please tell me if you do.

October 04, 2006

The Fantasy SNL League Draft: Round Seven

In these next four rounds, our casts will need to fill the open gaps. What are the gaps? Funny you should ask.

Galen needs to pick three men and one woman.
Charles needs to pick two men, one woman and a newscaster.
Rob needs to pick two men and two women.
Alan needs to pick two men and two women.
Jason needs to start over. (Okay, he really needs one man, two women and a newscaster)
T. Mike needs two men and two women.

With these facts in mind, let’s begin Round Seven: The Unleavened Heaven (I’m trying to sell it a little more. Did it work? No? Hmmmm. It was the unleavened part, right? Yeah, I forced it. Sorry.)

Galen Black selects Garrett Morris

Galen picks another one of the original cast. Someone’s showing his age.

Galen, you old fat man, tell us why you went with Garrett:

My next choice comes thanks to T. Mike. Earlier in the 6th round he said to me, "I think all the original members of the cast are gone now." I looked over my list and saw one original alum waiting patiently to be picked. I needed a black man to round out my cast and there were a few available, but few as talented as Garret Morris. So thank you, T. Mike. Good luck with your future picks.

--Galen Black

Hmmm. Galen needs a black man to round out his cast. T. Mike earlier said he needed to fill his fat guy quotient. I know we split the cast into men and women, but did we add a fat and/or ethnic requirement? Let me check the by-laws… nope, nothing in there.

I’m not saying Garrett Morris is a bad pick, per se. I don’t think he got the stage time he deserved. But in those first five years, you had legendary performers hogging the spotlight. It would be tough for anyone to get the reps. However, in Galen’s cast, Morris should have all the stage-time he wants.

Charles Rempel selects Joe Piscopo

How is Piscopo still out there? Don’t question it, Charles, just say “thank you” and go.

Thank you.

Piscopo rejoins his castmate Eddie Murphy to create a power duo that kept Saturday Night Live from facing cancellation. A master of impersonations, he fits well with Darrell Hammond; there may be no one in history we can’t make fun of now. As a plus, my cast can now shoot Buckwheat every weekend, if we want. And just like Jon Lovitz, Joe Piscopo was on the top of the comedy heap at SNL, and when he left, he could never reached the top again. His talent is perfect for the sketch comedy format.

Piscopo embodies the spirit of my team, and to think, he was handed to me on a silver platter.

Once again, thank you.

Rob Terrell selects Tim Meadows

I remember one sketch in particular, I believe it was the season opener the year after Phil Hartman left. The cast members were auditioning for role of Bill Clinton. I remember Chris Elliott wanted to do Clinton as W.C. Fields, which turned out to be a harbinger of things to come. I also remember Tim Meadows. He had a great impression, the best of anyone, but in the middle of his speech he stopped and said, “I’m not getting this, am I?” Man, the way he said it was hilarious.

His signature character is, of course, Leon Phelps, better known to the world as “The Ladies’ Man.” That role is easily one of the more quotable SNL characters, at least with the crowd I run with. “The Ladies’ Man” to me is a guilty pleasure, much like Alan listening to ABBA in his car.

Once again, Rob’s scientific approach grabs a member from the mid-‘90s. I wonder if that’s a glitch in the system or just the way it worked out. We’ll have to get Rob to explain that.

Alan Benson selects Mary Gross

Good for you, Alan.

Jason Torchinsky selects Brian Doyle-Murray

So Jason says he needs a fat guy on his cast, and the only one left that he saw was Brian Doyle-Murray. I ask if he wanted him for his newscaster, since as far as I knew, that’s all he did on the show. Jason said no, he’s in the actor side. I said I didn’t think he performed in any sketches, but after a couple minutes of discussion, none of us were certain that he hadn’t been in any sketches, so we had to let Jason pick Brian Doyle-Murray.

Sure, why not? Who are we to stop Jason from creating the worst cast imaginable? Three of his seven members did absolutely nothing in SNL sketches. I can’t wait to see what's next. Maybe he can draft that Amish dude who played bass for G. E. Smith. That would be great.

T. Mike Childs selects Rob Schneider

Admit it. If you’re old enough to have been in an office when Rob Schneider joins Saturday Night Live, admit it. You said “Makin’ copies!” while you made copies. It’s okay, we all did it. We all called our friend Tom the Tominator and Tomaromavich and Tomski. It’s just what we did, isn’t it?

Schneider’s Richmeister was an instant hit, but he had other popular characters, too (I’m partial to Tiny Elvis). I think he’s another performer whose stock fell in this draft based on his post-SNL career.

T. Mike discusses the Richmeister:

Round 7: In the vein of Adam Sandler, another low-brow crowd pleaser who got more annoying after they left the show: Rob Schneider. Not great, but good. Good enough for me.

--T. Mike Childs

You have to like it when your opponent describes his latest draft pick as “annoying.”

Round Seven recap

A lot of forgotten stars were claimed this round. Galen applied Affirmative Action to his draft selection, Jason decided the hole he’s dug for himself is not deep enough, and T. Mike and Rob decided to co-found an “I Heart the ‘90s” fan club. You know, the usual.

What do you think? Are we starting to lose our mojo? Have anyone been consistently successful? Who’s the largest omission so far? Use the Comments boxes to tell us the story.

The Fantasy SNL League Draft: Round Six

We’re at that point in the draft where we need to pay attention to our open positions. I expect… I expect nothing anymore. That last round broke me. It broke me. I’m going to just take in one round at a time, one round at a time.

T. Mike Childs selects Adam Sandler

There is no reason why Adam Sandler should be available in the sixth round. He’s a star, he was the people’s champion, and he has that nutcase sensibility that adds to the cast’s wackiness quotient. One of the bigger stars to come out of Saturday Night Live, and he’s available in the sixth.

What does T. Mike have to say about this?

Round 6: Already feeling foolish over Jackson, I switch gears and forgo picking another woman (Mistake two). To make myself feel better, I grab a big name I can’t believe is still on the table: Adam Sandler.

--T. Mike Childs

Well said. Looking at T. Mike’s roster, though, I can’t help but think that he thinks SNL was only in the mid-‘90s. Anyone else see that?

Jason Torchinsky selects Christopher Guest

Where was this pick last round?

Christopher Guest is one of my all-time favorites. His one season on SNL was a showcase of his hyper-real characters he’s famous for; I watched the short film he did with Billy Crystal about the Negro League players, and it was five years later before I realized it was Guest in the film with Crystal. That’s how good his characters are. Christopher Guest should work well with Phil Hartman, giving the cast two dedicated craftsmen.

Now if Jason can somehow get Billy Crystal in the seventh round, he’ll have a decent comedy duo and a lot of material to work with. I have a hunch that won’t happen. I hate when that happens (I know what you mean, it’s like the time I took a ball peen hammer and…).

Alan Benson selects A. Whitney Brown

I’m this close to punching someone in the neck.

When Jason picked Christopher Guest, Alan said a small swear word, because he was hoping to grab Guest and team him with Harry Shearer (from Round Five) and Michael McKean (who would be picked in a later round). Then he could have a “Spinal Tap” reunion. Nice thinking, Alan. That would have been sweet.

Since Jason drafted Guest, Alan said he was going to be a softie and go with an old favorite. I’m thinking Billy Crystal, maybe Garrett Morris, maybe Joe Piscopo… but A. Whitney Brown? Did he do ANYTHING ELSE but the “Big Picture” on Update? Oh, according to my research, he has a Bartles and Jaymes impression. How timely.

I’m getting the distinct impression that Alan thinks SNL is a 15-minute newsmagazine that starts at midnight.

Rob Terrell selects David Spade

Wow, this database Rob made is cold and calculating, but not good at reading his opponents.

David Spade was one of the more popular cast members of the early ‘90s. His “Hollywood Minute” was a staple of Weekend Update, and his last year he did nothing but “Spade in America.” He built a cottage industry around being snarky. He was definitely a fan favorite.

And yet, he wasn’t necessarily a Van Gogh-Gogh favorite. Two guys in this draft told me point-blank there was no way they’d draft David Spade. Rob probably could have waited two more rounds for Spade. He made the same mistake with Chris Kattan, I think.

I’m not going to complain about it too much; I’m just going to reap the benefits.

Charles Rempel selects Darrell Hammond

Twelve seasons and 87 impressions. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present the true unsung hero of Saturday Night Live: Darrell Hammond. How did we forget about him? Maybe because he’s only been on SNL for 37.5% OF THE ENTIRE RUN OF THE SHOW! That’s just amazing.

He is the king of impersonations at SNL. I bet the writers come up with a sketch idea that needs a good impression. They go ask the other cast members if they can do the impression, just to be fair, and then they call Hammond. Darrell listens to the idea, nods, grabs a wig out of a box and nails the impression.

I was hoping like crazy that Hammond would be around until now. My cast has its uber-impressionist now, and a solid hard-working character actor to boot. I am now going to turn on some music and dance. You can’t hear that I’m playing the Bee Gees, can you? Good. That would be embarrassing if you could.

Galen Black selects Billy Crystal

I think this pick rooks mahvelous. Absolutely mahvelous.

Did you know Billy Crystal was supposed to perform stand-up on the very first episode of Saturday Night Live, but got cut for time restraints? And roughly a decade later, he comes back as the headliner. He has the big impressions, the wacky characters, and he even got to host a show, the SNL Film Festival, that year. He was on top of the comedy hill then.

And now? He passed over until the end of the sixth round. It’s criminal, I tells ya!

Galen lets us in on the secret of drafting Crystal:

I waited patiently for the snake draft to snake back to me and at the end of the 6th round I was very surprised to see Billy Crystal still available. I think we all forget how funny he was on Saturday Night Live. He was only there a year, but he did for Sammy Davis, Jr. what Piscopo did for Sinatra.

--Galen Black

This pick goes a long way in helping shore up holes in Galen’s cast. Billy Crystal complements Belushi’s style (and to think, they could have shared the stage on that first show).

Round Six recap

It was better than the fifth round that’s for sure.

This round saw a lot of the overlooked “big names” get snagged up in a hurry. Sandler, Spade and Crystal would have been picked by now if any other comedy collective were doing this draft. That’s not how the Van Gogh-Goghs roll.

Two glue-types (Christopher Guest and Darrell Hammond) got picked right about when they should, in the middle rounds after the stars are gone. The fact that Jason made one of the picks makes me think he drank a little of that Jekyll-and-Hyde potion he keeps in an old Coke can by his computer.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been a complete round without a head-scratcher, right? A. Whitney Brown? Seriously?

I mean, you’re on my side, right? There’s no way Brown should be drafted, right? Send us a comment, and let us know how this round turned out for you.

October 03, 2006

The Fantasy SNL League Draft: Round Five

Fantasy drafts are a lot like drinking and boxing: the more rounds you go, the greater your chance of brain damage. Don’t believe me? Well, maybe the Van Gogh-Goghs’ Round Five selections can convince you.

Galen Black selects Don Novello

There’s a very good chance that you have no idea who Don Novello is. I’m sure, however, you have heard of his most famous character: Father Guido Sarducci.

Galen has his Weekend Update newscaster, Tina Fey, and two of the three women picked already. He’s working on the Top Chick Gambit, and then instead of picking the strongest woman left, he goes after a one-trick pony.

And if you’re going to draft Don Novello at all, why in the fifth round? There’s Adam Sandler on the board, and Billy Crystal and Darrell Hammond and Jane Curtin and about thirty other performers who give your team more flexibility than Father Guido Sarducci.

Maybe Galen can add some insight. What say you, Mr. Black?

I chose Don Novello or more specifically I chose Father Guido Sarducci. Yes this man is a one trick pony, but what a trick. He was one of the earliest standout re-occurring characters and everyone loves the good father. Not a deep player, but solid in his position. I knew he wouldn't last through the next two rounds and I wanted him. But I admit I jumped the gun here, especially with Billy Crystal, Harry Shearer, Adam Sandler, Joe Piscopo, and Christopher Guest still on the table.

--Galen Black

He knew Novello wouldn’t last through the next two rounds? Really? Did I misjudge the Van Gogh-Goghs that badly? I know Jason is capable of anything, but it looks like he righted his ship, so who would pick Don Novello before Galen at the end of the sixth round or beginning of the seventh. This is Galen’s first misstep in the draft.

Charles Rempel selects Jane Curtin

I picked Nora Dunn in the fourth round to block Galen, but Galen also blocked me by picking Jan Hooks in the third. I asked the guys if they wanted to allow trades between teams, but they all said that sounded like too much work. Oh, well, I guess it’s time for the Sweeney Sisters to work on their solo projects.

I see a run on female cast members starting, so I better get the one I want now or risk losing her forever. That’s why I select Jane Curtin, and as a performer, not a newscaster. Curtin is the best “straight man” in my cast now. She has an innate ability to set the mood and boundaries of a sketch and let the other actors break through them. Not that she can’t be a wild and crazy girl, either; for example, I love the nuanced nuttiness of Mrs. Loobner, who can hold her own in the scenes with the spastic nerds played by Bill Murray and Gilda Radner.

I’m really digging this team. I’m getting my newscaster in the last round (and don’t be surprised if I call the above name again), and I got my two super-sleeper picks in the eighth and ninth rounds (I can’t elaborate any more; someone may be listening), so if I can get two top-notch men in the next rounds, I’ll be bouncing off the walls

Rob Terrell selects Cheri Oteri

Rob’s first woman fits perfectly with his previous selections. It’s almost as if they performed together for years in the same cast. Well, all of them but one. I look at this cast and I hear the song, “One of these kids is not like the other…” I can envision backstage of Rob’s show, and Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan and Cheri Oteri are laughing and riffing and Chevy Chase is sitting on a couch, wondering what the hell a Fatboy Slim is.

Our grandparents would call Cheri Oteri a “firecracker.” She has energy to spunk to spare, and her characters give off a sweet wackiness that makes her a fan favorite (although a lot of her characters seem to be on the border on some mental deficiency). With Oteri joining Ferrell, the Cheerleaders are together and ready to rock, Spartan-style!

Alan Benson selects Harry Shearer

I’m not surprised that Harry Shearer has been picked. I’m surprised it’s this early.

Shearer had two tours of duty with SNL, and a lot better success in the second tour with Crystal and Short and Guest and Co. He’s a master of impressions, so Alan’s team does gain a lot of flexibility, and I can see him on Update with a commentary by Mike Wallace, which only strengthens the cast’s Weekend Update. He’ll make a good team with Dan Aykroyd. But with so many actors out there with a greater fan base, is it wise to snag Shearer in the fifth? We’ll see.

Jason Torchinsky selects Sarah Silverman

Jason is the biggest fucking idiot in this draft. Either that, or he just doesn’t give a shit about this. There is not one person in the world that can justify this pick. Even Sarah Silverman would say Jason’s full of shit on this.

I was very explicit before the draft that only the time on Saturday Night Live matters in this contest. After Jason picked Chris Elliott in the second, we went over it again. So why would he pick a woman who did NOTHING on the show?!?

The New Yorker, in a piece about Sarah Silverman, claims she only got one of her own sketches through to the dress rehearsal, and that it got cut before the live show. She was nothing but background, scenery, a woman to play someone’s date. She was totally underused and underappreciated on the show, and we all know it, but the fact remains that she did nothing on the show, and thus CANNOT HELP JASON’S CAST AT ALL.

Jason rationalized it by saying how hot she is and that his whole demographic probably has erections constantly after midnight; to back his “theory,” he sent via IM a bunch of sexy Sarah Silverman photos. Yes, I think she’s attractive. Thank you for the photos. I’m sure I can find some special use for them.

But Jason, you’re an ass.

The Chris Elliott pick is still worse, but this is close. It’s a shame Jason didn’t join us for the draft; I think he would have liked it.

T. Mike, wash this bitter taste out of my mouth, por favor.

T. Mike Childs selects Victoria Jackson

Well, it’s not the worst pick of the fifth round, that’s for sure.

I never understood the appeal of Victoria Jackson. All her characters and impressions seemed the same. Am I wrong? Some people would say I am, and that’s fine, it’s a free country (at least for a couple more hours). Every year she came back to the cast, I just shook my head and wondered what I was missing. Maybe T. Mike can shed some light on this.

The Gospel According to T. Mike;

Round 5: I need a woman! A good one! And most on my ill-researched, all-too-short list are gone! The standout? Mainstay Victoria Jackson. I could have done better, but I haven’t been watching much the last decade and couldn’t even tell you the names of the men, much less the women. Mistake one.

--T. Mike Childs

Now that’s a ringing endorsement.

Round Five recap

It was the Round of the Woman, with four female cast members selected (and three of them actually performed for Saturday Night Live!). Curtin and Oteri are solid picks, Jackson is a question mark, and the Silverman pick just makes me mad.

With half of the draft completed, you can get a good sense of each cast’s strengths and weaknesses:

Galen: John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Jan Hooks, Tina Fey (news), and Don Novello.

Galen has a great newscaster and two very talented women. His biggest weakness is on the men’s side of the equation. Belushi can’t do this alone. Look for Galen to start grabbing the biggest male stars left, people like Adam Sandler.

Charles: Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Jon Lovitz, Nora Dunn, and Jane Curtin.

My performers are mucho talented, regardless of whether their genitalia are internal or external. I have yet to address my Weekend Update slot, and I could use a top-notch impersonator. I hope to pick Darrell Hammond in the sixth round, and then I should be in great shape.

Rob: Chevy Chase (news), Will Ferrell, Chris Kattan, Chevy Chase, and Cheri Oteri.

Rob’s in great shape, too. He’s got one of the best news anchors, and two charismatic leading men. He’s got great supporting players and a lot of characters to work with. He could use a good impersonator, too, and some ladies that complement Oteri. I sure hope Rob enlightens us about his scientific method, because so far it’s working nicely.

Alan: Al Franken, Dennis Miller (news), Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman, and Harry Shearer.

Alan has definitely built his team around Weekend Update. I could see this cast turning into a quasi-“Daily Show” if this trend continues. His desire to get the underappreciated together on one team may not be the best strategy, because if no one appreciated them on other casts, why would we appreciate them collectively. Alan needs some high-energy goofballs (I’m talking actors, not drugs) to give his cast some life.

Jason: Phil Hartman, Chris Elliott, Chris Rock, Martin Short, and Sarah Silverman.

If Jason’s not going to spend any time drafting this cast, I’m not going to waste my time reviewing it. Phil Hartman deserves better, dammit!

T. Mike: Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Chris Farley, Norm MacDonald (news), and Victoria Jackson.

T. Mike has a great anchor, solid male leads, and top-drawer impressions and characters. His weakness is women (it’s funny because it’s true). I think T. Mike needs to spend the next two picks getting the funniest ladies left.

Agree or disagree with this assessment? Who has the team to beat? Am I blind to my cast’s deficiencies? Do you appreciate Alan’s pack of lovable losers? Are you as pissed off with Jason’s picks as I am? Drop us a comment. I know I sure am curious about what you think.

The Fantasy SNL League Draft: Round Four

Three rounds down, seven to go. There’s a nervous tension in the air. Most of us are now scared to death that we’re going to forget someone, like we did with Dan Aykroyd. I believe the boys at Jason’s house just had a shot of Southern Comfort, so let’s give the booze a second to settle before we proceed.

There have only been two women chosen for our casts so far; I don’t know if that says something about the Van Gogh-Goghs or Saturday Night Live. I’m putting the onus (I said “onus,” get your mind out of the gutter) on SNL. It’s been easier for men to break out on the show than women. I don’t think you could really argue against that. Thus, our picking is based on the SNL ability, and not gender, of the cast. Except, of course, for Galen’s Top Chick Gambit. At least his gambit is better than Jason’s King-Doofus Gambit.

I think the alcohol is down and down smoooooth. Let’s begin. T. Mike, you’re on the clock.

T. Mike Childs selects Norm MacDonald (news anchor)

The third newscaster to go in this draft is, and I believe I’m using the term correctly, a “hoot.” MacDonald’s on the short list of the great anchors, no question about it. He added his unique take to the news, unlike so many of the others who read the news in a manner more suitable to late-night news in Charlotte than Studio 8-H. Did you know he’s Chevy Chase’s favorite newscaster (besides himself)? I just learned that myself. Chase said Norm’s the only other one to get it right.

T. Mike had a thought or two about this pick:

My next move? While figuring most folks will still be angling for hot actors, grab my news anchor at the top of round 3. Sometimes I ONLY used to watch SNL for the news! So I appreciate having a good anchor; it’s vital- that’s a weekly bit, a solid 15-20 minutes of the show. So I want the best: Dennis Miller. Yes, yes, yes, he became a horrible parody of himself, but AFTER he left SNL. He was at his snarkiest best doing the SNL news. Well, Alan thought so too, and got him first! Bastard! Time to punt again. But who? Steal the second best snarker from Galen’s list: Norm MacDonald. Like Miller, he’s useless as a sketch actor, but brilliant being himself on the news.

--T. Mike Childs

Still not sold on MacDonald? Consider his most famous theory: Germans love David Hasselhoff. Seems goofy, a little throwaway gag that he never threw away, right? Well, in the 2006 NBA playoffs, German-born Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks won two games in a row with clutch free-throw shooting. When reporters asked him how he was able to focus in such a pressure-filled time, Nowitzki said he relaxes by singing to himself. The song? “Looking for Freedom” by David Hasselhoff. Dismiss Norm MacDonald at your own peril.

Jason Torchinsky selects Martin Short

Martin Short was one of the hired guns of 1984, having already made his mark with Second City’s SCTV. He was only at SNL for one season, but what a season! Ed Grimley was huge, but I was always partial to Jackie Rogers, Jr. If you haven’t seen the “Male Synchronized Swimming” film with Harry Shearer, you might want to do it today; it’s one of the questions they ask you when you’re trying to get into heaven.

Short has that manic energy and precise comic timing that makes his characters connect with the audience (especially if the audience is filled with knuckleheads who have put “writing a summary of a Saturday Night Live fantasy draft” above “sleep” in their to-do lists).

I do find it interesting that Martin Short is picked before Billy Crystal, who was the headliner of that season. Is this a case of reflection, or revisionist history, or just that it’s Jason drafting and who knows what he’s thinking? Inquiring minds want to know.

Alan Benson selects Laraine Newman

An interesting choice to me. Laraine Newman is a talented actress, no question about it, but she never made that mark for her at Saturday Night Live. In her cast, Gilda had the animated characters, Jane Curtin had the prim-and-proper, mothers-and-authority-figures-and-newscaster niche carved out for her, and Laraine was there to… to play the third woman in a sketch? I mean, I can’t think of any recurring character for her, but I can for everyone else in her cast. Using just Saturday Night Live as our guide, I would have passed on her in favor of the Oteris and Shannons and Dratches of the world.

Of course, I could just be an idiot. Alan will now tell us all about Laraine:

Like the last round (Dan Aykroyd), I was kind of surprised to see Laraine Newman available. I mean, she was an original cast member! A Conehead! Featured in the October 1978 Marvel Team-Up! Plus, with both her and Dan Aykroyd in the cast, I could revive the "E. Buzz Miller and Christie Christina" sketches, featuring characters I don't remember at all!

Honestly, I picked Laraine Newman because she exemplified the ethos of the SNL talented lesser-known. She hustled for the parts she got. Rather than relying on big characters, she cranked out minor parts to support other folks. She was a team player, and goddamit, that's gotta count for something. For what is America but a team -- a team of freedom-loving people, come together in harmony, overlooking our differences for the good of the whole community.

Oh wait, she was in that bigoted Bel-Airabs sketch, wasn't she? OK, scratch the above.

--Alan Benson

Sure seems plausible enough, doesn’t it? I had put Newman further down my list, just because of her lesser-known original cast ethos mumbo jumbo walla walla bing bang bullshit Alan is talking about. I think Alan is becoming a crotchety old man, thinking that old is good and new is bad. Then again, my most recent cast member so far is Jon Lovitz. Hmm, I better check myself before I wreck myself.

While we’re talking about Laraine Newman, does anyone else remember her show “Canned Film Festival”? She ran a movie theater, and people came by to watch bad movies. It was more in the Elvira vein than Mystery Science Theater 3000. Anyway, all I can remember about the show was one night they showed “The Terror of Tiny Town,” a western done by little people. At one of the breaks, one of the male theater patrons leans forward and begins to badger the man in front of him if he ever wanted to “give a midget a bath.” Yep, there’s another clue into the mystery of “Why My Brains Thinks Weird Things.” Thanks, Laraine.

Rob Terrell selects Chevy Chase

Rob’s database must really like Chevy Chase. When Rob picked Chevy as his Update anchor in Round One, we made it clear that he couldn’t use Newscaster Chase in the sketch portion of his show. Rob’s pick has prevented the Chevy Split (newscaster on one cast, actor on another cast) that I was secretly hoping for.

Chevy was the first star, albeit short-lived. He was only on SNL for a little over a year; in fact, he’s almost been a guest on the show as many times as he was a cast member on the show! The only question is: will the kids of today still find Gerald Ford sexy? Maybe another question should be: did the kids of the late-‘70s find Gerald Ford sexy? And if I may follow up: if they did, does that make you a little queasy? Because it does to me. Well, something is making me queasy. Maybe it’s all these enchiladas I had for lunch.

Charles Rempel selects Nora Dunn

I’ll take Nora Dunn for the block.

There’s no way I was going to let the Sweeney Sisters fall into Galen’s lap, but that’s not the only reason I selected Nora Dunn. Her five years on SNL gave us several solid lead characters (Pat Stevens, anyone?) and impressions (her Martina Navratilova can still crack me up).

Plus, you got to like someone who sticks to her convictions, right? Dunn sat out the Andrew Dice Clay episode, deciding it was better to sit out in protest than to perform and implicitly support misogyny. Nora Dunn’s a talented actress who won’t back down from a fight and who won’t resign herself to play fourth fiddle in this cast.

And did I mention I figured out Galen was going to pick Dunn next and I’m snatching her away? It’s worth mentioning again.

Galen Black selects Tina Fey (news anchor)

Straight from Galen’s mouth to my email:

Your Nora Dunn steal still has me steamed. I knew it was a long shot, but I had her in my sights as round 4 was coming to an end and then I got the Rempel wammy. Damn you, REMPEL!

--Galen Black

See? I got him! I got him pegged! I can read you like a cheap novel, be-OTCH!

So with Nora Dunn gone, Galen decides to seat Tina Fey in the Update anchor chair. Last year, Fey became the longest-running anchor at SNL, with 117 episodes (six more than Dennis Miller and almost forty episodes more than Jimmy Fallon and Jane Curtin). Fey teamed with Jimmy Fallon to replace that mumblemouth Colin Quinn in 2000 and, when Fallon figured he was a big star who was going to make kajillions of dollars making movies (good luck with that, Jimbo), Fey took another lover, I mean “co-anchor,” in the form of Amy Poehler.

I liked Tina Fey’s delivery and timing. She may be my favorite newscaster, or at least right there with Dennis Miller. It’s a good pick, and it keeps the Top Chick Gambit alive.

Round Four recap

The run on female cast members has officially begun, with three selected in this round. My guess is that the three Van Gogh-Goghs who haven’t selected a woman yet (Rob, Jason and T. Mike) will rush to do so in the next two rounds.

Newscasters were also popular this round, with MacDonald and Fey joining Chase and Miller in the newsroom. That leaves only Jason and me left to name our Update anchor. I plan on waiting, since I’m pretty sure I’m going to be left with a quality anchor in the low rounds.

As for predictions for Round Five? I’ll say I think two (maybe three) more women are picked, and look for big names to go like Adam Sandler, Billy Crystal and David Spade. Don’t quote me on it, though, because I’d have a better chance to predict volcano eruptions and earthquakes than to predict our draft outcome.

October 02, 2006

The Fantasy SNL League Draft: Round Three

With two rounds in the books already, the major stars have been claimed. Now it’s time to find the remaining gems. Personally, I just hope we can get through one round without some knucklehead move. Will this be the round? Probably not, but let’s start it and see.

Galen Black selects Jan Hooks

Okay, methinks Galen has a strategy. He’s out to get all the top women for his cast. He got Gilda in the second, and now he’s selected Jan Hooks. I’ve always thought Hooks was one of the unsung stars, and she had some great characters; I had thought of getting Jan myself because of her work as the Sweeney Sisters and…

AH HA! That’s it! That’s his next pick! Nora Dunn! He’s going for the Sweeney Sisters and will get all the best actresses he can! He’s going for the Top Chick Gambit!

That’s not going to happen. As the sole Van Gogh-Gogh with fantasy sports experience, let me take a moment to drop a little fantasy draft tip: know your position, use your position. Galen’s spot in the draft allows him to select two people at a time. Why then would he tip his hand by picking only one member of a comedy duo? Use your position wisely. Galen didn’t, and if no one else beats me to it, I will destroy your Sweeney Sisters! Moo ha ha ha! (Note to the Van Gogh-Goghs: we need to perform the Legion of Doom Learning Annex sketch again. It’s gold! This time, though, I want to be Lex Luthor. Hey, you think anyone else reads this blog besides us?)

Charles Rempel selects Jon Lovitz

Like Eddie Murphy is his day, Jon Lovitz should be credited for saving SNL. In the season that everyone I know calls “The Anthony Michael Hall Year,” the show was dismal and spiraling down the crapper. If it weren’t for a disheveled genius with a penchant for catchphrases, Saturday Night Live would have been toast. Jon Lovitz single-handedly saved SNL and with it America, as well as impregnating his wife, Morgan Fairchild. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Sure, you see the Subway ads today and you think Lovitz is washed up. That may or may not be true, but for those golden years, he was the king of the sketch comedy world. His comic ability, to me, is perfectly suited for the SNL format. In fact, the show doesn’t currently have a superstar, and Lovitz is in the midst of career lull. I say we bring Jon Lovitz back!

Hey, wait a minute, has Dan Aykroyd been picked yet?

Rob Terrell selects Chris Kattan

Okay, Aykroyd must have been picked already.

Chris Kattan was a quality second-banana to Will Ferrell, and could he have more recurring characters? Seriously! It’s Mango and Mr. Peepers and the Goth kid and on and on! Kattan’s a perfect sidekick to Ferrell; their sizes, looks and comic stylings complement each other nicely. Oh, and Rob’s got both of the Roxbury guys now. So Rob and your precious science, if the Roxbury guys do it for ya, you’re liking this cast!

Let me toss out a second fantasy draft tip: know your opponents. I don’t care how high Kattan ranks in the system, Rob has to know that based on personal preferences, none of us would have picked Chris Kattan in the first five rounds. Some of us have certain strategies (see Galen) and some of us can’t stand him (see T. Mike), so why spend a high pick on someone you could get with a lower pick? It’s just not a smart value play.

Alan Benson selects Dan Aykroyd

Crap! Crap crap crap! CRAP!

Boy, did I drop the ball on that. Well, on second thought, I’m pretty happy with Lovitz. Galen dropped the ball. He could have had the Blues Brothers! How is Dan Aykroyd even available now? Oh yeah, Jason picked Chris Elliott.

Alan will now tell you why he’s as excited as a fanboy at ComicCon:

OK, I could come up with some big explanation about how Aykroyd was the hidden gem of the first cast, about how his greatest characters--my favorite being Fred Garvin, Male Prostitute--never got as much attention as Belushi's. But hell, it's Dan Aykroyd. It's the third round, and Beldar was still in play. Hell yes I picked him.

But yeah. Aykroyd as hidden gem. Aykroyd the unknown. Whoo.

--Alan Benson

It’s the steal of the draft so far. A Conehead, a Blues Brother, a Festrunk Brother falling from the sky, right into Alan’s lap. Plus, Aykroyd only makes Alan's Weekend Update segment stronger, while some of us have yet to consider picking a newscaster. Looks like Alan has turned this cast around.

I wonder how Jason is going to screw this up.

Jason Torchinsky selects Chris Rock

Not a bad pick. Heck, considering his last selection, this may be the greatest pick in the draft. I mean, Rock’s got Nat X and Just Chillin’ to work with, at least.

Some may point out that Chris Rock has had his greater success away from Saturday Night Live than he did on the show. That’s totally true. And it’s also true that his SNL resume is a little weaker than other actors still waiting to be picked. However, Chris Rock has a style and voice that differs from the white-bread SNL majority, and as long as his talent is used correctly (not just as the token black guy), he’s an asset to any of our casts.

Then again, I don’t know. I’m just a little light-headed right now. I half-expected Jason to pick Fred Wolf in this round.

T. Mike Childs selects Chris Farley

When Chris Farley is mentioned, I can’t help but immediately think of his Chippendale’s sketch with Patrick Swayze. Is there anybody else on this cast with a defining moment like that, and right at the beginning of his career? I’m hard-pressed to find another. Probably the closest is Andy Samberg with “Lazy Sunday,” but it’s still second to that flap-flapping blubber.

T. Mike is downplaying the selection. Says T. Mike:

Belushi and Lovitz are gone. I needs me a fat man! - Chris Farley, who easily outweighs both. Gotta have a good fat man for a good SNL cast.

--T. Mike Childs

Sure, he always played the fat guy. Sure, we saw too much of his ass in that flying saucer sketch during the Deion Sanders shows. Yet every time I tell someone that “I live in a van down by the river” (a la Matt Foley), I can’t help but smile. Farley’s a good addition to Mike Myers and Dana Carvey; it looks like it’s 1990 all over again.

Round Three recap
Half the actors picked in the third round were named Chris. Does that just freak your shit out? I didn’t think so.

Not a bad round by the Van Gogh-Goghs. Sure, we let Aykroyd slip farther than he should, and Kattan and Rock were both picked a little early for my taste, but this was the first round where we all actually looked like we knew what we’re doing.

I love my cast of Murphy, Murray and Lovitz. Galen’s the only one of us to select any women yet, and he’s picked two. Jason and Alan are slowly gaining respectability again. It’s still anyone’s game to win.

Or is it? Do you see a clear leader? Does one of the teams have a fatal flaw this early in the process? Who should go in the next round? I’m guaranteeing that Nora Dunn will, but who are the best remaining players? Drop us a comment and let us know.

The Fantasy SNL League Draft: Round Two

With the first round complete, it’s time for the six of us to head into the second round. It’s just what you do in drafts. It’s time to find the best actor available to team with our (supposedly) solid first pick. Since it’s a snake draft, we reverse the order. T. Mike, you’re up again.

T. Mike Childs selects Dana Carvey

You could see this coming a mile away. In fact, I think I called it when he picked Mike Myers. Now his cast can perform ‘Wayne’s World” every week if it wants.

T. Mike gives his opinion on the pick:

Given the blessing/curse of the snake draft, and having the last pick of the first and first of the second, I realized I could grab a team. I planned for Murphy/Piscopo, because no matter how bad Piscopo bombed in Hollywood, or how much you hated Daddy Day Care, Murphy and Piscopo were on FIRE on SNL in the early ‘80s, and could do no wrong.

Well, Rempel sunk my battleship, nabbing Murphy. No point in getting Piscopo alone, that’s for sure. I thought I had a shot at it, thinking most folks would be grabbing the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players, or the latest hot current peeps in round one. Oh well. My backup plan was shot, too: Belushi/Aykroyd. Galen snagged Belushi with the first pick. Time to fall back and punt: Mike Myers and Dana Carvey! Solid team great chemistry, work great together. I’m satisfied.

--T. Mike Childs

Oh, where to begin. T. Mike, if you think you were going to get Belushi or Murphy with the sixth overall pick, you must be drunk. If even one of those guys fell to you, I would have demanded a re-draft. As for your assertion that Myers/Carvey is a punt, I think you severely underestimate what you have.

Dana Carvey is one of the most popular and gifted impressionists in the history of SNL. Remember when I brought up how Myers was a genius at creating characters? Carvey is just as much a genius. Church Lady and Derek “Choppin’ Broccoli” Stevens , to name but two. Also, his impersonations always had that spark, that lively humor that could draw in the crowd.

My prediction for the later rounds has T. Mike snagging Kevin Nealon at the end of the draft, to reunite Hans with Franz (or is it Franz with Hans?). He has a great foundation for a potent cast.

Okay, let’s see who Jason picks to team up with Phil Hartman. Jason?

Jason Torchinsky selects Chris Elliott

(spit take)

I must have misread that. Let me look at that again.

Jason Torchinsky selects Chris Elliott

(double spit take)

Is that right? That can’t be right. Is that right? Let me look once again.

Jason Torchinsky selects Chris Elliott

(triple spit take, followed by fart)

Alan, I apologize to you about what I said about your Al Franken pick. At least Franken had a decent career at SNL. This is the worst pick of the draft so far. Terrible. This is taking a man-crush one step too far, in my opinion.

Look, I think Chris Elliott was hilarious on “Letterman,” and I love love love his brilliant sitcom “Get a Life,” and the first time I saw “Cabin Boy” I thought it was one of the funniest movies of the year (an opinion that changed the second time I saw it, curiously enough). However, in the days leading up to this draft, I stressed the point that the actors must be judged based on their career at SNL, and Chris Elliott had no career at SNL. He adds nothing to your cast, and to pick him in the second round (when no one else would even draft him in ten rounds) is the dumbest thing to ever happen in the 21st century.

And that’s saying a lot.

Will Ferrell is still out there. So is Gilda Radner. And Dan Aykroyd. And Jon Lovitz. And Chris Farley. Hell, Tim Meadows is still out there. You put a thousand monkeys in an Internet café, and ask them to participate in this draft, and all one thousand of them would make this pick. Why? BECAUSE MONKEYS ARE STUPID AND DON'T WATCH AS MUCH TV AS US! Sheesh!

I do thank you for passing on Will Ferrell, though. Two more picks to go and he’s mine.

Alan Benson selects Dennis Miller (news anchor)

Now that’s more like it, Mr. Benson. Why don’t you tell us why you went with Miller?

Alan Benson wants you to know:

Hey, remember all that stuff I said about looking for diamonds in the comedy rough and hidden treasures and hot chicks who are sexually aroused by the idea of six nerds sitting around AIM-ing one another fantasy SNL casts? Well it all still applies (especially the last -- please contact VGG HQ immediately if the description fits).

"But, but," you say. "But, but Dennis Miller isn't an SNL unknown, hidden treasure, whatever. He's probably the best-known modern newscaster. His run on the show was phenomenally successful, and it launched his later career as a professional smarty-pants. Also, I too like hot chicks turned on by AIM, will you share the names."

To which I answer, no. Get your own hot chicks. We don't even know if there are any hot chicks turned on by us. If any do exist, we will definitely want all of them to ourselves. And you know what we'll want them for! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ho ha. (Jason, what do we want them for? Really? REALLY? Yuck. I'm telling mom you said the p word.)

Anyway, yes, Dennis Miller is an SNL powerhouse. Yet he was, at one point, a hungry unknown. Do you remember who did the news the season before he started? Of course not! I think they just scrounged up some grip to read a couple of "wacky" headlines, then cut to another hi-larious commercial parody. Miller changed all that, turning what was a relatively dull comic fixture into something funny. (The fact that one of his partners in comedy was my sixth pick is just icing on the cake. Mmm cake. Hot chicks and cake. Lord-a-mercy.)

So even though Miller turned out to be a big winner, I still chose him for my team of underrecognized heroes. That's my pick, and I am outta here.

--Alan Benson

For the record, I do know who did the news the season before Dennis Miller. It was Christopher Guest. I don’t know if that says too much about me, but I know it was Guest. Anyway, now Alan has his Weekend Update desk filled, and his pick of Al Franken looks a little stronger when considering his commentaries on Update. Alan’s cast so far is the only one that could feel at home during Saturday night comedy or Sunday morning political talk shows. Not that we should take that into consideration. It’s just interesting, isn’t it?

What’s more interesting to me is that one more person has bypassed Will Ferrell. Now let’s let that idiot Rob and his database hurry up and select someone so I can pick me some Ferrell.

Rob Terrell selects Will Ferrell

Shit. Rob blind-sided me with science.

When you look back at the highlight reel of the past ten years of SNL, it will start with Will Ferrell, it will end with Will Ferrell, and all through the middle, there will be Will Ferrell. He’s the only cast member in the past decade who can rival the popularity of the past legends.

To be totally honest, I thought he was terrible the first time I saw him perform on the show. A couple of years later, I begrudgingly called him a star. Now, I realize the gi-normity of his SNL legacy, and I fully support his ascension to the top of the class. Yet sadly, he was plucked one spot before the promised land.

Well played, Rob Terrell. Well played.

Charles Rempel selects Bill Murray

Okay, okay, time to regroup. Rob’s Ferrell pick surprised me. Maybe his scientific approach has some merit. Maybe he misread the last name and thought he was drafting his long, lost cousin Will Terrell. Maybe he just got lucky. Any way you look at it, it was close but no ceeegar for my planned Murphy-Ferrell powerhouse.

But there are still some big names on the board right now. Bill Murray’s the man, alright, but there’s also Gilda Radner available, and whomever I don’t pick will be Galen’s next pick, guaranteed. Which one would I be more upset to lose? That answer is easy: welcome Bill Murray to the cast!

In the end, it comes down to happiness, and I’m ecstatic that the Great Bill Murray is in my cast. Actually, in the end, it comes down to screwing over your friends, and I’m ecstatic that the Great Bill Murray got picked right before Galen had a chance to get him. Shed a tear, suckah, cuz you’re getting’ Ferrelled!

You know, Ferrelled! Like, when rob picked Will Ferrell right before I could? And I’m doing the same to you? Only with Bill Murray? Should I stop typing now? Maybe I should.

Galen Black selects Gilda Radner

We’re made it to the 12th overall pick before the first woman is selected, so what better selection than the First Lady of Saturday Night Live? (Here’s a little SNL trivia nugget for you: Gilda was the first actor selected for the first SNL cast. So, back in the day of the first SNL draft, she was the #1 overall pick!)

You know you’re big when you’ve got one-name status, right? Sure, it helps to have a more unusual name (I got my work cut out for me to be universally known as Charles. Maybe I should focus on just Rempel?), but Gilda earned that status. She’s arguably the only woman on SNL (which isn’t always the easiest place for women to shine) to hold her own, to have as much success and popularity as her male castmates (and considering her fellow actors included Belushi, Aykroyd and Murray, that’s saying a lot).

Gilda gives Galen’s cast a strong anchor to the three-women requirement, plus gives an added bonus to his Weekend Update crew with her many characters’ commentaries. Strong pick, very smart. How Galen knew to do that, I’ll never know.

Round Two recap

Two rounds in the books now, and we can finally see the casts taking shape.

T. Mike has the solid Myers-Carvey duo, with plenty of material already at hand. Galen’s Belushi-Gilda combo is kickin’ it old-school, and will be a formidable cast to confront. Rob has a solid lead in Ferrell and a star in the anchor chair with Chevy, so I’m getting very curious about this scientific method of his.

Alan has a strong Update anchor with Miller, but his pick of Franken still has me scratching my head; he’ll need to make some clever picks in the next rounds to stay competitive. Jason has Phil Hartman and a piece of driftwood in his cast. Good job, yutz.

As for me, I can’t complain. With Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray, I daresay I have the strongest twosome in the group. Doubt me? Well, according to the all-mighty Wikipedia, former SNL writer Margaret Humphert has said Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray are the two most talented people in the history of the show. That’s right, Margaret Humphert said it. Who am I to doubt Margaret Humphert?

Disagree with my assessment so far? Can you justify Chris Elliott as a second-round pick, using only his SNL career as evidence? Post a comment and tell us what you think.

October 01, 2006

The Fantasy SNL League Draft: Round One

The day of the draft is upon us. Well, factually, that’s incorrect. We held the draft days ago. We’re just now getting to post the round-by-round synopses. Every day this week, we here at vgg.com will post two rounds of the draft, with most of the analysis in the form of my thoughts (where me = Charles) during the draft, and added details given by the other Van Gogh-Goghs about their thoughts at the time. We could post all the rounds at one time, but (1) it would be way too long to read at one viewing, and (2) although we’re comedians, we love the drama. It’s that two-faced-Janus thing, you know, and if you learn but one thing about the Van Gogh-Goghs, it’s that we’re two-faced. Wait, that came out wrong.

Without further ado, let’s begin the Van Gogh-Gogh’s Fantasy SNL League Draft! Galen Black, you’re first to act.

Galen Black selects John Belushi

I kept close tabs on Galen the week before the draft, trying to get him to tip his hand on who the #1 overall pick would be. Naturally, with the second overall pick, I was very curious who would fall my way. After a barrage of browbeating, I got him to narrow his choice to three people: Belushi, Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray. I’m a Bill Murray fan, just like the next guy, but I’d put Will Ferrell ahead of Murray (and in fact I did). That’s just me, though. Anyway, Galen said he was going with his head and not his heart and he selected Belushi. A solid pick, to be sure, and very safe. You can’t go wrong with a personality like Belushi, right?

John Belushi (and we did make sure he meant John, not Jim) gives Galen a powerhouse personality and charismatic frontman. A strong go-to guy who is dedicated to his characters and his craft. In short, an excellent start to a cast. In the later rounds, I look for Galen to go for Dan Aykroyd (to get the Blues Brothers) and possibly Jim Belushi (to get the Belushi Brothers (you can never have too many brothers, right?)).

Meanwhile, I’d dancing a jig in the ballroom of my Fortress of Happy Happy, because…

Charles Rempel selects Eddie Murphy

Let Galen take a samurai. I’ll take the man who saved Saturday Night Live.

The show was dead. Well, it was nearly dead, until Eddie Murphy stepped to center stage. Hell, if it weren’t for Eddie Murphy, we wouldn’t be holding an SNL fantasy draft. Who would hold a draft for a show that only lasted six seasons? We would have ended up holding a “7th Heaven” fantasy draft and we’d all be fighting over Katie Holmes or Pierce Brosnan or whoever is on that show. Am I right?

Eddie in his prime (and his prime was the SNL years and that’s all we care about, you dig?) could make a turd-covered rock laugh. You know, because rocks are hard and no one, not even rocks, is happy when one is covered in turds… okay, scratch that. Murphy is the star in this world of stars. A little Buckwheat, a little Mr. Robinson, a little Gumby (dammit), and you’re laughing and laughing and just when you think you can’t take any more, a little Stevie Wonder and a little Velvet Jones and a little James Brown Celebrity Hot Tub Party, and now you’re laughing so hard you’re wondering if the grocery store will deliver Depends adult diapers to your house, and then…

Dark and lonely on a summer night
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord
Watchdog barking… do he bite?
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord
Slip in his window, break his neck
Then his house I start to wreck
Got no reason… what the heck?
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord
C-I-L-L my landlord

Do I need to say more?

So here’s the plan: I think there’s a good chance that the other guys will let Will Ferrell slip to me in the second round, which would be sweet. I will try to get Joe Piscopo in a later round; Murphy and Piscopo have a great history together, they owned SNL in the early years, and so the cast would have a lot to work with. My secret play, though, is Tracy Morgan. I think Murphy and Morgan would be a great duo; I can see an “urban” Festrunk Brothers with those two. Don’t tell anyone, though. That’s my secret play. Let’s not mention Morgan again until then, okay?

But enough about me. Rob, you got something to say?

Rob Terrell selects Chevy Chase (news anchor)

For days, Rob has been talking about using science to find the perfect SNL cast. When pressed, all he will say is his database will lead the way. I guess his database gives lots of credit to the Weekend Update desk. The Los Angeles Times’ Scott Collins writes in his “Channel Island” blog about the declining value of Weekend Update in a Daily Show world, and it’s a convincing piece. With regards to this draft, I feel there are enough quality newscasters that I don’t need to spend a high draft pick on one. Rob and his science, however, seem to disagree.

If you have to get a newscaster in the first round, you might as well take the one that all others are measured against. Chevy Chase made the Weekend Update anchor chair his ticket to the big time, and became to first superstar of the Saturday Night Live era. Now just remember that Rob drafted Chase as newscaster, so he can’t use him in sketches unless he drafts Chevy as an actor as well. As for what I look for Rob to do in the future rounds, I don’t know. If he’s building his cast around Update, he may pick people based on their commentaries, like Gilda Radner or Dan Aykroyd (although I’d bet they would both be gone by his next pick).

But it’s early in the draft, and this is still a six-man competition. Anything can happen.

Alan Benson selects Al Franken

I guess it’s now a five-man competition.

Al Franken? AL FRANKEN?!? Alan, you’re telling us that Al Franken’s the fourth best cast member of SNL? Or even that he’s in the top ten? Wha… how… but… uh…

I’m at a total loss to explain this. Let’s ask Alan to tell us why Franken got the nod. Oh, Alan?

Alan Explains It All: Round One

A lot of people are going to be scratching their heads at this one. I mean, with all the great performers still available, why pick Franken? Think of all the great bits, all the memorable catchphrases that I passed over to throw in with Franken. I turned down "You Rook Mahvelous" and "Isn't That Special" for "I declare the '70s the Al Franken Decade" and "That's why I wear the bow tie." What the hell was I thinking, you're thinking.

There is a method to the madness. For me, SNL was never about the big recurring characters. Sure, I loved Tommy Flanagan, the Land Shark, Church Lady, and the Sweeney Sisters as much as the next guy. OK, not the Sweeney Sisters. But my point remains: I liked the popular characters, too. But as it says quite clearly in the Bible (Zephredes 21:19, I believe), "Man cannot live by catchphrase alone. It is only through minor characters he will achieve true viewing satisfaction."

And so, for my picks, I chose a crew of lesser-known talents. Some of these folks went on to bigger and better things. Others peaked on SNL. But all of them served a vital purpose in a 90-minute show: they gave us something to look at while we waited for Weekend Update.

(Charles...please edit out that last bit when you put this online. Make it more inspirational. Something like "in their also-ran-ness, they taught us the true meaning of Christmas," or some shit like that. Anything to explain away the pile of dead wood I picked.)

My desire to spotlight these unsung heroes led me to choose one of the least-recognized talents in SNL history. Al Franken and his partner Tom Davis were primarily writers on the show. (In fact, since they were hired for one spot, they had to share a single chair and desk.) When Al acted, it was usually as a bit character. He had a few big roles, but mainly he was the guy who only walked on stage to say "sir, ma'am, your table is ready." He was me, in other words. A shorter, Jewisher, funnier, much more successful, much more likable, much more handsome...hold on, I have to call my therapist.

OK, I'm back. I chose Al Franken largely because of his Weekend Update pieces, which were smart, funny, and not based on a single personality trait or characteristic done ad nauseum (Sandler, I'm looking at you!). I mean, that kind of repetitive humor is funny, but wouldn't you rather have comedy that makes you laugh...and think?

No, of course not. Which is why Al Franken is captain of my underappreciated SNL squad. And that's why I chose him in round one.

--Alan Benson

I guess we’ll see if Stuart Smalley saves the cast, huh, Alan? If nothing else, this pick has made this draft a lot more relaxing for the rest of us. We can’t screw up THIS bad, right? Maybe I should wait and ask that question later. As for later rounds for Alan, it’s anyone’s guess, but I could see him going for Janeane Garofalo, just to grab the coveted Air America radio audience. That and I think he had a crush on Garofalo.

Jason Torchinsky selects Phil Hartman

I love this pick. Love it.

Phil Hartman was the glue that kept SNL together. He was the cast member everyone loves and respected and wanted to work with. He performed the same whether the role was the lead or a throwaway; he put everything he could into every character, every impression, every second of screen time. Right now, I’m thinking of the “Sinatra Group” sketch and laughing about the “chunks of guys like you in my stool” line. I think that every Van Gogh-Gogh would give one of T. Mike’s kidneys to have the talent that Phil Hartman had. Heck, I’d give both of T. Mike’s kidneys. But that’s just me. I’m a giver.

Plus, I bet Galen $5 that Hartman would be picked in the first round. Paging Mr. Lincoln, your table is ready at Chez My Wallet!

Where does Jason go from here? Since he has possibly the most versatile cast member, he has a lot of great options available. If I were Jason, I would try to claim Darrell Hammond in middle round; that would prevent every other cast from performing Bill Clinton impersonations.

T. Mike Childs selects Mike Myers

Another great pick. Mike Myers is one of the best at SNL at creating hit characters. Wayne Campbell alone would make a nice career, but add Dieter and Linda Richman and Lothar and Lank Thompson and the Scottish crap guy and Da Bears guy and that hyper hypo kid, and you have sketch comedy gold. Now that I think about it, I think a case could be made for Myers to be the #1 overall pick. T. Mike has to be happy with getting Myers.

The obvious play would be to select Dana Carvey right now (since T. Mike has the first pick in the second round) and secure the “Wayne’s World” franchise, but it’s hard to predict Mr. Childs. Galen’s convinced that T. Mike will go for original cast members next. We’ll see.

Round One recap

I thought we’d have one surprise in the first round and, in my mind, we got two. Belushi, Murphy, Hartman and Myers were predictable picks for the first round; the four of them would be stars on SNL no matter which cast they were on. I thought Chevy Chase as a newscaster was a little early, but that may be an undervaluing of Weekend Update on my part. Al Franken still blows my mind. A lot of great talent (Aykroyd, Radner, Murray, Carvey, and Ferrell) is still on the board. I predict those are the next five to go. As for who has the upper hand right now, it’s too hard to say. Let’s save that judgment until after the second round, which is coming up next.