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Thursday
Mar122009

Inside With: Mike Drucker, SNL Contributor - By: Chelsea White

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"I'm in the center of the nerd / sad / fat Venn Diagram for Update photos. Which is actually sort of neat" --Mike Drucker | Photo: Mike Drucker

A frequent contributor to online-comedic staples The Huffington Post, McSweeney's, and The Onion, comedian and writer Mike Drucker saw one of his jokes make the nearly impossible leap from notebook to the Weekend Update news desk on the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live (Ep. #1548, Season 34). A former SNL intern, Drucker has worked as the show's Graphics Coordinator since 2008. He was also the winner of Disney's 2007 "So You Think You're Funny" stand-up competition and was nominated for Time Out New York's 2008 Joke of the Year. The Apiary got Drucker to put his pen down for a hot minute to let us in on what it's like to see his writing on an SNL cue card.

So, Funny Man, give us the joke that made the cut!
The joke was: "An investment bank is auctioning off more than 15,000 videotaped episodes of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's iconic talk show 'The PTL Club.' Here's how the auction went: 'Do I hear nothing? Nothing? Nothing! Going once! Going twice! Sold! To nobody because no one would want that." Seth delivered it really well.

Photo: NBC
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You've been submitting jokes for Weekend Update since your days as an intern in 2006. Did you have an inkling that this joke may finally be 'The One?'
Not really! I've been to dress a few times and each time I was holding my breath. We're able to
submit 10 Weekend Update jokes per week by Thursday at 5:00pm for consideration. But there are so many factors that go in to the joke-selection process. The most influential factor is whether or not the topic has been covered by other comedy shows during the week. If I submit a joke on a topic that Leno happens to talk about in his monologue it hurts its chances of being picked. So if there are a lot of jokes being told about a particular subject or person that week I'll try to avoid those topics. One of the jokes I submitted when I was an intern made it to rehearsal, but it bombed so badly that it was cut, but then featured on the DVD Saturday Night Live Best of '06/'07 because of how badly it bombed! The joke was about the NAACP holding a funeral for the "n-word." In retrospect, there's a good reason other shows avoided it.

You've also written for The Onion. How is the submission process different?
The Onion is fake news, SNL is not. One of the few rules we have as Update contributors is to not change the facts of the set up for a joke. You can change the wording of set up, but you can't change the facts. "The Onion," however, is entirely about fictionalizing an event. You have to approach the joke from two different angles.

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This was your first on-air joke, but I understand it wasn't your first on-air contribution.
Last month the writers were in need of a picture of a "sad nerd" to go along with a Weekend Update joke. They apparently thought of me first and asked me if I'd lend my nerd-ly looks to the cause. The picture was of me wearing a Star Trek outfit. And last year my stomach made a cameo in a "fat belly" graphic. I'm in the center of the nerd / sad / fat Venn Diagram for Update photos. Which is actually sort of neat.

How did you find out that the joke was going to be featured and where were you when it aired?
On Saturday morning, I saw two of the jokes I had submitted that week on the board, which is rare. One got cut during the day, but the other made it to dress rehearsal and got an applause break and was pushed to be the closing joke. During the show one of the producers sent me a Facebook message to tell me, "It's going in!" But I was still unsure of whether it would make air because live television is so unpredictable. Since the script is always cut from the back-end, mine would be the first to go if the show was short on time. I decided to watch Weekend Update from the studio, which I don't normally do. When I heard Seth read it, I felt relief more than anything! And then I was excited.

Mike Drucker @ The Living Room | Photo: Aemiessence Fine Arts
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Were all of your mobile devices and social network sites totally blowing up post-joke?
It was sort of half-and-half. I waited until the joke aired to tell most of my friends. I didn't want to build it up and then have it be cut at the last minute! That would be awkward. But my parents and a few others were watching and we had a celebratory phone call afterwards.

What about your fiancé?
She was sleeping when I called her. Haha. Not because she doesn't care! She works hard. The woman needs her rest! She is the guinea pig for all of my jokes, so she had heard it earlier that week.

Has she seen it?
I think it still sits unwatched on her TiVO. Those episodes of House aren't going to watch themselves.

Any celebrating planned?
My birthday is next week [March 15] so I'll be celebrating then.

What else are you working on right now?
Doing what I did last week again this week at SNL. And I produce the "Writers Room Comedy Show" at The PIT. I'm also writing a movie script with Mark Normand and a different television script with Dan St. Germain and a different book with John Knefel.

You wear many hats, sir. Why so much going on?
Watchmen wasn't good enough to see more than once.

Touché.

--Chelsea White is a comedian, writer, producer, actor and co-founder of New Young Comedians.

THE PLUG
Catch The Drucker Brothers at the next Writers Room Comedy Show, TUES, APRIL 7 @ 9:30PM at The PIT
Catch the next New Young Comedians show on FRI, MARCH 20 @ 8PM at Karma Lounge (51 1st Ave b/w 3rd and 4th)

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    Inside With: Mike Drucker, SNL Contributor - By: Chelsea White - The Apiary - The Apiary - A Comedy Website
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    Inside With: Mike Drucker, SNL Contributor - By: Chelsea White - The Apiary - The Apiary - A Comedy Website

Reader Comments (6)

Always the Bad Motherdrucker AND he's got a fianc�! HA! Eat it, other nerds!
March 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBilly Reno
Man.. the way to my heart is to post up the black mage from final fantasy. Congrats on all the successes! And at such a young age too!
March 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersoce
The people love Mike Drucker.
March 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara Benincasa
Keep on Druckin!
March 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAbbi Crutchfield
I heart Mike Drucker!!!
March 17, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterchesslee

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