Making the Band Laugh: Andy's SNL Years
Part I: Off-Broadway (a cut sketch)
In all of my time as a faithful listener to Seven Second Delay, and a contributor to the bloggity-blog, and a compatriot to this faction of faithful 7SD listeners (time which I now realize should have been put to better use toward this nation and its future taxpayers), it has surprised me to find so many l.t.l.'s who first knew Andy Breckman as a composer/performer of o' so many hilarious folksongs, not to mention a bolt of energy to see live on stage.
For me, it was one night in 1983 when I was a 13-year-old lanky social leper in Salisbury Maryland, where my scope of musical stimulation didn't go past Friday Night Videos ( I actually added 50 cents to my folk's phonebill by dialing in a 1-900 vote toward Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" over David Bowie's "Let's Dance.") I was finally allowed by the elders to stay up to watch Saturday Night Live, starring EDDIE MURPHY and... others.
So this show is going okay as far as I can tell; then-NBC President Brandon Tartikoff was the host (whoever he was to me then; now may he rest in peace), Joe Piscopo played then-Secretary of Interior James Watt in a scathing piece of political satire (following his "I have a black, a woman..." speech) , Eddie brought out Gumby to a thunderous welcome, Julia Louis-Dreyfus' comedic instinct was yet to be trusted judging from the pie-in-the-face zinger in her bit. But nothing that night compared to the outburst from me, my family and the audience at studio 8-H when milk feverishly spouted out of the nose of some rotund, bearded man (see above) who I could not recognize from the opening credits, only to be consumed without hesitation by the impish Tim Kazurinsky; no doubt the most hilarious non-Eddie-Murphy moment on SNL of that period.
I'd later recognize him as a walk-on in other sketches, then placed name-to-face as Andy Breckman and recognize his name in the closing credits, then actually paid to see Moving, IQ, and Sgt. Bilko in the theaters because his name was stamped on it, and now I found him here on WFMU, and the rest is the rest-OKAY, MY LONG STORY IS OVER! COME BACK FROM SEA-WORLD!!!
Andy continued to write sketches for this network comedy monolith, on-staff til 1987 then a handful of visits as a guest-writer up through to the mid-nineties. If anything I hope this series of blogs will remind you loyal readers how Andy earned the street cred, not to mention "handsome living," as the comedy writer's comedy writer.
To start, here is a little gem I unearthed from an eBay purchase five years ago, a sketch Andy co-wrote with SNL stalwart James Downey (who's finally getting the well-publicized credit he deserves) on December of 1986 called "Off-Broadway." This surreal piece starred that week's host Steve Guttenberg along with show regulars Jon Lovitz, A. Whitney Brown, and the late Phil Hartman. At least it would've if it aired; Unfortunately this sketch didn't make the cut after dress rehearsal.
Enjoy. (I did.)
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