Zach Galifiankis is the latest guest to shoot the breeze with Rob Lowe on his “Literally! With Rob Lowe” podcast, and the “Hangover” star took a look back at his comedy career.
In fact, he looked so far back that he recalled a brief job from his past that even his most diehard fans may not know he held: writer on “Saturday Night Live”.
The reason most people may not remember that, he told Lowe, was that he only lasted at “SNL” for two weeks before getting the axe.
According to the “Baskets” star, all the ideas he pitched during his brief stint “just bombed very badly,” something that become particularly apparent when Britney Spears hosted back in 2000 and he was tasked with coming up with sketches for her.
One sketch that got rejected, he recalled, was one in which her “belly button was always exposed then and I thought she needed to protect it.” To keep her belly button safe, Galifianakis’ sketch would have featured Will Ferrell as a tiny security guard (who would “shrink” via green screen).
“It felt like a tumbleweed went right across the writers’ room table, and a cricket riding it,” he told Lowe of the reception that pitch received. “I’m not offended that no one liked it. It was probably bad.”
He had another idea that he pitched to Spears directly — which went over just as well the earlier one.
As he told Spears, the idea was that she was “being interviewed by ‘Entertainment Tonight’. There’s no jokes. And during the middle of the interview you just start bleeding from the mouth.”
Her response was not enthusiastic. “She looks at me, and then she looks at the ground, and then I looked at the ground, and she looks back up at me, I look at her, and she goes, ‘Yeah, that’s funny,'” Zalifianakis said.
While he admitted that being a writer on “SNL” was a “dream” job, he now realizes he wasn’t ready.
“To be a fly on the wall in the writers’ room. I didn’t know what I was doing,” he admitted. “I was a standup, I had never written sketches to turn in. It was not easy, I don’t know if ‘supportive’ is necessarily the word I would use there. But you’re new there, and in show business, especially as a standup, you get a thick skin.”
Check out the podcast in its entirety below: