Saturday, January 01, 2011

Jon Lovitz


Ed here: I've alway been a big fan of Jon Lovitz and his work. Wednesday the A.V. Club's Sean O'Neal interviewed Lovitz at length about his life and career. As usual with Lovitz there is a lot of anxiety and pain mixed with the sardonic humor. At the end of the piece of I've linked to a You Tube Clip of Lovitz in a scene from the movie "Happiness." He's got the chops. And it's nice to see the lovely Jane Adams be lovely. She's too often in unflattering roles. The trick here is--is Lovitz the good guy or the bad guy? A victim or a self-pitying manipulator?

From The A.V. Club

AVC: When you came back in ’97 and hosted, were there any differences that you noticed in that cast as compared to your own?

JL: I didn’t sense any tension, and I also didn’t sense any camaraderie. It seemed very quiet. I didn’t see comedians goofing around. None of that. It was weird. I mean, it was calm, and everybody got along. And Lorne was very nice to me, but I felt like they looked at me like an outsider, even though I had been there. After the show, people come up to the host and say congratulations, and the only one who came up to me was Will Ferrell. He said, “Good show.” Nobody else did, which I found very odd.

On Monday, they have a meeting with all the writers and cast. They come in Lorne’s office and pitch their ideas. Before the meeting, Lorne said, “Listen, just don’t say anything.” And I go, “Really?” So they come in and tell me their ideas, and I just go, [Pauses] “Okay.” And I didn’t say anything! I think they probably thought I was a jerk, but he told me, “Don’t say anything.” I couldn’t say, “Oh, that’s funny.” They’d say, “We have an idea for a sketch. You’re a teacher, and the student brings you an apple.” I go, “Right.” “And then another comes in and another brings you an apple, and then another brings you an apple.” I go, “Then what happens?” They go, “No, that’s the sketch. They’re just all bringing you apples.” I said, “That’s not a sketch. That’s just a premise.” They didn’t know what I was talking about. I said, “A sketch is supposed to have a beginning, middle, and end. It’s like a movie. It’s supposed to have a story. You have a who, what, where—the beginning, and the conflict, and it builds and builds. That’s how you do improv. You’re filling in all those spots to make the scene work. It builds to a climax. Then there’s a resolution, which is the ending. It takes hours to write the ending. It’s hard to come up with them.” They just looked at me blankly.

I think the writers thought I was a jerk, because I was like, “Then what happens?” to all of it. They’d go, “That’s it.” Maybe they didn’t like that. They wrote a first draft, and, “Who are you to touch our brilliant first draft?” Writing is rewriting.

for the rest go here:,49464/



Phantom of Pulp said...

He's also amazing, Ed, in the new film CASINO JACK. The film is worth catching just for him.

Fred Blosser said...

HIGH SCHOOL HIGH was a pretty good parody of movies about inspirational teachers in tough urban schools. Generally, I've never been a big fan of the people who passed through SNL. Never understood the appeal of Belushi, Ackroyd, Murphy, Miller, Ferrell, or Fey, to name a few.

Todd Mason said...

That is a remarkable incident, and certainly comports with entirely too much of SNL since Phil Hartman left.