Saturday Night Live, Part II: The Party

October 31st, 2008

Read Part 1 here
You know, when I first started blogging a jillion years ago (on the Improv Resource Center) I used to write entries like this on like, every damn thing I did. It was exhausting. Probably even more so for you, dear reader.

I also neglected to mention in part one I had to pass up tickets to see Doctor Atomic with Silvija which I had been looking forward to for, like, a month. (Doctor Atomic is a modern minimalist opera about how Robert Oppenheimer gets an atom bomb dropped on him at Los Alamos and becomes an immortal superhero and goes to live on the moon.)

I also failed to add the braggy footnote that Amy Poehler once played me in the “Hospital” episode of the third season (#303) of The Upright Citizens Brigade TV show. At the time, it hurt my feelings because it was a pretty unflattering impression, however accurate. But now I can brag about it. Brag brag braggity brag.

The doorman at the place asks Jack “These guys all with you?” “Yeah, sure” he says, not even looking who he’s waving in. It’s a big Times Square restaurant/brewpub/bar which is already massively packed. There’s nowhere to sit, really, and if you do sit there’s waitress service. If you look for a place to stand, you’re constantly getting out of the way of waitresses shuttling past with trays of four dozen beers on them

Mitch and I beeline for the back bar and decide the occasion and our social discomfort calls for bourbon. I hadn’t eaten all day and had already had a week of insomnia behind me, so I decided to ride the poor judgment train all the way to the station. The bar is not an open bar and it actually costs a goddamn fortune. Luckily Mitch gets it due to me buying him a drink the last time. I sometimes think our friendship is almost entirely based on an elaborate network of entangling who-owes-who-a-drink alliances and if one of us ever went on the wagon our relationship would resemble Europe 1914. (That makes little sense). Although my memory is woogly, I don’t think I actually paid for a single drink all night… thanks chivalrous/enabling party peers!

Will Hines writes: “The only thing I care about is who hit on who, who made out with who and who was doing what drugs”

Unfortunately, I can’t really answer any of these. As far as I saw, none of these things were happening, which in the case of the last one seems really odd coming from UCBT where the motto has always been “Whenever two or more are gathering in my name, spark up a doob’.” (I don’t smoke marijuana… does my wooden dated slang give it away?) Of course, we were in a public place and any coke-snorting or meth-eathing or opium-dosing was probably done in a back hallway or something. I didn’t see it backstage either. Bobby actually said before we left that when his parents came for a visit, they kept saying how clean everything was and how nice the people were—they had images of Belushi in their heads. But he also said that parents-visiting-behavior was kept well up because everyone had been in that position before.

I can tell you famous people who were there though. I mean, other than the SNL cast and Jack McBrayer. I was talking to Rich and his wife (and told them dropping their baby’s crash helmet was a big branding misstep… it was her hook!) and he says “Oh, meet Jenna and her boyfriend.” And I shake hands and say hello and only ten steps away from the table get “Oh, that girl from The Office is called Jenna… that must have been her.” Near the end of the night I was standing within earshot of someone saying “I’d like you to meet Eddie Izzard….” who I also would totally not have recognized. I’m celebri-stupid. Horatio Sanz was there and we chatted briefly (he was a UCB regular)... he’s lost a ton of weight and looks totally different. Lorne Michaels was in the back room eating. There was a guy who probably wasn’t famous but he was really, really tall. Did I miss anyone?

I shook hands with John Slattery and said hi to Elisabeth Moss (who hugged me before she left, so it went better than last time). I talked to Michael Gladis for a while at the front bar where someone kept handing him tequila shots which he was trying to politely decline. I took one off his hands, but it may have been one of the worst decisions of the night since I was still tasting it three days later (blecch). I was cagey about talking to Jon Hamm who was totally holding court up in the front. He was taking pictures with people as they approached to pay homage to his beatific wonderment etc.

My pal Ashley who was my sometimes TV buddy this season (I don’t have cable and went to people’s houses to watch the show) and had been romantically obsessed with J.H. since mid-season. She and Jack went up and chatted, mostly about St. Louis, and she came back flushed. “He is so handsome, I literally had to sit down after talking to him. I could not form words…” In her regular life, she is quite a talker so that’s huge. I do not find him quite so swoon-worthy (not my type, but he shouldn’t feel too bad about that), but I was still intimidated. So, some time and more dutch courage later, I did come up and say “Hi… I’m the one who does the pictures.”

I Met Jon Hamm (Prettier Version)

Seriously, Matt Weiner all over again. Pulled into a massive hug. Those are amazing he says! Oh man, they look so perfect for the period! (I wish now I hadn’t gotten so blotto so I could remember it more.) Both he and his girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt were as nice as possible. Ashley took a picture (which I redrew above).

It’s about 4 AM now, people are thinking about going to the AFTER after-party. Most people are peeling off. It’s at a bar that’s on my way home, so I figure I might as well. Ashley and Jack say bye. I see Fred Armisen walking by and asked if he remembers running into me at the Sol Moscot on 14th St and waiting for our perscriptions together in the waiting room five years earlier and he said he did, asked where my glasses were and then said “You’re really cute, you know that.” Which I take as “adorable” and not “creepy.” It was delivered adorably, not creepily.

Mitch takes off. Sue and Lutz take off. I’m on my own so I split a cab with Michael down to Professor Thom’s in the East Village. “Remember the password is ‘Swordfish!’” someone is yelling. A Horse Feathers reference, how drole. Ok, fine, drunk guy. We take the cab down there and go up to the upstairs secret after-hours bar and a guy really asks for the password. Swordfish.

It’s dark and moderately crowded, but not with people we know really. Since it’s not a public bar, you can smoke in it, which is always kind of a time warp. My first few and most heavily-bar-going years in New York were pre-smoking ban so I view it with both nostalgia and revulsion. Much as I feel towards Catholicism. He’s very method; he smokes like a wheelbarrow.

After a while, Jon Hamm, Jennifer and Sudeikis (again… I THINK. I suspect I may have been subjected to a mind-control experiment and my programming goes off whenever I’m forced to recall whether Jason Sudeikis is involved… all previous information is erased) were there and we had drinks with them. I don’t remember what was discussed but there was yelling about art and then I said something about maybe being asked to do some work officially for the show and Jon went on an enthusiastic rant that ended with a hilariously salty “go for the gusto” encouragement that I can’t reprint and him telling me “Get a lawyer!”

Now, it never even occurred to me how weird this whole moment was that at 6 AM I was in a bar being bought a round of drinks by Don Draper and being yelled at. At no point in the entire evening did anything really seem odd or really overwhelming. I imagine my emotionally-deadening depression I carry with me was taking the edge off.

At some point after that I was in my house throwing up in the sink. I had a New Years Eve style hangover for two days afterward (compounded by the insomnia I already had and continue to have).

In short, a good time was had by all… the end.

6 Responses to “Saturday Night Live, Part II: The Party”

  1. Ashley Says:

    You tried to pawn off half of that tequila on me. I am so glad I declined!

  2. Victoria Colios Says:

    Wow, that sounds amazing. We’re still waiting for season two of Mad Men to come out over here in the UK and the suspense is killing me

  3. Annie Says:

    I can’t believe I didn’t stumble across this entry until just now, but that’s kind of awesome. The post, I mean, not the fact that I didn’t see it until weeks after it was posted.

  4. jazzfan360 Says:

    LMAO LMAO LMAO. I’m bonkers about the unexpected passage, “I don’t remember what was discussed but there was yelling about art…” Put into the hazy context of a lot of drinks on a very late night in a very dark, smoky bar with very exciting people, tt conjures up the strangest, funniest imges.

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