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Posts tagged as alex baze

Does Twitter Make Writing TV Comedy Harder?

Do TV writers ever have to scrap jokes because people on Twitter beat them to it? "All. The. Time," says Weekend Update head writer Alex Baze in a new Fast Company piece containing interviews with several top TV comedy writers about how Twitter affects their jobs. Baze continues, "We were doing a run that scolded global warming deniers that used the line 'If you’re still denying global warming, you’re the mayor from Jaws.' I was pretty happy about that joke, written by Pete Schultz, and then about an hour before show time, Gary Janetti tweeted that exact joke, pretty much word for word. We ended up having to cut the whole [...]

Talking Del Close and the Early Days of Chicago Improv with SNL's Alex Baze

This is the first in a series of columns and interviews in which I'll examine improv comedy and how it affects the comedy scene in general. I’m saying “comedy scene” because even I don’t even know what I mean yet.

One thing I'm going to do is talk to comedians working for high profile shows/movies and seeing how improv affected their careers. This interview is with Alex Baze, the producer of Weekend Update for Saturday Night Live. In the early 1990s Baze was on the improv team The Victim’s Family at the ImprovOlympic in Chicago (today known as iO) along with Rachel Dratch, Adam McKay, and Miles Stroth.

Although [...]

Short and Funny, Part 1: Conversations with Twitter's Top Comedy Writers

It wasn’t that long ago, you’ll recall, that Twitter was derided as an exercise in vanity for famous people to feed their comically-obsessed fans a glimpse of the celebrity lifestyle, no matter how mundane the details. (“No way. Kelly Ripa likes pear slices in her salad? So do I!”)

But in the last two years or so, the comedy industry’s opinion of Twitter did a complete 180. There’s been a wave of comedians, writers, performers and producers joining the early adopters and utilizing Twitter as a platform to tell 140-character jokes and reach new fans.

It’s easy to see why. Twitter is in a way a virtual writer’s [...]