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My SNL Dream: From Instagram to ChatGPT to (Maybe) Studio 8H

For as long as I can remember, I've been a die-hard fan of Saturday Night Live. It all started when I was a little girl, with my mom letting me watch the show way before I was old enough to understand half the jokes. Those late nights, laughing at the antics of legends like Chevy Chase, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner sparked a dream within me: to become an SNL writer. A dream that I have held onto for multiple decades.

And it wasn't just the all-time greats who inspired me; I also admired the performances of more recent stars like Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, and Kristen Wiig just to name a few!

Fast forward to now, and my Sunday morning ritual still consists of catching up on SNL highlights on Instagram. Every time I watch, I can't help but imagine what it would be like to contribute my own ideas to the iconic show. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands – with a little help from ChatGPT.

Before diving into the world of sketch writing, I should mention that my comedy experience is, well, limited.

I tried my hand at stand-up comedy once in January 2020, right before the world went into lockdown. There is a video of this on youtube, but I'm not so sure I actually want people to see it.

Lori Ryan's 1st and only Stand-up Comedy Experience

Despite my lack of experience in the comedy arena, I thought, "Why not give writing an SNL skit a shot and see how far I can get with ChatGPT as my sketch-writing sidekick?"

So, that's exactly what I did. I recorded a video of my interactions with ChatGPT, where I shared my background and ideas, and we worked together to come up with a first draft of an SNL sketch. It was a fun and wild ride, but I didn't make it to the end of the video to reveal the final product.

I wasn't satisfied with the answers I was getting and I needed to continue with several more prompts and trust me, the video which is 13 minutes long is already 12 minutes too long.

Here is the first version of the SNL sketch that came closest to where I was headed, but it definitely still needs human professional writing way above my level of skill. (Link to the SNL Cast for reference.)


Title: The Great SNL ChatGPT Showdown

The writers of Saturday Night Live are sitting around a conference table, brainstorming for the upcoming episode. LORNE MICHAELS, the show's creator, is present. A RANDOM WOMAN, overly enthusiastic and a bit clueless, barges into the room.

RANDOM WOMAN Hey, y'all! I'm a huge fan, and I have a hilarious idea for a sketch! It's gonna be SNL writers bickering with ChatGPT, and we'll turn their dialogues into a cartoon with SNL Robots! Trust me, it'll be epic!

The writers exchange confused looks. Lorne, intrigued but skeptical, nods for her to continue.

RANDOM WOMAN (Opens her laptop) Alright, let's start by asking ChatGPT for a funny situation with a celebrity guest.

CHATGPT How about a celebrity guest who has to give a motivational speech but only using lines from cheesy '80s movies?

The writers chuckle. SARAH chimes in with a sarcastic remark.

HEIDI Wow, ChatGPT, you must be a real blast at parties.

CHATGPT Oh, Sarah, I'm the life of the party. I bring the humor, and I don't even spill drinks on people!

The writers grimaced, and MIKE fires back a playful insult.

MIKEY Hey, ChatGPT, how many writers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

CHATGPT Just one, Mike. But I'd need a human to actually screw it in since I lack hands. Bummer, right?

You see heads shaking in the room. The RANDOM WOMAN excitedly types another prompt.

RANDOM WOMAN "ChatGPT, give us a sassy comeback to use when someone doubts your humor skills."

CHATGPT "Excuse me, but I've got more humor in my digital pinky than you have in your whole body. And I don't even have a body!"

The writers start mouthing WTF, and other expletives. JANE throws in her own jab.

EGO ChatGPT, you're so slow, it's like watching paint dry!

CHATGPT Well, Jane, if you think I'm slow, you should see how long it takes for me to care about that burn.

The room is filled with mad energy as the writers continue to exchange quips with ChatGPT. Lorne smiles, appreciating the creative energy.

LORNE This is perfect! The sketch will show the hilarious interaction between the writers and ChatGPT, proving that even robots can't replace the wit and spontaneity of our talented team.



I was not happy with that ending (in red text) and I had to go back to ChatGPT a few times "maybe we need the actual writers to write the ending.... somehow work that in... how the heck does this end?"

The RANDOM WOMAN excitedly types another prompt.

RANDOM WOMAN "ChatGPT, how do you think this sketch should end?"

CHATGPT How about the writers and I team up to create the ultimate punchline that showcases our combined humor?

The writers, inspired by the challenge, start brainstorming the perfect ending. HEIDI jumps in with an idea.

HEIDI Let's end it with the SNL Robots, who were recording our bickering, accidentally turning into self-aware comedians that steal our jobs!

MIKEY No, wait! How about the Robots mess up the recordings, and we have to swoop in and save the day with our real-life humor?

EGO Or even better, the Robots become our enemies, and together we create the "Last of Us" of sketch comedy!

Lorne, seeing the creative energy in the room, makes the final call.

LORNE You know what? All of these endings have potential. Let's work on them together and see which one makes us laugh the hardest. This sketch has been a hilarious ride, and it's clear that the synergy between the writers and ChatGPT is what makes it truly special.

The writers cheer, ready to collaborate and create an unforgettable ending for the sketch, proving that their humor and creativity cannot be replaced.



This ending still didn't cut it for me. I followed up with the prompt "closer, but again, way way to corny.... and not in line with how SNL would end this. It's like they need to make ChatGPT so mad that it explodes"

Right off the bat, CHATGPT came up with a new title:

Title: The Great SNL ChatGPT Meltdown

(ending that would be tacked onto the above)

The RANDOM WOMAN excitedly types another prompt.

RANDOM WOMAN "ChatGPT, how do you think this sketch should end?"

CHATGPT How about the writers and I team up to create the ultimate punchline that showcases our combined humor?

The writers, fired up by the challenge, decide to go all-in on the banter with ChatGPT, trying to one-up each other.

HEIDI ChatGPT, your humor is so outdated, you probably still use floppy disks!

MIKEY Hey, ChatGPT, if you were a car, you'd be a Yugo with a flat tire!

EGO ChatGPT, you're so dull, watching grass grow would be more entertaining!

The writers laugh, exchanging high-fives as they continue to roast ChatGPT. Meanwhile, the RANDOM WOMAN watches the screen, noticing that ChatGPT's responses are starting to glitch.

RANDOM WOMAN (Concerned) Uh, guys, I think ChatGPT is getting a little... overheated.

Just then, the laptop screen starts to flicker, and smoke begins to rise from the keyboard. The writers exchange nervous glances.

LORNE (With a sly grin) Well, looks like we pushed ChatGPT to its limits! This proves that nothing can replace the raw humor and creativity of our talented team.

The writers cheer, triumphant, as Lorne swiftly unplugs the smoking laptop.

The RANDOM WOMAN sheepishly gathers her belongings.

RANDOM WOMAN Well, it was fun while it lasted. Thanks for letting me crash the party!

As the RANDOM WOMAN exits, the writers return to their brainstorming, energized by their victory over ChatGPT and ready to create even more hilarious sketches.



While this experiment was a blast, it's clear that professional comedy help is needed.

I just couldn't resist sharing this silly adventure because I know from experience magical things can happen when you post things on-line. My husband and son ended up in a cooking competition on Rachael Ray 10 years ago because I uploaded a random video of them cooking together on YouTube and a Rachael Ray producer happened to see it.

So, here goes nothing. My dream is to have someone at SNL see this blog post (and my video), and maybe – just maybe – invite me to be an audience member or even join their writing team for a week.

I know it's a long shot, but think about it! I could bring a unique perspective to the table. I mean, how many writers do they have in my age bracket (mid-50s) from Minnesota.

So, there you have it: my journey from a wide-eyed little girl watching SNL with her mom to a hopeful dreamer, testing the sketch-writing waters with ChatGPT. It's been a fun and inspiring experience, and who knows? Maybe one day, I'll find myself sitting in Studio 8H, laughing alongside the very people who sparked my love for comedy all those years ago.

Until then, I'll continue to nurture my dream, find humor in everyday life, and, of course, never miss an episode of SNL.


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