Steve Martin ‘SNL’ Sketch Still Stands Out For Seth Meyers And The Lonely Island

Steve Martin’s 2006 Saturday Night Live hosting assignment still stands out for Seth Meyers, Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, and Jorma Taccone. But not for the right reasons.

On Monday’s April 29 episode of The Lonely Island and Seth Meyers Podcast, the team talked about the surfer sketch they worked on for Martin.

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Meyers said he thinks about it “all the time, mostly because every time I see Steve Martin, he brings it up.”

He asked his co-hosts to explain the sketch, “Surf meeting,” noting, “You guys wrote it.”

“‘Surf meeting’ was a classic format for us, which was one person sucking and not being able to take a hit over and over and over again, like way too many times,” said Samberg. In the sketch, Samberg asks Martin’s character, who’s “in an old-timey bathing suit looking super dorkish,” to leave.

“It was making us laugh so hard when we were writing it,” Samberg said. “We were like, ‘This is the best thing ever.’ It actually played great at the table, and we were like, ‘We did it! We cracked a super funny sketch for Steve Martin where he kills, and we get to have it be on the show.’ “

“When we rehearsed it the first time without cameras, everyone laughed again, and we were like, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s the best,’ and then we just started rehearsing it, and for whatever reason, it started tailing off,” he continued.

What happened is a matter for debate.

Samberg said it might have been something that wasn’t meant to be acted out. Taccone blamed the staging and multiple characters.

Schaffer noted that Martin tried to be “way goofier to try to save the sketch,” to which Taccone agreed.

“As morale plummeted in the success of the sketch, Steve fought so f—ing hard,” recalled Taccone. “And I actually remember, like, in between dress [rehearsal] and air, going in to give him last notes on it, very disheartened, and just being like, ‘I wish we had more time,’ and he was like, ‘I wish we did, too. It’s so good, and it’s not gonna be good.’ “

Samberg said Martin was “distraught about it because he liked it, and we all thought it was going to be a winner, and it had a great rhythm to it.”

But, Samberg added, “Writing surf meeting was one of the most fun moments of my entire time at SNL.”

Meyers provided the coda to the story. “The great thing, and why ‘Surf meeting’ endures for me, is that for all his successes, it is a failure that still sticks with Steve Martin.”

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