Hulu's Dana Carvey Show documentary looks at the failure of genius—and the genius of failure 

How does a sketch show featuring some of comedy’s most brilliant minds become “one of the most spectacular failures in all of television history”? How does a series starring one of the most popular comedians on the planet alienate his fan base so swiftly and decisively that his career never fully recovers? And…

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SNL’s Superfans react to Mike Ditka’s endorsement of Da Trump

Originally created by Robert Smigel for a 1988 improv revue called Happy Happy Good Show, “Bill Swerski’s Superfans” became a staple of Saturday Night Live for a good portion of the ’90s. In the popular recurring sketch, a group of thickly accented Chicagoans, whose ranks typically included Smigel, Mike Myers, Chris…

In 1993, Louis CK and Robert Smigel pretended to be dog experts on Conan

With its unknown host and unorthodox approach to comedy, NBC’s then-new Late Night With Conan O’Brien might have been in constant danger of cancellation when it debuted in 1993. But at least it had one of the most formidable writing rooms in all of television, including Bob Odenkirk, Dino “Starburns” Stamatopoulos,…

The Grinder realizes the impossible premise of Conan O’Brien’s Lookwell

In 1991, Saturday Night Live writers and future Late Night collaborators Conan O’Brien and Robert Smigel wrote a pilot for NBC. Titled Lookwell, it starred Adam West as Ty Lookwell, a washed-up actor who played the title character on the fictional cop drama Bannigan. Once given an honorary detective’s badge by the Los…