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April 16, 2024 41 mins

Growing up in Staten Island, Colin Jost hung around many of his mother’s colleagues at the New York City Fire Department. He quickly gained an appreciation for the power of laughter, even in grave circumstances. By middle school, Jost was doing David Letterman impressions for classmates, and less than a decade later, while enrolled at Harvard, he rose to the top of the masthead of the school's humor magazine, the Lampoon. Suffice it to say, Jost’s talents as a writer and performer were clear to all, and he routinely demonstrates this aptitude on S.N.L.’s Weekend Update, which he has co-hosted with Michael Che since 2014. On this week’s episode of Table for Two, Jost joins host and AIR MAIL contributor Bruce Bozzi to reflect on his early days as a comedy writer, the comedians and actors who influenced him, and the joys of raising his son, Cosmo, alongside his wife, Scarlett Johansson.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hey everyone, I'm Bruce Bosi. Thanks for pulling up a
chair today on Table for Two. We're back in my hometown,
New York City, and I could not be more excited
for our lunch at the Carlisle Hotel, a new location
for the show, but a classic city spot that's as
glamorous as they come.

Speaker 2 (00:23):
Do you eat here a lot since you live in
the neighborhood?

Speaker 3 (00:26):
I do. I hear a decent amount I hear this morning.

Speaker 1 (00:29):
We're having lunch this afternoon with someone who might be
one of the sharpest people I know. It just so
happens that he's also incredibly funny. He's both the co
anchor of Weekend Update and the head writer for Saturday
Night Live. He's also married to arguably the biggest movie
story in the world.

Speaker 2 (00:47):
You always need fries.

Speaker 3 (00:49):
Need needs an interesting word.

Speaker 2 (00:50):
You need I need fries.

Speaker 3 (00:53):
Are the absolute most addictive one from you.

Speaker 2 (00:57):
That's right, we're having lunch with mister Colin.

Speaker 1 (01:00):
We're going to talk about growing up in Staten Island,
SNL and so much more so. Pull up a chair,
we grab a glass of rose and enjoy, because today's
lunch is going to be a lot of fun.

Speaker 3 (01:13):
Did you say a Caesar salad with lobster.

Speaker 2 (01:15):
Yeah, whoa.

Speaker 1 (01:19):
I'm Bruce Bosi and this is my podcast Table for two.
We're sitting with an incredibly talented man, funny man, smart
man person. I have the luxury of calling friend mister

Colin Jost.

Speaker 2 (01:41):

Speaker 4 (01:42):
Thank you, Bruce, thanks for having me. Like I only
can't to hear that introduction now I'm waving. I just
needed an ego list.

Speaker 2 (01:49):
You know, your wife was the first guest that's Table
for two at Via Krorota way back when, so this
sort of makes sense.

Speaker 3 (01:57):
As long as they do better than her, I'm happy.

Speaker 2 (02:00):
It's all about competition. She did good. Oh no, they
tell you they damn it in the room, damn it.
I have a feeling though.

Speaker 3 (02:08):
Yeah, we're gonna meet. I'm gonna be I'm gonna be
friend everyone in this restaurant by the end.

Speaker 2 (02:12):
Yeah. Yeah. So what I loved about with Scarlett and
I bonded is we're all New York kids. Yeah, different burroughs. Yeah,
growing up in Staten Island, what was that like?

Speaker 1 (02:23):
I mean, you lived on a block with your whole family,
So family is very important to you.

Speaker 2 (02:28):
And how did that mold you? To the man you
grew into.

Speaker 4 (02:32):
Yeah, you know, and obviously you have similar with your family.
I mean it's and then when you when you have kids,
you realize the value of that on a whole other level.
You're like, oh my god, it's so nice the idea
that you could just let them go out of the
house and they would run to another house that your
family's and you know, like your grandparents or your cousins
are in. You know, that's so valuable and I kind

of miss it now. I mean, I love growing up
in sun Island. I had a great I found it
very idyllic as a kid. You had lots of sports,
you know, facilities, lots of parks. I was at a
swimming pool like that was in the Great Hills area
that I spent every single day of the summer there
from I would get dropped off at eight am and
I would leave at nine pm.

Speaker 3 (03:14):

Speaker 4 (03:14):
And I had a lot of independence and autonomy. Like
my parents would be there sometimes, you know, in and out,
but you know, you were with a swim coach, or
you were with other friends, or some parents would rotate
keeping an eye on you. But you had a lot
of room to operate and everything was there basketball courts,
raquetball court I think you kind of ran around. And
now when I think about that, being in the city,
it's so hard to find that it's basically impossible, and

especially with space where you could get into kind of adventures,
so you could get into trouble, but not really bad trouble,
you know what I mean, like wandering the woods, but
hopefully nothing weird.

Speaker 2 (03:47):
Now, yeah, it's a good balance.

Speaker 4 (03:49):
And stan Alan had that, and you could walk around
your neighborhood and you'd see friends, and you'd see people
you you know, parents of friends you knew, and it
felt like a that's why my mom still lives there.
My mom's been there her whole life, Like we grew
up next to my grandparents. You just moved to the
house next door, which is amazing, amazing, insane. First of all,
it's like a sitcom setup. And also I keep thinking,

now my dad, because if you think it's like for
my mom, like, oh, how great for my dad, it's like,
it's so weird that your in law just like walks
into your house anytime of day. It's a full everybody
else right right right, And but it's you know, it's
a great I think it's a great way to grow
up and and I loved it. And then there's a
you know, it's also it's definitely an insular place. It's

literally an island, right, and a lot of people, you know,
some people commute into work, so they're all the I
commuted into high school, so I was naturally there all
the time, right, And then you just see other parts
of the city and you get kind of you have
an itch to go get into Manhattan and kind of
see other stuff.

Speaker 1 (04:48):
The idea that you can sort of walk out your
door and have your adventures and spend your summers there
and have your buddies, but also have like your aunts
and your uncles and your grandparents to like how informs
you as a person.

Speaker 4 (05:01):
Well, part of it is like my fam my mom's
side is mostly Irish, you know, it was there. A
lot of them were in the fire department, and I
think there's a the sense of humor that comes out
of that was really important because it was it's kind
of a dark you know, you kind of especially in
the fire department, like there's so much life and death
with it.

Speaker 3 (05:21):
But the people who.

Speaker 4 (05:22):
Work in the fire department are really warm and really
and I think have a great sense of humor in general,
you know, like I think, and I want to joke
around and love the community and the camaraderie, right, And
that's part of why they love their jobs, even though
they're obviously very dangerous. And I think, and maybe that's
the nature of dealing with a job that's really dangerous,
is that you kind of have to joke around about
it sometimes because otherwise you go crazy, you know. So

that's definitely the community I was raised in of people
wanting to wanting to have fun, and no one wanted
to be serious or anything.

Speaker 1 (05:51):
So State Island sort of really became its own Burrow offshoot.
Not a lot of people were going to Staten Island,
and yet to me when I would go, I'd be like,
this is like country, this is beautiful.

Speaker 4 (06:02):
I mean, it was literally real country until probably like
the fifties or you know, there were huge farms, there
were it's where people in Manhattan and Brooklyn had summer homes,
believe it or not.

Speaker 3 (06:14):
Like there was a walk.

Speaker 4 (06:15):
My grandpa was a lifeguard on the boardwalk, and it
was it was probably similar to really nice areas in
the Jersey Shore, yea. And it had this thriving beach.
There's still like beach bungalows in certain areas. And I mean, basically,
I guess the water just got so bad that it
was it became a lot less appealing that to go
in the water. But it used to be that and
now it's a lot more crowded. I mean, that's the

biggest complaint for as far as and there's not the
same you know, the population is now probably five to
six hundred thousand, and it was back then in the
fifties it might have been like fifty thousand or something like.
It might have been a ten times growth with and
it sounds the size of Manhattan basically the land area.
So it's not so much it's like a third of

the population, right, but still pretty that's still a lot
of people.

Speaker 1 (07:02):
I mean, you love it so much that you bought
a ferry? I did you and Pete Davidson bought a ferry.

Speaker 3 (07:08):
That's how much I invested in.

Speaker 2 (07:10):
What is there going to be a party on that?

Speaker 3 (07:13):
You're gonna be You're gonna be invited, don't worry.

Speaker 1 (07:15):
Yeah, Okay, I feel like that's out a lot. When
I'm with Colin that I remind him like you do that,
you own that. And when are we gonna.

Speaker 4 (07:22):
When is the party? Yeah, it's a great question. It's
definitely going to start with a party. That's the one
thing we know right. Everything in between is what we're
figuring out. I'm very excited about the project. It's such
a giant project that it's going to take time, but
there's there's really good I think it's a great opportunity.
There's a lot of good ideas that are already behind it.

Speaker 1 (07:42):
So and I love the fact that you guys made
this choice, you both Staten Island guys, to preserve this.

Speaker 2 (07:49):
Part of history. It's like, you know, these things go away,
you think.

Speaker 4 (07:53):
Yeah, it would have been sad if it was just scrapped. Yeah,
maybe it might have been more financially viable to just
use the stealing would and sell it, you know. But no,
it was cool and it was the it was the
actual boat that the ferry that I took every morning
to school.

Speaker 2 (08:17):
What did your room look like? Did you have posters
in your room? Like? What college?

Speaker 4 (08:20):
My room still looks exactly the same as it did.
My parents have They just like maybe changed the bed
from a twin bed to because it's like, who's going
to ever go and see this twin creepy twin bed.

Speaker 3 (08:32):
That's all there.

Speaker 4 (08:33):
But it was, and it stick. It still is. But
since I was probably a baby, it was baby blue wallpaper,
I mean not wallpaper painted painted baby blue, which it
was throughout my entire high school college. When I came home,
it had animated looking poster of a penguin with sunglasses

that said chillin' that I that I won selling magazine
subscriptions that went up. There was a photo of me,
like a caricature of me that was painted in Paris
when I went with a friend in high school. And
then it was just bookshelves with all these books of
Russian history, economics, old English literature, poems, romantic poetry, Michael

Crichton novels, Wow, and and a desk that I would
work at in the closet with.

Speaker 3 (09:27):
Some clothes and that was it.

Speaker 2 (09:29):
That was it. I know.

Speaker 4 (09:30):
I didn't put up I never had a phase where
I put up posters of things I liked. I never
had a phase where I had like real stuff, Like
I didn't build things and put them up, or do
art or put it up, or just didn't do anything
in my room like, I just like, I'm here to sleep.
Then I go and I live my life and go
to a school and everything.

Speaker 3 (09:48):
And I've never really thought about it.

Speaker 2 (09:49):
It's it's I just needed to like picture it.

Speaker 3 (09:52):
Because I didn't make a space. I just whatever was there.
I just used for what I need. You know, I
would read, I would write, I would sleep, and then
I would leave.

Speaker 2 (09:59):
And it still exist and it's just probably the same.

Speaker 3 (10:01):
I mean, it's almost like about that, Yeah, should.

Speaker 1 (10:04):
You really because before one day someone your mom's like,
you know what we're changing and maybe.

Speaker 3 (10:09):
Blow torch it's right, would it would be very very flammable.
I'm sure. I basically have never eaten lunch in like
twenty years.

Speaker 2 (10:26):
Really, I never eat lunch.

Speaker 3 (10:28):
I never I never go to it.

Speaker 4 (10:29):
Like, never sit and have a lunch unless it's a
meeting or you know, something, very which is pretty rare.
I don't have lunch. I don't sit and have lunch.
I'll have I actually just don't even I usually know breakfast.
I'd usually kind of wait, get to you know, with
kids and everything, and then I maybe can get out
of the house by nine or ten.

Speaker 3 (10:50):
I'll work out.

Speaker 2 (10:51):
Then I'll have a juice like a green juice or
a coffee.

Speaker 4 (10:55):
And then I'll have an Usually I'll just have like
an egg white omelet when I finish, after I finish exercising,
and then i'm you know, I'm kind of good till dinner,
but you know, of something on a go or I
work in between, but you know, otherwise that's my next
main meal.

Speaker 2 (11:11):

Speaker 1 (11:11):
I mean you talk a lot about growing up and
being overweight, Yeah, which I don't.

Speaker 2 (11:16):
It was hard for me to believe.

Speaker 1 (11:19):
Plus you're always so active on bicycles and then doing
crew at college, I don't understand.

Speaker 4 (11:24):
Yeah, it was a very It was like a paradox
where I was. So I was playing five sports and
I was gaining weight, and I think it was like,
honestly a testament to how insanely caloric fast.

Speaker 3 (11:38):
Food was in the nineties.

Speaker 4 (11:39):
Yes, that I was able to maintain and even add
weight despite constant activity, and my brother and I both were,
like my brother was even heavier than I was, really
and we were constantly eating like processed.

Speaker 3 (11:52):
Yeah, there was a lot of.

Speaker 4 (11:54):
McDonald We would go to McDonald's. We would each get
a full adult meal. Then my brother and my dad
and I would like split a twenty piece nuggets for
the table, and like you often would get like one
other thing like a triple cheeseburger.

Speaker 3 (12:08):
To split out. And that's crazy, that's a lot. That's
like each having probably three to four thousand calories.

Speaker 2 (12:14):
For completely casual one.

Speaker 3 (12:16):
Yeah, and we probably ate it all in about ten minutes.

Speaker 2 (12:19):
Nothing tastes better. And then you'd have dinner later that night.

Speaker 4 (12:21):
Oh yeah, of course we weren't missing meals. I'm like, no,
I should back off on dinner. They made a lot
of dinner, you know, my parents did cook a lot
at home, and then we had probably all the things
that you now realize are the worst breakfasts, you know,
like a bowl of cyrus, like bowl of sugary cereal
with nothing else to wigger it in any way, or
like a doughnut or a bagel, or all the things.

Speaker 2 (12:43):
That right now you realize it right exactly like.

Speaker 4 (12:46):
The But you know, of course, I think also at
that time, no one was really thinking, certainly, no one
in my orbit was thinking about nutrition or no.

Speaker 2 (12:55):
No, no, no, that didn't come until later.

Speaker 4 (12:57):
No, I got to I talked to Share the other day, okay,
like three days ago. Why because she was maybe gonna
come on and do something on the show.

Speaker 3 (13:18):
She basically was like I wanted to. You know, she
was extremely nice.

Speaker 4 (13:23):
Last like last show because she was doing she was
doing a show in Madison Square Garden and she was
doing a probably jingle ballingall and we were kind of
talking about Originally we were talking about having her come on,
like introducing her as updated.

Speaker 3 (13:36):
She wanted to do something.

Speaker 4 (13:37):
Update, like saying, here to talk about the NBA's first
ever in season basketball share, come on, just give really
good basketball analysis of what's happening.

Speaker 2 (13:47):
Come on.

Speaker 3 (13:50):
I would have.

Speaker 4 (13:50):
And when I talk to her, She's like, I don't
know basketball. I'm looking at these names. I don't know
anyone that's in this thing.

Speaker 2 (13:55):
You're like, right, yeah, And then she would have made
it funnier.

Speaker 3 (14:00):
It would have been, but I think it would have been.

Speaker 4 (14:01):
But also I'm sure she maybe it would have also
been deeply unsatisfying for any fan of Shares. I don't
it would have basically eliminated both those fans. But she
was she was so I mean, I was so excited
to talk to her, like, oh was she like was
she like really very nice? And and and you know,
I really wanted to figure something out.

Speaker 3 (14:21):
But it was hard.

Speaker 4 (14:23):
I think the part of it being alive is so hard,
and so it's also such a scary thing, you know,
but hopefully we will at some point. But she was
she was really cool to talk to. I mean, it's
one of those people you're like, oh, that's that's really
she is.

Speaker 2 (14:54):
Thanks for joining us on Table for two.

Speaker 1 (14:56):
Colin Joe's graduated from Harvard, where he served as president
of the le gender humor publication the Harvard Lampoon. How
did working at the Lampoon prepare him for Saturday Night Live?
When you go to Harvard and you are, you know,
writing for the Lampoon, which you know, they don't make
it easier to get on that. It's you know, to
become a writer, and it's kind of great that they

kept a.

Speaker 3 (15:19):
Yeah, it's a hard process and a kind of a
mysterious process, and and you don't know.

Speaker 4 (15:26):
There's a lot of things that kind of fuck with
your head about it, and you don't know whether you're
blowing it or you're doing okay. Like you know, there's
no there's very little support or structure to what the
advice is and stuff there. So and you realize you're
just dealing with kids who are a year older than
you maybe and maybe they're drinking during the day and
maybe they're not totally in a great position to be

giving advice also, right, So you're trying to go through
this process. But it is a really you know, it's
a great meritocratic writing process.

Speaker 3 (15:55):
You know, you're simmoning sketches.

Speaker 4 (15:57):
People are voting on sketches not knowing who wrote them,
you know, which I think is kind of a cool thing,
and theoretically just trying to find who is the funniest person,
which is still subjective, but that's at least what their
goal is. And it's you know, you have to write
a lot to get in and when you're on you're
expected to write a lot.

Speaker 2 (16:14):
So it's you know, that's wild.

Speaker 1 (16:16):
So do you feel and you also, you know, by
the time you left you are at the top of
the chain in that you know you're top dog there. Yeah,
and also now being you know, head writer and you've
been head writer, and what is it about you that
you feel gets you to that place? Are you highly
ambitious that way? Do you?

Speaker 3 (16:35):

Speaker 4 (16:35):
I mean, I'm definitely ambitious. I think the head writer
part was a combination of things. Like part of it
was just getting better as a writer. It's not a
job anyone does. Like Michael Ja I loved him as
a comedian and recommended him as a writer, but he
came in like he had never written a sketch before
in his life, you never written a single sketch. He

was a great stand up and he but he'd never
in a sketch.

Speaker 3 (16:59):
And then he just figured it out, like quickly.

Speaker 4 (17:03):
He figured it out and wrote and has written. Some
of the best sketches that have been on the show
are right, And so that's just like that, Yeah, I mean,
obviously it's talent. And then also someone you know, I
don't know what it is like willing themselves to figure
it out or just being savvy enough to figure it out,
you know, and which is kind of a miracle that

someone can just do can come in and just figure
it out totally. Like I didn't have any experience writing
sketches really, but I would do, like in the Lampoon,
you're writing stuff that's not always so dissimilar. And then
I definitely performed some things with friends around the city
that were kind of more in a sketch world. So
it wasn't like totally and I wrote a packet, like

I wrote a couple packets to try to apply and submit,
which he didn't do. So it's he really went from
like zero to one hundred successfully, whereas at.

Speaker 3 (17:57):
Least I had that, like I had gone to it
a little bit.

Speaker 4 (18:01):
And then certainly it's ambition, like that was after I first,
your first goal is to not get fired, right, You
just want to be about have a chance to do
it and enjoy the job and write things you think
are funny and hope that they get on the air.
And I was lucky that some things that I broke
out on the air. And then the second year I
came back and I had sort of an expectation of myself,

like I should be able to write a lot of
stuff because I wrote some stuff last year, and the
second year, like I want to even set up the
first five or six shows, like I didn't have anything
in the show my second year, and I was like,
oh no, like am I regressing?

Speaker 3 (18:34):
Am I bad at this now? Or like did I submit?
And it just wasn't yeah, like yeah, you're in SNL.

Speaker 4 (18:41):
And and then at some point the second year it
started clicking again. And I started getting stuff on and
then after that it was like a build like years three,
four five, where I started getting like something on every show.
Then I started getting like two things on a lot
of shows. Then I started getting like two things on
every show, you know, on average at least.

Speaker 2 (19:00):
Just because did you figure out sort of the rhythm
of it?

Speaker 3 (19:03):
I can. I got better. I mean, it's just getting reps.

Speaker 4 (19:06):
And you know, like I wrote, was writing hundreds of
sketches a year, so you get better at it hopefully, Yeah,
and then you and and then also there's lots of things,
right like if you if you start getting sketches on
the show, then probably cast members want to write with
you more, or if you're helpful to cast members who
are funny, that probably helps you also. And I was

very lucky to work with people who are really fun
to cast.

Speaker 3 (19:30):
You know.

Speaker 4 (19:30):
If I started with Sadai, kis Andy and Kristen and Bill,
which is essentially the best four, and that was the
whole class. So I think that's pretty much like per
capita of the best incoming class ever. I think, so
with the exception maybe of the first ever ever, you know,

but that's a pretty pretty incredible group and so I
think I was lucky in that way, and I think,
you know, I was. Then then once you once it's
like years three to five or something, I think then
I got promoted to like supervising writing position, which was
was really just like you're getting a bunch of stuff
on and we need to give you some title. But
you're not a head writer, nor are you're ready to be,

so you know, but you're somewhere in that you're in
the mix of a new generation.

Speaker 3 (20:15):
Yeah whatever.

Speaker 4 (20:16):
Then you're just like more, you get into more the
producesorial world of it. More, you're in more meetings with
the producers, You're in more meetings with Lorne. You're getting
the comfort of being around Lorn in a way too,
because that's you know, because he goes from goes from
being a guy you see in the hallway every so
often I are scared to say hi to to he's

asking your opinion on something, which is that's a big change.
And then you're getting and then over time it's like
you're growing. There's a friendship growing with the person that
you really like, you care about. So it's that was
the build, but certainly there was ambition like that was
once I got over the hump of being afraid of
being fired like that was definitely a goal in my
mind at some point was I wanted to be head

writer because that was a.

Speaker 3 (21:01):
Lot of people that I looked up to.

Speaker 4 (21:02):
We were head writers like Jim Downey and Seth and
Tina and Paulapel, and there were a lot of people
that were like in that Michael o'donaghy back in the day,
you know, people that were you adopted.

Speaker 1 (21:23):
It feels on Weekend Update when you and Michael sort
of go back and forth. It feels like you write
what he's going to say, Like when you do the
and like he's never seen it, like you know, you'll
see it pop up on the screen and then you
shake your head and you smile like, Okay, I can't
believe I have to say this? Is that how it
goes down?

Speaker 4 (21:42):
Yes, Yeah, it's yeah, it's really it's it's it's both
terrifying and exhilarating. Like it's kind of crazy. There's just
not a lot of live television in the world anymore.
So the idea that you're on live television and you
have to say something you don't know what it is,
that's pretty crazy.

Speaker 3 (22:03):
And it's not it's not usually gentle.

Speaker 2 (22:06):

Speaker 4 (22:06):
So it's a very strange. Uh, it's a very strange
thing and a but a crazy experience to go through.
And and it's really fun. Like I'm someone who can
also be really in my head a lot of times,
you know, it's in a right ely way. I could
be in my head and it definitely gets you out
of your head. And there's times where things and I
really like that when when there's when there's times where

you just have to react, I'm probably better at that
than when I'm thinking it through. But then you're like,
I don't know how, why can't I get that normally right?

Speaker 1 (22:37):
Like I like, if you were anticipating it because you
knew it.

Speaker 3 (22:41):
Then it wouldn't be the same.

Speaker 2 (22:42):
It's it's a brilliant as a viewer, it's a.

Speaker 1 (22:45):
Brilliant moment like that your weekend update together is when
when when it goes there it's hysterical.

Speaker 4 (22:52):
It really just came out of I'm just kind of
trying something and it was not Again, we didn't really
have an idea for it, and then we just kind
of tried it and it became that and you know,
we'll see but it's always there's definitely a reminder to
not be afraid of trying things, Like it's hard at

our show because you really only get one shot to
try something because it's at dress rehearsal. Like if it
doesn't go well address rehearsal, it's pretty rare that it's
going to still be on the air, right, you know,
so it can go the other way. It doesn't well
addressed and the not well at air, but it doesn't
really go the other way.

Speaker 1 (23:37):
Who were the comics that you were heavily influenced?

Speaker 2 (23:42):
I was thinking about you.

Speaker 1 (23:44):
So when I was a young man in nineteen eighty nine,
I was a page at NBC and that was a
hell of a great job.

Speaker 2 (23:54):
So every weekend we worked SNL. We did tours during.

Speaker 1 (23:57):
The day and then you know, you had your break
and then it was like boom. And I always with
Stephanie Phillips, we had big curly hairs, very you know,
late eighties or late nineties, and we would work the
door at Studio H and it was it was like
the power job. And my cast then the caste was
Dana Carvey, Nora Dunn, Phil Hartman, Jan Hooks, Victoria Jackson,

who I just love John Lovetts, Dennis Miller, Mike Myers,
Kevin Neelan and.

Speaker 2 (24:25):
A Whitney Brown.

Speaker 3 (24:26):
Wow, that's great. It was a good that's a great guest.

Speaker 2 (24:29):
Yeah, it was a great. Yeah, it was a great
I remember that.

Speaker 4 (24:31):
I know that writing staff was great too at that time. Really,
so many great writers from that era.

Speaker 1 (24:35):
I mean it was a hell of a year and
a half to be part of that and to be
in those shows. And yeah, that was the year too
that Gilda Radnadat and so like that was a whole.

Speaker 2 (24:46):
Thing in a moment.

Speaker 1 (24:47):
Who were the people that really influenced you from a
comic standpoint? And were you always interested in finding yourself
on the road and pursuing that.

Speaker 2 (24:58):
I mean, you also are a Russian literature ma, you're
you know, you're also a writer.

Speaker 4 (25:02):
How did SNL SNL wise that that was what you're describing?

Speaker 3 (25:08):
That cast is the first cast that I have memories of.

Speaker 4 (25:11):
Oh wow, And you know, obviously loved Dana and Mike
Myers and Jan Hooks, and I mean Phil Hartman was
incredible and also from you know, like so I marry
an axe murderer. I loved Phil Hartman's great in that too,
and his work on The Simpsons, like I kind of
was aware of that, you know, it's just his voice
acting that was so funny. And when you know the

Waynes World movies with Mike and Dana were. Those were
like the early SNL people that I really loved then
really big were really in my sweet spot in high school,
I guess were which is usually when people's SNL casts are.
It's like were Sandler and Farley, rock Spade, that whole crew.

Those were like the sketches that I would re enact
at school and stuff with my friends, Like even formally
we would go do like assemblies and we would re
create those.

Speaker 2 (26:01):
That listener about that because that's really funny.

Speaker 3 (26:04):
We did, Yeah, we did, like you know I did.

Speaker 4 (26:06):
I basically hosted a show in our class, which again
now you realize teachers will do anything to not teach.
They're like, yeah, you should do this, So I would
host a show as Letterman. Letterman was a huge influence
for me, and I would pretend to be David Letterman
and I would read like his actual top ten lists
that he was doing, Like I had books and books
of top ten lists that I would read and pick

out the ones I thought were the funniest, and then
I would read them to my class, just fully steal
his material, and then I would introduce it's kind of not.

Speaker 3 (26:38):
A bad hybrid format for a show.

Speaker 4 (26:40):
I would host it as Letterman, and then I would
introduce sketches from SNL that we would also steal and do.
So my friends and I, like a group of us
Lenny and Mike Calcagny and Mike Bodner and Frank Berlin
and Steve Paul mecI, we would go. We would reenact
them in front of the whole in front of first
it was just in front of our whatever seventh grade class,

and then I guess we were good enough that we
got moved to full assembly, so then we would do
it for the whole school, which was kind of kind
of cool. So that was that was like the first
idea of performing or putting a show together in a
comedy way, right, So that was like one track of things.
And then it was really actors that I love, like
Jim Carrey was huge, Robin Williams you know a little before,

was big, and then Will Ferrell was was you know
in both ways both SML and movies. Was big, and
like when he came back to host when I was
a writer, that was like one of the coolest things
because he was a guy I you know at SNL,
Like so many of his sketches were classics to me
as a comedy nerd. And then you know, in Tina

and Amy also like in an update way, those were big.
I mean, Norm too and Tina Amy were you know,
and Tina on the both writing and update side was
really inspiring, like seeing how she did that and she's
still like I think of her a lot when I'm
writing sketches because a lot of the sketches she wrote

were like really joke dense and they had a funny premise.
They had got you know, good performance things, but they
had a lot of like every line it feels like
it was a joke and it's like a aiming for
that I think is such a great thing, like to
just remind yourself it's always better if there's more jokes
and it's more everything is an opportunity for a joke.

Speaker 2 (28:25):
Is after something that you're born with or is that no.

Speaker 4 (28:29):
No, no, I mean I think some people are born
probably with some inclination to joke around or some innate.
Some people are obviously naturally really funny, and you know
they're they're like even if they don't do comedy, they're
naturally funny. Like some of my friends are lawyers who
are really funny, or doctors who are really funny, and

they don't even really think of it. I mean, I
never knew it was a business. I never knew it
was a job to go do comedy. Growing up, No
one I ever met worked in any related anything to
show business, you know, So I think beyond that, it's
mostly learned. You know, you're if you're doing and what
you're drawn to. So all I did, again, I didn't
know it was a job. But all I cared about

and really memorized and got into as a kid was comedy.
You know, Sandler's albums I would listen to and memorize,
like word for word, knowing every line from every movie
that he did, that Jim Carrey did.

Speaker 3 (29:23):
That's just setting you down a path.

Speaker 4 (29:25):
Now you might you might be that path and never
find the opportunity to be involved in making it. But
I then I did, and that was then I was like, oh, yeah,
this is a great way to do it.

Speaker 3 (29:34):
Because I used to love it and now I could
keep doing it.

Speaker 2 (29:55):
Welcome back to Table for two.

Speaker 1 (29:57):
A typical week at Saturday Night Live is incredible stressful.
There are new sketches to write and rehearse, costumes to design,
and sets that need to be built. I'm particularly curious
what's it like for Colin and the staff to work
with a new host each week. Has there ever been
you know, the host come and you see them and
you're like, you know who they are, and then you're like, oh, okay,

like you get like I'm sure very surprised, like this
push is actually really good, Like they actually get it.
You know, when it goes either way, when it goes like, oh,
this is just you know, not this is going to.

Speaker 2 (30:29):
Be really an uphill battle.

Speaker 4 (30:30):
This person it just doesn't have that, and it happens.
It can happen different ways throughout the week. Like you
can have a host who's not that good at the
read through table, right like even maybe they're not a
great cold reader. Maybe they're you know, their their process
is more they're kind of reading it more straight, and
they're just they're they're going through the character in their

head because they know it's not the real time, you know,
they're like more, they're more seeing the character in their
head instead of performing it. Then yeah, like even or
there's things like Melissa McCarthy when she hosted, she had
pieces that she worked on, she wrote, and they were
fully formed in her head, but she was kind of
clocking in a different way at the table read, and

you kind of have to trust, you know that, oh,
that's going to be folk.

Speaker 3 (31:15):
She knows what she's doing.

Speaker 4 (31:16):
I mean, obviously she knows we're doing, but like in
this particular sketch, she's got this all mapped out and
yeah or sure or yeah or it's like, you know,
whatever it is, there could be an element visually that's
not really in the piece, but she knows in her
head when she's performing it, or she knows she could
figure it out. And those have been some of those
sketches that killed the most and were classics for her.

So it's it's it's that kind of thing. Or there's
an actor that has their own process, like you know,
you can be and finding it a little bit in
a moment or trying to differentiate because you're reading, you're
reading forty.

Speaker 3 (31:48):
Sketches right at the table read, so to.

Speaker 4 (31:50):
Be able to make a choice in all of those
and that's something like actually, Adam Driver's especially good at
at the table read, like he'll he makes a choice
for all those pieces.

Speaker 3 (32:00):
And an interesting choice, and.

Speaker 4 (32:02):
The same way Will Ferrell does in a but you know,
obviously he knows it in a whole other way, but
he will, We'll find a new move for all of them.
And it's really a kind of a miracle or maya
you know, like my real will come back and to
like have a different character wherever. It's like, it's really
they're very yeah, they really are, and you know, so
that and then there's hosts that are great at the

table read because they're great readers. You know, if it
was an audio series it would be great. But they
are less performers in space, you know, so you're that
other part doesn't add in as much as you thought.
Some people have never done theater. Some people have never
done live anything live, which is scary, yeah, you know,
and then some people are it's it's also you're reading

off Q cards mostly, which is a very hard thing.

Speaker 3 (32:51):
If you don't know that.

Speaker 4 (32:52):
It's you know, when I started an update, I was like,
I'm very good at reading. I'm really very good at reading,
and somehow I couldn't do it well at all. And
I was like in my head, like, why.

Speaker 3 (33:01):
Is this so hard?

Speaker 4 (33:02):
You're like overly concentrating on reading, you know, and you're like,
just let go of it, don't Why are you worried
about being able to read in this situation. You're able
to read signs on the street and just go just read,
but it's intimidating when you're not used to that and
let alone changes on the fly. Like Christopher Walking, who's
obviously one of the best hosts ever. He when he

posted you and you have things at the table read
and and you always make changes between the table read
and dress rehearsal because you're trying to make it better
or tighter or whatever.

Speaker 3 (33:31):
A joke didn't work, you fix it.

Speaker 4 (33:33):
Christam Walker wun always be like no, leave it and
you're like, well, no, we didn't got to fix this part.
He's like, no, leave it, and you're like why He's
like it's fine. He's like, it's fine. I'd rather I
don't want it to changes. I'd rather find it figure
it out as an actor, know the rhythm, have the
comfort with material, not have all these changes and you know,
that's another approach that I think really works for him

and maybe would work more if we did that. But
you know, the sometimes we get into it's easier now
to make changes because technology has gotten better, you know,
like you can type in things fast, but you can
make it. But maybe that's bad in a way because
the sometimes the actors are less familiar with the material
and if they saw a joke the same twice, maybe
it's not as good a joke, but they'd be able

to find something in the delivery that would make it
better than a new.

Speaker 3 (34:19):
Joke, right. You know.

Speaker 1 (34:30):
During the show itself, the live show, is it daunting
to look over at Lauren and see his face at
this point? Can you see in his face when because
when I've gone to the show and I look at
him and I swear, I'm like, I have nothing to
do with the show'rving, I'm like, oh my god, did
he like that?

Speaker 2 (34:45):
Did he not?

Speaker 3 (34:46):
It's a yes, it is still daunting.

Speaker 4 (34:49):
Or like when he even kind of shows up at
a when you're rehearsing or something and he kind of
drifts into the back of the room, you're just a
little bit more on edge and you're you're second guessing
the like joke about pooping pants that you have in
and you're like, why did I do this? I wish
I didn't have to do that for the first time
in front of Lauren whatever it is. You know, like
there's that kind of feeling. But you know, I've got

you get over that to some extent because he just
realize like he's seen a lot of bad stuff, so
you know he's not and he's seen a lot of
bad stuff get better, and he's seen a lot of you.

Speaker 1 (35:21):
Know, does he throw things out like if he sees
it just maybe like like one of those passion by
comments that oh yeah, oh okay, yes, yeah he does.

Speaker 4 (35:31):
He does, and he's judicious about it because he's part
of it. Is at least for us with update, I
think now at this point he probably knows that we're
anticipating some of the things he might say in a
good way, not like we're worried about what he's gonna say,
but more like he's taught us some instincts that we
probably sure so we're like, oh, yeah that if it's

a joke that he's there rehearsal for and sees it
bomb where he is pretty confident we're going to fix
it with or or cut it, probably without him having
to specifically say cut that horrible joke. So that but
he's but he'll give like a you know, he'll just
give like a small but important note about how you're
playing a certain thing, or the tone or the aftertaste

of a joke, like is that do you really want
to have that the perception of this joke after the fact,
or something you know, like if especially if it's about someone,
like is it mean to that person? And I'm I'm
very sensitive about that. In general, I'm not a person
who likes doing things that are mean to people. I

prefer to do it based on what things they do,
like what a are actions, rather than about I don't
like making fun of people's personal lives that it really
does not maybe not like that, but but sometimes, like
you know, I'll have a occasionally I'll have a joke
where I'm like, I think even that person would not
be offended by this joke, but maybe they would be.

Speaker 3 (36:55):
I don't know, who knows.

Speaker 2 (36:56):
You never know.

Speaker 1 (37:04):
I've had a wonderful lunch with Colin today. I know
that family plays a huge role in both Colin and
Scarlet's lives and as our time together winds down, I'm
interested to know what Colin hopes to share with his
son as he gets older and you talk about family,
and family is very important to you, It's very important
to Scarlet. I've talked to Scarlet about her family when

we had lunch, and they're wonderful and as are yours
down to earth. Is there something that you want to
show your son You want to make sure he sees
there's so much humor in your family.

Speaker 2 (37:36):
I mean, there's so much wit and so much intelligence.

Speaker 1 (37:39):
Is there anything that when you think of because when
you become a parent, it's just everything changes.

Speaker 2 (37:43):
It just does.

Speaker 1 (37:44):
Is there anything that you I want to do this
with Cosmo. I want to show him this.

Speaker 4 (37:49):
You know. One thing that's really important to with him
is I take him swimming a lot whenever I can,
you know, like pool or ocean.

Speaker 3 (37:58):
And he's he's only two, and he's he's a pretty.

Speaker 4 (38:00):
Good swimmer, actually, like he's almost independent swimming, which is
kind of crazy. He's a smart he's a smart guy too,
but he's a great such a bunch hit.

Speaker 3 (38:08):
But he I like that. I mean, the water is
really important to me.

Speaker 4 (38:12):
And yeah, and it's always been something I just you know,
I didn't love always the competitive part of swimming, but
I did love being in a pool, and I'm very
happy around water all the time. And that's something I'd
like to share with him in different ways, you know.
The first thing that came to mind was my grandpa.
My grandpa just passed away, and he was he was

a firefighter, His dad was a firefighter. And he's the one,
my grandpa who lived next door, and he really helped
to raise me a lot. And I'm really happy he
got two years with Cosmo. In the years to come,
even though Cosmo I'm sure won't remember that time, I'm
excited to kind of impart elements of my grandpa in him.

His middle name is my grandpa's name, and the spirit
of a lot of the great things my grandpa. A
curiosity that my grandpa really had, a friendly and outgoing
of friendliness and ability to go talk to anyone and
engage and really be curious about them, and a real
joy and appreciation for life, like a deep gratitude feeling

like you know what you would say late in life
he would constantly say, like if I go tomorrow, I'm
so happy, you know, like I don't you know, I'm
not wouldn't be sad. It's all good, you know. And
and that's like one of the one of the last things,
like on his deathbed that he said to me was like,
don't worry, I'm okay, and he literally said bye bye,

like kind of funny in a joking way. Yeah, And
that's the last thing. That's the last words that he
said to me. And he died that like later that day.
And you know, I think that's what I will hopefully
in part and Cosmo, I don't know how much of
it's taught versus in you, but you know, a gratitude
in it, some kind of grace I think with with

people is is a great thing.

Speaker 1 (40:00):
Well, that's a beautiful story and I think that, uh,
I think it's a beautiful way to sort of wrap
our beautiful lunch. And Colin, thank you, thank you for
coming your mind. My family loves you. I love you.
I love your family. And you know you're just an
incredibly talented gift to the world. What you how you

see the world and did you have this platform turn
presented and you make people happy?

Speaker 3 (40:26):
Thank you very much. It's a pleasure.

Speaker 4 (40:28):
It's a pleasure in any capacity, but especially with this
lobster caesar salad and the second lobster that I ordered
to go.

Speaker 3 (40:36):
Very generous of you.

Speaker 2 (40:37):
My pleasure.

Speaker 3 (40:40):
Ready that I'm going to have shipped exactly.

Speaker 1 (40:43):
Anyway, Thanks for everyone for pulling up a chair today
on Table for two with Bruce Bosi and mister Colin
Joys and We'll.

Speaker 2 (40:51):
See you real soon.

Speaker 1 (41:01):
Table for two with Bruce Bosi is produced by iHeartRadio
seven three seven Park and Airmail. Our executive producers are
Bruce Bosi and Nathan King. Our supervising producer and editor
is Dylan Fagan. Table for two is researched and written
by Jack Sullivan. Our sound engineers are Jess Krainich, Evan Taylor,

and Jesse Funk. Our music supervisor is Randall Poster. Our
talent booking is done by Jane Sarkin. Table for two's
social media manager is Gracie Wiener. Special thanks to Amy Sugarman,
Uni Scherer, Kevin Yuvane, Bobby Bauer, Alison Kanter Graber. For
more podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts,

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