Hi. You may know me from my videos on SNL like this one where I play Jay Z (the rapper): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzg9Iu0uEeg

I also was on the writing staff at SNL from 2009-2015.

Or from my web series, 7 Minutes In Heaven, where I interview celebs in an actual closet then try to actually kiss them. Here’s one I did with the Insane Clown Posse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqJA0xjD1CM

I just released a sketch comedy album called Tasty Radio. My friends and I perform sketches on it in the same vein as Adam Sandler’s They’re All Gonna Laugh at You. Here’s a link to one of the sketches called “Fun Girls” https://soundcloud.com/comedydynamics/trk11-fun-girls/s-bLGD3

And here’s a link to buy the full album https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/tasty-radio/id1049599729



Comments: 221 • Responses: 40  • Date: 

toiletting66 karma

Mike, I loved when you hosted Guts and Global Guts. My question is, in Global Guts, did kids ever curse each other out in foreign languages? What was your favorite incident that happened between two children from separate countries?

RealMikeOBrien111 karma

My favorite day on Global Guts was when a young boy from Paraguay shoved a boy from Thailand's face into a huge bowl of pudding. His eyes rolled back in his head and he spoke latin. I had to pull them apart but was laughing too hard. Also, I think you got the wrong guy...

shouldbeworking2350 karma

Favorite SNL cast member to work with?

RealMikeOBrien67 karma

I genuinely love almost every cast member I overlapped with. It's a charged environment, so bonding comes easily. But I shared an office with Sudeikis for my first 4 years so I loved writing with him. Fred was always a blast. Tim Robinson when he was in cast. I love Aidy and Kate... Too many to name.

Frajer38 karma

How did you come up with the sketch where you interviewed bugs ?

RealMikeOBrien55 karma

My friend Tim Robinson came up with that. It think it was sort of just a funny sounding pitch "You ever see how bugs are running all the time and want to ask them, where the hell do YOU gotta be??" And then he and Zach Kanin expanded that into a full video.

zipper45238 karma

What happened with you being in the cast? I always liked you on the show as a performer.

RealMikeOBrien57 karma

Thank you. I am not sure but I'd say I came through in a time of flux where cast moves we're happening at a faster rate than some other eras. Wish I had some awesome story where I rode a motorcycle through studio 8H shooting a bow and arrow at crew guys, but I don't. I will say I've been happy with every new step of my career and wouldn't go back and change a single thing- including being moved out of the cast.

softfern35 karma

What are the writing time lines like for SNL? And do writers get annoyed when actors make up their own lines rather than follow script?

RealMikeOBrien48 karma

Basically all the writing is done Tuesday afternoon and through that night, turning in the sketches Wednesday at noon on the show week. Actors don't make up their own lines much cause each line is associated with a camera cue so they'd possibly be saying them off camera.

fm7hz29 karma

On 7 minutes, do you tell your guests beforehand that you're going to kiss them at the end? How does it make you feel that the attractive women all shrink away from your kisses?

RealMikeOBrien43 karma

No I don't tell them, but sometimes they've seen previous ones and know. Hahaha. I didn't get too hurt by the women being terrified/disgusted. I mean, sometimes I was like, it's not THAT scary, bud.

shouldbeworking2327 karma

How'd you get a job at SNL?

RealMikeOBrien41 karma

I was performing at comedy theaters in Chicago -- The Second City, iO and The Annoyance. Lorne and some producers come to check out the shows every once in a while. In 2009 they saw me perform and flew me out to NYC for an in-studio audition. Pretty fun/nerve wracking experience. As you've probably seen in the clips of them, you perform right on homebase, where hosts give their monologues. After my audition they decided to hire my to the writing staff and I moved to new york.

macgroobs24 karma

What was it like to smooch a member of the Insane Clown Posse? Was it upsetting you weren't able to lay one on both of them?

RealMikeOBrien27 karma

It was pretty scary cause I could tell (unlike other guests around then) that they'd never seen the show and didn't know it was coming. So I took what I could get with a little peck on Violent J's neck and didn't push too hard for that Shaggy 2 Dope lovin...

Synchro_Shoukan23 karma

If offered a chance to do the Comedy Bang Bang podcast with Scott Aukerman on the Ear Wolf Podcast Network, would you?

RealMikeOBrien42 karma

Yes in fact I'm going to in a couple hours!!! Nicely timed question. Wait, is this Scott??

Baddassnumber719 karma

What was your proudest moment on snl?

RealMikeOBrien62 karma

I'll give you 3 1. As a first year writer, getting my first sketch on the air, which was called Underground Festival in the Blake Lively ep 2. Performing in my first sketch as a cast member (that had my name on it). Used Car Salesman written with Tim Robinson, in the Tina Fey season premiere 3. And getting The Jay Z story on last season

DanWhite_Reddit14 karma

Is there anything you've learned or any piece of advice that you wish you'd have known during your time in Chicago?

RealMikeOBrien29 karma

I was in Chicago long enough that I think I really got to have the big lessons of that comedy community sink in. And the biggest one I think I learned (and have to keep re-learning) is that you have the most success when you focus on making awesome work with your friends, as opposed to making things that are supposed to GET you some specific goal or job or amount of money.

HaplessHermit13 karma

When you thought of 7 minutes in Heaven.. which celebrity was your actual target and one that you would have to work your way upto ?

RealMikeOBrien37 karma

I didn't have anyone specific in mind. I was pretty shocked anyone said yes, actually. But in looking back, I suppose it was all leading to Goldblum. My whole life was leading to Goldblum.

Atomic_Tom12 karma

You gonna listen to the Lorne WTF episode? Does anyone at SNL give a shit about Maron's obsession?

RealMikeOBrien20 karma

I'll definitely listen to that! Didn't know it was happening. I'm a comedy fan and enjoy any time Lorne tells stories and opinions. And Maron's podcast is very popular at SNL. I don't think anyone thinks a ton about his "obsession" as you put it, but there's plenty of talk about which is the latest one you've got to listen to..

holubaloo82611 karma

Hey Mike, what do you think about Trump hosting SNL while running for president?

RealMikeOBrien37 karma

I don't think it's very odd. Hillary was a guest in the first ep. SNL has had a ton of candidates make appearances during election years. It's good for ratings. And frankly, it's a gamble for the candidate. Public opinion about what kind of person this is can change by watching them try to do comedy for 90 mins. For better or worse. So I kind of feel an "at your own risk" vibe about it. I also encourage people who hate him to not watch, which is an option some people forget they have.

TiredMold9 karma

Hey Mike, you were on the Second City mainstage performing America: All Better back when I was going through classes there, so I saw you do improv about once a week back then. You were always incredibly kind to me and my classmates--I think you even let us tag along for your birthday outing at one point. It's been so great to see your career take off! You were fantastic on SNL and the new album is incredibly funny.

Do you have your next project lined up now that the album is out? Do you think you'll focus on writing, performing or a combination of the two?

No matter what you end up doing, Chicago's rooting for you.

(Unless you end up doing a racist minstrel show or bumfights or something.)

RealMikeOBrien7 karma

Thank you so much! I will always love the chicago improv community. Working on figuring out the next project but I'll keep you all posted. In the meantime, maybe a couple more 7 mins some time soon. Maybe a racist minstrel show... Oh wait you said that would make you NOT root for me. FINE I WON'T DO IT!

jl2389808 karma

Do you have a notebook or something with hundreds ideas ready to go when needed/applicable? Any random jokes/ideas just sitting around for years?

RealMikeOBrien16 karma

I have a full apartment of said notebooks. And some have been around forever. I was about to list some and then I was like, I still want these to get made!

lazarus_taxon7 karma

Aside from the obvious resemblance, how did you decide on Jay Z?

Also, on an unrelated note, why are 22-28 year old boys all so dumb and will that get better?

RealMikeOBrien21 karma

I decided on Jay Z cause he epitomizes cool and has had a long enough career that there are some bad biopics cranked out about him. I'd also considered Gandhi. Re: 22-28 year old boys... They ain't getting any better. That's the fully grown version of that species. You just gotta find your diamond in the rough (shameless plug... watch Aladdin)

siriusblk697 karma

Hey Mike. What was the best part about working on SNL? And on thr other side of the coin, who was the worse guest that you had to work with?

RealMikeOBrien38 karma

Hi. The best part was probably Tuesday night writing nights. An adult slumber party where you sit around laughing with some of the funniest people from around the country. And every sketch is perfect at that point, having not been judged by an audience yet.

And I won't name names, but I didn't like when guests had no faith in different senses of humor. You're not gonna "get" why everyone's piece is potentially funny, but if you just go with it, you may end up being in a legendary sketch that just didn't make sense on the page..

coocookuhchoo7 karma

How "in" on the kissing were your 7 min in heaven guests? Did they know you were going to try? Some seemed very game but there were a lot of really awkward ones.

RealMikeOBrien12 karma

The first 8 had no idea. Then we started putting them online and people would watch them and know it was coming. But the people who had no idea are fun to see react. That's their actual reaction. Kristen, Poehler, Hoda, Patricia C, Elija Wood, forgetting a couple... Also Insane Clown Posse and Tracy Morgan hadn't watched it (which I liked) so their responses are also genuine surprise.

BevoGenocide7 karma

you look like a Dave Foley. Have you ever met Dave Foley?

RealMikeOBrien38 karma

No but I'd love to. I worshipped Kids in the Hall growing up. And News Radio.

I met Kevin McDonald a few years ago. A general rule in life- you're never gonna be let down when you meet a Canadian comedian.

nkleszcz6 karma

How's it working with the Donald?

RealMikeOBrien31 karma

I am living in LA now and will just be back at SNL for a handful of videos this season. So I am not working with him this week on the show. Just our usual overlap in the high stakes real estate world. Where I would describe him as "more bark than bite."

ollie2265 karma

Did working on SNL ever interefere with your personal life? or did your personal life ever interfere with SNL?

RealMikeOBrien24 karma

SNL > personal life. It always wins. You try to patch up your outside friendships in the summer. But it also is a social life of its own. So you don't feel like you've given years to a lonely job like the north korean computer hackers may feel.

HorselessHorseman5 karma

Why was 6 really afraid of 7?

RealMikeOBrien12 karma

7 knew secrets about 6's wife that they thought were buried in her past forever.

terdy_ferguson4 karma

Hello Mike, thanks for the laughs. Do you have any particular favorite memories or scenes from your time at iO West? Also, how sweet really was that peck from Jeff Goldblum?

RealMikeOBrien5 karma

Thank you terdy. Nice handle. You mean memories from my show at iO west last night? Favorite would probably be the run where we were all potential suitors for Charlie McCrackin. (I perform there weekly, as of recently, so it's a very present part of my life right now as opposed to fond ol memories which it will become...) Everything about Goldblum is silky smooth sweet caramel.

donthatebeth3 karma

What have you done in your life that disappointed your parents the most?

RealMikeOBrien8 karma

hahaha. Hmm. I got kicked out of the univ of michigan at one point and I don't think they were happy but I eventually got back in and graduated. I think any time I swear in a comedy piece my mom is disappointed.

donthatebeth3 karma

What's the worst part about aging? How do you think you'll die?

RealMikeOBrien12 karma

the worst part is that people act like you're supposed to be embarrassed. they say, "you're 39? Oh that's okay. don't be upset. you don't look it." etc. And I'm like, I never said I was bummed about it. I like my age. And if all goes as planned I'll die from a KGB lethal injection. Don't tell them but I'm gonna try to infiltrate them when I get a break from gigs.

Scottler3 karma

The backstage drug use in years past on SNL is pretty legendary, and I was just talking about it the other day. Is that still a thing?

RealMikeOBrien16 karma

Definitely nothing like the books describe. Well, even more than the books, there's a good amount of people who work on the crew and in different departments who have been there since the beginning and they will come into your office and say, "oh the things I've done in here..." then trail off and walk out and you get out the windex...

liamquane3 karma

Do you have any writing advice? :~P

RealMikeOBrien20 karma

Lately I've been trying to link it more to my emotional state and see if that produces something that people resonate with more. So I ask some version of these two questions. 1. How do I feel right now? 2. What's a character or scenario that is an exaggerated version of that? (even if you don't produce a good piece of writing you've saved some therapy costs)

JeffLabrecque2 karma

In Staten Island Summer, did you see your red speedo outfit and say to yourself, I should really grow a cheesy mustache? Or did you have the cheesy mustache and think, I should really wear a red banana hammock?

RealMikeOBrien7 karma

Hahaha. The classic chicken and the egg... I think the writer Colin Jost was combining a couple guys from his upbringing. One was a speedo guy. One was a mustache guy. And when the two come together, great power is harnessed.

elrudd2 karma

what's ur top three desert island comedy (any movie,tvseries,album,etc.)?

RealMikeOBrien3 karma

Being There. Nichols and May. Columbo (he's kidding with that whole thing, right??)

jakegunst2 karma

I am a big fan of the proposal sketch from Second City's "America All Better." What was the conversation like when you pitched this scene? Was there a precedence for this kind of messing with the audience scene? What was it like performing this scene every night?

P.S. I noticed Shelly got proposed to again on Tasty Radio. Is that an inside joke?

RealMikeOBrien2 karma

Thanks Jake. There was definitely a precedent for messing with the audience. Lots of great second city sketches to cite when you pitch something like that. The opening to Pinata Full of Bees makes the audience think Jon Glaser is a fellow patron who is now fighting cast members on stage... I loved performing that scene every night because it was one part of a very scripted show that could really go off the rails. Nice eye with Shelly getting proposed to again on the album. That wasn't intentionally linked, I just like working with her.

janestuart2 karma

Dragon Babies is one of my favourite things from SNL in recent history. Where did the name Bibbo come from??

RealMikeOBrien4 karma

Thank you so much. He's been coming up a lot in this ama, but I wrote that with Tim Robinson as well. I don't remember how we settle on Bibbo. Probably subconsciously thinking of Mike Bibby. Bibbo is the most like him out of the cast of young dragons.

danpatrick992 karma

your comedy makes me feel sad, are you sad?

RealMikeOBrien11 karma

Hahaha. No! Sorry about that buddy. I'll put some more pep in. I'm certainly not sad all the time. I don't think... (gazes out window)

jakegunst2 karma

Best karaoke song?

RealMikeOBrien7 karma

Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town

cacaheadman2 karma

Hey Mike, why are you doing an AMA? Huh? Why?

RealMikeOBrien12 karma

Hey quit shoving. I'm promoting my comedy album, Tasty Radio. Hope you download it and enjoy it. Links in my bio.

jakegunst1 karma

Any plans to visit to Chicago? Do you think you'll ever do a workshop at SC or iO?

RealMikeOBrien6 karma

I'll be back for the Second City that never sleeps later this month! Don't think I'll be able to do any workshops then though...

ferikori1 karma

do you have a lady in your life? are you bad at romance?

RealMikeOBrien8 karma

I don't. And I don't think I'm bad at romance. But it's possible I've prioritized comedy over it at times. But I can crank out a romantic date along with the best of them (Karl Rove).

Atomic_Tom1 karma

You ever feel like there was competition between you and the good neighbor bros to get a digital short on?

RealMikeOBrien4 karma

No cause they had their own director, and I worked with Matt and Oz. So we wouldn't knock each other out in that sense. Plus they're good friends of mine so that helps too.

alikidisciple1 karma

Who cuts your hair?

RealMikeOBrien3 karma

Well, if I can find an excuse to have the SNL ladies cut it, I always do that! Bettie, Jodi, Inge, Jen... They are the best and the way I know is that they win an emmy every year.

liamquane1 karma

What is the best thing a director can do for you on set?

RealMikeOBrien2 karma

Tell me which takes I'm allowed to improvise in. If that's a thing that is okay in that show/movie.