Live From New York Book Excerpt-

LORNE MICHAELS: The thing I was worried about the most in those days was the dry cleaners, and getting my clothes back. I probably only owned two or three pairs of jeans and four or five shirts, so you could get in a jam where there were no clean clothes. I lived above a Chock Full of Nuts at Fifty-seventh and Seventh, so I could always go down in the morning and have coffee and a whole wheat sugar doughnut. When Buck Henry came to the show he carried the New York Times around with him the whole day, and he would read it A-1, A-2, A-3 - all in sequence. He didn't consider himself done until he'd read the whole paper. And I went, "Wow." I certainly didn't think of myself as unsophisticated, but you could make up a whole world out of what I didn't know back then. But there was no time for anything but the show. Around the offices, I think early on I realized that if I looked like Henny-Penny, then pretty much that would be infectious. So when I was really frightened - when I was young, thirty, when I began - I would hold a glass of wine and people would go, "Well, he seems pretty cool and relaxed."

BUCK HENRY: One problem was, Lorne couldn't fire anybody. He was constitutionally unable to do it, at least early on. Once hired, it was sinecure. I think Lorne felt it was an admission of failure if you have to fire somebody you've hired.

ALAN ZWEIBEL: You know, Lorne did a thing which was really, really, really brilliant, and I don't know how long it lasted, it might have just been the first year. He wanted the public to know the cast as people beyond the roles that they played, so he would have a cast member just say, "Hi, I'm Dan Aykroyd, dah dah dah dah dah," just a little personality thing. With Gilda, she would sit on the edge of the stage, and she only did it twice maybe, and it was called "What Gilda Ate," and she would tell what she ate during the week. There weren't jokes in it, it was mostly personality things.

ROSIE SHUSTER: Beatts and I were sort of thrown together to write, and we were the first two females there. Marilyn Suzanne Miller wasn't there at the very, very beginning. We sort of circled each other suspiciously for a short amount of time. I was always romantic about the idea of feminism, but the first time she saw me she exclaimed really loud, "Jesus, look at those tits!" So it got a laugh in the room and that was sort of unsettling, you know. But we were thrown together and then we definitely bonded, because there was a lot of testosterone around there. There was a lot of energy and it was combustible and it was exciting.

It was hard to be female; it always was, you know. Gilda had a good coping device for that somehow, because she could just be charming and darling. When you're actually pushing your own material, when you're in the trenches with the guys, it's a little harder. We were in the front lines, like Vietnam nurses. It was intense. It was very, very intense.

LORNE MICHAELS: In the beginning, there were two things John didn't do: He wouldn't do drag, because it didn't fit his description of what he should be doing. And he didn't do pieces that Anne or Rosie wrote. So somebody would have to say that a guy had written it. Yet he was very attached to Gilda and to Laraine.

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