During the early years of his stand-up career, Zach Galifianakis had a very brief stint, which he’s often described as more of a two week trial, as a writer on Saturday Night Live. Despite things not working out and becoming evident very quickly that he just wasn’t a good fit, Galifianakis is still honored that he even had a chance to be in the room and take a crack at the show.
While calling in to Literally! With Rob Lowe, Galifianakis opened up about the two sketches that he actually got to pitch during the week that Britney Spears was scheduled to host. This would’ve been the May 13, 2000 episode, which was smack in the middle of her “Hit Me Baby One More Time” years. At the time, Galifianakis noticed that Britney “showed her belly button a lot,” so he came up with this idea where they’d use a green screen to “shrink” Will Ferrell who would play a security guard inside Britney’s belly button. As Galifianakis tells it, the pitch completely bombed.
“I feel like a tumbleweed went right across the writer’s room table, and a cricket riding it,” Galifianakis told Lowe. However, he got a chance to pitch another sketch directly to Britney, but that one still never saw the light of day.
“You’re being interviewed by Entertainment Tonight. There’s no jokes. And during the middle of the interview you just start bleeding from the mouth,” Galifianakis recalls telling Britney before describing her reaction. “She looks at me, and then she looks at the ground, and then I looked at the ground, and she looks back up at me, I look at her, and she goes, ‘Yeah, that’s funny.'”
Even though Britney said the pitch was funny, Galifianakis could tell by her reaction that there’s no way he should write this sketch and present it to anybody. So, he didn’t, and that was the end of his short time on SNL.
(Via Literally! With Rob Lowe)