"Halftime" (Locker-Room Dance)
John Lutz, writer, 2003-2009: Sometimes my writing is inspired by a piece of music. One day I took Herb Alpert's "Casino Royale" to Will Forte's office because we'd been talking about writing something together. He had this idea about a coach that was going to motivate his team with some really bad music. When he heard this good-bad song, he said, "This is perfect."
We told Will, "You have to be dancing to this because you can't just stand there the whole time." And Forte is the funniest dancer, especially to that piece of music. He was doing this thing with his hands that almost looked like a Geiger counter. I didn't even know what it was, but it looked hilarious.
Peyton Manning was coming up as the host in a couple of weeks, and we thought it would be a perfect scene to write for him. I remember being in Forte's office or dressing room and rehearsing the dance with the music over and over and over again. He got better every time. It was making the guys laugh even in dress rehearsal, but on air they couldn't hold anything in 'cause he was really going for it. Bill Hader and Kenan Thompson all had to hold their towels in front of their faces.
The thing I love about writing with Forte is that he finds the simplest things funny. Like in this scene, the song was on a cassette. It was funny to him that it was a cassette and not a CD or an MP3. And whenever he shook the cassette, he loved the sound of that. So in the scene he does it much more often than he needs to. He mentions it, shakes it, and then shakes it again. No one's going to laugh at that at all, but Will Forte thought that was the funniest thing ever.