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Comedy is His Forte


Comedy is his forte
Courtesy of NBC/ Saturday Night Live

Will Forte is a jack-of-all-trades in the comedy business. He’s been a writer for David Letterman and a producer for That ‘70s Show, and, most notably, he’s a performer on Saturday Night Live. On September 7, the 37-year-old Lafayette native takes movie theaters by storm in The Brothers Solomon, an R-rated comedy that Forte wrote—and costars in.

In a nutshell, what is The Brothers Solomon about?
It’s about two brothers who find out their father is dying, and the last thing the father says is that he wishes he had a grandchild, so the brothers set out to make a baby. Hilarity ensues.

This summer, Knocked Up and Superbad were big hits. It seems R-rated comedy is back.
It’s funny, the original script for The Brothers Solomon would have probably been closer to a PG than an R. Then someone at the studio said, “We think we want to release this as an R, so take another pass at the script and make it more R.” >>>

On SNL, you get to meet a lot of movie stars and musicians. Are you ever star-struck?
Oh yeah. Steve Martin guest hosted—he’s probably my No. 1 comedy hero of all time. I was so nervous that I couldn’t talk to him; I just kind of mumbled. He still comes by from time to time, and I still can’t talk to him.

After five seasons, do you still get nervous before the show starts?
I don’t have a fear of someone not laughing at a skit. If the audience doesn’t think it’s funny, that’s fine. But the fear of screwing up a sketch by not being prepared terrifies me.

If you were advising Acalanes students about making it in comedy, what would you tell them?
Just work your ass off. I look around at all the people I know in the business and their varying levels of talent. It’s not always the most talented people who make it, but it usually seems to be the people who work the hardest. Of course, it’s being in the right place at the right time, but if you put yourself in more right places, you’ll have a better chance.

How often do you visit the East Bay?
Often. My mom lives in Danville and I’m there every holiday. And I was there for my sister’s wedding at the Orinda Country Club in February. I actually performed the ceremony. I was deputized as a one-day wedding officiator.

Did you make it a funny ceremony?
You know that part, “Is there anyone here who thinks that this man and woman should not be married?” I waited for a really, really long pause and then said, “Anyone? … anyone?” I was really nervous about whether or not it would work. If you bomb on Saturday Night Live, you can come back next week and try again. If you bomb at your sister’s wedding, you have to live it down at every holiday for the rest of your life.

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