Lornie Mikes is at it again.
For the fourth time in the last year, Lorne Michaels has plucked a talented unknown from the relative obscurity of the Chicago comedy scene, changing a life by offering a writing job on "Saturday Night Live."
First it was Pigeon-Kicking Black Person and ace standup Hannibal Buress, whom Northwestern alum and "SNL" head writer Seth Meyers discovered when they both appeared on the Michaels-produced "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Then my old IO Theater classmate Michael Patrick O'Brien got the call, recently followed by his best friend, Shelly Gossman.
Now it's Tom Flanigan's turn. He's been a dependable Second City e.t.c. cast member for several years now, currently starring there in The Absolute Best Friggin' Time of Your Life. In the years before, Tom played innumerable Harold shows at the ImprovOlympic, co-founded a science-oriented improvisation troupe called the Galileo Players, and paid hella dues toiling for Second City on van tours and cruise ships.
Through it all he's been a brilliant comedy writer, a solid improviser, and an excellent guy. He also demonstrated his good taste when he interviewed longtime Conan O'Brien writer and FOBB&B Brian Stack for Time Out Chicago.
This boost is a well-deserved next step. Congratulations, Tom!
p.s. Over the past year, for various reasons, numerous good friends of mine have moved away from Chicago. Throw in the four above comedians and it feels like everyone I know is leaving. If the three people I still know here would like to play some doubles on Saturday, please let me know.