How are the cast members of on-hiatus Saturday Night Live spending their time during the writers' strike? By performing improvised Weekend Updates at black-tie events, apparently. "We're not asking that you laugh," said Amy Poehler told the crowd at last night's American Museum of Natural History gala. "But we're asking that you laugh as much as you feel you can afford to." Even without writers, or jobs, TV comedians were happy to be there — especially after two poor saps bid $75,000 each to see Late Night With Conan O'Brien (currently in reruns) and SNL (also currently in reruns) "live" when they return, whenever that is.
When they're not in black-tie, though, it's all picketing for the SNLers. "We're out there at 10 a.m.," said Seth Meyers. "It's an early day for a comedy writer." Poehler, double-timing with her never-ending work at UCB, is filling her days. "I'm watch a lot more Oprah." she said. "And crying a lot faster." But what happens if the strike doesn't get resolved? Meyers, "a New Hampshire boy," said he'd probably take a job "shoveling show." Fred Armisen told us he'd be a stuntman, and Jason Sudeikis said he'd join either the Army or the Blue Man Group. Conan O'Brien, also there last night, checked in with his former employer Wilsons House of Suede and Leather. "I just called them," he said. "The gig is still open." Poehler admits she doesn't have a backup plan. "Don't make me think about it!" she said. "I just want to go back to work!" —Jocelyn Guest