SEX AND COMEDY
How ‘Saturday Night Live’ Became a Dating Factory for the Rich and Famous
What do Emma Stone, Scarlett Johansson, and Ben Affleck all have in common? Not only are they A-listers but they’re also dating people who work for the popular sketch-comedy show.
According to Page Six, Emma Stone turned down that high school student/aspiring director only to settle for: a Saturday Night Live writer. The alleged relationship didn’t come with a time stamp, although fans of the show will recall that Stone’s rumored beau, Dave McCary, directed the actress in the viral sketch “Well for Boys.” And Stone is just the latest celebrity to fall in love at 30 Rock. The long-running sketch comedy show has an illustrious history of facilitating staff-star relationships in what’s essentially the largest celebrity matchmaking operation since Scientology.
Legendary meet-cutes include: Fred Armisen and Elisabeth Moss, Carrie Fisher and Dan Aykroyd, Carrie Fisher and Paul Simon, Bill Murray and Gilda Radner, the list goes on. It seems that when they’re not busy humanizing Donald Trump and then “absolutely destroying” Donald Trump with self-congratulatory political satire, the SNL staff are treating the office like their own personal, real-life Raya.
SNL: a magical place where Harvard comedy nerds can pee in Mason jars and also date Scarlett Johansson.
The Emma Stone news is hot on the heels of the Colin Jost-Scarlett Johansson summer—a sweltering-hot fever dream of Upper East Side drinks and SNL cast party make-out sessions.
Scarjojost’s fling is a classic NYC love story: girl meets boy while impersonating Ivanka Trump on national television, boy and girl “flirt” and “canoodle” at the Rockefeller Center ice rink. The funniest part of this relationship was actually the breathless reporting that surrounded it, with bloggers and tweeting civilians seemingly flustered by Johansson’s decision to date a man whose face may or may not perfectly correspond to the golden ratio. Sure, a “Weekend Update” correspondent might feel endlessly quirky to someone who’s used to being in a relationship with Ryan Reynolds, but Jost is no average Joe. Attempts to cast Colin “lucky bastard” Jost as some sort of a Make-A-Wish kid as opposed to a good-looking person dating a fellow camera-ready human being were ultimately unconvincing—especially given the fact that Jost’s ex-girlfriend is Rashida Jones.
Still, when famous people date slightly less famous people, it’s always met with incredulity. Just look at Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis, the OG pairing from the current generation of “him?!?!” SNL couples. During a Late Show with Stephen Colbert appearance Sudeikis, who first met Wilde at an SNL finale party, was grilled on how he managed to score such a super-attractive fiancée. “One of you is sooo attractive,” Colbert remarked. “You’re a funny guy and you’re a reasonably good-looking man. But she’s a different species.”
Sudeikis went on to reveal his exclusive wife-trapping technique: ignoring her a little bit. He confessed to the late-night host that, “I actually came off looking a little cooler than I really am because I had heard through the grapevine, through mutual friends who weren’t exactly her best girlfriends, who would report back, ‘Oh you know, I think she’s dating someone,’… So I didn’t make any moves. I was just very, very busy with other things. And next thing you know, I stopped being busy, she stopped dating someone, and then it was off to the races.” Or as Wilde recalled, “When he got my number he didn’t text me for a month”—to the point where she remembers asking friends, “You guys, did Jason Sudeikis die?'”
This “funny guy cleverly gets the girl” narrative occasionally gets a much-needed gender swap. The best example is Ben Affleck and SNL producer Lindsay Shookus, the A-list actor’s post-divorce rebound. Affleck, whose 10-year marriage to Jennifer Garner officially ended last April, seems to still be going steady with Shookus, who “sources” describe as a “down to earth” “girl next door.” One particularly rude “entertainment publicist” remarked that the relationship was a departure for Affleck, since, “He’s never really dated a regular girl before” (although he has groped them).
Larry David’s daughter Cazzie David, an aspiring comedy writer, also met her boyfriend Pete Davidson through the sketch comedy show and has plenty to say about the 30 Rock matchmaking phenomenon. David told W Magazine that she met Davidson when her dad was hosting SNL, explaining, “SNL has literally set up so many couples. There are millions of couples that met at SNL. Well, not millions… I went earlier in the year when my dad was playing Bernie [Sanders], and I didn’t meet Pete then, but I was around. Then I met him when my dad was hosting, and I was very interested. I was definitely the one trying to make it happen.”
Given the incestuous nature of A-list relationships and the various challenges of dating while famous/very attractive, it makes perfect sense that stars are dipping into the SNL dating pool. These potential partners are among a select group of people with a very specific profile: someone who won’t show you up on the red carpet, but who has also met Beyoncé (people who have met Beyoncé can’t date people who haven’t met Beyoncé. It just doesn’t work like that). All in all, this celebrity relationship phenomenon is actually super predictable and semi-sensible—just as long as these slumming stars always remember that Carrie Fisher did it first and did it better.