Former Saturday Night Live writer Tim Robinson scored his first Emmy Award for his gut-busting Netflix comedy series I Think You Should Leave – and some of the sketches were rejected ideas he pitched to SNL.
Robinson won for Outstanding Actor In A Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series, a well-deserved Emmy for his incredible ability to fully embody the socially awkward characters he plays in the series.
I Think You Should Leave has amassed a passionate cult following, gaining new fans daily while they wait for the new season to drop. Ironically, Robinson’s star continues to rise as SNL seems to struggle to resonate with viewers, proving that perhaps Robinson was ahead of his time.
Seth Meyers recalls Tim Robinson’s ‘SNL’ pitched sketches on ‘I Think You Should Leave’
Robinson admitted that he struggled to find his bearings SNL. Originally he was hired to be a cast member. But SNL fans probably don’t remember him because he either had bit roles or his sketches never made it to air. He was then moved into the writer’s room.
But still, Robinson’s sketches that didn’t land a few years ago are likely what helped him win an Emmy today. SNL alum Seth Meyers recalled seeing I Think You Should Leave sketches that were pitched on SNL. “And it was fun to watch because there are some things that I remember even you having written at SNL,” he told Robinson Late Night with Seth Meyers.
“You know for whatever reason that sort of flourish didn’t work there,” he added.
Tim Robinson goes with his ‘gut’ for funny on ‘I Think You Should Leave’
Robinson doesn’t know exactly why some of the sketches he pitched on SNL never aired. Sometimes the guest guest refused to do the sketch. “If your sketch isn’t picked—even if you did well—you don’t know the reasons why you didn’t get picked,” he told The New Yorker.
But now he and writing partner Zach Kanin are in the driver’s seat. Robinson shared how they determine which sketches make it on I Think You Should Leave. “Nothing too set in stone,” he told The New Yorker. “It’s more of a gut check. Zach and I are pretty together on what we like and what we don’t like, and what we feel is too unbelievable. We’re just in synch in what we like, but none of it is set in stone. We can feel what’s right and what’s wrong.”
Tim Robinson shares what he learned from ‘SNL’
Robinson was an SNL cast member in 2012. He remained on the show as a writer until he left to create and star in the Comedy Central series Detroiters. He reflected on what he learned from being him SNLsharing that he gained confidence, but struggled to come from doing stage work to live TV.
“SNL kind of gave me confidence,” he said during a 2019 BUILD Series appearance. “It was a place where at first I really struggled when I was a cast member and I had a hard time. And I was trying to figure everything out. But then when I became a writer, I felt like I really felt comfortable. And every week have that show challenge yourself to try to make a room full of people who have seen every comedy move on the planet laugh … was so fun for me.”
“It gave me confidence because I got to do it every week,” he added.
RELATED: Tim Robinson and Zach Kanin Reveal What ‘I Think You Should Leave’ Sketches Are Really About