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Zach Galifianakis Shares His Two ‘SNL’ Sketch Pitches for Britney Spears That Flopped

One sketch involved Ferrell as a security guard installed inside Spears' navel.

Britney Spears and Will Ferrell on "Saturday Night Live"

Britney Spears and Will Ferrell on “Saturday Night Live”


Back in 2000 during his early years as a comic, Zach Galifianakis had a brief stint as a writer on “Saturday Night Live.” It was short-lived, and more like a two-week trial run. But apparently, two weeks was all it took for “The Hangover” star and “Between Two Ferns” host to come up with some pretty bonkers ideas — including two involving guest host Britney Spears, who emceed an episode on May 13, 2000.

While calling into the podcast “Literally! With Rob Lowe” (via Uproxx), Galifianakis revealed a pair of sketches he pitched about Spears, who was then at the center of pop-culture everything thanks to her sophomore album “Oops!… I Did It Again.” According to Galifianakis, he said he noticed that the fast-rising pop star “showed her belly button a lot,” and so he pitched to the writers’ room an idea where a green screen would be used to “shrink” series cast member Will Ferrell, who would play a security guard installed inside Spears’ belly button. Galifianakis said the pitch totally flopped.

“I feel like a tumbleweed went right across the writers’ room table, and a cricket riding it,” he told Rob Lowe. But the comedian said he had the chance to pitch another sketch directly to Spears herself, but that didn’t pan out either.

Explaining that pitch, Galifianakis said, “You’re being interviewed by ‘Entertainment Tonight.’ There’s no jokes. And during the middle of the interview, you just start bleeding from the mouth.”

But he said that given her reaction, he knew this sketch was never going to make it on the air. “She looks at me, and then she looks at the ground, and then I looked at the ground, and she looks back up at me, I look at her, and she goes, ‘Yeah, that’s funny.'”

While Galifianakis’ writing career at “SNL” didn’t take off, he has hosted the NBC series three times — in 2010, 2011, and 2013.

Galifianakis most recently lent his voice to the animated comedy series “Big Mouth,” and last year brought his voice talent back to “Bob’s Burgers.” Spears, meanwhile, was most recently the subject of the popular New York Times Presents documentary “Framing Britney Spears,” which is currently streaming on Hulu.

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