So I see courtesy of this site that he was denied access to SNL, but couldn't they have had a comedy-writer consultant, or at least a comedy-writer to write the comedy? I kinda like the show other than (a) the occasionally whiplash-inducing Humour Dissonance and (b) the Sorkin-standard-issue soapboxing. That said, some of the sketches are good for Narm Charm, and some of them are genuinely funny - Wolowitz'sNicolas Cage impression is hilarious.
They did eventually bring in Mark McKinney, from Kids in the Hall, as a writer, but it may have been too little too late.
I heard they had Mark Mc Kinney from Day 1. Maybe he didn't play a very big role on the show, or possibly, he's just not that good of a sketch writer in that style. Not sure how to explain it
The West Wing, when it wasn't using sports metaphors, was usually good for an awkward and off-putting reference to some kind of old-school Catskills stand-up world that Aaron Sorkin seemed to think still existed. Even before this show I got the impression that he thought he was a comedy nerd and really wasn't.
The two-part episode where what's-his-name gets arrested in Nevada
A: The judge played by John Goodman induces a shocked silence by referring to the Chinese businessman guy and his daughter as "the Japs," only to announce shortly thereafter that he's just pulling everyone's leg. This is part of the episode's mission of informing the viewers that not everybody who lives in the "flyover states" is a knuckle-dragging Morlock.
B: Then he pretends he's never heard of NBS, and it's when Jack tries to explain that he starts laughing, interrupts and says of course he has and fuck them all for thinking he wouldn't have. Yes, what assholes they are for thinking a judge would be unprofessional enough to toss around racist remarks and not recognize the name of a major TV network for no other reason than that that's what he said, when in reality, he's merely unprofessional enough to toss around racist remarks he doesn't even mean, just for his own amusement, and play politically motivated mind games with prisoners he doesn't like.
C: Then he spends the rest of his screen time gloating about how he hates their show and is going to take it out on them and, ah yes, making ignorant-as-fuck remarks about Simon's hair (and thinking he's named Sammy, isn't that hilarious?) The thing that gives him his change of heart in the end is learning that the arrested cast member has a brother who's served in Afghanistan. So basically he hates them Hollywood commies but lurves the military, and that's all he needs to know — nothing to do with, say, whether the guy actually broke any laws or not.