The Coma

My parents recorded and played for me a recent Saturday Night Live sketch called “The Coma”, which strongly reminded them of my play Jack, Wanda, and Ben.

“The Coma” features a man who emerges from a one-day coma to find that his girlfriend has met, romanced, and married another man. The sketch is definitely playing with the same premise as Jack, Wanda, and Ben, but allows itself to be cruder and sillier. Both “The Coma” and JWB are punctuated by exasperated utterances of “It was forty-five minutes!”/“It was one freakin’ day!”

Although it lasts for only two lines, I liked the shared moment of tenderness between the coma victim and his girlfriend. (“You changed your hair….”) When rewriting my play, I wanted to downplay the gimmicky ending and put some emotion into this new arrangement. It’s enchanting to see people try to make an unworkable situation work.

And I suppose the compliment Jack, Wanda, and Ben received from the Orange County Register—“worthy of the early days of Saturday Night Live”—now also applies to the show’s later days.

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