Mike O’Brien was a writer on Saturday Night Live for seven seasons and a featured player for one, but arguably his most distinctive, memorable project remains 7 Minutes In Heaven, the hyper-awkward celebrity interview series he began in 2011. There, he lured everyone from Amy Poehler to Insane Clown Posse into a cramped clothes closet for some extremely intimate conversations, traditionally ending each chat with a tentative kiss. Since O’Brien’s demeanor and appearance both suggest a gawky adolescent, it was a very appropriate showcase for his talents. He eventually moved on from 7 Minutes to other pursuits, but he recently announced that he would be producing all-new episodes for Above Average. That promise has come to bear, and the latest installment of 7 Minutes finds O’Brien spending some quality closet time with fellow SNL veteran Will Forte, currently in between seasons of Fox’s The Last Man On Earth. “Who do you think has a stronger SNL legacy, you or me?” O’Brien asks. “Oh, flat out me, just 100 percent,” Forte answers without hesitation.
Speaking of that SNL legacy, O’Brien cajoles Forte into staging a one-man argument between two of Forte’s “quiet” characters: nervous politician Tim Calhoun and whispery creep Hamilton. Forte immediately agrees, and the two characters bicker very softly about a cab. Other topics include Forte’s fart output, which he admits is high for a man of his size but blames genetics. Later, Forte balks at a request to impersonate AC/DC but gives O’Brien a Joni Mitchell impression instead.
No episode of 7 Minutes In Heaven would be complete if the conversation didn’t take a deeply weird left turn. In this installment, for instance, O’Brien enlists Forte to help act out a very brief, experimental play entitled Insane Shirtless Men Covered In Ketchup. That title proves extremely accurate, and soon both comedians are naked from the waist up, clad only in Heinz, screaming wordlessly at each other. What would be a major digression on any other talk show is de rigueur here.