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Michael O'Donoghue

Also known as Mr. Mike, he was one of the most important writers to both National Lampoon and Saturday Night Live, both in their early, Important days. He typically had a pitch black sense of humor (one of my favorite bits of his was something he wrote for SNL but was banned from air: It was "Shaggy Dog Theater" – the setting was an episode of a fake PBS show like Masterpiece Theatre, where all of the plays would end with a dog running off with the last page of the script. This episode was called "The Good Reason" and it took place in the last days of WWII. An American soldier comes in and finds one of the higher-up Nazis in an office and goes "YOU SON OF A BITCH! HOW COULD YOU DO ALL OF THIS?! I'M GOING TO KILL YOU RIGHT WHERE YOU STAND!" and the Nazi goes "STOP! Before you kill me – hear me out, we had a REALLY GOOD REASON!" and the US soldier goes "What, what? What possible good reason could you have had for all the atrocities you committed?" and the Nazi goes "Well, here, let me whisper it to you" and he does, and the US Solider just drops his gun and goes "I'm SO sorry! You're right! That is an EXCELLENT reason! How could I have misjudged you?!", and the Nazi goes "Oh, it's all right, I admit, it does seem pretty heinous…" and then all of a a sudden a Russian soldier comes in and basically does the same thing. And the Nazi again whispers his Really Good Reason, and again, the Russian admits that it was indeed a Really Good Reason. Finally, a Jew from a Concentration Camp comes in and is just enraged and livid upon finding the Nazi (as well as the US and Russian soliders who aren't killing him) and he goes "YOU KILLED MY FAMILY! YOU KILLED EVERYONE I CARE ABOUT! YOU WORTHLESS EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING! I SNUCK OUT AND NOW I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!" and the Nazi goes "Hold it, hold it, you won't believe me but hear me out – I've got a good reason!" and, of course, the US and Russian soldiers back him up saying "He's right! It's a really good reason!" and as the Nazi's about to whisper it to the Jew, the US soldier says "Well, here, why not just say it aloud for everyone?" and the Nazi agrees and just as he's about to open his mouth, the dog runs through with the script in its mouth. The head of NBC at the time said he wouldn't allow anything on that'd make light of that or even suggest that the Nazis had a good reason – despite the fact that the entire point of the sketch was that there WAS no POSSIBLE good reason…). He only had a couple film-scripts to his credit, Savages and Scrooged (though he was disappointed with the way the latter turned out; primarily with Bill Murray's ad-libbing at the end; O'Donoghue hated ad-libbing and not sticking to the script as written). He died in 1994 of a brain hemmorhage. (Though, he probably would have preferred to have been hit by a truck if his classic piece How To Write Good is any indication.)