Former ‘SNL’ Writer Sarah Schneider Is The Woman Behind All Your Favorite Sketches — And Now ‘The Other Two’
If you were a Saturday Night Live fan back in 2013 — or, you know, were on the internet in any way, shape, or form — you probably remember "(Do It On My) Twin Bed."
The skit — nay, music video? — starts out with a wide shot of a house bedecked in holiday lights, followed by scenes from within: Grandparents laughing jovially by the tree, or seated on the couch. It seems like the beginning of a Hallmark ad — until you realize that the beat of the music is setting us all up for something else.
What that something *else* is, turns out to be a cross between a sexy pop group music video and a moment of universality for anyone who’s brought an S.O. home to the ‘rents for the holidays and had to have sex in their childhood bedroom as an adult (JTT poster and all). And, it totally works.
As the first SNL music video to feature the entire female cast, the sketch ushered in a new post-Lonely Island era for the show's digital shorts — but this time, the women were going viral (it currently has over 7 million views on YouTube). And for one of the sketch's writers, Sarah Schneider, it would launch her comedy style and career to new heights.
Schneider spent six years at SNL, where she and fellow writer Chris Kelly (who is also her current writing partner) were behind many of your favorite sketches: "The Beygency," "First Got Horny 2 U," and "Back Home Ballers," just to name a few. In 2017, she and Kelly left the late night comedy show for a new challenge: creating a cable TV show, Comedy Central's The Other Two. (Which, by the way, has received rave reviews since it's premiere, even being called the best new sitcom of 2019 so far.) And what makes The Other Two so successful can be uniquely traced through Schneider's own comedy career.
First, a quick primer on the premise of The Other Two. The 22-minute show follows siblings Brooke (Heléne Yorke) and Cary (Drew Tarver) as they figure out adulthood while also dealing with their younger brother's newfound fame as a viral YouTube star-turned-Justin Bieber-pop star.
The show feels simultaneously plugged into the zeitgeist (Watch What Happens Live! The Today show! Kerry Washington!) and nostalgic (Flash mobs! Dabbing! Brokeback Mountain!) — partly thanks to Bieber himself, who helped inspire the comedy. And while the series incorporates many satirical music videos and catchy songs reminiscent of some of Schneider and Kelly's SNL days, The Other Two focuses on the Dubek family's strong bond and love for one another.
"We didn't really want to go down the route of having Chase be this little sh*thead pop star kid, because we like the fact that he's sweet, and we like the fact that the family stands by him," Schneider tells Bustle. "But we also just think it's funnier and more brutal to be in the shadow of someone who's sweet and nice."
While Chase was inspired by Bieber, Cary and Brooke's stories on The Other Two come from Schneider and Kelly's own personal experiences. Throughout the show, Cary struggles to find his identity as a gay man and actor, an "inner turmoil" that Kelly tells Bustle is based on his own experiences in coming out as gay in his early 20s. Also in the show, Brooke has to learn how to start over after her relationships with aspiring shoe designer Lance and flight attendant Jeff don't work out. ("This summer, I'm going to see 50 d*cks," Brooke declares in the pilot, perhaps as a nod to Schneider and Kelly's SNL 2014 music video "Dongs All Over The World"). That quest, and Brooke's "very jarring transition" to being single, were inspired by Schneider's own breakup at the time that she and Kelly wrote the pilot script (she married writer and director Mike Karnell in 2018).
Schneider and Kelly wrote the pilot as they ascended the ranks at SNL, where they became co-head writers for the 2016-2017 season, along with Kent Sublette and Bryan Tucker. The duo's 6-year tenure at the NBC series has clearly influenced The Other Two — even beyond Bieber. Schneider and Kelly's early SNL sketches embraced “taking a nostalgic thing and exploding it,” Kelly recently told Vulture. That theme is evident in “(Do It On My) Twin Bed,” as well as their 2012 sketch “Hometown Tourism Ad” and "Back Home Ballers" — which are all about visiting home during the holidays. Schneider says writing the female-centric music videos at SNL allowed her to "pivot" her own style of comedy to become more female-driven, while simultaneously encouraging the show to "embrace [those same] sensibilities, too.”
But much like the very-now feel of The Other Two, Schneider and Kelly's later work at SNL as co-head writers was extremely plugged into pop culture and the rapid news cycle of the 2016 presidential election. The duo stamped their personal brand of comedy onto the political moments with the 2016 sketch "Bern Your Enthusiasm" (which stars Larry David as Bernie Sanders and has 6 million views on YouTube) and writing some of the 2016 Presidential election cold opens, as well as helping Kate McKinnon with her Hillary Clinton sketches. Despite the onslaught of Trump coverage, Schneider says “writing the political stuff was great,” and allowed her to feel like she had a voice.
But by the end of the 2016-2017 SNL season, Schneider and Kelly were ready to leave politics and tracking the 24-hour news cycle behind. “The fact that the  election was so emotionally wrenching, [Kelly and I] were kind of ready to go into a different space,” Schneider says. The duo left SNL at the conclusion of the season and, in October 2017, Comedy Central greenlit The Other Two.
Schneider's unique comedy style — mixing topical humor with nostalgia and viral videos — brought her success at SNL (along with millions of YouTube views). "I felt like it was such a great time to be a woman at the show, and [to] feel both lifted up and able to lift up wherever I could," she says, recalling her six-year tenure. And now, The Other Two has won the hearts of critics and viewers alike with its emphasis on family, finding yourself, and biting pop culture satire — proving even sweetness can be funny, too.
Correction: A previous version of this article misattributed the writing credits of an SNL sketch to Schneider and Kelly. It has been updated to reflect the correct SNL sketches that they wrote.