Please Don’t Destroy is Saturday Night Live‘s newest comedic treasure! The comedy trio includes Ben Marshall, John Higgins and Martin Herlihy, who write video sketches nearly every week for the late night comedy show, which are constantly going viral online. Keep reading to learn more about the three writers. 

How Was ‘Please Don’t Destroy’ Created?

Ben, John and Martin first met on the comedy scene in 2017 at New York University, which they all attended. It was Ben that first introduced Martin to John, unbeknownst that they shared a striking similarity — both are the sons of SNL writing legends.

Martin’s father is Tim Herlihy, a head writer during the 1990s, and was responsible for many of the classic Adam Sandler sketches. From there, he went on to write (or cowrite) literally all of Adam’s comedy classics, from 1995’s Billy Madison to 2023’s You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah.

John is the son of Steve Higgins, another former SNL head writer who joined the show in 1995 and has been with it ever since — but you probably recognize him from being Jimmy Fallon‘s announcer on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon since its 2014 debut.

“My dad tried to actively dissuade me from doing show business,” John told The Hollywood Reporter in May 2022. Martin added, “I feel like both of our dads were like, ‘It’s rough.'”

The three started to perform together as a stand-up/sketch hybrid show called Please Don’t Destroy My Farm, launching it at The Peoples Improv Theatre.

“It was this weirdly high-concept stand-up show where I was an evil businessman coming to destroy Martin’s farm,” Ben told the outlet. “We would host other comedians, but it was this weird team situation where it would be my team versus Martin’s team. Everyone obviously wanted Martin’s team to win. No one wants the evil businessman’s team to win.”

They decided to drop the bit (and “my farm”), focusing on a simple, stand-up formula — up until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. That was when they started focusing on short clips of bits that were perfect for TikTok and Twitter, which SNL director Paul Briganti helped finetune. Eventually, SNL creator Lorne Michaels caught wind of the boys, hiring them in 2021 for the 47th season.

“Then we made that first video, the hard seltzer video,” Ben said of their first Please Don’t Destroy video on SNL ever. “And it worked, thank God. So we got to do some more.”

Are ‘Please Don’t Destroy’ Making a Movie?

Along with their work on SNL, the boys have been busy writing and starring in a movie, titled Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain, which will be released on Peacock on November 17, 2023.

Peacock’s official premise for Please Don’t Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain is as follows:

John Goodman narrates the adventure of Ben, Martin, and John, three childhood friends turned deadbeat co-workers, who fend off hairless bears, desperate park rangers (Meg Stalter and X Mayo), and a hypocritical cult leader (Bowen Yang) in the hopes of finding a priceless treasure, only to discover that finding the treasure is the easiest part of their journey. Oh, and Conan O’Brien plays Ben’s dad in it.”

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