Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The ninth or tenth resurgence of SNL

Well, first off, let’s acknowledge it’s phenomenal that any television entertainment series could be on the air for over 46 years.  But Saturday Night Live is not only chugging along, it’s growing in popularity and even  cracked through the zeitgeist — something that is usually reserved for the new and fresh.  

I contend there are a couple of reasons for this.  The first is, there are some very funny moments and talented people both in front and behind the camera.  The cast has grown so large that I couldn’t tell you all of them.  But certainly a stand-out for me is James Austin Johnson (pictured above).  His impersonations are spectacular.  He even looks like Biden. 

Side note:  Is it just me or is Kate McKinnon’s act getting tiresome?  I used to love Kate McKinnon and now I don’t.  

Another plus is that the show is topical at a time when politics is so front-and-center (mostly due to that fat orange fuck).  Being live really helps in that regard.  

But for me, the big reason SNL has had such a resurgence is the internet.  It’s the perfect click bait.  Opening monologues, opening bits, Weekend Update, selected sketches — they each fit nicely into four or five minute videos to be retrieved on demand.  And various websites like Deadline Hollywood post these videos on Saturday night as if they were actual news stories.   In its earlier heydays it never got such coverage.

I keep up with SNL but I can’t remember the last time I actually tuned in at 11:30 Saturday night and watched it “on television.”  I wonder how many SNL fans do the same — scour the internet to pick and choose the bits that might interest them.  NBC has a bigger hit now because people don’t have to watch NBC.  And so goes the future of SNL and network television. 

69 comments :

Dave Dahl said...

Topical - seems to me I read a year or so ago Kamala Harris was wearing some kind of white suit on a Saturday evening and by SNL showtime they'd found / created a replica.

Don Kemp said...

Like most everything, we record SNL to watch for a later time. We got in the practice of recording anything we were interested in to watch later years ago. Ad buyers would hate us. Watching it taped also allows us to blow through most musical performances. I think the only thing we watch live anymore is the news (and I don't mean Weekend Update).

Minor quibble- I believe NBC shows SNL at 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays now and repeats it at 11:30 p.m. Seems to have been this way for some time.

Darwin's Ghost said...

"mostly due to that fat orange fuck"

Yeah but if it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have the hilarity of reading about dumbfuck, anti science, conspiracy obsessed neo Nazis dying of Covid because they believed vaccines would download tracking technology into their bodies or turn them into mutants. Natural selection at its finest.

Sesame Street Internet Watch League said...

(mostly due to that fat orange fuck)

Ernie from "Sesame Street" is not fat!

404 said...

SNL has been getting better lately -- which always happens when there's so much material from real life to work with!

However, even when the episodes and sketches of SNL are hit-or-miss, Weekend Update with Michael Che and Colin Jost is ALWAYS worth watching. Those two are absolutely hilarious, and they work so well together. I may not watch every ep, but I always make sure to watch them on Hulu the next day, if nothing else.

Jim, Cheers Fan said...

Kate McKinnon is (mostly) brilliant, but they leaned too heavily on her the last couple years, especially when they went to the well of having her play Republican men way, way too often after they heard Melissa McCarthy playing Spicer got under Trump's skin.

Cecily Strong is almost Jan Hooks-level underappreciated, but I guess those of us who love a good Susan Collins impersonation are a very niche demographic

The Jim Carrey-as-Biden thing was teh most self-indulgent, "I think it's funny" thing Michaels has pulled since... maybe the long history of the show?

Jim said...

It is most definitely not just you on Kate McKinnon. But we may be an underserved minority.

To me, it’s the ol’ One Trick Pony. Her smarm-fueled run has somehow endured and now allows her to seriously cash in through commercials. I know an obscure young actor who has become an overnight household name that way. The cha-chinging is insane.

Kate might need her ad $ bonanza to pacify her future self. Poor thing, she was This Close to being the next Vaughn Meador had only Jeff Sessions become more of a national figure. Note that historians will inevitably conclude that her impersonation of Sessions is not a Second Trick. If they perform a careful and thorough comedic analysis, elements of smarm will be detected in its laugh DNA. My prediction.

Personally, as a No Trick Pony, there are those who say my take on this is not relevant. It should have been kept to myself. Not every opinion needs to be on everyone’s internet. To those I say, you are correct. Except, that is, when my take coincides with that of a recognized industry insider.

Ben Scripps said...

What did Gritty ever do to you to be called "that fat orange fuck"?

What? Ohhhhhh, that "fat orange fuck". Okay, I'm with you on that one.

For the record, I only watch SNL on TV; sometimes live, but usually on the DVR Sunday morning where I can mercifully skip the terrible bits. (Exactly the opposite of how I watch Lions games on Sunday; when the Lions play, the terrible bits are the most entertaining.)

normadesmond said...

Kate has been AWOL this new season.

Belinda said...

Kate McKinnon is undeniably talented, but her schtick does get repetitive. Maybe she’s just stuck around on the show for too long.

15-Seconds said...

Kate McKinnon's act has gotten beyond tiresome. But what is worse is her Verizon commercials. Why the heck does she stomp around like the world's worst Groucho Marx imitator?

Jon Weisman said...

It's interesting that people are saying Kate McKinnon is getting tiresome, when she hasn't been on a single episode of SNL this season.

Anyway, Melissa Villasenor is brilliant and is consistently the most underused perofrmer.

Mike Doran said...

Don Kemp:

Saturdays at 10/9Central, NBC shows a repeat of a 1-2 year-old show cut to an hour; at 11:30/10:30 Cent., if there's no new show they repeat an old show full-length.

Side Note:

I've always wondered why, of all the right-wing potential targets over the years, SNL never did a full-on take-off on Sean Hannity, who had it coming if anyone ever did (Bobby Moynihan would have owned him).

As long as I'm here, a possible Friday Question:

Ken, over the fullness of time, have you ever had any dealings, direct or indirect, with Dennis Prager, the Solon of Sanctimoniousness?
Just curious, is all ...

Snow Too Soon said...

Friday question: What can you share about the musical talents of the M*A*S*H cast? I always felt sorry for Gary Burghoff and William Christopher, who had to be great musicians to sound that bad (especially Radar with the trumpet).

Curt Alliaume said...

It hasn't quite shut some people up about it, though. I still see threads that ask sarcastically "Is that show still on the air?" (it gets more viewers in the 18-49 age group than *any* network program, prime time or late night) or the inevitable "It used to be good, now it sucks" (my reply is "That line's been used since George Carlin's opening monologue"). It's had its ups and downs, but that's usually the case for almost *any* entertainment program--the difference is they're at liberty to replace cast members, writers, and production staff as the need arises. (I suppose any entertainment show can do that, but not as easily.)

I honestly haven't watched it much this season. I do enjoy Cecily Strong (I have her book in my to-be-read pile) and Melissa Villasenor as well.

Kendall Rivers said...

Meh, SNL hasn't been worth watching since the late 90's. Its best eras were definitely the 70s with the original cast, the early 80s with Eddie Murphy and Billy Crystal, and the early to mid 90's with Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Phil Hartman and Will Ferrell. I agree that it's being so topical is what's getting it clout right now but five or ten years down the line their painfully dated jokes and sketches will not be so funny and\or irrelevant. The price you pay for that type of humor like most shows no one remembers.

Kendall Rivers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kendall Rivers said...

Also, In Living Color was ALWAYS better than SNL anyway yet didn't get the same recognition or respect from the industry for the obvious reasons.

Brent Alles said...

The first few episodes of this season have definitely been better quality, as they've relied on less recurring bits and characters and more out-there ideas, which I appreciate. Also, James Austin Johnson is an extraordinary impressionist... I'd put him at Darrel Hammond level if not slightly above that!

Also one to keep an eye on is Sarah Sherman... she's a really unique comic voice from the "alt comedy" world. Seeing her do her Update piece the other night and having it go over really well was pretty thrilling. (Of course, the follow up will be important... as many a featured player on SNL will tell you, they'll get something like that and then struggle to get anything else on during the rest of the season.)

And if anyone wants to feel REALLY old, consider the fact that two of the main writers on the show now are the SONS of two of the main writers from the 90's/00's... Steve Higgins' kid and Tim Herlihy's Boy.

Brian Phillips said...

Snow Too Soon: Radar plays a mean drum solo in one episode, so it wasn't all frustration.

As a side note, Candice Bergen has any number of scenes in which she cannot sing, but oddly, as a girl on You Bet Your Life, she sounds fine. Either she got worse as she got older, or, she can "not sing" with the best of them. Get a load of the "song" "Better Than Ever" in "Starting Over".

ventucky said...

I try about once a year to watch it and it is not getting any better in my mind. Take weekend update. Originally, with Chevy, then Dan and Loraine, they played characters. They rarely broke character, and were funny. Now the WU people play themselves, and laugh at all of their jokes, even before they say them. Pure amateur hour stuff.

Jeffrey Graebner said...

I think the decision to air the show live nationwide (so it airs at 8:30pm here in Los Angeles) has been a huge boost to the show. Before they made that change, I'd basically stopped watching the broadcast as the best sketches were already out on YouTube well before the program aired out west. Also, the "anything can happen" potential with a live show is part of the appeal and really big gaffes (such as "F-bombs") were usually cut out of the west coast broadcast.

Since the change in timeslot, I do tend to watch it live, assuming I'm home.

blinky said...

I haven't seen the new Saturday Night Live but I have seen the Verizon commercials with that woman dressed in black with the blond hair trying as hard as she can to be more annoying than Progressives Flo, ATTs (never show her below the waist) spokesmouth and that fucking Gecko from Geico. If that is Kate McKinnon,is she supposed to be funny or edgy or what? She just looks like she is trying way to hard.
BTW, I would love to see a video where the Cheetos tiger eats that Gecko.

Breadbaker said...

It does make me feel old that a show that made a joke in its second season that (mocking an NBC News ad) Weekend Update had been on "for over a fiftieth of a century" will soon be on for half of one.

DwWashburn said...

My 50 year old step daughter and I were talking about SNL just last night. She says that she thinks the current lineup and comedy is probably the best it has been in SNL history. She says that the current program is "much better than the boring original cast" (her words). I must admit that I did watch the first five years but mainly for Jane Curtin. Since then I don't think I've watched a single episode completely through.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Forty-six years? THE TONIGHT SHOW has been on for 67 years. THE TODAY SHOW is 69. NBC is ridiculously loyal to shows it likes (and people still watch).

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I have friends who don't own TVs and don't subscribe to streaming services - but go to YouTube every Sunday morning to view the SNL cold open from the night before. So I would agree with the take that the Internet has really increased its popularity.

wg

Brian Phillips said...

...and Meet the Press is coming up on 74 years, although most of the original crew may have retired by this point.

Don Kemp said...

Mike Doran- for clarification, I'm in L.A., like Ken Levine. As Jeff Graebner also says, SNL airs live at 8:30 p.m. here in Los Angeles. No one should have to stay up to watch it here. It's been that way for a few years, since 2016 or so. That goes to 10:00 p.m., then we get the truncated old re-run you mentioned. Local news at 11:00 p.m. then the live broadcast is re-aired at 11:30 p.m.

Curt Alliaume said...

Buttermilk Sky said:

>>Forty-six years? THE TONIGHT SHOW has been on for 67 years. THE TODAY SHOW is 69. NBC is ridiculously loyal to shows it likes (and people still watch).<<

And that it owns.

Jay said...

100% agree with you about Kate McKinnon...definitely talented and can be very funny, just not when she's over-mugging and seemingly trying to retain all focus on her when others in the scene are speaking.

The drawback on such attention with the show is now everyone and anyone associated with the show now is considered a "comedy genius" or is branded as "brilliant" in every news story printed about them. Sorry, but Colin Jost is not a comedy genius or brilliant. And Pete Davidson? Holy hell...don't find him funny, and all the attention he's getting because of whom he's banging will be the only thing remembered about him, and he'll *still* be called a brilliant comedian.


maxdebryn said...

Never got the appeal of Kate McKinnon. She almost single-handedly ruined the otherwise very entertaining "YESTERDAY," whenever her annoying character turned up.

jenmoon said...

I read the AV Club review the next day and then watch the sketches online the next day, but only the ones that sound good. It makes me like SNL more when I can cherry pick rather than being up all night. It's always been a mixed bag show.

Spike de Beauvoir said...

I didn't watch SNL for a long time but picked up on it again about a year ago. Maybe I'm easily pleased but I really enjoy most of the sketches. Don't watch live but search for sketches posted on YouTube early Sunday morning (we're on the east coast). This past week, "Man Park" made me laugh out loud and seems to have generated a lot of discussion about how it raises serious issues of men's mental health (LOL again). I usually hang out to watch sketches I missed over the years and there are some great ones like the close encounters/ghost sketches, Eddie Murphy in Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood, classic film satires (one of the best is Kate McKinnon in The Birds), and parodies of cooking shows. Love Bowen Yang in everything especially as Fran Liebowitz with Kyle Mooney as Martin Scorcese.

Kate McKinnon always delights me, not sure where she's been flat, just seems underutilized lately or playing characters in the background. She seems to shine with more bizarre and extreme characters, like playing Pepe Le Pew on a talk show and an aging Brigitte Bardot (with Cecily Strong as Catherine Deneuve) talking about the MeToo movement.

Brian said...

I still like SNL, but usually just pick and choose the parts I want to watch when I stream it. I subscribe to UTubeTV and it set it to be automatically recorded. I like the cold open, the monologue, and some of the sketches. My favorite part of it is weekend update, until they bring in some silly "guest". I find SNL very topical, with guests like Elon Musk.

Spike de Beauvoir said...

And speaking of the FOF: Randy Rainbow song parodies helped us laugh maniacally through the darkest years. He's now doing live shows with his Pink Glasses Tour (I think in LA this week) and just published a memoir. His Emmy-nominated videos are posted on randyrainbow.com and YouTube. So many great ones but "Seasons of Trump" is a powerful dirge for the end of an era. He produced all these amazing shows in his Queens apartment with basic video and editing equipment and lots of props, shoes, and feather boas.

JeffinOhio said...

Blinky - I agree that Kate McKinnon is pretty off-putting on the phone commercial. I like Lily from AT&T, though; she sticks to what they're selling.

Not like Flo and her crew from Geico, whose commercials are all about them and not their product. And don't get me started on Doug and his damn emu.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an animal in my attic.

Mike Bloodworth said...

I was in high school when "SNL" debuted. What made it funny back then was that it was new and different. Although, copious amounts of marijuana also helped. So, I've seen the show ebb and rise over the years. But I haven't watched "SNL" at all recently. It used to be a little more balanced in satirizing both parties. But after the "fat orange fuck" as you put it became president "SNL" was all about attacking Donald Trump. As I've said before, I don't mind a good Trump joke if it's funny. But most of what came out of those years was not funny or clever. It was just whiny, hostile and mean. It reminded me of when the popular kids in school bullied the fat girl or the crippled kid. Although, I'm sure certain individuals will disagree with me. Even though I haven't watched since Biden/Harris took office I am fairly certain that they are no less partisan than they were a few years ago.

As to your question, I don't watch either airing of the show nor do I watch clips on the internet. "SNL" has nothing to offer me.

M.B.

P.S. It's not just you. Kate McKinnon was annoying even back when I was still watching.

maxdebryn said...

Flo and her annoying crew are shills for Progressive Insurance. Car insurance commercials are horrible.

Jahn Ghalt said...

If the Pythons had had a Lorne Michaels the "original cast" might have had successors. About 15 years ago, we picked up the full set of shows (who could RESIST?) I soon discovered that for every "hit", there were five (ten?) sketches that fell flat - just like SNL.

Hulu has figured something out - they offer 15-20 minutes of a large set of SNL's - going back to 2000 or so. A "curation" of sorts - and somewhat welcome.

Darwin's Ghost said...

"But most of what came out of those years was not funny or clever. It was just whiny, hostile and mean."

A perfect description of the Trump regime.

"It reminded me of when the popular kids in school bullied the fat girl or the crippled kid."

Kinda like when Trump mocked a reporter with cerebral palsy. Or when he described a woman as bleeding from every hole. Or when his spokesman said "womp womp" about a child with Down Syndrome. Or when Trump evangelist Paula White prayed for all Democrat pregnancies to end in miscarriage.

Ere I Saw Elba said...

SNL has always been up and down, but the past few years, and the current season so far in particular, have been over the top great.

It's true that there are too many cast members now to even keep track of, but honestly I don't care. Somehow they work together perfectly.

I still like Cecily Strong, Mikey Day, Heidi Gardner, Ego Nwodim (yes I had to google her name to get the correct spelling), and forever Kenan Thompson.

Leighton said...

I love McKinnon. Currently, she's been filming the "Tiger King"-related limited series for Peacock, "Joe Exotic." She plays Carole Baskin. SNL gave her the freedom, as she was going to do "Exotic," regardless.

Leighton said...

And I love the Progressive commercials - quite brilliant. (My career now pretty much consists of working TV commercials - production - ugh.)

Mibbitmaker said...

SNL is my favorite show of all time (called it that ever since the mid-80s when I noticed I was getting more into Late Night with David Letterman then-current time). Since January '76, first Buck Henry ep. Been a fan all this time. The original era's my favorite, esp. season 1. A real rollercoaster of quality through the years (sometimes through an episode!). Only time I seriously doubted SNL fully was during the last of the 3 worst seasons, the one that ended the "Bad Boy era" of the early '90s.

Kate McKinnon is my favorite cast member, since Bill Hader left. I see her as similar to Kristen Wiig: Wiig started great with all sorts of subtle business in her performances, which Kate does as well. Increasingly, Wiig went more and more over-the-top (her early characters Target Lady and Aunt Linda should've been a warning), and it ruined her presence on the show. But, for me at least, when Kate does *that*, It still works. But anything on excess will annoy some people more than others.

I will say that Kate being absent from the 1st half of this season is readying me for when she leaves. There are so many excellent performers there now that it'll be the 1st time in a long time I don't have just one #1 favorite SNL performer in the current cast/supporting players.

Fat Basterd Inc. said...

I personally haven't been impressed by this James Johnson guy so far. His Biden is alright but nowhere near as funny as Jason Sudeikis. To me the main problems with SNL these days start and end with Lorne Michaels.

Peter Aparicio said...

"Fat orange f***"? Amazing how he lives in your head rent free. Give it a rest and move on.

DyHrdMET said...

I have a couple of Friday questions about FRASIER and Lilith. I'm watching one of Bebe Neuwirth's appearances as Lilith on FRASIER on Cozi TV. It was such a great performance (this is the one where she slept with Niles and almost slept with Frasier in the same hotel room). Was it hard coming up with reasons to have her appear? Was it hard to convince her to reprise that character so often? Was it hard not to over-use her? Was there ever a thought of giving her a spinoff series?

Call Me Mike said...

I mostly stopped watching SNL last year, along with the news, just for my mental well-being. But I still like to catch a clip of the show now and then. Weekend Update is usually dependable.

Nothing against Kate McKinnon, but I'm still hoping to see a movie or TV series that gives Cecily Strong a starring role. She always makes me laugh, and it was baffling to see her in the Ghostbusters from a few years ago in a bit part. What a waste.

It can't just be me said...

I still find the show far more miss than hit... with most of the cast slavishly glued to cue cards, more noticeably to me at least than with earlier casts. How can there not be ways to quickly glance away from the cards on occasion, especially as guest Weekend Update commentators responding to Colin's or Michael's questions?

The milking and doubling, tripling, quadrupling down of a sketch's premise continues to be so predictably SNLish.

Mikey Day - Mr. One-Note. I can't picture his post-SNL career. And as good as Kenan was, I feel like I've long since seen all the tools in his toolbox. I agree that Ego Nwodim is first-rate. She breathes life into her performances.

austinspace said...

I've never stopped watching SNL since episode 2, when Paul Simon dribbled a basketball between Connie Hawkins' legs. It's been a roller coaster of quality but there's always been something worth watching in every episode, and nearly always a laugh-out loud line. Love the current cast, though it seems a little packed this year (when you're not giving Heidi Gardner enough to do, there's too many people). Weekend Update is the most consistently funny fifteen minutes on TV each week, and they make fun of both major parties so relax, it's not all about Trump. They've had a solid run of hosts that seem to really love being on there (watch Jason Sudeikis' opening monologue) and better than average musical guests (could have done without Taylor Swift's epic dirge the other night though).

Elf said...

@call me mike, if you want to see more of Cecily Strong, check out Schmigadoon!

The thing with SNL is that if you look back at the full 90 minute episodes from the first five seasons, the hit/miss ratio isn't that much different than it is today.

What I see as the problem now is that the show has become too structured. Opening political sketch, monologue, skit, filmed bit, skit, filmed bit, skit, musical guest, Weekend Update, skit, skit, musical guest, filmed bit, skit. I'm amazed they were flexible enough to let Taylor Swift do a single ten-minute song. They need to find a way to mix it up a bit. They used to do live remotes from the street, stuff like that. (Sure, that's not a great idea in 2021 but it's been essentially the same pattern for two decades now.)

And I know this may sound like heresy, but while the new guy may do very good Biden and Trump impressions, the question is whether they're FUNNY impressions. A spot-on impression by itself is not funny, just technically impressive. If the writers don't give him good material to do in character, it's useless. All the most remembered impressions have been the comedically exaggerated ones. Think of Chevy Chase's Gerald Ford or Phil Hartman's manic Reagan. At least Alec Baldwin had a comedic take on Trump, he wasn't trying to be technically accurate.

D. McEwan said...

What are you talking about with Kate McKinnon's act growing tired? She has yet to appear in the show this season. She's seen in the opening credits each week, but that's it. She has not been in even one single sketch all season. Her act isn't "tired"; it's non-existent. Apparently you're really sick of the way she's not on the show.

This season has so far included some very lame episodes. This week's was pretty good, but I still have nightmares about the Kim Khardashian episode, one of their most-shameful episodes ever.

By Ken Levine said...

I mean tiresome in general. Like I said, (a) I only watch clips, and (b) there are so many cast members it's common that not everyone gets on every episode.

Rich Shealer said...

I've watched just about every episode from the very first when they replaced the Tonight Show reruns. It's like an old friend that is somewhat mildly amusing but occasionally lets out a zinger that is talked about for years.

I find that my wife has no time for it, except if we are up and watch it live. She often says it is much improved. Often there is alcohol involved. :)

Lesley Coleman said...

James Johnson did an absolutely spot on Trump voice, there was this one where someone put it to video of Trump, it was about Scooby Doo.. still makes me laugh every time. They call him scooby doo, but he doesn't do.. ;)

Tom Asher said...

Agree completely on McKinnon... and Johnson's Trump was pretty decent too, especially the voice.

Leighton said...

@ McEwan

As I posted yesterday, McKinnon has been filming "Joe Exotic" for Peacock. SNL gave her the time off, in order to keep her.

Brandon in Virginia said...

I seem to remember Conan O'Brien making his TBS show a half-hour, mainly because Youtube made it to where you could cherry-pick what you want to watch instead of sitting through the entire show. Don't want the monologue or sketches? Okay...here's part of an interview with Paul Rudd. Want to see the Triumph the Dog sketch, but not Paul Rudd? We got you covered there too.

Like with SNL's sketches, you get to see what everyone's talking about, but don't have to sit through the whole 90 minutes. Like someone mentioned above, I watch mainly live for Weekend Update and catch some of the sketches the next day on Youtube.

D. McEwan said...

"Leighton said...
@ McEwan

As I posted yesterday, McKinnon has been filming "Joe Exotic" for Peacock. SNL gave her the time off, in order to keep her."


So?

How does this excuse Ken from calling "Tiresome" an act she isn't doing?

Ken replied, "(a) I only watch clips, and (b) there are so many cast members it's common that not everyone gets on every episode."

It certainly is, but it is NOT common for their largest star performer to miss 6 consecutive episodes. When John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd were making 1941 for Spielberg, they had to get on a plane to New York every Thursday and do SNL, and then fly back to California on Sunday. If you "Only watch clips" how can you review the show this season? You haven't seen it. It's like reviewing a movie based on the trailer. You weren't even aware Kate hasn't done the show all season.

Cedricstudio said...

Ken, with all due respect I strenuously disagree with you about SNL. As someone who is not on the political left, I do not find their political humor even remotely funny. Not because I disagree with it. I disagree with a lot of what Chappelle and Bill Maher say but I find them witty and insightful and I appreciate having my views challenged. I just don't see this on SNL. Instead I see them taking the lazier route of telling their left-leaning audience what they already believe. They are going after "clapter", not "laughter", and confusing applause for insight. The recent abortion clown on weekend update, for example, was not remotely funny. It was just weird. And the Sesame Street bit (falsely) accusing Joe Rogan of taking horse pills also lacked any real humor that I can see. If you are going to do good political humor it has to be more than just mockery and preaching, it has to make people pause and think. SNL fails at this miserably. I hate to say it but to any one not on the left SNL is becoming the real joke.

Charles Bryan said...

I can't remember the last time that I watched it live. I subscribe to it's YouTube channel and all of the content is there. I can skip the music act, and sometimes there's a bonus sketch from the dress rehearsal. The biggest problem is that Update is broken up into segments. It's a nice Sunday morning wake-up.

DARON72 said...

Keen and witty political SNL writers from the past like Jim Downey and Al Franken are much missed. Today's writers don't have much of a grasp on the real world of politics. I fear that the current staff get most of their political 'knowledge' from cable news outlets. Big mistake.

Amanda said...

Sorry for being late to the post. James Austin Johnson is amazing! He's like a young Darrel Hammond--an absolute wizard with impersonations and seems like a really down to Earth guy as well. I personally have been tired of Kate McKinnon's act for awhile...no offense to her, she's very funny and can do SOME characters well, but since her third or fourth season I became disillusioned...she applies deliveries to lines that will be super out of character for who she's playing nut super in-character for her...it completely under-cuts when she puts in subtle work physical work...she plays so many character similarly and it makes her "impressions" pack no punch...because they don't seem like the person at all. I'll probably get attacked for this but I really don't hate her, it's just feel relieved when people become less impressed with her act. For me Cecily Strong has always been amazing and better...sharp impression both vocally and finding subtle details, coming up with totally believable mannerisms that are unique to individual original characters, voices, accents, reactions, singing, etc...she has always become her parts and it took so many years for enough people to notice this (but hey, now she's taken over the role Lily Tomlin originated in her one woman show for this winter so)...she's also Second City trained so that's cool. With Kate I just see Kate being silly. But I look forward to seeing what the new people have to offer and maybe we'll see if the cast ever thins out, haha

D. McEwan said...

"edricstudio said...
I hate to say it but to any one not on the left SNL is becoming the real joke."


I don't hate to say it, but to anyone who still thinks staging an insurrection in our nation's capital to try and topple the government is treason, The Right has become the real joke.

Still supporting traitors, Edricstudio? Giving aid and comfort to traitors is treason, so anyone still on The Right is committing treason.

Spike de Beauvoir said...

They seem to use guest hosts a lot more in sketches and sometimes they're so stiff and flat it drags the whole thing down. But it depends on the guest, recently Owen Wilson was great. Regina King and the gummies sketch was hilarious.

Also seems to be a trend towards sketches with larger ensembles and using more music.

I look forward to more from new cast member Aristotle Athari, Laughingstock 3000 last week was pretty brilliant.

Matt said...

I'd respect SNL if they were equal in their political "humor." But it's not. It used to be, but it's not anymore. I watched SNL for decades, but I can't anymore. It's more "Republicans are evil buttholes" and far less "Colonel Angus" (perhaps SNL's funniest sketch ever).

I'm sure SNL doesn't care that I've left as a viewer, just as much as I no longer care for SNL.

D. McEwan said...

"Blogger Matt said...
I'd respect SNL if they were equal in their political 'humor.' But it's not. It used to be, but it's not anymore. I watched SNL for decades, but I can't anymore. It's more 'Republicans are evil buttholes'."


It's called "Having a Point-of-View" rather than just pandering to both the good people and the evil buttholes. The Problem is, the two sides are not equally flawed. One party is trying to save democracy, and the other party, the "Evil Butthole Party," has already put a fascist in power for four years, are working to undermine the government, and - what else? - oh yes, staged an insurrection to try to overthrow the government of the United States, committing Mass Treason.

So should SNL do "Biden is old and nerdish" jokes, or use their satire to attack The Party Of Treason?

DyHrdMET said...

two comments

1: SNL as a whole hasn't been good in at least 20 years, and I'd say probably 25 or more at this point. it has its moments, but for an entire 90 minute show, I stand by this comment. The 1980s incarnations were so much better than the shows of the past 20 years, and I only know them from the 60 minute reruns that Comedy Central used to show circa 1993 when I was getting into SNL. I also don't bother watching the new shows for more than the cold open and haven't in a long long time (save for one or two hosts I wanted to see).

2: your line "Side note: Is it just me or is Kate McKinnon’s act getting tiresome? I used to love Kate McKinnon and now I don’t." this is exactly why the actors cycle in and out and usually don't stay more than a couple years, regardless of moving to bigger and better things.

But here's a Friday Question for you (if you haven't already addressed it). Could you and your writing partner write sketch comedy week in and week out (forget about being consistently funny), given your skills and talents? Or is it not necessarily the same skill set as writing a short play, a movie, or regular 22 minute sitcoms?