Monday, February 16, 2015

Discuss: Saturday Night Live


Doug: Last night NBC aired a celebration of 40 years of Saturday Night Live. I didn't get to watch it, as we were getting our oldest from Midway Airport, where he was actually returning to Illinois from some time out in Karen's neck of the woods. He'd been in the Phoenix area with his university's softball team, handling all of the media needs and broadcasting their games in a weekend tournament. Anyway, today let's hear about your memories of favorite sketches, talent line-ups, hosts, musical guests, etc. The program has become an American institution, so it's certainly worthy of a discussion today.




Anonymous said...

I didn't watch the 40th anniversary thing last night either (and I haven't watched SNL for years), but I remember a lot of classic bits from years ago. I like the original cast, but that last photo you posted, with Miller, Jackson, Dunn, Hartman et al. is MY SNL; they were on when I first started watching and they're probably still my favourites.

Mike W.

Rip Jagger said...

I'm of the vintage which can boast he saw the very first episode live and in glorious imperfection. The show was a big deal with the first 70's cast and was mighty when they refitted it in the 80's, but I have to admit I've fallen away from it in more recent years, catching the reruns on E when I see them at all. For all the hubbub the show lacks the raw punch it had in the beginning when it was just a step away from nigh anarchy.

I did see the anniversary show and it was rather limited in many ways. Few of the elder cast can still hang and bang as they once did. Eddie Murphy's ballyhooed return appearance was a waste of everyone's time. The old skits don't have the power they once had and the show had as much attempt at real audacity as a vintage Bob Hope special. It's a real comedown.

The SNL show is now a venerable institution, the very thing it once mocked with such aplomb.

Rip Off

Graham said...

I was one of those who grew up with the original cast. I actually came on board with the Steve Martin/King Tut/Blues Brothers episode and was pretty faithful until those guys departed. Those were my Not Ready For Prime Time Players.

I sort of picked it back up with Piscopo/Murphy/etc.....were on, and occasionally with Hartman, Miller, Victoria Jackson, Nealon, etc... but have not watched it at all in years.

J.A. Morris said...

I missed everything but the 'Jeopardy' sketch, since I was doing grad school course work last night. But I'm a huge fan of the show, I own the first 5 seasons on dvd. I'm old enough to have caught the last 2 seasons (1978-80) of the original cast when they first aired. I quit watching a few years back when they decided to run a 2nd Gilly sketch.

I agree with lots of what Rip said. Lorne Michaels has become the very network honcho he used to rail against.

Edo Bosnar said...

I watched the show pretty regularly from the late '70s to the early '90s. It had it's ups and downs to be sure (like the almost completely forgettable immediate post-original cast season, or that weird, generally unfunny mid-'80s season when Randy Quaid and Anthony Michael Hall were cast members), but I tended to like it for the most part.

Edo Bosnar said...

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention: I didn't watch this anniversary special, except for a few clips that were floating around the internet today - and one of the things I did see was the celebrity Jeopardy sketch J.A. mentioned. I really liked it. I've watched a bunch of those Jeopardy spoofs on YouTube, and they really funny.

Doug said...

My experience mirrors Graham's.

I loved some of the recurring sketches, like the Coneheads, the bees, of course Belushi's samurai, etc. Akroyd's sketch impersonating Julia Child was hilarious. And of course, Will Ferrell's "more cowbell" is a classic.

The best thing about the musical guests were the live performances -- no lip synching.


Anonymous said...

The funniest part of the whole anniversary show......

RIP John Lovitz


Anonymous said...

I liked the early 90s years when you had vets Mike Myers, Phil Hartman, Kevin Nealon, Dana Carvey....but the new "kids" in the cast were Sandler, Spade, Chris Rock, Farley, Rob Schneider....probably my favorite era of SNL.

Oh yeah, Paul McCartney was the best part of the anniversary show...I like weird, artsy acts, but Kanye was BORING and just plain sucky, IMO.


The Prowler said...

I don't think you could have spent any time in fast food and not have yelled "No Coke, Pepsi! Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger!" at least once a shift.

Another moment that has stuck in my mind is Dream Academy's performance of "Life In A Northern Town". They were such a one hit wonder that that was the only song they performed that night. And as I searched the internet for that episode, you could have knocked me over with a feather when the other group performing that night was The Cult doing "She Sells Sanctuary"!!! And the consensus was the Dream Academy had the better performance. C'est la vie!!!

The Digital Shorts were hit and miss. I thought the ones on SNL were funnier than the ones Adam Samberg did on his own.

I didn't watch Sunday night but there's a rebroadcast on Friday night for those who are interested.

(I'm dizzy drunk and fightin
On tequila white lightnin
My glass is getting shorter
On whiskey ice and water
So c'mon have a good time
And get blinded outta your mind
So don't worry 'bout tomorrow
Take it today
Forget about the cheque we'll get hell to pay
Have a drink on me
Yeah have a drink on me
Yeah have a drink on me
Have a drink on me).

ColinBray said...

Growing up in the UK all I could glean of SNL was from the occasional Bullpen Bulletins mention leaving me with the taste of absolute and unavailable glamour.

But thanks that's where The Coneheads came from. Back in the day I was baffled by the grainy photo in comics advertising a Coneheads poster. Cheryl Tiegs and Farrah Fawcett I could understand, but Coneheads?

I had no idea that was for the hip kids...

david_b said...

The biggest shame is the still-no release of the Dick Ebersol years. Rocky at first, it came into it's own with the Murphy/Piscopo team and others quickly following up on their heels. It's locked up in legal entanglements, but it had it's own majestic moments.

Anyone remember Eddie doing the live television call-in about 'Larry the Lobster', whether to save or boil him..?

And who wasn't shocked when Alfalfa got shot...?

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