Thursday, July 06, 2006

SNL is the Most Depressing Show on Television

Saturday Night Live (or SNL) has been on for eighty-billion years (Source: Joe knows everything). In that time, I maintain that there has been ONE period in which it was a really awesome, funny, well-made show that was worth my time. This would be the Chris Farley, Phil Hartman, Mike Meyers, Dana Carvery era of the show. There were lots of classic sketches (Wayne's World, The Chris Farley Show, Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer) and the cast was amazingly talented.

SNL tends to go through periods of being good, then sucking horribly, then being good again. I remember turning it on once for the briefest of moments during one of its stock market crash-like periods and catching this embarassingly bad sketch about a man and a woman in bed. The woman was trying to have some role-playing sex fun and the guy was taking it too seriously. Like, she'd say something like, "You've been a bad boy!" and he'd go "WHAT'D I DO?!" It ended with the guy screaming and running out of the room and the woman addressing the audience with something like, "Hal takes these sex games way too seriously!"

The audience had only chuckled mildly throughout the whole thing.

Although things are rarely that bad, the fact is that I don't think SNL has, except for that one period, been SOOO worth watching. Sure, there was that point where Tracy Morgan, Will Ferrel, and Horatio Sanz provided a bright spot in an otherwise alternatively ho-hum and annoying cast, but I don't make a point of watching shitty sitcoms because they're "funny once in awhile." That's sort of the difference between SNL and other shows. People will continue giving it a chance because it's SUPPOSED to be funny. I mean it's CLASSIC and it's been on SO LONG. Clearly, they're doing SOMETHING right.


I've seen the old, before my time SNLs and the humor is dated. Big surprise, I know, but really good humor should, for the most part, hold up, some discrepancies aside. SNL is based very much on the time in which it is being made. This is even more true considering that they get a current celebrity and a popular band on every week. This, in itself, is a lame gimmick. Very often these celebrities can't even do comedy very well (or, in some cases, ACT). Kids in the Hall (also produced by Lorne Michaels, actually) is one of the best sketch shows of all time. WHERE THE CELEBRITIES ON THAT?! NONE!!! And it is MUCH better.

SNL is largely just a platform for endorsing hot, new star vehicles and atrocious new pop stars. It's fundamentally kaka-poop, ok? And I'd explain my point further, if I wasn't trying to write this in under twenty minutes.

The sad thing about SNL is that it continues onward and onward and it has this pedigree, for whatever reason, that results in people giving it more of a chance than it actually deserves. It's depressing because lots of people crowd around it on Saturday night and force laughs out because they're supposed to! Ah, you are the armies of the dead, you are. Yes, everyone just loooves Lazy Sunday (I did too, up until about the eightieth time), but it doesn't save this sinking ship of TV dreck!

The other reason SNL is the most depressing thing on TV is that it plays at 11:30 PM to 1 AM. Not only is this too late to be awake NOT laughing, if you're watching it, it's an indication that you have NOTHING BETTER TO DO ON SATURDAY NIGHT. Sad, sad.

The only thing that might be sadder is Showtime at the Apollo. I'm not black but, seriously, you can't tell me it's really worth staying up till two in the morning to see Sinbad's Gong Show.


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