Sunday, February 17, 2008

Why does SNL S*@k so much?

Last week I sat down at the computer at 11:30 on Saturday night, just for a few minutes (which turned into about 45) and left the TV running in the next room, because I wasn't going to be working long, right...

So something comes on the station--and it takes me a bit to figure out what it might be--Bill and Hillary's Halloween Party (old episode, writer's strike and all) but I had realized it must be SNL by the time Barack Obama had made a cameo as himself to say the lines, "Live from NY..."

And I'm listening all the while. And nothing was funny! Absolutely nothing. Well, the host was a newscaster who's name absolutely escapes me and he sort of poked fun of himself in a monologue that was ok, but he could have been doing that on the Daily Show or Olbermann and it would have been the same.

And the audience wasn't laughing either. Oh, they cheered when Obama came on, but that's not the same as laughing. AND this is without me actually having to watch the ghastly acting with everybody keeping their eyes on the cue cards like the world might end (or their careers) if they looked away.

Now, I've never been a big fan of the show, ever. My parents never watched it because they found it deeply offensive when I was a child (as my mother always put it, "They're probably high when they write it and think it's hilarious," which was probably true), but my husband was a fan of the early days and I've seen some sketches that were funny from several of the casts. The commercials are usually pretty good.

But here's the thing. Even in the glorious first season, there are still some terrible sketches which we tend to forget because we only see the specials where the best bits of a whole season are strung together. Quite frankly I've seen better sketch comedy on a number of shows, and now it's just excrutiating.

So, why is this show still on--nostalgia? Drugs? Stupidity? I just don't know.

Hugh Laurie used to do sketch comedy with Stephen Fry. AND he's a real actor. He inhabits characters in 30 second sketches. From what I've seen, none of the SNL actors since possibly Mike Myers gets into a character in an entire movie, let alone a sketch. It's painful, and it's embarrassing. Someone put them out of our misery, please.

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