You know what’s crazy? I’ll tell you what’s crazy
Saturday Night Live.
LIVE FROM NEW YORK IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.
It use to give me chill bumps. Now it makes me wince.
It use to be appointment TV. Now it’s a cue to turn out the light, the party’s over.
The show has always been a launching pad for greatness. Comedians like Eddie Murphy, John Belushi and Will Ferrell became globally recognized superstars. Their acts were immortalized, and celebrated and repeated by school kids the next week.
Now, it’s forgettable drek that keeps the commercials from bumping into each other.
There’s a reason that good shows come to end. The ideas become stagnant.
Seinfeld. Mash. Cheers.
They all had something to say. Then, sadly, their voice became predictable and tired and was replaced by something new.
But in 44 years, SNL has not changed. It has followed the same format that made it famous and sustained it forever.
Should it end? Some say it has declined so badly, it is only a memory of what it once was.
Today, I can only name a few of the performers, and only with a prompt.
Everything ages. Steel rusts. Concrete cracks. TV shows run their course.
In my estimation, the skits are contrived and long. The writing is forced and the acting weak.
Weekend Update is a segment that has stood the test of time. But it too is a tired mechanism covered with rust.
The days of Jane You Ignorant Slut with Jane Curtain and Dan Aykroyd and REALLY? with Seth and Amy are video gems locked in the vault. Now it’s the random white guy and the unfunny black guy. Their names are not important. The segment is long. The bits mean spirited. The narrative is politically charged venom. Half the audience may be insulted, while the other half nods approval. But putrid regurgitation is no substitute for smart comedy.
And then there’s that troubled ugly guy with all the tattoos who threatened to kill himself who use to date Ariana Grande. I know this performer when I see him. He is not funny. He is rarely seen in skits. Who is he again? Why is he there? He looks like the poster child for the next AL-ANON meeting. I saw an article where he had a neck tattoo to cover a neck tattoo of a relationship that went bad. Wow! Nothing says forever like two neck tattoos on the same part of your neck. Why this man is on the show is a mystery. Does he have pics of Lorne Michaels’ private parts?
I’m not calling for a cancellation of this venerable institution, but the 44th year has lost its way. It reminds me of a drunk man stumbling down a staircase. He is angry and mistepping and spewing politically charged ramblings that are disguised as comedy.
Today’s SNL reminds me of a monkey throwing it’s on fecal matter at the spectators at the zoo. It’s funny, unless you get hit in the jaw with a big pile of steaming hot mess.
The show wasn’t always funny in 1975 either when it broke onto the scene. But it made me laugh way more than it made me wince. It’s been 44 years and I can still recall skits that were funny. Remember Belushi as the Samurai. Chevy Chase as the land shark. Bill Murray as the Star Wars lounge singer.
The show evolved and there were other famous moments. I’m Gumby Damn it! The Perfect Cheer. More Cowbell.
Now the show is the same tired rendition of Alec Baldwin hating on Trump. Once or twice, OK. But every show? And for an uncomfortable 5 minutes? You can tell the audience wants to laugh, but they are nervous.
The show is often painful, like being awake and watching your own colonoscopy.
I still tune in, because it’s what I’ve been trained to do. But I am now routinely disappointed.
What started as a unique idea in 1975 is now pedestrian.
Remember the Not Ready For Prime Time Players?
Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, and Bill Murray.
It was appointment TV. It was political and sarcastic and envelope pushing. But it was not mean. It didn’t feel like it was a calculated hatchet job.
Today’s SNL is angry. It’s a pit viper spitting acid in your eye. It’s mostly boring and only half the country gets what you are trying to do.
We all need to laugh. We all want to look at ourselves and reflect on our imperfections with a chuckle. We don’t want to go to bed hating you because you somehow hate me.
The show has often reinvented itself and reminded us how to laugh at ourselves.
SNL has lost its way.
The good news? There are always great minds and great writers with a new voice knocking on the door.
Give them a chance.