"Saturday Night Live" - Pros and Cons (1 Viewer)

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
I am sitting at home watching SNL
and thinking how tonight's show is
representative of the series as a whole.

A mix of good, great, weird, and flat.
This comedy/music show has been around
for over 30 years and has been all of those things.

So here's a chance to praise, condemn, and
reminisce about an American (world?) TV staple.

Who was the brightest star this show produced ?
The most versatile ?
Funniest sketch ?
Most unfunny ?
Most memorable musical performances ?
Most embarassing ?

Off the top of my head....

Brightest star would be Steve Martin
but that's cheating a bit. He was never a cast member
and was strictly a host. But I think that it is
hard to imagine the rise of his comedy career -
complete with stadium sell-out concerts and
albums which sold in the millions - without
his work on SNL. Of course, Bill Murray and
Dan Ackroyd have acquitted themselves nicely
since their days on the show, too.

Most versatile ?
Phil Hartman - though Darrell Hammond
has done some amazing stuff too.

Funniest sketches and unfunniest ?
I'll have to think about....

Over the years this show has been
a kind of mile-marker for my life (sad as that sounds)
because when I hear a reference to a particular
sketch or band appearance, I can instantly
recall that time-period, complete with
jobs worked, girlfriends dated, bands played in,
etc...

Ahh....life with a TV soundtrack
Join me won't you ?

:)
 

vodka

Miss Take
i love and loved steve martin.

funniest? perhaps will farrell. goddamn that man is funny.

i mean, the cowbell sketch is a classic of course but there are always others.


bill murray of course. how could anyone overlook bill murray?

oh oh and remember chevy chase back in the day?
 

Father Luke

Founding member
2994645030_29f439fc2d_o.jpg
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
Yes Yes Yes
just for the record

my prediction for Grandpa McSame
on SNL was for him to ask
a backstage worker :

"Where's that funny black fellow
Eddie Murphy ?"

:)
 

mjp

Founding member
One important thing you left out of the SNL mix is that in the early days it had a reputation for presenting interesting, cutting edge music. It hasn't done that - or even tried to do that - in over a decade. You have to go back even further to get to some of the truly weird stuff that was on there. The only thing you see on there now are toothless cookie cutter "acts" that record for labels that just happen to be under the same corporate umbrella as NBC/SNL. Imagine that.

Can you imagine the likes of Patti Smith, DEVO, Jimmy Cliff, Lou Reed, Los Lobos, Frank Zappa, Sun Ra(!), Kate Bush, The Specials, Elvis Costello, FEAR, Peter Tosh, the Roches, the Sugarcubes, the Clash or the Replacements showing up on the modern SNL?
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
mjp is right, but if it wasn't for SNL we would have never had even though they later banned him from the show.


CONS: How about NBC recently pulling a skit. Looks like they have a side.
 
Going back to the early days ...

"Candygram, ma'am ... UNICEF ..."

Chevy Chase's "Land Shark" is my absolute favorite. Chase, however, has had a fairly marginal career, as has Ackroyd. Belushi and Radner, of course, gone too soon and what the hell ever happend to Jane Curtin post "Kate and Allie"?

Bill Murray, I believe, has done some outstanding material post SNL, especially his dramatic turns in smaller movies, like the Jarmusch films he has done and "Lost in Translation" and his HST, IMO, was far superior to Depp's caricature in "Fear and Loathing".

Eddie Murphy had a respectable career going but then he decided to take matters into his own hands and select and produce his own material and ... well, "Harlem Nights", anybody? "The Nutty Professor"? The Richard Pryor edge he was reaching for in '48 HRS' and "Beverly Hills Cop" is gone. And then there was the issue with the trannie hooker in West Hollywood. No, that didn't help.

Also, let's not forget that Christopher Guest emerged from SNL in the mid-80s.

And RIP the versatile Phil Hartman. Damn. Shot to death by his deranged wife while he lay sleeping.
 

Father Luke

Founding member
Michael O'Donoghue.

The humor has sold out, too.


SNL has gone from Michael O'Donoghue to Michael Meyers
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That's like asking Bill Hicks to endorse
Sarah Palin for Vice President.

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I don't think so.
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
Going back to the early days ...
(snip...)
Bill Murray, I believe, has done some outstanding material post SNL, especially his dramatic turns in smaller movies, like the Jarmusch films he has done and "Lost in Translation" and his HST, IMO, was far superior to Depp's caricature in "Fear and Loathing".


And RIP the versatile Phil Hartman. Damn. Shot to death by his deranged wife while he lay sleeping.

Agree, agree, agree, but Johnny Depp was as good if not better.
The Jim Jarmusch movie is
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
The humor has sold out, too.


SNL has gone from Michael O'Donoghue to Michael Meyers

That's like asking Bill Hicks to endorse
Sarah Palin for Vice President.

Well, if you had said "from Michael O'Donoghue
to Jimmy Fallon" I would have agreed.

But Mike Myers ? I thought his contributions were solid.
The "Sprockets" series, where he was the host of
an East German avant-garde arts talk-show...
"NOW IS ZEE TIME ON SPROCKETS VEN VEE DANCE !"

And the "Wayne's World" sketches - Good stuff, I thought.

and they fired sarah silverman.

Yes - it has long been said that the producer -
Lorne Michaels - feels threatened by women
on the show who get too popular or express
too strong of a voice...
 

Father Luke

Founding member
Well, if you had said "from Michael O'Donoghue
to Jimmy Fallon" I would have agreed.

But Mike Myers ? I thought his contributions were solid.
The "Sprockets" series, where he was the host of
an East German avant-garde arts talk-show...
"NOW IS ZEE TIME ON SPROCKETS VEN VEE DANCE !"

And the "Wayne's World" sketches - Good stuff, I thought.

I haven't had a television set since
Nixon was in office. I just know that
Michael O'Donoghue was not your
Average soft bellied American.

I get that from Mike Meyers.
And I get that from SNL.
 
I agree SNL totally sold out as soon as they became popular.
When they started hiring Actors like Robert Downey Jr, (who is a good actor but he is no Belushi, Murray or Aykroyd etc.) and Michael Anthony Hall because they were popular, it totally ruined it.
The best part of those first 4 or 5 seasons was that no one knew what to expect
and were not quite sure what to make of all this. They had uncharted territory laid out in front of them and they ran with it. All of the early cast members, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Laraine Newman, Jane Curtain, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and Garrett Morris all came from improv and Stand up comedy backgrounds. It was a great time because they were literally inventing the show
in front of our eyes. Nothing had ever been done like this before. There were no lines to cross because the lines didn't exist, at least not yet. That was IMO the best of SNL, from 1975 to about 1981, after that the reins started to tighten. Once that cast was gone then new rules were set in motion and the cutting edge turned into a very dull blade.

I seem to recall an episode were every time they were going to cut away to a commercial they would show the hands of a man trying to roll a joint and he kept breaking it and cursing under his breath. I believe it was suppose to be Nixon. It was pretty funny.

Thems was good days for SNL. Thanks god for the reissues on DVD.:)
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
...I seem to recall an episode were every time they were going to cut away to a commercial they would show the hands of a man trying to roll a joint and he kept breaking it and cursing under his breath. I believe it was suppose to be Nixon. It was pretty funny...

That would be Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford
completly fumbling everything
 
Agree, agree, agree, but Johnny Depp was as good if not better.
The Jim Jarmusch movie is Broken Flowers

Yes, and Murray also had a cameo in Jarmusch's "Coffee and Cigarettes." He is of much more effective use in smaller, understated roles in art house films that have less of a linear narrative and make better use of his early training as a stage and sketch actor, particularly of an "improvisational feel" that you see in some art house circuit films, pioneered, I believe, by the late, great John Cassavettes.
 

Father Luke

Founding member
Don Pardo

As a cultural phenomena, SNL's impact
is undeniable. I have always thought that
Chevy Chase's Weekend Update was the
inspiration for Comedy Central's The Daily
Show with Jon Stewart.

Although the show has jumped the shark,
many times, (jumped the shark - tanked, died,
see Happy Days) there is one man who has continued
unscathed. You won't recognize his face:

3000742082_ff8831221e.jpg


but listen to one of the most
recognizable voices in the world. . .
(not Chevy. . .)

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/weekend-update/29152/
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
Don Pardo is the voice of many old game shows as well.

Thanks for the link Father Luke. NBC seems to keep the genuine SNL clips off of You Tube so your link has Mr Bill
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Speaking of SNL, I got a Zappa DVD with some of his SNL performences from 1976 and 1978. John Belushi plays together with Zappa in some of the performences, dressed up in his samurai outfit, playing guitar and singing into a microphone which is connected to the guitar. It looks pretty funny with that long bendable microphone, going from the guitar all the way up to Belushi's mouth. He really freaks out on stage as the guitar playing samurai...:D
 
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hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Reaper Crew
Moderator
Founding member
singing into a microphone which is connected to the guitar. It looks pretty funny with that long bendable microphone, going from the guitar all the way up to Belushi's mouth. He really freaks out on stage as the guitar playing samurai...:D

That's probably a 'Talk Box'. Groovy ;)
 
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Hosh

hoshomccreesh.com
I'm a SNL fan...even when it's not as popular, I have always found some bright spots. I also admire just how hard it is to make a show like that week in & week out...it's a tough business, being funny all the time. & they've had tremedous talent both writing & performing...so hats off to them!
 

mjp

Founding member
John Belushi plays together with Zappa in some of the performences, dressed up in his samurai outfit, playing guitar and singing into a microphone which is connected to the guitar. It looks pretty funny with that long bendable microphone, going from the guitar all the way up to Belushi's mouth.

That's probably a 'Talk Box'. Groovy ;)

A "talk box"? What's that exactly?
Doesn't sound like a talk box, they work with a long plastic tube that goes from a box on the floor up to your mouth. Think Peter Frampton's Do you feel like I do, or the beginning of Aerosmith's Sweet Emotion.

Les Paul was the first to put a microphone on a piece of flexible gooseneck pipe that was actually attached to the guitar. Of course. Being as he was the first to do just about everything electric guitar-related. That particular accessory never caught on though. ;)
 
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Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
That's probably what it is, mjp! It's a microphone on a long flexible pipe attached to the guitar, that's for sure. Thanks...
 
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Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer must be my favorite characther in the show, I'd also loved that sketch were Eddie Murphie paited his skin all white...

how come nobody remembers the guy who lived in a van down the river???
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
Here's a con....Buck Henry as Uncle Roy. You never see much of that anymore maybe because it's too politically incorrect to play anymore. I could not find a video link anywhere about Buck Henry as the creepy Uncle who like to take provocative photos of his young nieces. This is a small explanation of what they were trying to portray in the skits. Buck Henry did quite a bit of writing for them in the 70s.
Buck Henry is very funny, but those skits with Lorraine Newman and Gilda Radner playing little girls were on the edge.
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
The van down down by the river ?
It was occupied by a motivational speaker
whose character's name was a tribute
to Chris Farley's college roommate, Matt Foley.
Foley actually became a Catholic priest after graduation.

I also loved Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer...
"Your traffic noises startle me and I don't know
what to think of your giant flying iron birds -
but I know one thing...MY CLIENT IS INNOCENT !"

caveman-lawyer.jpg
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
A wingnut, yes. But mostly a typical
Evangelical, who believes in the
infallibility of the Bible and a
"convert-or-else" attitude toward
the rest of the world and it's traditions.

She speaks of a time in the U.S.
"before the decline of Bible teaching"
when apparently life was so much better.

Would that be the time before Civil Rights,
desegregation, and equal employment guarantees ?
Gosh - she isn't scared to death of a
black President, is she ?
 
This site www.hulu.com has alot of SNL clips. Maybe not a ton of the older stuff but good stuff all around. Sorry for the typed only link, I'm no good at figuring out how to make them direct to site. CRB:)
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
It is very difficult to find video clips of Saturday Night Live. NBC must have an iron clad grip on the rights.

Yes Victoria Jackson is a Right Wing Nut to the Nth degree.
 

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