I long ago abandoned Saturday Night Live, about the 4,000th time I fell asleep in the middle of it. That’s not so much about me getting old (which I am) but about SNL seeming less interesting and relevant. When I was a kid growing up in the ’80s, SNL was the touchstone of American comedy, the very center of our dumb decade. I didn’t know it then, but it was Vaudeville gone WRONG, which is why it was so friggin’ hillarious, for instance, when Don Rickles showed up there. He was a comic I had never considered funny, but he had me laughing till I spewed.
But then, I recently had the opportunity to go back and watch some of those 1st Season episodes… when it was just Saturday Night, and it was fairly obvious that the amount of cocaine consumed in a given week could deplete the coca output of Colombia and Bolivia combined. Man, it was random back then, packed with completely weird ’70s insanity, counterculture circle-jerks of pop-culture odd.
Maybe a 90-minute weekly skit show is just guaranteed to miss as often as it hits, and the passionate viewer needs to remember the good times and forget the bad times… oooo, kind of eerily metaphorical and spiritual and all that, wouldn’t you say? That, or maybe the passionate viewer needs to turn off the TV and read a f*ing book.
That said, sometimes SNL still turns out wicked beeyatchin’ hillarity — for example, the commercial a couple of years ago for the egg roll taco baked into a sandwich wrapped in a pizza breaded and deep-fried, or something. Sheer genius — stoner comedy right when stoners most need it.
And speaking of genius, this Tina Fey-Amy Poehler cold open from last night is absolutely hillarious. I love both of them. It’s brilliant. Ask this one about dinosaurs.