Tuesday, May 27, 2014

5

Why Saturday Night Live Sucks #snl #FeedUrNoggin

  • Tuesday, May 27, 2014
  • Mark Laechel
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  • If you have been watching Saturday Night Live over the last two to three years, you probably have been
    doing the same thing I have: watching a weak opening skit 50% of the time, then watching a badly written skit after another to the point where you are almost embarrassed for the guest host. I mean, really, it almost seems like the entire writing staff and cast members really don't give a shit.
    One such skit over the last 7 months stands out: Bruce Willis's Dance Party. Go watch that on YouTube and then come on back.
    Yeah. That bad. Watching that hurt.
    So whats wrong with the show? Lots of things are wrong with the show, its not just any one thing. It's the new weak assed cast, its the writers, and most of all, its Lorne Michaels.
    Now I would like to defend myself by saying that Yes, I realize that SNL goes through cycles of up and down periods, kind of like the stock market. You aren't always going to be in a bull market. When the show is in periods when it is really hot with a strong cast, that's when the talent leaves for the big money of beckoning film careers (as what SNL really is is a movie career launching pad at best) even back to the original cast in the mid to late 1970's. Then Hollywood came calling for John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Chevy Chase, etc. and a lot of these guys went on to make big money in the movies over the course of their careers.
    After 1980, Lorne Michaels became hip to this and now has in the contracts for all cast members that specify that he gets a backend piece of any movie they do for a specified time after they leave the SNL cast should they go on to be famous and make future living in the movies. Hey, hes not running a soupkitchen here, right? So when you have a hot cast and hot writers, SNL sizzles. When famous cast members leave for greener pastures because SNL got them famous, SNL sucks. For example, Bill Hader, Kristin Wiig, and Jason Sudeikis just left and then SNL replaced these alphas with weak sniveling geeks without any charisma. It leaves you turning the channel on Saturday Night looking for something else.

    Lets go over some strong and weak periods in the SNL timeline:

    1975: SNL debuts. No one watches it. While better than "The Best of Carson" reruns, no one is really watching the show. This by the way is when Lorne Michaels did his best work: He was a young producer starting out so he was out to 'Make his Bones' (make his mark) and was out doing everything that he could to find a superstar cast: He himself was out trolling comedy clubs, actively networking, watching shows, ensambles, second city in chicago, meeting writers, everything he could to find the funniest and the best.
    1976-1979: SNL at a high note. Superstar original cast and excellent writers. Sketches that even hold up even today that could make you laugh.
    1980-1981: Lorne Michaels leaves, the orgininal cast leaves. Dick Ebersol becomes the new producer and a new cast replaces the old cast. The show sucks. The writing sucks.
    1982: Most of the 1980 cast is fired and a few people moved around. Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscapo are moved to the front and become stars.
    1983: Show has a witty new cast and good writing. One of the cast is an 18 year old who later becomes 'Elanie' on Seinfeld
    1984: SNL revamps the cast and takes on professional comedians. Billy Crystal, Martin Short and pro writers. The result? The show is hilarious. But this crew only is for one season unfortunately.
    1985: The show sucks. So much, in fact the ratings are dismal. The scetches are limp and poorly written and  embarassing as the audience isnt even laughing. This cast featured the guy who later played Iron Man, a 20 year old Morton Downey Jr., Anthony Michael Hall and J oan Cusack. It was so bad that they rehired Lorne Michaels and when he returned he fired the entire cast except for two people: Jon Lovitz and Dennis Miller.
    1986-1988: The show improves, Lorne Michaels starts hiring some great talent, including Nora Dunn (who by the way was found serving foods in banquets as a waitress), Phil Hartman (who was later shot and killed by his jealous wife because her career was going nowhere while his was taking off) Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey (of Hans und Franz pump you up fame) etc. The writing and show are good and getting better and better.
    1990-1994: Show continues to get better and better with Chris Farley and Adam Sandler. Great skits, great writing.
    1996: Farley and Sandler leave for movie careers and the show experiences a lull. Until that is they hire Molly Shannon, Cheri Oteri and Will Ferrell.
    1997-2000: Show great with Ferrell, Shannon, Oteri and a young Jimmy Fallon. Great cast chemistry. Writing kind of spotty, but whatever.
    2000-5: Great show with premium writing with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Jimmy Fallon.
    2007-2008: Show experiences a lull as there are no outstanding cast members
    2010-2013: Show once again funny with standouts such as Bill Hader, Kristin Wiig, and Jason Sudekis.
    2014: Michaels is too old and hires a bunch of no talent no charisma pussies and sets the 2014 cruise control to coast not really giving a shit about the show because he's 69 years old and already made his mark 40 years ago and now is just sitting back and letting other people give him ideas and send him talent tapes while he just collects his paycheck looking bored during staff meetings.

    You Can't Possibly Tell Me That There are No More Chevy Chases Dan Aykroyds or John Belushis Out There
    Really? Comedy blew its load in the late 70's and now thats it? Michaels isnt looking hard enough because Michaels thinks that the best he ever had and has ever done is now hanging in the hallway in old fading color photos in the hallowed halls of 30 rock.

    Its Time to put a new Guy at the Helm (Or What I Would Do to Revitalize the Show)
    I would go in and fire a lot of people. The entire writing staff: You're Fired. Kate Mckinnon. Ok, you're the token lesbian, but things never really took off with you, you're fired too. I would keep Vanessa Bayer, I would keep Celiley Strong, and Bobby Moynihan. These cast members all exhibit traits reminiscent of the early comedic genius of SNL and with the proper writing staff behind them, could really take off. Jay Pharoah would be fired. He's simply no Eddie Murphy, more of a featured player if anything. Good Obama mimic but no genius like Murphy. Kenan? Bye Bye. Your time has come and gone, pick up your last check in the office on the way out. I would fire the entire featured cast: I have never seen such a group of wierdo alternative wimps like this ever on the show. Except for the new one that looks like a young Joe Piscapo. But he never really gets any camera time. How about that new guy that they paired up with Cecily on the news that replaced Seth? Too straight-laced and looks like a guy who is president of  an Honors Fraternity. I noticed that this was, in fact a problem with other people too as the following week I see that they put some Mousse in his hair and tried to give him a hipper look by messing up his hair. Yeah. I caught that. You are getting the axe as well. I need an honest to goodness smart ass with a high IQ with high charisma reading the news, not someone that's trying to be cool and hip who is trying to be the guy who replaces Seth, who was really cool and hip without even trying.
    The next thing I would do is go out and thoroughly comb the comedy circuit with the passion and fervency that Michaels had in 1975. I would find my Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd and John Belushi. Because they are 23 years old and out there right now. Right as you are reading this. But no diamond is easily found. You have to get out there yourself and do the work. Do the scouting, have an open network out there of scouts hunting with you, with your cell phone always being lit up with forwarded clips of comedians from different clubs as we scout all the second city type comedy troupes. You have to want it. And Michaels doens't want it. He already had it. What he wants is a lawnchair and a beer and the ballgame on.

    Good Comedy is Consisted of Alpha Males
    I knew a guy about 6 years ago in Chicago who lived downtown by Wells, which is also the street that Second City comedy troupe that SNL recruits from. One time he told me that he was actually a member of that troupe in the mid 1980s.
    As far as second city is concerned and a lot of members at that comedy troupe are concerned,  Second City is like the comedy Minors, and SNL is the majors. Like Baseball, scouts regularly scout out clubs such as this looking for new talant that can be sent up to the majors to SNL.
    As a result, there is a lot of competition between the cast members at Second City for stage time and skits. Within Second City, its almost like high school. There is a core of people that are like the popular people, and then there is everybody else, including the fringe people who really get minimal or no stage time. The guy that was talking to me about being in Second City wasnt in the popular group. He said that the guys that got the most stage time were the assholes, the popular people, the funny guys who knew how to swing thier weight around and who people automatically gravitated to. Think Belushi, Chase, Murray, Farley, or guys that maybe wern't naturally good looking but still had a load of charisma such as Harold Ramis. You get all of these guys in one room and it would be like a loud raucous fraternity party with a lot of laughter and drinking. The kind of guys that had letters on thier sweaters in high school. The kind of guys other guys want to be around. That dated and went to parties. That were winners. This kind of guy is important for comedy. If they are popular that means they have traits that make people like them built into them. Traits that stand out in front of a camera on a show such as SNL. If people like you because of your charisma and humor you are going to be a star and take SNL up the ranks with you while you are there.
    If you have wierd looking geeks on your cast on SNL you are going to have a problem. They have no charisma because they were probably being stuffed into lockers in high school or in the chess club, and as a result had a hard time dealing with other people. As a result, they are going to have personality traits and tells built into thier personality that are going to make people viewing them uncomfortable. Just plain uncomfortable. And that translates to crap ratings.

    So pick it up, Michaels, and step down. Time to clear house as I described earlier and put the same effort as Lorne Michaels did in 1975 and find the next Bill Murray, the next Chevy Chase, and the next Dan Ackroyd and hire a new staff of professional writers. Thats hard? Too F'ing bad. Finding good talent IS hard. But they are out there. Its time for a new guy at the helm who wants it. You listening, Stephen Burke? Im going to leave you with the words of an Asian Proprietor who ran a bar at my college: "Money Talk. Bullshit Walk."

    October 4, 2014 Addition--------------------------------------------------------

    Well, its about 6 months later and I just saw the show with Sara Silverman and I have to say that I'm impressed with the turn that the show has taken. While they still have the trying to be cool white guy on the news, Lorne made a brilliant decision to have 2 dudes at the desk. And the Black guy is a riot. He actually has 20x the funny of the white guy. Its a great new mechanic, the mirror inverse of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. Its a good comedy interaction between two guys that is surprisingly fresh. Cecily Strong still shines on in the skits and by the way, yes I noticed that you suddenly dropped wieght and got fit. You go girl. Good career move. If you are going to have a pretty face, you have got to have a pretty body.
    Sara Silverman of course was a riot, and I couldnt help but wonder if her writing genius rubbed off on the show. Case in point the car/marriage/cheating skit. That was funny as all hell.
    Lorne and the writers are concentrating now on the players that matter, and natural selection will make its cuts and the show goes on. Better writing and good new additions of staff members in the last several months. I look foward to more of the show this season. More updates to come...

    5 Responses to “Why Saturday Night Live Sucks #snl #FeedUrNoggin”

    Sharon Laechel said...
    May 27, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    Totally agree. SNL sucks now. They need to clean house


    rusty said...
    August 23, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    No longer funny at all.


    Rachel Sharber said...
    October 4, 2016 at 9:36 AM This comment has been removed by the author.

    Rachel Sharber said...
    October 4, 2016 at 9:41 AM

    So glad I found this, I'm completely disappointed by the show now. Even more so in 2016, honestly I thought it'd be off the air by now, it just isn't good anymore.


    Alexandra Lee said...
    November 14, 2016 at 3:45 PM

    YES I AGREE snl is terrible I will never watch it again they were trying to get trump to look like a jerk well it didnt work and i wont watch you crappy skits again losers just like CLINTON AND ALL THE MOONBATS ! GO TRUMP YOU DID IT DRAIN THE SWAMP


    Great post! Get this man a beer!

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