Monday, February 16, 2015

Sunday Night Long

I just finished watching the three-and-a-half hour 40th anniversary of SNL.  There were a lot of clips, musical performances, tributes and even original comedy material--well semi-original, using famous bits like celebrity Jeopardy! or Wayne's World or The Californians (really?).  It's hard to judge the show as a show, since it's more a monument to the show.

There really has never been anything like SNL.  There have been variety shows and talk shows, some that lasted a long time, but SNL is unique.  It started at a time when weekend late night TV was dead--NBC usually showed Johnny Carson repeats. (Ironically, the SNL would spread and take over NBC weekday late night?)  Furthermore, broadcast television--was there any other kind?--had barely responded to the cultural revolution of the 60s.  Saturday Night Live was a show for a new generation, but no one could have predicted it would inspire the generation after that, and the one after that.  In fact, creator Lorne Michaels left after five years, along with the last of the original cast, and many thought that would be it.  But the show continued, and Lorne returned (tail between his legs) five years later and has been at the helm ever since.

So, like any revolution, the revolutionary aspect eventually ended and the show became an institution.  And that's what we saw on Sunday night. It's astounding how many famous people have appeared on SNL, and have been made by SNL.  And since anyone who had anything to do with the show was invited, it needed to be as long as it was.  There were 80 names in the opening credits, and quite a few more in the clips.  We saw more big names on the show than are likely to be at the Oscars next week.

Comedy and bigness don't go that well together, and the anniversary opted more for bigness. And why not, every 40 years or so.  Two generation of comedy and music is worth celebrating.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin appearing loopy (in the pre-interviews at least) is what can only be described as a soft porn wear gown was a notable moment. Kudos to her for relegating The Donald as only the #2 whackjob in her bit

5:24 AM, February 16, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see after all these years she still has the power to amuse.

Much funnier than John McCain on Parks and Rec. (Remember when everyone was afraid he'd die in office and she'd take over, as if somehow that would be worse than Obama?)

7:03 AM, February 16, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember when some on this blog thought she was a great choice.

10:12 AM, February 16, 2015  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Who thought that? Certainly not me.

Though, to be fair, she was a good choice at first, revitalizing a troubled campaign and putting McCain above Obama. It's hard to believe he'd ever have been winning without her. Her speeches were winners. It was only after her dismal performance in some interviews and a full court press against her that she fell apart--though she was never anywhere near as bad as she was made out to be, and the lies continue today, as we can see.

5:03 PM, February 16, 2015  

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