Listen, SNL isn’t the edgiest, and I hear you when you talk about it’s ‘punk’ roots. And Canada’s SCTV came before or was a contemporary. Kids in the Hall was later. Exit 57 in the mid-90s [Colbert, Sedaris, Dinello]. In the Northwest, we had Almost Live from 1984-1999 [Bill Nye made his break there]. I’m gonna leave out a bunch and I’m just talking North America.
Anyway, I do think SNL has its place in the Zeitgeist – as a touchstone. Of course, it is a bad joke a lot of sketches go too long, and even breaking the fourth wall and trying to be “meta” about that makes it just cringier. And, I love when they say cut for time when it’s already a half-hour too long.
So, I’ve selected a few of my favorites. I mean, I’ve got a mean list. Perhaps you have more from your era, but: John Belushi was just awful and sexist – I know his bits – but other than his equally shitty brother cashing in on that tragedy – the only redeeming thing is they are some of the few celebrities of Albanian descent. David Cross, of Arrested Development and Mr. Show fame, has a great story on what a prick Jim Belushi is.
I heard Joe Piscopo was supposed to be something? I don’t have Gilda Radner because all I know is her Weekend Update character, but I understand she was groundbreaking. Nor do I have Steve Martin because… I just never found him funny. Like he’s humorous and a good actor but I think he’s best at banjo [convince me I’m wrong – the King Tut was ephemeral, to say the least, I get the reference, but the Jaws thing aged better]. Also, while John Belushi was at least fun, and Steve Martin is a cool dude, Chevy Chase has never been funny to me and he’s a major douche. Even on the show Community, they couldn’t stand him.
So this is for people to share their own SNL faves but keep it to North America. Not because I hate the rest of the world, but because BBC and RTÉ is a whole other post.
So here’s to get started:
Goth Talk [fun fact they use Bauhaus’ Goth anthem from 1979 – like, they actually did their research?]
Greek Gods with an Always Sunny Ted Lasso
Dating Show [Dan Aykroyd is one weird dude – like, in a good way, but he’s into some paranormal stuff]
Meet Your Second Wife
I’m gonna leave it there. But yeah, I do think SNL has its moments – it’s just that it could honestly just be an hour with one song from the musical guest.