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Monday, May 17, 2010

Where did all the good Saturday Night Live go?

     With the close of the latest season of NBC's Saturday Night Live, one question hangs over our heads: why does SNL currently suck?  It still includes most of the same cast that made it such a hit during the 2008 election.  Kristen Wiig is still a comic genius.  Andy Samberg still makes Digital Shorts, though the laughs come less often.  Will Forte is taking his MacGruber sketch to the big screen very soon.  Bobby Moynihan can still deliver with his impersonation of Snooki from Jersey ShoreSeth Meyers remains the head writer, and the Weekend Update segments are as funny as ever.  But the rest of the show largely falls flat on it's face.

     To get an answer, perhaps we should ask why any season of Saturday Night Live has sucked.  On the air for thirty-five years, the series run in hit and miss cycles, and we are currently in the middle of a low point, made all the more obvious by just high they got in fall 2008.  Even Betty White, bringing a host of alumni with her, delivered only mediocre stuff.  Don't hate on me for saying it.  I was enthralled with the beloved actress and her posse as anyone, but had the season been where it should have been, that episode would not have seemed as good as it did.  At best, it was good, not great.

      Perhaps in an effort to salvage something, uber-host Alec Baldwin was brought in for the season finale this weekend, tying Steve Martin's record of 15 hosting episodes.  Sadly, he, too, left something to be desired.  Let me say that again.  Alec Baldwin had a bad episode.  That just doesn't happen.  So why, with all the golden ingredients, is SNL not doing better?

     I can come up with no satisfying explanation.  I remember how good the show is when it hits it's peaks, and so I'll just do what any of us can do.  Keep watching, hoping it gets there again soon.

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