This is an odd piece in GQ: The New Cast Reshaping SNL’s Next Decade . It states: “After a slew of exits, Saturday Night Live is reloading—with a squad of young comics that could form the nucleus of the show for years to come.”
It’s odd because yes, there have been a slew of exits, and yes there are new comics, but if you have been watching it recently, the comics dominating it now seem to be people like Heidi Gardner and Bowen Yang, and of course, the great Keenan Thompson. To see what I mean, check out this recap of a recent episode with Travis Kelce starring. Or watch tonight. They aren’t the new people, and they aren’t the older comics leaving.
The new comics are no doubt good, and they likely appealed more to the GQ readership than the people I named. Plus everyone wants to talk about what’s new. But I can see the current veterans being around and in the forefront when it comes to SNL celebrating half a century in 2 years from now.
A little perspective, please, GQ. 🙂
P.S. As an aside, I’ve been a fan of both GQ and SNL since the 70s. Good to see them both still around and being current.
Posted in culture
Tagged 2020s, culture, GQ, SNL, TV
I’ve been wondering when this would happen, but finally some of the bigger names from SNL are departing next year, including Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant and Kyle Pete Davidson, according to Deadline. I’ve been surprised both by how stable SNL has been over the last decade and how big the cast has grown. It started off with less than 10, now it’s over 20.
Having a big cast makes sense in some ways. It means there is a deep bench of talent ready and eager to step up. It also helps SNL deal with the lack of diversity problem they had all too recently.
I’ve been watching more SNL recently, ironically because of Twitter. I say ironically because social media used to freak Lorne and company out. Now they feed the whole show via twitter on the weekend. I get to skip the ads, and I get to watch the best bits. It’s ideal for me. My rule of thumb is if Kenan Thompson is in a sketch, it’s probably funny. That’s likely why he is sticking around.
That piece above got me to this piece: ‘Saturday Night Live’: Actors Who’ve Hosted The Show The Most – Photos – Deadline. Several things to note there. In the early years, it was often people associated with the show, like Chevy Chase (although that is also true with Tina Fey in the later years). Later it was big actors who were just really good at being funny. For awhile Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were tied in appearances (there was even a bit where to win, Martin knocks out Baldwin, wraps him in a rug and throws him out the window!) Baldwin eventually ran away with it, not just for hosting, but by being a regular with his Trump appearances. (It probably helps too he lives in Manhattan.)
I have a sentimental weakness for SNL. It’s been on 47 seasons and I’ve been watching off and on since S1. I’m looking forward to it reaching S50 and beyond. Who knows will show up for that season. Tune in.
The joke is that SNL was at its best the years you watched it as a teen. I have literally been watching it since it started — Yes, I am old — and I kinda agree with that. SNL is really such an uneven thing that even back then there were good and bad parts of the show. (Usually anything after the second musical performance is throwaway). As well, SNL is best as much for individual performers as it is for the entire show. From Catherine McKinnon all the way back to Gilda Radner, there have been individual performers who made a good show great. (My favorite of all time is Bill Murray, but there are too many to mention here).
For another take on it, here is a someone more objective study on when SNL was at its peak. According to this piece in OpenCulture, this YouTuber took a systematic approach to deciding the best of SNL. He…
… decided to withhold judgment on the overall quality curve of Saturday Night Live, his favorite show, before putting in the time and effort to watch at least one episode from every year in its run
The article has a link to his YouTube results. As OpenCulture concludes,
He may not change anyone’s mind about the best, and worst, seasons, episodes, cast members, and hosts. But he does demonstrate an admirable willingness to dig into SNL’s history and give years of comedy positively antiquated by 21st century standards a fair shake.