If You Don’t Eat Your Meat You Can’t Have Any Pudding by John Cole| November 21, 200911:45 pm| 90 CommentsThis post is in: Open ThreadsFacebookTweetEmailSNL is sucking so far and I may just have to go to bed.
Good night John.
Yeah, it is bad.
It used to be funny.
1977 is a long, long way away.
And Generalissimo Fransisco Franco is still dead.
good night john
Weren’t we due for an SNL revival about five years ago? I mean, they usually go through cycles of suck and brilliance, but it’s been all suck since Tina Fey left the show. Their best sketches of the past half-decade feature Justin Timberlake who is not, at last report, a cast member. It’s sad.
what, you mean since 1983?
So true. The guests are meh-to-awful and the skits are dire. I could write the stuff they do, and I’m nowhere near a comedy writer. An entire skit of fart jokes? Really?
@Jeff Fecke: Tina Fey had Sarah Palin gift-wrapped as a perfect platform to rebound. Instead they took the ratings and devolved into suckitude. Oh well, at least Taylor Swift had a good time doing it.
I’m gonna watch Wanda Sykes, myself.
Tina Fey took a couple of potshots at TDSWJS a year or so ago. I was pretty shocked. As much as I love 30 Rock and her Palin skits, even when Weekend Update was the only funny part of the show, it still was nowhere as good as TDS, and that was once a week vs four times/wk.
No spoilers, because I know some people won’t get to see it until next summer, but this week’s episode of Friday Night Lights was one of the best ever, with a massive sucker-punch ending.
Indeed, the use of Jose Gonzalez’s cover of Massive Attack’s Teardrop was just perfect.
Can’t beat YouTube. My Name is Earl hung on a while. 30 Rock is hanging in there. South Park and TDS/Colbert. What else is there in the comedy space that either isn’t braindead shit or designed for grandma? Comedy Central at least figured out that YouTube is too strong a force and put Tosh.0 out there.
You’ve got to go big or go home for comedy these days, and the FCC restrictions, even if they don’t apply to cable, are preventing the networks from going as big as they need.
The Big Bang Theory. It’s a favorite in this geeky household.
It’s like either Lorne Michaels doesn’t care anymore ($$$$), or his brain has turned to mush and everything on SNL is hilarious to him so his Producers can do no wrong.
If you don’t eat your chicken, you can’t have any meat.
When I was a kid, SNL was the shit. It hasn’t been funny since Eddie Murphy left.
FYWP! And, Cole, what’s with the Floyd kick? And, I’m going to try to post my comment here, even though it should be in the last thread.
@Steeplejack: You! Where have you been? I’ve been wondering where you were.
@Yutsano: You! Here’s my offer for the bet. I am not a cook, so I will buy you one of the following MN delicacies: Deep-fried cheese curds; tater tot hot dish; chicken wild rice soup; apples; anything on a stick; or Pearson’s salted nut rolls (or other candy goodness). Iz teh yummy. I highly recommend the last item on the list. I will get you an assortment.
Or, I could write you a short story or something. Let me know.
Agree on Big Bang, especially since the science parts and backgrounds of the episodes are actually true. Makes the geeks more all too realistic.
Well even if I had wanted to watch SNL, I wouldn’t have been able to. Some kind of power outage here for at least the past hour. It is certainly all of my apartment complex and judging by lights (or I should say *lack* of lights) blackout seems to include a fair chunk of the area but I can’t tell how widespread. Phoned Georgia Power and their automatic message says it will prolly be another hour before it’s repaired.
So why don’t I just go (back) to sleep? It’s odd how you get used to a background of ambient electrical humming. I am here in bed in the pitch dark, save for the backlighting on the BlackBerry keyboard, and dead tired but still eyes wide awake until this gets fixed. Strange.
@Violet: That show is terribad. Awful in new ways of defining the word awful. I was shocked it lasted more than one season.
Oh fer gawd’s sake, I’m in moderation. I think because I used the word am.bi.ent in a perfectly good sentence.
@Michael: I’ve never seen it, but I listened to the podcast of Science Friday from NPR today while out in the woods. They interviewed the show runner for Big Bang about the science, and said Scifri is in the next ep.
Scalzi had a few posts a while back about how trek used to just write, “science” in the scripts instead of figuring out something worthwhile to put in. He was unimpressed with Trek for doing it, and I’m unimpressed with CBS.
Everyone always says that Saturday Night Live sucks now and used to be good. The thing is, it never used to be good. It’s always been hit and miss, heavy on the miss. Any individual show in the early days would still suck as a show, I firmly believe. There’s still random nonsense and unfinished non-concepts. It’s just that the highlights, edited together into, like, one show per season, might be better in the ’70s than at other times. But I think the Phil Hartman years were the best the show has ever gotten.
That said, I haven’t been watching this year, tuned in to see the bad Keenan Thompson talk-show skit whose premise you could see coming a parsec away (because they’ve done it a lot), and promptly switched it off.
John, since you’re still up, could you please unlock my cell door? Thanks!
Fuck WordPress long, hard, and deep with a rusty pitchfork eleven billionty ways of Sunday.
@FlipYrWhig: Agreed. It has always been more miss than hit. Uneven at best.
John, you ignorant slut!
I was in middle school back then. In other words, I was high every saturday night. It was much, much funnier.
In its heyday SNL used to only have a couple of sucky sketches per month. Now it’s the opposite and worse, only a couple truly funny occasions per month.
Thay said, this one just about always makes me fall out of my chair laughing:
That’s true. It was new, most of the viewers were high. But I do think there was a little more anarchy in those first five years, and they didn’t rely so heavily on repeating characters. Some TV critic went back and checked, there were fewer than ten Conehead sketches in those early years, and more than ten of the Boston slacker sketches Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch did in one season. I’ll bet they there were more drunken sorority girl bits than Roseanne Rosanadanas.
And I agree, Phil Hartman was probably the most talented individual cast member ever, or maybe a three-way tie with Belushi and Gilda.
@MikeJ: I think that’s why people remember the ’70s as the golden age of television. Everything seems nonspecifically hazier and happier for, um, “some reason.”
Oh, and Cole? What’s up with the Floyd kick? Not that I’m complaining. Just askin’.
@asiangrrlMN: Oh, and Cole? What’s up with the Floyd kick?
It keeps Tunch mellowed out.
@FlipYrWhig: So I was staying at the Chateau Marmont once. They screwed up, gave me a bungalow instead of a suite. I call all my LA friends over, we’re having cocktails on the lawn. I call the waiter over:
“Hey, I know, people ask you this all th…
“Bungalow three. Belushi was in bungalow three. Another round?”
Thank you, John.
How many years ago was Toonces, the Cat Who Could Drive a Car? Those were pretty funny sketches but except for Tina Fey as Palin last year I haven’t seen much else on SNL that’s made me laugh for a very long time.
Not that I really give it a fighting chance — but if the show fails to grab me in the opening sketch, I’m not going to stick around on spec. I figure anything truly funny is going to be shown on tv or the intertubes and I’ll get to see the worthwhile stuff soon enough anyway.
@Michael: Heh heh heh. That was a good chuckle. I can just see Tunchie strung out on ‘nip and groovin’ to The Wall.
@asiangrrlMN: Perhaps he’s in a Floyd Hole. (Awesome that they got that in clip form now, because it’s getting shared all over at work on Monday)
@SiubhanDuinne: I feel like Toonces was nearly 20 years ago. I think it’s before the Clinton administration.
@skippy: Bullshit. Chris Farley was a genius.
At least Joseph Gordon-Levitt is hosting.
Hey, you’re the one who is the huge Leonard Cohen fan, right?
Did you know that he was the next act to go on stage after Hendrix’ legendary set at the 1970 Isle of Wight festival?
And did you know that Cohen’s Isle of Wight performance is finally out? And the buzz and hype about it are off the charts?
@burnspbesq: I think I just heard a squeal emanating from due east.
I agree about Phil Hartman being the funniest, but I have to give a close second to Will Ferrell. Any and all of the Jeopardy sketches were classics. For example.
@International Playboy: Holla at a brother!
That whole “we replaced your coffee with instant” skit was fucking genius. And the motivational speaker, and the Chippendale, and the, etc.
Farley lit that shit up.
A person that posts “Fuck WordPress long, hard, and deep with a rusty pitchfork…” is asking about a band that had a song called “Careful with that Axe, Eugene”?
I just came to say
+5 @ 64 calories each = 320 calories
Not bad for a night’s work, Bylinowski, not bad.
@FlipYrWhig: Oh yeah, I’m sure it was 20 years ago or close to it. I once knew some people who had named one of their cats Toonces and I’m pretty sure I met them around 1991 or so.
I could always Google it, of course.
Oh, and power just came back on, yay!
I’m out. Enjoy the rest of your evening, y’all.
I used to love watching him play when he was at Arsenal, but fuck Theirry Henry.
Wikipedia says 1989 for Toonces, but he lasted into the Clinton administration.
@burnspbesq: Fucking cool! Thanks for letting me know. Sadly, I have only been hep to Leonard the last year or so, but he rocks hard. I will have to get the CD.
@Yutsano: I do not squeal. I just scream in a high-pitched voice. Ahem.
@The Dangerman: Hm. This is true. Point to you, Sir!
@burnspbesq: Night! Thanks for the heads up on Leonard Cohen.
@Morbo: Was it really that long ago? Shit. I suddenly feel very old.
I don’t know why but this SNL clip with Christopher Walken gets me every time.
@asiangrrlMN: Pardonnez moi, though this could degenerate into a semantics game. Which can be fun although for some weird reason I’m not in the mood tonight.
One skit from the Hartman era in which Hartman was not prominent, but which just popped into my mind, was the Wayne Gretzky Elvis movie, “Waikiki Hockey.”
And while I’m on the sports track, a minor classic is the one where Hartman and Jan Hooks are on a date and we hear their thoughts and motivations in voiceover, but Hartman’s roommate is Joe Montana, who only ever says what he thinks, and he won’t take the hint to get lost.
@Morbo: 1989, eh. And Dennis Miller had already gotten tiresome.
“Toonces, the driving cat, the cat who could drive a car. // He drives around all over the town, Toonces the driving cat.”
Welcome to my earworm.
@Yutsano: You’re not in the mood? That’s what you ALWAYS say! Heh. I was just teasing you. I just found out that there is also a Leonard Cohen Live in London DVD. Happy sigh.
@Yutsano: And, are you ok?
@asiangrrlMN: Oh I’m fine, I’m still recovering from the near-orgasm the dessert at dinner gave me tonight. I think I’m just tired more than anything. That and I’m really really wanting a puppy now.
Classic SNL Sketches, you say?
None better than this……
Finlandia Vodka, by the way, is my new drink for sure. I’d not put it above Stolichnaya, but it’s damn close, and damn cheap.
Normally I wouldn’t be so sloshed, but my wife FINALLY GOT A KICKASS JOB TODAY! Wow, what a relief! Took over a year to finally land a good one, but boy it is going to be worth the wait. I don’t want to jinx us, but with our combined salaries, it looks like we’ll FINALLY be able to move out of this crumby apartment, and I’ll be able to finish school. I’m 33 but hey, it’s not too late, I hope.
And yeah, I’m thanking Obama for this one, as it is a stimulus-related job. It’ll probably hit me tomorrow, the utter horror of having to go back to school after so long imagining it (me and school never got along too well in the past) but I think I’ve long-since grown up enough to get over myself and get that last year done.
So…….yay?! Yes. Definitely. I’m sure some of you know how stressful it is to carry a family through tough times. We went through our savings over the course of this year, and even had to cash out my wife’s 401K early. It really is difficult, and I’m just glad that we’re hopefully getting back on track.
Since I’m now in a Floyd frame of mind (kinda scary, come to think of it), two questions for this esteemed crowd (on this Saturday night when sobriety might be questionable):
1) Dark Side and the Wizard of Oz; seen it?
2) If yes, intentional or accidental?
@The Dangerman: I think the term is coincidental, and no, mostly because coincidence is the view of a narrow mind in my opinion.
@Yutsano: I read your description of the dessert. I damn near had an orgasm myself, so I don’t blame you.
@Jason Bylinowski: Congrats to you and your wife on her landing a good job. It must be such a relief, especially during this lousy economy.
@The Dangerman: No. Should I?
So, if it wasn’t coincidental (thanks, you are quite right), how high does someone have to be to want to do the synch? The synch plus the album cover art might be the most brilliant thing ever…
A most worthy endeavor; I saw it in a high end studio back in the day and was blown away (hmmm, bad pun there). I forget when one is supposed to hit play on the CD, but there are lots of web sites devoted to the phenonenon.
@The Dangerman: yeah, I actually have a cool but too-long story about seeing that “mashup” of sorts. Suffice it to say, I got to see Darkside of Oz while in Bumfuck, Kansas DURING A TORNADO WARNING and while very high on substances unmentionable. This was probably ten years ago, as I was making my way across country. We had stopped at a friends house to chill ot for a couple days before moving on, and the second night the weather started getting bad. We queued up the movie and about thirty minutes in the power cut off and we had to move to the center of the house because we were afraid we might get hit. We never did, but it was a tense half hour or so waiting for the front to pass.
Anyway, to answer your second question: I think it’s just a really cool coincidence, Roger Waters has said so himself I believe, but man, it sure is cool, especially if your mind is altered in any way as you start it up. Very cool experience, after the storm subsided and the power returned we started the whole mess over again and it was a great time. Wizard of OZ jokes were abound that night, I tell you.
@The Dangerman: I’ve even done it sober, it still works.
@asiangrrlMN: I swear upon all that is holy I am going to mimic this dessert. It is really that sensational. I didn’t think I was going to miss Gourmet magazine until tonight. Their column on getting recipes from various restaurants was not only one of my faves, it became a durn near necessity tonight.
remember, SNL was NINETY minutes at the beginning , so that the majority of the suckitude was in the final third of the show. think about that for a minute…imagine having to endure 30 more minutes from the current crop of writing hacks.
and there was no skit funnier, nor more brilliant, than the Thomas-Hill Senate hearing. Period; end of sentence; full stop. I remember the first time I saw Mr. Bill. Ah, youth.
I cannot find the video anywhere.
@asiangrrlMN: Thankee, yes indeed it is a load off. Six months ago I coudn’t tell you whether or not my marriage was even going to survive it. But I’m glad to say we got past that issue long before now just through sheer effort and so now thing are looking up even more. Totally great, and she deserves some good fortune after so many near-misses.
This is why I live in California (well, that and the sun). No hurricanes, not tornadoes; sure, an Earthquake kinda sucks, but as long as it is short and not too big, it’s kinda of like a free amusement park ride (biggest personally, a 7.3 and being about 60 miles from the epicenter; that was a helluva ride and that calls for another drink).
Oh, and congratulations; here in CA, the economy sucks so bad (along with our Governator) that … well, it’s good to hear of someone getting a good job.
@The Dangerman: I can only imagine what that must be like, and only just barely imagine at that. My brain tells me with much vehemence that I never want t find out, however. I grew up in San Diego myself but we were gone to Alabammy of all places before I turned six. If I experienced any earthquakes in that time, they must have been no big deal.
@The Dangerman: Thanks very much. I am trying not to let it take me too far afield, things could still go wrong after all but she was offered the position this evening while we were talking abot what to have for dinner, so I figure if they felt it was worth calling on a Saturday, it must be a pretty done deal.
@Jason Bylinowski: Omedeto gozaimasu! Hopefully all will turn out well.
@Yutsano: Arigato gozaimasu. Me too.
It’s an interesting effect; one goes from everyday “la de da” to pure terror (IS THIS THE BIG ONE if it’s a big enough quake) to, yeah, whatever, that wasn’t that bad in a few seconds. The first one doesn’t really get you; after that first one, and you’re kinda primed for having aftershocks, those can be even scarier.
@The Dangerman: Sounds lovely. You were saying, about how nice it was to be out of tornado country? :P
Was near a tornado once, long ago. Could watch the storm from a safe distance. One of the most intense storms I’ve ever seen…
…well, my sobriety needs to be checked or something. A good evening to all…
@Jason Bylinowski: Let’s see, occasional storm but economy is hanging on by a thread versus occasional shake but total dysfunctional government and wrecked economy. I guess at the end of the day you’re screwed anyway.
@Yutsano: Right, and what’s left? Be an expatriate and freeze yer ass off in freaking Sweden or something while getting very good healthcare? Life is not for the faint of heart, my friend. This is why I simultaneously loathe and envy the few trustfunders I know. They don’t have to worry about all this; they don’t get to live.
Oh well, glug glug glug, back to the jug. One more shot then an hour of Dragon Age, then two Aleve and then finally the finality of collapse fitfully into the bed. & Never have I said so many F-words without making my other blush. Oyasuminasai.
I’ve been watching Wanda Sykes lately. You can’t go 5 minutes without howling about something. She’s what SNL trying to be. One line from tonight:
“I’m not worried about no damned terrorist trial in New York. I’m a black gay woman. I’m more threatened by Mormons and Orange County”.
@Jason Bylinowski: This could be why the few trust fund babies I know earned my respect by basically turning their backs on their families and doing something decent with their lives. Of course one is an orphan so there wasn’t a huge amount of pressure to do a certain thing with his life, and neither was thrown out of the clan for their choices, but still it is a huge amount of pressure.
Yeah. I lost respect for Fey after she ran down The Daily Show. Of course TDS isn’t always great, but by my math they do at least 8X the political/current events-based comedy that SNL does…
Allow me to suggest FX’s “The League” as the funniest new show most of you probably haven’t caught yet. All the episodes are on Hulu.
I think the nostalgia of the SNL in the 1970’s in part is due to SNL’s being really the most subversive comedy on TV at the time…then is was sort of what say TDSWJS (which is a daily Weekend Update sketch) and South Park are today. Trey Parker and Matt Stone would have been SNL writers in the 70’s. I suppose today’s twentysomethings in 30 years will be talking about how nothing in 2039 was ever as any episode of SP with Token.
Oh at and their best a hat tip to Dana Carvey and Mike Myers. Not just Wayne’s World but who can forget Dana as Ross Perot throwing his VP nominee out of the car and when Barbara Streisand shows up on Coffee Talk.
Ed in NJ
Um, the show is still 90 minutes, but thanks for playing.
As others have noted, for the past 20 years people have been saying that SNL used to be better. EW has about the 10th article in the past 10 years on how to improve the show.
There is no need to watch the live show anymore with 800 channels on my TV to watch at that time. By Sunday multiple entertainment sites will have informed me of any must-see skits that I can watch on Hulu.
C’mon – Alec Baldwin’s “Schweddy Balls” bit with the faux-NPR hosts doesn’t get a mention?
Or Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze as the two finalists in a Chippendale’s audition?
Those were brilliant.
But looking back to my youth a lot of the crap I thought was funny about SNL (Billy Crystal’s “you look mavvvehlous” and the whole “yeah, that’s the ticket” bit) haven’t held up well.
The show sucks. This is not a function of lack of drugs or warmed over nostalgia. It’s hopelessly, painfully, unfunny.
As stated above, up and coming comedic talent now has a billion other outlets.
Okay, but Al Gore’s three minutes on “Weekend Update” was funny as hell. Just sayin’.
SNL always batted .300 in its best times (the original cast, the Phil Hartman era). These days, it struggles to nail one sketch a month. The show has been pretty consistently mediocre since the 94-95 season, buoyed only by the star turns of Will Ferrell and Tina Fey (both of whom would be funnier in other venues).
The cast just hasn’t been very deep, which isn’t surprising. There’s a lot more opportunities out there for comedians. That’s why you see some of the era’s best comedians coming through a separate pipeline. Notable exception: Stephen Colbert’s voice work for The Ambiguously Gay Duo.
I think the show really suffers for it’s writing. I have to imagine there are lots of other, more profitable venues for writers and we’re seeing it in the quality of SNL’s sketches.