Monday, January 2, 2012

TV 172: Saturday Night Live

As the new year begins, billions of people will be making changes to their lives. Changes like a new workout routine or drinking more water. The list goes on.

I urge you, however, yes YOU reading this, to put aside your list of new year's resolutions for a minute and think about what will remain the same. This exercise is not meant to bum you out, just make you think realistically: what's going to keep happening? Where's the continuity? But then you might stop to ask yourself: how will I know if you're actually doing this? Great question. Ever read George Orwell's 1984?

Okay, I know this post has a point. Oh yes, let me reference the title. Television. Okay, cool. Saturday Night Live. Wait, what? Stay with me here.

Once every blue moon when I reflect abut TV's past, it strikes me how many shows have been on the air for stretches of many, many years. Take Cheers for instance. A sitcom about an ex-Red Sox pitcher turned bartender Sam Malone (Ted Danson) and his regular friends that came to the bar lasted eleven years. There are several reasons for this show's longevity, obviously popular success the main factor. Which makes me wonder, though. How can a single show stay in the hearts of its viewers for so long?

The answer is Saturday Night Live. By brilliantly concocting a consistent format of comedy sketches with a renewable cast, they ensured it coul withstand the test of time.

With that in mind, it is hard to describe precisely what it is. It is a medley of comedians and writers addressing current issues satirically. It is always hosted by a celebrity with a featured musical guest. Most of all, it is a way to be guaranteed a laugh or a least a chuckle. So what isn't it?

Some will argue that it shouldn't be as long-running as it's been. That this show has already reached its prime, back when it featured the talents of Will Farrell and Chevy Chase. That's fine, everyone's entitled to their opinion, but I think they are losing sight of what a monumental accomplishment this show has achieved. Ratings have never been low enough to take it away from viewers and that's gotta mean something.

What it boils down to, I suppose, is how in this new year, a show from the 1970s can still have the audience it does. Of course, with the world ending this year, I suggest we enjoy it while we can. Perhaps put it on your list of New Year's Resolutions.

Probably my all-time favorite sketch:

Have you ever seen SNL?
What are some of your New Year's Resolutions?

Any improvements you think mix tape should adopt for the new year?
Interested in being a contributor?


  1. Thanks to Andy..I still watch the show.

  2. I have actually never watched it, but I have seen clips from it here and there. From what I've seen it has its funny moments, but I don't think I know enough to judge whether it's past its prime or not!