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Is it really true that NBC took more control over SNL in the late 90s/early 2000s? If so, this could explain why I stopped liking the show gradually from that era on till now. I tried to sit through an episode from this season and didn't find it really funny at all. I'm not sure if its the writing, or if the performers lack comic timing to make it work?

With that said, I liked Jane, Amy, and Tina at the WU desk. Jane still has that dead pan line delivery that made her famous. I'd rather the show had employed the shark at the door bit instead of Melissa Mccarthy doing a bad impression of a Chris Farley character.. and not a fan of Emma Stone's attempt to mimic a great Gilda Radner character.

I'd rather the show had focused more on cast members and less on the guest hosts myself.

Plus, I would have included a Debbie Downer skit.

I do think Lorraine/Jane/Gilda were a strong female comedy trio.. the best teaming of female talent.. though Nora/Jan/Victoria were also a good teaming in the late 80s.. same with Ana/Molly/Cheri in the late 90s. Maya/Tina/Amy not so much.. though I loved Maya.

Lastly, i do think Leslie Jones has a lot of potential.. she just needs better writing to help support her natural comic timing.

Edited by Soaplovers

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I still watch it every week and love the show. I don't agree with people who say "it's not as good as before" because every generation says that about the new generation. SNL is always going to have funny sketches and not so funny sketches. Also, the show still churns out stars with every new group. Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones just got a huge boost when they were cast in the Ghostbusters movie. I think Taren Killum, Cecily Strong, Pete Davidson, Jay Pharoah have potential outside of SNL too.

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It's not about sketch quality as much as laziness and toothlessness. The decision to encourage or allow actors to flub lines constantly, because this is "cute," means that no one takes it seriously, and you get huge dead spots as a result (and when the people making these flubs are not adorable puppylike pets [see: the fan hatred for Leslie Jones], viewers get very angry about it). Then there's the need to continue with "political" sketches, even though the show is terrified to write anything beyond "both sides are bad...but Democrats are a little worse." Choosing to address the Ferguson protests with an Al Sharpton joke was one of the most embarrassing, insulting moments in SNL's 40 years. If that is how Lorne Michaels sees the world, then he needs to just cut social commentary out entirely.

Speaking of social commentary, it's also embarrassing that in 2015 we are still getting LOL GAY MEN ARE ICKY AND SICK! EW THEY MIGHT KISS!! LOL OMG OMG!!!!! Why? Are they that sure that their audience is made up of bigots and fools?

The show has no idea what it is or what it wants to be. And they can fix this with minimal effort if they try. No one seems to want to try.

Edited by DRW50

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I haven't watched regularly in years, but I do know for a fact that as recently as the last five or six years no one was saying boo to Lorne about [[email protected]#$%^&*] in terms of serious content alteration or interference from the network, and I'm sure that hasn't changed.

He is a huge mainstay at the network, and he runs his little empire with an iron fist. He personally masterminded NBC's last late night host transition due to his heavy influence on that block, and they also leaned on him to help them through the various stages of the Leno/Conan debacle. The network does not control him, he has them at his beck and call. Lorne and Lorne alone is responsible for the musical acts, etc. being blanded out, the show being made more rote, and many, many cast and crew have gone on record about that. It's all him. NBC can't do anything.


I still watch it every week and love the show.

Yeah, but you love everything.

Edited by Vee

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Based on his past political donations, that helps explain the tone of the show's "humor." And the fear of diversity which he only changed somewhat after the show was dragged through the mud for a period of several years. It's a shame, as SNL, while always full of racism and sexism, once tried to be somewhat cutting edge. Now they make Mad TV seem current.

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I think it's simply what many of the performers and writers, etc. have said - Lorne is older, he's more settled, he's less willing to rock that boat. It's easier to coast with the hottest new performer or a political skit that isn't too pointed, and not have to deal with endless drama over, say, Louise Lasser tripping out in her dressing room or Sinead O'Connor tearing up the Pope. We'd all get too old to deal with that kind of strife on a regular basis at some point.

I think Lorne is probably still pretty liberal, but it's easy when you get to be a certain age and tax bracket to be an entirely different kind of liberal, especially when you work for General Electric. I'm sure it's easy enough for him to say to himself, [[email protected]#$%^&*] whatever safe vapid [[email protected]#$%^&*] I put on my show, I give to Elizabeth Warren/Obama/whoever in vast amounts every year. And he's got a right to that. I just wish they had someone like Jim Downey back on those sketches if he isn't interested.

I have seen a few pretty good, pointed political sketches over the last couple years, and I do think Tina Fey and others have been a little more cutting about it. But I do think that for most of the 2000s they might as well have been doing Bob Hope's USO show. They weren't war cheerleaders, but they definitely were not willing to engage with what was actually happening with the Bush administration in any real way. Most of the media was frightened and they were too, but they were also very cozy with NBC/GE/etc. Whereas in the '80s they were just savage.

Edited by Vee

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I also think the young guy they have doing some of Weekend Update - Michael Che? - is fun, and has taken some pretty sharp shots at stuff like Ferguson, etc. over the last year. But I think Lorne Michaels trying to deal with a blacker face of entertainment in 2015 is an awkward proposition at best. I'm glad they hired the performers they did and I love Leslie Jones, but I think the show seems unsure and uncomfortable with how they handle them and I think it sometimes bounces back onto their audience. Chris Rock said a month or two ago that he pointed Leslie out to Lorne, and said that Lorne Michaels would never have found someone not at one of his usual (white-dominated, more conventional) comedy haunts.

Edited by Vee

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I do think NBC has suffered from the SNL type of comedy being applied to both prime time and its late night talk shows. There was a reason that the cast members were called 'Not ready for Prime time'. It was meant to be shown outside of prime-time.

If you love that type of comedy, that's great... but a lot of people I know won't even watch NBC anymore because of the SNL element invading all aspects of NBC. And I'm talking 20s, 30s and beyond.

Like I said before, I think Leslie Jones has natural comic timing, but there is only so much she can do with the lousy skits provided. I think Jane Curtain also did decent with the weekend update bit, but that was due to her abilities and not the jokes provided. Tina and Amy pale in comparison to her, imho.

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Still haven't found the correct Wayne's World GIF I want. (One where Dana ad libs for Kanye to set down again...and it transitions to Kanye.) Think I'm gonna have to make that myself. Tumblr is a bitch sometimes.

But, this....this is also funny.

14p8pk.gif

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It's not about sketch quality as much as laziness and toothlessness. The decision to encourage or allow actors to flub lines constantly, because this is "cute," means that no one takes it seriously, and you get huge dead spots as a result (and when the people making these flubs are not adorable puppylike pets [see: the fan hatred for Leslie Jones], viewers get very angry about it). Then there's the need to continue with "political" sketches, even though the show is terrified to write anything beyond "both sides are bad...but Democrats are a little worse." Choosing to address the Ferguson protests with an Al Sharpton joke was one of the most embarrassing, insulting moments in SNL's 40 years. If that is how Lorne Michaels sees the world, then he needs to just cut social commentary out entirely.

Speaking of social commentary, it's also embarrassing that in 2015 we are still getting LOL GAY MEN ARE ICKY AND SICK! EW THEY MIGHT KISS!! LOL OMG OMG!!!!! Why? Are they that sure that their audience is made up of bigots and fools?

Yep.

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I haven't watched regularly in years, but I do know for a fact that as recently as the last five or six years no one was saying boo to Lorne about [[email protected]#$%^&*] in terms of serious content alteration or interference from the network, and I'm sure that hasn't changed.

He is a huge mainstay at the network, and he runs his little empire with an iron fist. He personally masterminded NBC's last late night host transition due to his heavy influence on that block, and they also leaned on him to help them through the various stages of the Leno/Conan debacle. The network does not control him, he has them at his beck and call. Lorne and Lorne alone is responsible for the musical acts, etc. being blanded out, the show being made more rote, and many, many cast and crew have gone on record about that. It's all him. NBC can't do anything.

Yeah, you're probably right. I stand corrected.

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So interesting about that Bill Cosby/Jeopardy tidbit.

It's very telling that Lorne Michael was NOT responsible for hiring Eddie Murphy at SNL. And I think that fact permeates the (non) relationship between the two men.

And as funny as I find Chris Rock, he was much funnier before and after SNL. Some people claim he had trouble with the cue cards but the success of his own show on HBO IMO dispels that. The majority of the material he had to work with just didn't seem to suit his comedic impulses, he labored a lot to try to make it funny, but personally I found much of it just wasn't all that funny.

One of the reasons why I'm kind of glad Jim Carey wound up on In Living Color, not SNL. He's had some a few funny skits on his guest appearances on SNL but very few were memorable. The same cannot be said of In Living Color...I mean who doesn't recognize Fire Marshall Bill?!

Edited by DramatistDreamer

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