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Still watching SNL

SNLOne of NBC’s staple shows is Saturday Night Live.  The show is still going strong in its 35th season.  Loren Michaels has made stars out of many people, most notably Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, David Spade, and Mike Meyers just to name a few.  While the show has its good and bad weeks, there are a few regular sketches to look forward to.

Lorenzo McIntosh, played by Keenan Thompson, is a guy in jail brought into a juvenile center in order to scare kids straight.  Usually the kids, played by Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, and Bobby Moynihan are in for a petty crime.  But what makes it funny is that Mac always references movie storylines and then goes overboard trying to scare the kids.  It is absolutely hilarious and the cop (Jason Sudeikis) always gets a one-line apology.  As hard as the guys try, they always end up laughing in the end.  I love it when they try to keep a straight face but then lose it.  I guess that’s part of the allure of a “live” show.

Kristin Wiig is probably the most versatile actor and has a few recurring characters every week.  Among my favorites are Kathy Lee Gifford and Penelope.  Her Kathy Lee impression is priceless, capturing her psychosis and playing off what she’s done in the past.  Penelope is known as the one-upper, stating hyperbole after hyperbole.  It goes so over the top that it is downright comical, especially when she reels off ten lies in a single breath.

Seth Meyers (with an occasional appearance by Amy Poehler) does a great job with the always funny Weekend update.  The “guests” are usually below par although when Mayor Patterson of NY, shows up, that’s always worth a few laughs.  At first when he took over for Tina Fey, I was apprehensive about it.  But I think that was just because viewers were unfamiliar with him.

But of course, everyone normally watches for the guest hosts.  This past week January Jones hosted.  I’ll be honest, I had never heard of her but once they referenced Mad Money, I kind of knew who she was (I don’t watch Mad Money).  The previous week Taylor Swift hosted and I thought she did a great job.  Alec Baldwin is always a lock for a great show when he hosts, which is pretty much annually.

After a few years in the ratings doldrums, I think what revived SNL was the 2008 presidential election.  Tina Fey was THE perfect Sarah Palin while they could’ve done better than Fred Armisen as Barak Obama.  But with their timely, relevant sketches, as well as creating the Thursday Weekday Update, Michaels once again showed why he is a power player in television.  It was a shrewd move on his part and perhaps might have even saved the show.  There were those crazy rumors of how SNL might be replaced with something else but most of that was heresy.

All in all, SNL still rules Saturday night at 10:30 pm.  Being November, there will be some solid guests hosts as well as musical guests.  You can watch SNL on NBC.

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