Saturday Night Live: Season 342343414


If you’re a long-time SNL fan, get this book: Live from New York, an Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live.. I’ve been listening to the 20+ hour unabridge audiobook version on my commutes for the past couple of weeks, and it’s really fascinating. About 90% of the content is quotes from staff, stars, guests, writers, etc.

It talks about the recurring cycles between peak and “Saturday Night Dead” jokes, how long it takes the cast members to make an impact and get in the groove, and the process of making the show happen. It’s a wonder it’s ever good given the process!

The issue right now is that ever since the Will Ferrell years, there’s been a transition from writing by premise to writing by character. So you get fewer lobster sketches and more recurring character stuff. And fewer original ideas.

As a long-time fan of the show, I’m kind of sad I’m on the last chapter. It’s been fun being immersed in the history.


This was the basic founding principle of the Python-ers. They’d done sketch comedy in various permutations, including some of them on David Frost’s “That Was the Week That Was” and always hated the need to end the sketch with some sort of punchline.

Terry Gilliam: “Our first rule was: no punch lines … [some sketches] start brilliant, great acting, really funny sketch, but a punchline is just not as good as the rest of the sketch, so it kills the entire thing. That’s why we eliminated them.”


Was that the interview where something surprising happens with the urn supposedly containing Graham Chapman’s ashes? I remember doubling over with laughter when that happened.

BTW, needless to say the subtitles have nothing to do with the German lines spoken.




Lucky I didn’t say anything about the dirty knife!


The premiere was ok I thought, but not stellar. It is increasingly clear to me that it’s difficult to spoof what’s going on in our country since it’s so surreal in the first place. I mean, the sketch with Kavanaugh was about 80% what really happened and about 20% imaginary stuff… it’s hitting too close to home to be really funny as far as I’m concerned.


On the other hand, Last Week Tonight was amazing:
(re: the exchange with Senator Klobuchar about possible blackout drinking)

“'Have you” is just not the answer of an innocent person! If you ask someone if they ever blew a dog, and they go, ‘I dunno, have you?’ THAT PERSON BLEW A DOG. He blew a fu__ing dog, and in all likelihood, not just one, either!"


And by far the best sketch Saturday Night:

Was written by a new addition. Awesome for that guy, and he was certainly right that Adam Driver would be perfect for his character he had created years ago.

Good read on how these things come together.


Give Beck Bennett and the makeup department all the Emmys.


Yeah, they nailed it.


Truly the only funny thing in that episode.

They really need to get rid of Pete Davidson. He is worse than worthless.


Overall it was kind of a forgettable episode, agreed. Nothing like an Alec Baldwin or Melissa McCarthy hosted one.


The way he always smiles ingratiatingly feels very amateurish, especially compared to the total commitment and egolessness of a pro like McKinnon.


Not much there. I liked the various magicians, The Trump brothers, Weekend Update, and the cold open were good. Other than that pretty forgettable. Awkwafina’s dog-walker friend character was fun, but that sketch felt oddly staged and paced. It didn’t go far enough.

Comedy is conflict, and you don’t really get a lot of conflict in a lot of SNL sketches, they tend to lean a lot on the already established political conflicts rather than creating characters with their own conflicts. The baby shower sketch got close, but didn’t go all the way.

I like Pete Davidson and Leslie Jones. They don’t come from a sketch background, but I think it is important that the cast isn’t 12 Kate McKinnons. I also they that he probably can be used in better ways. His Weekend Update segments are great, as are the pre-taped stuff he does. As for mugging and breaking goes. I liked Horatio Sanz’s take on things:

Pete is still a bit awkward in sketches, but Leslie Jones was rough at first and has gotten really good at it. She just had to put in the hours.


He’s worse than Fallon when it comes to breaking character and losing it during sketches.

On another note, I had no idea his dad was killed in 9/11. He was a member of that doomed fire truck that’s seen in a famous photo heading toward the twin towers. Everyone on the truck died.


I like Pete Davidson too, honestly, but he does get by on boyish charm A LOT. I enjoy his not-standup bits on Weekend Update (which itself is the best part of the show most of the time).


Jesus, I had no idea either.


Most of the time the Cold Open and Weekend Update are the only things really worth watching, IMO.

Adam Driver’s oil tycoon was a rare exception.


Thanks for posting that Sanz article, interesting read.


This last episode was kinda meh, with the exception of the one where the middle aged dude gets all roided out because he’s on the testosterone supplement. I thought that was hysterical (if you’ll pardon the semantic incongruity).