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It's Going To Be A Very Bad Year For Saturday Night Live


The season premiere of Saturday Night Live aired this evening with guest host Megan Fox and musical guest U2. After last year's heavy dose of election humor (Tina Fey's and Amy Poehler's Palin and Clinton impersonations were highlights), there was nary a mention of politics this evening aside from a lame Moammar Gaddafi UN speech bit to open the show.

Consider that SNL's writers have had all summer to prepare for the this evening and they elected not to use any of the following as skit fodder:

The Health care debate, townhall protests, President Obama, Vice President Biden, Speaker Pelosi's swastika paranoia, Glen Beck, Van Jones and the other czars, Sen. Al Franken (D-SNL), tea parties, bailouts, or the ACORN sting videos.

They've managed to do a reverential Obama bit in their half hour prime-time Weekend Update show on Thursday's, but if the plan is to make Saturday Night's a politics free (or Obama safe) zone they're going to very quickly find themselves in a viewer free zone like other down periods in SNL history.

Last year SNL's viewership, and more importantly their buzz was way up. This year is shaping up to be an unmitigated, Titanic-style disaster coming down off of last seasons highs. It used to be that if there was something interesting in the news you could count on seeing a topical humor piece about it on SNL that week. In the new, Obama friendly, SNL that doesn't appear to be the case anymore. When milquetoast Jay Leno beats you to the punch on the ACORN videos perhaps it's time to close up shop...

There's plenty of material out there, but if SNL insists on ignoring it week in and week out viewers will find something else to watch.

Really about the only thing interesting (aside from Megan Fox's hotness) was an accidental F-bomb drop.

Even that wasn't very interesting...


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Comments (18)

Well I'm sure they'll liste... (Below threshold)

Well I'm sure they'll listen to you. No one knows comedy like the right wing - that's why comedians are mostly right wing and why right wing comedies do so well at the box office. (Like American Carol)

I'd be interested to read any script you write.

SNL stopped being funny man... (Below threshold)
Ryan Reynolds:

SNL stopped being funny many, many years ago. Every few years I tune in to see if it's any better, and I'm constantly disappointed.

Politics is what killed SNL... (Below threshold)

Politics is what killed SNL so many years ago.

It was funny back in the 80's when they occasionally did politics but mostly did stuff like Wayne's World and Church Lady.

It was even more funny when they had Chevy Chase, Steve Martin (Regular guest) and Dan Akroyd and the bunch. Land Shark still cracks me up.

But the stuff now is just stupid. It's all politics all the time.

Maybe it will be funny again if they don't focus so much on politics.

"I'd be interested to read ... (Below threshold)

"I'd be interested to read any script you write."

Hey, jp2, I think when it comes to comedy you aren't the one Kevin has been waiting for.

You can do politics and be ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

You can do politics and be funny. You can not do politics and be funny.

However, you can't do comedy with no talent and be funny. SNL has suffered from lack of talent both on screen and writing for ages. It's not likely to change.

JP2, you don't even have to... (Below threshold)

JP2, you don't even have to write the scripts inre Obama. You could just do verbatim what he said last year on the trail and what he is saying now. Obama lecturing McCain last year about fighting Afghanistan to not really knowing what to do in Afghanistan (perhaps a skit with Obama calling Miss Cleo for help at 3AM). Obama telling IAPAC last year that Jerusalem would not be divided to dividing it today (perhaps a skit with him cutting a cake in the shape of Israel with other Arab leaders with him fighting over the pieces). Obama saying last year that 95% of us would not see our taxes go up (perhaps a skit with him explaining how the cigarette tax is not a tax on the poor, the health insurance fine is not a tax etc.). Comedy gold out there, if you want to grab it.

Does anyone else so a tie i... (Below threshold)

Does anyone else so a tie in between the high unemployment rate in the 16-24 crowd (52.5% according to the NY Post) and Obama's desire to have his Civilian National Defense Force?

Honestly, the only SNL skit... (Below threshold)
King of Fools:

Honestly, the only SNL skits I actually remember from the past (late 70s and into the 80s) are the political ones they did. They were equal opportunity bashers where both Dems and Pubs were mocked and...they were incredibly funny. The Ford, Carter and Reagan skits were amazing, and the one that sticks in my head more than any were the 1988 Mock Dem debate. I still quote lines from that one (John Lovitt as Michael Dukakis "Maybe I shouldn't be President. No, I should!")

SNL got too full of themsel... (Below threshold)

SNL got too full of themselves to be funny.

lets not judge the season f... (Below threshold)

lets not judge the season from its first show. It only started.

"lets not judge the season ... (Below threshold)

"lets not judge the season from its first show. It only started."

As Kevin pointed out, the writers had all summer to come up with a dynamite 1st show of the season. It wasn't as if there were wasn't fodder 'of the ridiculous' out there to work with. I gave up after about 20 minutes. If the next show is as bad, I won't be coming back.

I would'nt waste an hour on... (Below threshold)

I would'nt waste an hour on it. Get enough comedy watchin the dems flounder about with no clue.

but if the plan is to ma... (Below threshold)

but if the plan is to make Saturday Night's a politics free (or Obama safe) zone they're going to very quickly find themselves in a viewer free zone like other down periods in SNL history.

THAT is TERRORISM; suggesting that people might tune out on them.
Obviously, the only fair thing is to COMPEL people to watch.

("You will like the new play; or else!"
~Mad Magazine (circa 1960's) on critics reviews in USSR)


JP2, I have a funny script.... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

JP2, I have a funny script. You get your wish and Lord Obama gets to socialize the country. The powers that be decide you would fit better in a collective farm where you are assigned the duty of cleaning out the chicken coups. The thought of you coverered with chicken sh*t. Now that's funny stuff right there.

I couldn't agree more, last... (Below threshold)

I couldn't agree more, last night was a waste of a break. How could they let the writers come up with such shit after 3 or 4 months?

Didn't see it last night, b... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

Didn't see it last night, but let me throw a couple of things out there....

I would sorta-kinda defend SNL over the last couple years. Not at top form, but they have been amusing at times, and Kristin Wiig is one of the top three most talented females I have seen in the shows history. (And Tina Fey's Sarah Palin was funny, was never out of bounds, it was just more effective mockery given a number of factors about the culture that had nothing to do with SNL. Even Palin essentially agreed with that.)

SNL is capable of touching on the obvious "red-zone" for them, like when they mocked the media for being so in the tank for Obama in their debate spoofs last year.

So it occurs to me how really and genuinely "hip" they could truly be if they chose to be the first major cultural institution to, not "turn" on Obama, but just plain treat him as normal and subject to the same mockery that any other President has had to suffer. They do that, and they will get huge buzz, just by virtue of doing it, much as John Stewart does when he makes a rare foray in that direction.

Given this, no one here has mentioned 'The Big Question'. Namely, has the NBC brass made it clear to SNL that there is a big fat red-line here? I am a foam-at-the-mouth anti-conspiracist, I just tend to dismiss booga-booga-booga questions like that as nonsense in general.... but let's face it, there is way too much of a rotting fish smell here with GE's relationship with this administration, and what it stands to gain from it. The very question of Halliburton is a pathetic joke in comparison to the scale and ramfications of the GE / Obama relationship.

One has to seriously wonder if NBC has been told in no uncertain terms what SNL can and cannot do in this glorious new age, and (I have a dream here) I can only imagine the results if just one well-placed whistleblower chose to blow the lid on what GE and NBC are and are not willing to do at this President's bidding, and just what is in it for them for doing so. (Billion$... make no mistake.)

The GE/Obama connection is ... (Below threshold)

The GE/Obama connection is a consideration, I guess.

Wanna bet SNL goes back to ... (Below threshold)

Wanna bet SNL goes back to political humor after the next two elections?






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