Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturday Night (Live) Housecleaning

Saturday Night Live @ 36

Season debut. Oh yes, I knew Poehler would not disappoint. Although didn't she look just a wee bit nervous during the opening? Then imagine the butterfly garden other hosts‘ tummies must be when the clock moves from 11:29 to 11:30 p.m.

But seeing NBC advertising “Outsourced” while Amy Poehler is hosting? Kind of like seeing some douchebag brag about his skanky new wife when his former, fantastic wife is standing right there.

I loved the gay wedding at Ground Zero mosque bit ("20 percent discount for the military"). Or maybe I just loved the idea of how apoplectic some people would get at the real thing.

"The kids'll come for the boobs and stay for the books." Thanks for addressing the Sesame Street controversy. (Altho' what would Leslie Knope think of Amy saying nice things about punkass book jockeys?)

However, let’s not get too overjoyed. I think a lot of what was good in this episode was an Amy influence. I don't hold as much hope for episodes hosted by non-SNL veterans. Not while the show is still dominated by some of the cast who've been there too many moons.

Which brings me to this -- After the almost complete and utter disaster of the last 1.5 seasons, wouldn‘t a radical housecleaning have been a wonderful shock? Sure, they’ve garnered some publicity already with a stellar set of fall guest hosts. After Poehler Cranston, Lynch and Hamm are now on the menu.

But you can‘t keep nursing the show along with good guests being forced to do bad material, or incessant cameos from former favorite cast members. Who only remind us of wonderfulness past.

Dump a couple more old-timers and let the raw newbies take over right away. What’s with this acting like you need to slowly integrate them into the environment?

Once upon a time Aykroyd, Radner, Curtin, etc. not only went on the air without a chance to break in gradually, they were working without a template. They were creating the template. And it was brilliant.

Give the newbies major airtime. Get some fresh blood in the writers room. Find a way to keep the stale long-termers otherwise occupied. Maybe send ’em out to make some SNL movie. (And hey, you know the punch line to that thought.)