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SNL failing to reach expectations

SNL failing to reach expectations

“Saturday Night Live” has changed a lot since its first episode in 1975 and unfortunately, the changes have not been for the better.  The show found something special in the days of Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd, but it seems like neither the cast nor the show’s writers bring anything worthwhile to the table today.

The hosts themselves have put on mediocre performances compared to those of the past.  Steve Martin and Tom Hanks are remembered as some of the best hosts of “Saturday Night Live.”  Now, the show has resorted to using Daniel Craig and Bruno Mars as hosts.  Mars did a little better than I expected, but Craig, as many would have guessed, butchered his comedic role.

Seth MacFarlane opened the season with a relatively successful episode, using his famous slapstick comedy style.  His song in the monologue was pretty good, but then three more hosts went on to use songs in their monologues and it felt like I was watching the same thing over and over.  It feels like the humor is forced compared to the natural-feeling sketches of the ‘70s.  

The hosts can’t really be blamed for their poor performance when the cast is just as bad.  It seems as if all the entertaining cast members have moved onto bigger and better things.  Seth Meyers and Kenan Thompson are still pretty entertaining, but frankly, most of the other cast members are just annoying. 

The days of Chris Farley and Adam Sandler are behind us, but that doesn’t mean “Saturday Night Live” can’t have a good cast.  If the show wants to return to its former glory, it needs to bring in new cast members.  If things happen as they have in the past, the most talented cast members will start a new career outside of “Saturday Night Live.”  Tina Fey and Kristen Wiig are just two of the stars who have made the show secondary to the rest of their career.

The show’s skits are also much less entertaining than in the past.  Meyers’ “Weekend Update” segment is the one of the few parts of the show that is actually funny.  This season’s shows have focused many of their sketches on the election.  Most of the debate sketches have fallen flat and Jay Pharoah and Jason Sudeikis give subpar performances as Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.  These candidates offered so many comedic opportunities that the show didn’t capitalize on.

On the other hand, many of the other sketches use weird, often disturbing humor.  One of the most disturbing sketches was in this season’s third episode.  Daniel Craig plays a man who is introducing his new girlfriend, played by Fred Armisen, to his friends.  Several sexual innuendos and actions make the viewer feel extremely awkward.  The end of the sketch even goes so far to show Armisen wearing women’s underwear.  It’s not funny; it’s just weird.

While “Saturday Night Live” is no longer as entertaining as it used to be, it is not alone in its downfall.  Many of the most popular television comedies have become less and less entertaining.  “The Office” is perhaps the epitome of this trend.  When Steve Carell gave up his role as Michael Scott, the show was not nearly as funny and its reputation as one of the funniest shows on television was lost.

New shows like “Brickleberry” and “Sullivan and Son” appear to be trying to make up for the lack of quality comedies, but they have fallen just as flat as the existing shows.  If you are looking for entertainment, I would recommend a more serious show like “The Walking Dead” or “Breaking Bad.”    


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