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Saturday Night Live (Or Dead…?)

I am not your average high school student. While I hold my Saturday nights in great importance, I doubt it’s for the same reasons as those of others my age. You’re unlikely to find someone like me who schedules her entire night around11:30 p.m., when the greatest comedy show to ever grace television, at least in my opinion, begins.           

Yes, it’s true. I live for good comedy. And if you’re like me, Saturday Night Live is probably not a foreign entity to you.

Since 1975, the late-night comedy show has been bringing laughs to comic enthusiasts everywhere. Ever since middle school, when watching the occasional sketch on Hulu turned into watching the entire hour and a half, I have lived for11:30on Saturday nights. But this season, the show has hit a slump.

The question is: why?

Fresh off Saturday’s episode featuring first-timer Sofia Vergara as host and “One Direction” as musical guest, most teenage girls might argue that this was without a doubt the best episode of the season. Yes, the show had some great moments (take the Hunger Games sketch for example), but one good episode does not necessarily redeem all else.

I will forever and always adore Kristen Wiig for everything she has brought to the SNL table. Bill Hader’s “Stefon” will NEVER get old. But with recent rumors that Wiig, Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis all might be saying goodbye after their contracts are up this season, it’s hard to say whether or not it was a coincidence that this week Samberg and Sudeikis appeared in a sketch together, and Wiig’s renowned—but also retired—“Gilly” character was brought back for a somewhat mediocre reprise.

Yet, while I miss the dynamic duo that was once Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler on Weekend Update, along with such cast members as Maya Rudolph, I have come to learn that Saturday Night Live is a cycle: the talent comes in phases. Great comedians come in, great comedians leave; new talent comes in, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Kate McKlinnon, the newest featured cast member, left me open-minded after this Saturday, so I am convinced the cast is not the issue.

What lies at the heart of the problem here is this season’s hosts, who have been unquestionably inconsistent. Those who at first seemed promising quickly proved otherwise; take Lindsay Lohan, for example.               

Instead of a revival of the infamous “Debbie Downer” sketch featuring Lohan, Jimmy Fallon and Rachel Dratch, the episode consisted of an atrocious mess of awkward jokes poking fun at her relationship with drugs and alcohol over the past years. Really?

Adding to the comic meltdown are the horrendous musical guests that in my opinion should be taken out of the show all together. Sure, “One Direction” was ever so charming, but nothing changes Lana Del Rey’s performance a few weeks back, so awful that it turned into a sketch the next week, and the debut of the band “Sleigh Bells” that sounded like people banging trashcans together.

Furthermore, the humor has turned dull. The sketches are underdeveloped, and instead of watching with tears of laughter, I’m just flat out confused.

Where are the notorious “Digital Shorts,” like “I’m on a Boat” and “Lazy Sunday?” The edgy humor SNL once provided is being replaced with “J-Pop America Fun Time Now.”

Still, as the avid lover of Saturday Night Live that I am, the unfortunate moments of this season will not keep me from watching. Yet every Saturday, I find myself wishing for more hosts like Justin Timberlake or more musical guests that people have actually heard of and can be incorporated into the show in a humorous fashion, like Lady Gaga and Michael Bublé. 

Of course, we must not dwell on the negative. In every show, even the bad ones, I have found something hysterical. During Jimmy Fallon’s Christmas episode, I was in stitches, and in Daniel Radcliffe’s episode, “Target Lady” was a personal favorite.

I don’t think SNL is doomed. It’s bound to make a comeback sooner or later. But all I’m asking for is some new material; more timeless comic moments that are the staple of late-night television, something I’ll want to watch over and over the next day. Until then, I can only hope that Saturday Night Live will soon be brought back to life.

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About the Contributor
Caroline Rossi, Web Features Editor
Whether Caroline Rossi’14 is cracking jokes with her friends, preforming on stage, or writing up a witty article, she is always making people laugh. Comedy plays an huge roll in the life of Rossi. It’s what makes her who she is as a person, an actress, and a writer. If Inklings Features Editor, Rossi, isn’t writing humorous stories for the paper, she is memorizing lines for her next audition. “My involvement in Players definitely carries into the way I write,” said Rossi. She describes herself as a comedic actress and said that it’s one of the main reasons why she enjoys writing funny articles. In fact, Rossi’s article  about her favorite TV show, the popular comedy, Saturday Night Live, is the one that truly sparked her involvement in Inklings. Rossi began her journalism career as a sophomore in the Intro to Journalism class, but with her incredible drive, was able to switch into the Advanced Journalism class midyear and immediately began writing for the web. With her impressive passion for writing and desire to lighten the mood, Rossi brings a great deal of unique skill to the Inklings team.  

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