October 31st, 2008
12:40 PM ET

The future of 'Saturday Night Live'

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have been instrumental to “Saturday Night Live’s” success this season. But now the two are going - Fey (who was just a guest star this year, anyway) back to her show, “30 Rock,” and Poehler to new motherhood and an announced show from the producers of “The Office.”

This game of musical chairs could be great for Poehler and “SNL” - or it could be a disaster.

First things first: Poehler’s departure leaves “SNL” in need of another breakout female star. So it’s time to get Kristen Wiig a season's worth of Red Bull.

Wiig is by far the most brilliant of the women remaining on “SNL.” Her Target Lady, "surprise" Sue, Suze Orman, Travel Reporter and "Penelope" sketches have potential to turn her into a huge comedic success.

Which is why I hope “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels and the rest of the writers don't abuse her. She has the talent to handle the work; I just hope they choose her skits with care.

If the writers know what's good for them, they will shy away from doing what they did to Wiig last week when they had her practically read the exact same "Surprise" skit from months earlier, just in a different setting. Don't ruin a good thing - especially when it’s all you've got.

Poehler had an ability to nail small quirks of characters, like with her untouchable "hot tranny mess" Christian Siriano "fierce"-fest that made my roommate and me watch and rewatch the “Project Runway” skit on a regular basis. Those episodes are still on our DVR and will remain there until Comcast decides to accidentally delete my recordings for no reason.

In fact, “SNL” had worked its way up to the top of my DVR save-until-we-delete pile. But I fear it won't be there for long. Even if Wiig is used well, the show has plenty of holes.

Michaels has told media outlets he plans to fill the holes by casting two new females, but its unlikely to be anytime soon. Michaels also said he plans to leave Seth Meyers solo on "Weekend Update" for the "foreseeable future."

And what of Poehler? The entertainment world has been littered with the failed sitcoms and movies of “SNL” veterans. I’d hate to see Poehler end up in a version of "It's Pat," "A Night at the Roxbury," "The Ladies' Man" and Molly Shannon's new flop of a show "Kath and Kim."

So Amy, please choose wisely. And you, too, Lorne.

- Mallory Simon, CNN

Filed under: television

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soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. north

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    January 17, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Lisa Thompson

    I think they should bring more celebrities on to help.. Ben Affleck was really good when he was on recently. Should consider using other celebs like him to boost ratings. At least the U.S. has fun during your long elections.

    November 10, 2008 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ben

    Andy Samberg is the best. Wiig in second. Hotrod is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

    November 9, 2008 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Karen from upstate NY

    My Goodness. Everyone is acting as if SNL survived over 30+ years because of Obama/McCain?? Get your heads out of the sand. SNL has been around longer than many of you have been alive. Chevy Chase, Dan Ackroyd, John Belushi (NOT Jim Belushi).... do any of those names ring a bell? SNL has had it's high points and it's low points but it's been running for so long that it has broken records for longest running show. And, it wasn't because of Tina Fey, or Sarah Palin. I predict that the show will slump once again as it has does done several times before... and it will bounce back once again as it has done several times before. The only way I see that show totally crumbling to the ground is when Mr. Michaels passes on. Hopefully, that won't be for a looooooooong time.

    November 9, 2008 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. Caitlin

    oh...and it's not about writers...since when was there a huge distinction between a comedian and a writer...most of the previous cast members were also writers...a truly good comedian will be able to write skits that fit his own style and humor better than an external writer (Chris Farley's physical skits were his own)...although there have been some awesome writing talents to come through SNL (Conan O'Brien and Stephen Colbert)...

    November 6, 2008 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. Caitlin

    Fred Armisen, Dan Aykroyd, John and Jim Belushi, Jim Breuer, Dana Carvey, Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal, Joan Cusack, Robert Downey Jr., Rachel Dratch, Chris Elliott, Jimmy Fallon, Will Forte, Al Franken, Chris Farley, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Janeane Garofalo, Ana Gasteyer, Gilbert Godfried, Bill Hader, Darrell Hammond, Phil Hartman, Chris Kattan, Jon Lovitz, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Norm MacDonald, Michael McKean, Mark McKinney, Tim Meadows, Dennis Miller, Jay Mohr, Tracey Morgan, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Kevin Nealon, Cheri Oteri, Chris Parnell, Amy Poehler, Randy Quaid, Colin Quinn, Gilda Radner, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph, Andy Samberg, Adam Sandler, Horatio Sanz, Rob Schneider, Paul Shaffer, Molly Shannon, Martin Short, Sarah Silverman, David Spade, Ben Stiller, Julia Sweeney, Damon Wayans....SNL started most of these peoples' careers, and many of these people have already gone down in comedy history, so all those haters of the past couple of seasons...don't hate forever, because SNL has a long-standing legacy that will hopefully continue for many generations to come. No doubt, many of these people had some horrible skits and short stints with the show, but when you diss SNL, no matter how crappy it is now, that's like dissing your kooky, senile grandma...have some respect for Lorne Michaels and his reputation!

    November 6, 2008 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. James Dell

    They need better writing. A lot of the skits they do now come off as inside jokes between just the cast the crew. I get it, but I don't think it's funny. The show has that "you had to be there" funny. Ocassionally they come up with something funny, but that's like once every season. That makes me sad. I used to love SNL.

    November 5, 2008 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sam B

    SNL goes into periods of artistic excellence and decline just like any other show. Unfortunately, I think it's been in decline since the Will Farrell/Cheri Oteri/Chris Kattan days and has gotten only marginally better since. Amy Poehler and Bill Hader are the only really talented members of the cast and with Poehler leaving there's not much reason to continue watching. I can't stand Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen is about as funny as a Yiddish edition of Mein Kampf. I think it's time to put SNL out of its own misery as well as the misery it has been inflicting on a good many of us these last few years.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Carlos


    SNL still is one of my favorite shows, however, I miss Horatio Sanz. He was the funniest of the whole gang. Can you tell me why he is not with SNL anymore?


    November 2, 2008 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Carmen

    I have watched SNL since 1977 or the first season. It has gone through ups and downs. The first was Bill Murry, Dan Ackroid, and all of those comedians, the next group took a long time which was Will Ferrell, Chris Katan, Darrold Hammond, and the rest of that staff.
    Just give it time. The men are doing a great job ! Perhaps some lady comedians as hosts would be a good idea.

    November 2, 2008 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SNL has not been funny for a while

    I don't think SNL has been funny for a long time. With the exception of Amy Poeler and Tina Fey the rest of the cast are lukewarm performers.
    Andy Samberg tries to be another Adam Sandler and it just doesn't work. He's annoying. The rest, not funny. I miss the days of Sandler, Hartman (RIP) Farley (RIP) and even clear back to the 70's where expert talents like Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray the king of deadpan, made characters unique and funny. Nowadays the only thing going for SNL is their spoofs on the presidential candidates, which are not funny. Okay Tina Fey makes a good Sarah Palin, but there's a point. I think SNL have crossed that point, to make jokes now just seems disrespectful. It's bad enough that the candidates unintentionally give America comic fodder, talk show hosts, comedians, celebrities don't need to add fuel to the fire.

    November 2, 2008 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. KC Keith

    SNL at it's worst is ALWAYS better than MAD TV, which is consistently unfunny and bland to the point of being unwatchable. SNL has always been hit and miss (go back and watch the brilliant early seasons of DVD and there are some lame moments here and there). I still think SNL is DVR-worthy. I just wish their selection of musical guests was a bit more edgy. These days, I am only excited about one or two of the musical guests a season. Oh, and the show circa '08 does indeed have a pool of talent and I will say that Bill Hader is possibly my favorites of the past few years.

    November 2, 2008 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. JT

    Wow, there sure are a lot of experts of sketch comedy writing in here. I still think a lot of you are missing the point about what makes SNL special: this show is written in two days.

    Monday the writers/cast and Lorne sit down with a host and everybody pitches an idea, including the host. By Wed morning, every writer has to have 2 sketches submitted. Wednesday afternoon, they do a read through and select the ones that got the most laughs in the room. By Wed night, the sketches are pretty much set, save a few re-writes.

    Put it this way, imagine that you're a stand up comedian and you perform one night a week. Every week you have to get on stage and do 15 minutes of new material, you can't use anything you've previously written, you have to come up with a new 15 min every single week. How funny are you "experts" going to be now?

    November 2, 2008 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sean Ryan

    I remember watching SNL in the late 90's and laughing so hard I couldn't breath now if just sad. And why would McCain go on that show according to him those aren't real Americans.

    November 2, 2008 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Zheng Ho

    SNL has had it's highs and lows over the years. The last great high for the show (even considering this years election coverage) was between '87 and about '99. That was the best that the show had been since what I heard about the original cast. (I was too young to have known). Looking at the cast from 2000 to now, they've had a few stars who where good, but not a whole cast. Between '87 to '99 you had Carvey, Myers, Hartman (we still miss you Phil), Sandler, Neeland, A.W. Brown, Schnieder, Oteri, Rock, Farley, Farrell, Hammond (can't believe he's still on), Meadows, Lovitz, Hooks, Jackson, Sweeney, Miller, Spade, and McDonald. The only actually hole in the cast over that time was Victoria Jackson. Other than that there were no holes. Everyone was good. Everyone had at least one MAJOR character, and everyone was talented enough to make even one of the other cast memebers laugh on set. Add to that the great recurring guest stars, Walken, Baldwin, Martin, Hanks, Sting, and even Jesse Jackson got laughs in the 80s. The whole show (each week) was near solid. SNL won't die off soon. (I heard that the show survied in the 80s only thanks to Murphy, Piscopo, Crystal and the possibility of getting John Candy.–It never happened) Lorne just needs to get a collection of people who not only feed off each other comedically, but also have the talent to create memorable characters. Think about it. The Churchlady, the guy next to the watercooler, Hanz and Franz, The Spartan Cheerleaders, Wayne and Garth, The Ladies Man, Presidents Bush, Bush Jr., and Clinton, and candidate Dukakis,, Matt Foley, Opera Man, The Sweeney Sisters, Grumpy Old Man, Deeter, Lothar, Frankenstein, Toonses and the Butabi Brothers. How many times has THE CAST of SNL since 2000 had you talking on Monday about what happened on SNL that weekend? (I mean the whole cast, not just a few characters.) Add to that, G.E. Smith and the SNL Band has yet to be matched.

    November 2, 2008 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  16. BuyMyMonkey

    Good posts and points by everyone. I used to watch SNL regularly, but now, like others find it severely lacking. Some skits you just sit and watch and wonder what the heck they are trying to do. And the live audience isn't laughing either. Letterman has to write an hour show every night with videos and such – and he usually hits it on the head.

    Honestly, Mad TV is closer to what SNL used to be. MAD misses sometimes, but usually their humor is a good balance between absurdity and clever pokes at society. And MAD has lost key stars over the year as well.

    I also hate the SNL hires comedians who believe they are funny – or at least appear to arrogantly be that way. People like Martin Short or Justin Timberlake are funny because they are funny, not because they smugly go out, read their lines, and smirk while waiting for the laugh. Remember Phil Hartman? Funny guy who played everything as it was written, not with pauses and looks around the room that say "look at me being funny!".

    Maybe SNL should open it up to freelance submissions?

    November 2, 2008 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  17. John

    The show fell off after "the bad boys"

    November 1, 2008 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Mike B

    SNL will live foreever. Every so often you hear people say "oh MY' SNL wont be better any longer. Remember when Tina and Amy started. Go back and look at the archives. Read up! It comes and goes.! Dont jump ship yet again. Im a SNL lifer and love to watch the new folks grow and become famous......wait and see and quit being impatient!!!!

    November 1, 2008 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Tony M.

    I agree Kenan Thompson has got to go. I watch SNL all the time and I honestly don't recall a skit that was even remotely funny were he was in a lead. I feel bad saying that because he seems like a nice guy and is the only ethnic cast member. I want to see more diversity on SNL but make sure they're funny. NYC is suppose to be the great melting pot of the US.

    November 1, 2008 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Tori

    And Fred Armisen is not Caucasian..he's half Venezuelan and half Asian.

    November 1, 2008 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Tori

    I adore Amy Poehler, and have since I first saw her on the first Deuce Bigalow movie. Kristin Wiig has me waffling...I am not quite too sure about her. She is hysterical in her movies, but on the show, she does seem to play the same character over and over again. I guess in my mind, no women will ever be able to match the Molly Shannon/Cheri Oteri/Ana Gasteyer trifecta. They were just brilliant. And I haven't seen enough of Casey Wilson to really form an opinion on her yet, but so far she hasn't seemed that impressive.

    November 1, 2008 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  22. kelsey4

    SNL played the Sarah Palin card to long and it got old. I see SNL going down the tubes. It will get in line with the far left wing new media and news papers.

    November 1, 2008 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Susan

    Definite Keepers:
    Kristen Wiig – brilliant
    Jason Sudekis – very funny and incredibly hot (was he the 1st caveman who ever danced? a mystery I've never solved)
    Darrell Hammond – gifted impersonator
    Will Forte – surprising flashes of genius


    Not sure:
    Kenan Thompson
    both need better material

    Lose ThisTurd:
    Andy Samberg – I swear to god, I can smell the guy's sh*t-stained shorts through the screen

    November 1, 2008 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Prof. Pye Chartt

    SNL has always struggled to hit the comedy nail on the head. Either the writing is incredibly weak for 70% of the show, or, the cast members are incapable of crafting a character that can knock the ball out of the park more than twice per show. Often SNL leaves you with the impression that nobody, including Micheals, knows what's REALLY funny and what ACTUALLY works. It's as if they're always taking a stab in the dark, and each week represents a big comedy experiment. While I can appreciate that the live format of the show requires a tough week (which includes the incorporation of a guest host), far too many mediocre sketches make the cut...which makes you wonder about the crap that gets tossed in the garbage each week. This all points to the writing.

    On the casting side, every comedy writer knows that a lame actor can destroy a funny sketch, while a talented actor can make a lame sketch seem rather funny. SNL has long proven that the field of truly talented people who can work a sketch and make an audience laugh is quite small. Those with the gift move on and make the big dough, and live the big career. Most of the SNL alumi, as we all know, fade into oblivion. The SNL format requires that its cast participate in the crafting of characters that add to the show. To her credit, and for example, Kirsten Wiig has a knack for nailing querky characters and forging oddballs that make you chuckle. She doesn't do the traditional pie-in-the-face humor. Most SNL cast-members are simply spoon-fed by the writing staff, and don't exhibit the ability to take the ball and run.

    To me, it all comes down to Exec. Prod. Lorne Michaels. I've never been able to make up my mind as to whether he's simply a semi-skilled "lucky son" of NBC who gets to keep his job no matter what (and this safety is reflected in the show's failure to consistently score laughs), or, he's a gifted guy doing his best with the vacuum of comedy writing and acting talent that exists.

    November 1, 2008 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  25. legalette

    I love Kath and Kim. If you think it's a "flop", it's because you aren't paying attention and don't get the jokes; it's certainly not because the jokes aren't funny.

    November 1, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  26. mdg

    My favorite SNL characters of all time are Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, John Belushi, Adam Sandler, Dana Carvy, Tracy Morgan, Molly Shannonl Cheri O'Teri, Jon Lovitz, Steve Martin,Kevin Nelan, Mike Myers, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Farely, David Spade, Phil Hartman Will Ferell, Chris Katan, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner and last but not least Eddie Murphy were no longer.

    Those folks provided our family with countless hours of laughing so hard we thought we'd split our sides.

    Although the newer talent doesn't possess the same kind of comedy and humor the older casts of SNL did or do, Lorne Michaels has got to be patted on the back for continuing to crank out epidsode after episode of really funny stuff.

    I'd love to see Jim Carey or Michael McDonald who both got their starts on Mad TV to host an episode of SNL and do parodies of Fire Marshall Bill and McDonald's character "Stewart" - Now that would be a hoot.

    November 1, 2008 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  27. lfw1la

    My favorite Kristin Wiig character is Aunt Linda. I loved her movie reviews.

    November 1, 2008 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  28. Tony

    Linda – "Women have never been respected at SNL. It’s always felt like an old boy’s club to me. I’m not surprised when women leave the show. They are lucky to have had Poeler as long as they have; she’s a comedic genius."

    Really? Do you work there? Have you ever been employed by SNL, or NBC for that matter? Do you have any references (either in print or spoken) that you can link where a previous cast member or writer complained of this "old boys club" mentality?

    I think you are merely projecting your own life issues here. If you work in such an environment, then it's your problem. Don't project on a cast of SNL to which you aren't employed, and probably have zero frame of reference.

    Many, many women have participated in SNL, even during the early shows when women comics wouldn't have seen the light of day.

    November 1, 2008 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  29. Dave

    This show has ALWAYS been about the writing. Tina Fey has NEVER gotten the proper credit for this. Most people until now, thought of he as just the Weekend Update girl. You rarely saw her in sketches and the time spent writing is why....Lorne sure has a challenge ahead but Lorne has had this challenge maybe 20-25 times before. The show is pretty much the same every year....1 breakout star and 2 very good sketch/improv people and 7 or 8 people who are very fortunate to be there because they either look like someone famous whom they can impersonate somewhat well, or they just got noticed during a comedy stand up or something. Kenan Thompson is a great example of the former and Colin Quinn the latter....Don't ever doubt Lorne and his team. The show is around 34 years for a reason. If anything, maybe you cut it to an hour like Carson did, to alleviate the pressure week after week.

    November 1, 2008 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  30. Yarmouth

    SNL has sucked for years now. I've watched every season and I have to say I think it's the worst the shows ever been right now.

    Fred Armison sucks at Barack Obama.

    Weekend Update is the worst part of the show now. I want to put my foot through the TV everytime Poehler smirks and giggles at her own jokes. It's like they don't even understand the premise of Weekend Update anymore.

    Take all the wigs, make-up, sets, and performer's contracts, make a pile and douse it with gasolene and watch it burn.

    November 1, 2008 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  31. Jake

    I really want to like the show, but has been extremely hit and miss since Fey left. I honestly have no clue as to why Seth Meyers is even on the show, he doesn't do any skit but Weekend Update and his writing is absolutely terrible. And what is the point of Andy Samberg? He and his buddies just run jokes into the ground and the appeal is limited to 7th graders. I thought he when to a good highly regarded film school. The equivalent would be like send someone to MIT for a Ph D in some branch of mathematics and the first thing out his mouth is, "What's a sum?" Put a group of moderately intelligent high school kids together and they can come up with the same jokes as the Lonely Island crew.

    October 31, 2008 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  32. KC

    SNL has had ups and downs for the last 30some years. I think that at least as long as Lorne Michaels is around it will never be cancelled. There have been writing issues and casting issues over the years and they always bounce back. Right now, they need more women and more diversity in the cast, I agree. Who have you got in the writer's room? Check, because many a good performers have come from there (Dennis Miller, Dan Akryod, Billy Crystal, Chevy Chase, Al Franken, Phil Hartmen, Colin Quin- to name a few). Give it a chance, stranger things have happened. And people who think women have never had their chance or never been showcased forget: Gilda, Jane, Laraine, Nora, Jan, Julia, Molly, Cheri, Ana, Rachel, and Maya. All these women had reoccuring characters and some of the best moments on the show. There does need to be more, but the show hasn't always been devoid of women nor has it ignored all the talented women it has had.

    October 31, 2008 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Italo

    For some ghoulish, lazy, or whatever else reason, NBC refuses ever to consider letting SNL die. It shouldn't be cancelled for no reason - if it were still good, keep it on for 42 years - but it is really badly put together and I can't believe writers get paid to hash out skits all week that turn out to be as uncreative and badly done/scripted as their show's do nowadays. I love this performer, and there are so many good talents here. But I can't believe for the life of me how the writers laugh at the crap that makes it on the air, who or how they vote "yes" for it. It's unfunny. Maybe, approaching the 2010s, it's finally time unplug SNL and use that late-Saturday weekend time to sow some newer and different creative fields.

    October 31, 2008 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Christy Goldstein

    Most skits fell flat after Jimmy Fallon left. Tina Fey was such a brilliant writer that I noticed many skits had crappy endings after she left. Amy Poehler's departure will leave a gaping hole. Kristen Wiig is immensely talented, but she's the only female who kicks it. The new girl is really not funny at all- I can't remember her name. They need a new female writer–some undiscovered talent who lives in Maryland and has always dreamed of writing for SNL...

    October 31, 2008 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  35. No Country for Old Lazy Critics

    Anyone who's regularly watched SNL from the beginning knows that it's always been hit & miss. You only remember the great sketches & fortunately forget the many bad ones. I don't think there have been very many bad cast members in all these yrs, but there have been quite a few bad writers. The cast members who could write for themselves, usually with a partner, have always ended up being the most memorable. Now hosts.... there have been far too many lame hosts. Probably the worst shows I've ever seen were with Madonna, Nancy Kerrigan & the recent Michael Phelps one – all with different casts & writers. And the women have always been underrated, even apparently by posters here. Gilda, Jane & Lorraine were great, but they've been followed by many others just as memorable.

    October 31, 2008 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Wilvis

    I've been a lifelong fan of SNL. It has it's highs and lows. Too bad they contract most of their cast at the same time, but not so much now as in the past. It was a great loss to loose Tina Fey, but I am glad Lorne stuck with her and let her have 30 Rock. But Amy Poehler will be hard to replace right away. SNL has a habit of bringing in some of it's writting staff as cast members, i.e. Tina. But they need a strong black female to replace Maya Rhoudolph. I hope it happens quickly because I STILL like SNL.

    October 31, 2008 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  37. David

    Women never respected? You obviously dont remember Gilda Ratner or Jane Curtain then.

    October 31, 2008 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Linda

    Women have never been respected at SNL. It's always felt like an old boy's club to me. I'm not surprised when women leave the show. They are lucky to have had Poeler as long as they have; she's a comedic genius.

    October 31, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  39. JT

    NoRez – you are way, way off. SNL has ALWAYS had writers, and the same system – some people act and the other write.

    Today, there are more actors that write and act than ever – and this cast is a phenomenal set of improvisors, they're amazing. They don't improvise during the show.

    October 31, 2008 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Meg

    Oooh Lord, the Fart Face sketch... I had to get up and do laundry it was so bad. I was embarrassed to be watching it. It was terrible. (I couldn't bring myself to change the channel, though – I'm always giving SNL one more chance...)

    October 31, 2008 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Brandon

    HB – you're the fool who had to drag politics into a SNL blog. You ruined my fun. I'm pro America, not pro partisanship.

    October 31, 2008 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Brandon

    HB – if you don't have hope, then move to Iran.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Brandon

    HB – catch a clue. By the way, I don't belong to either party.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  44. The Dude

    Fart Face? Must have missed that sketch.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  45. HB

    Dude, I'm glad you were able to laugh during the Clinton years.
    The man you voted for the last two elections has brought us all nothing but tears. Glad we have SNL to help us laugh at least a little. Funny
    how you didn't call out the Republicans who got slightly off topic.

    And Brandon, truth is not hate. Fear and hate are M.O. of the G.O.P.
    and you know it. That's what happens when you don't have hope.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Madlogic

    Someone actually suggested that Trey Parker and Matt Stone "guest write" for the show? Why? SNL ALREADY had an entire sketch built around the term "fart face."

    October 31, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Brandon

    I guess HB likes to spread hate. HB, what party do you belong to?

    October 31, 2008 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  48. DJ

    Two things:

    First, when you're making comments like "So-and-so is the problem, he/she is totally unfunny", at least entertain the possibility that this is a subjective thing. As Paul Simon said, one man's ceiling is another man's floor. If you don't believe it, make a scorecard with the names of each cast member, then go through all these messages and keep track of how many times each is called brilliant by some and terrible by others.

    Secondly, I agree with TJ and others who point out that SNL's quality is cyclical. It's an institution and it is sustained by bringing in new cast members as old ones leave, and it takes a while for a new cast to gel. There are ALWAYS bad sketches. We remember the glory years as perfect, but as the owner of the box sets of the first three seasons, let me tell ya... it was hit and miss in the Belushi/Chase era, too. (Anyone remember the much too long beatnik bar sketch? And as I say this I realize some will think "Ooooh yeah, that was awesome!") SNL is what it is. If you really hate it, stop watching, and if enough people do that it'll go away. I don't see that happening, though. It's the closest thing we have to a comedy tradition in television.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Joe Green

    I stopped watching TeeVee five years ago. The "Sarah Palin" sketches were worth downloading from the SNL website, but that's about it. Everything else was childish and stupid, just as I remember the last half-hour of SNL from years back.

    With all the hoopla about 30 rock, I downloaded the first episode from the NBC website. What's all the fuss about? If that is great television, I'd hate to see what the rest is like (oh yea, now I remember why I gave away my TeeVee).

    The really annoying part was the show was interrupted every 5 minutes for a commercial. Sorry, but homey don't play that!

    October 31, 2008 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Stan

    For a show who made its mark years ago by breaking every mold it could it has become (pun intended) "moldy". It has its formula and seldom if ever varies. No surprises. No originality. Anything after "Update" is throw away.

    Wiig has her moments but is far too whiny for me. Its the same character over and over, and not even a very funny one at that. She doesn't have the range to be the breakout. Being annoying isn't being funny.

    Writing definitely needs to improve.

    Can / will SNL continue? Its done it before from worse situations than this. It probably will again.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  51. The Dude

    HB I resent your comment about us Republicans having 1) No sense of humor and 2) a SOUL. Not cool. Some, not me, feel the same about Democrats.

    Of course we have a sense of humor, we laughed our butts off during your Bubba's 8 years in the White House, because everything that came out of his mouth was a lie, so how can we not laugh. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman!" Haha I love it.

    But I am going to stop there, this article was not about Republicans v. Democrats. It was about a show struggling to keep up with the high expectations it has had for many years.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Les Nesman

    Justin Cantrell – thank you! You said exactly what I was thinking!

    October 31, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  53. David B.

    Skits are really a hit and miss. Several good comedians, and the intros and politicals are well written, but the other stuff is not too funny. A couple of suggestions for Lorne and the team:

    1) Contests for skit writing. Announcement on the shows, submissions on blogs like this or whatever. Cash prizes or vacations (flights/seats) to the show.

    2) Bring back former stars in quality skits. Perhaps they couldn't be paid the big bucks they command now, but many owe their beginning success to it...

    October 31, 2008 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Dwayne

    Personally I think recently that SNL has been as funny as it ever has been. I never miss an episode and its been a couple of decades since I can say that.

    Yes the will miss Tina and Amy a lot and after the election some momentum will be gone. But I think its far from its end and there was a time I felt it should have ended.

    I think the guys on the cast right now are only surpassed by the original prime time players. I feel they do an excellent job.

    The only thing I would hope for is that they keep the level of humor from being childish as it was just 3 or4 years ago. Nothing then was funny to me at age 46, however todays humor for the most part is good.

    Sorry all just my opinion. This is not the time to retire the show!

    October 31, 2008 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Decoonit

    With the exception of Tina Fey and Gov Palin, SNL is just pathetic. I wish someone would put it out of it's misery. It's not worth even surfing past it anymore, and it has not been remotely entertaining for many years. Sheesh. Watch MadTV. That show is usually entertaining and sometime hilarious.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  56. alekshy

    I don't like when they leave Weekend Update to Meyers. He has a way of delivering his joke like it's the funniest thing written in the world...I wonder why he thinks that?

    October 31, 2008 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Gary

    The last time I really watched SNL was back in the early 90's just before the end of the Phil Hartman, Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, David Spade, and Chris Rock era. I have seen a show or two with Will Farrel, but for the most part stopped watching because they haven't really had anything funny since that era. The show has been on way too long now and should most definately come to an end.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Spiro Lancaster

    Lorne will look to the fulltimeninjas.com over on Ebaumsworld. Funny guys.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  59. HB

    Approximately 1% of Republicans have any traceable sense of humor. That's why they don't like SNL. It's too smart for them. As for thinking it's too liberal, did you watch at all in the 90's? The brilliant Darryl Hammond made a complete joke out of Clinton – and we Democrats laughed and laughed because it was FUNNY, even though he was ripping on our beloved Bubba. How could you NOT laugh at Will Ferrell's Dubya even if you are a Republican? That's right – you don't have a SOUL.

    As far as the recent casts, the women have been carrying the show for a few years. Tina and Amy were the glue (with great assists from Maya), and now they're gone. Fallon was funny enough for a small party, but not for a network show. The stars of today's cast are Kristen Wiig and Will Forte – they take comic risks. They don't always land, but when they do, it's gold. Fred Armisen is a close third.

    I do think SNL would be so much better if they shortened it to one hour. But Viva SNL!
    That would help weed out the weaker sketches.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  60. tomtac

    SNL has proven many times, over its 33 year history, that it is worthwhile to take it, as it lays dying, and resuscitate it. In the 1980s it was necessary to reinvent it, but after a few false restarts it was running stronger than ever.

    Not that it is easy. It may be a long time before they get another Eddie Murphy/Tina Fey/Martin Short, but eventually they will.

    October 31, 2008 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  61. The Dude

    You want SNL to be funny again. Get the following guys to start Guest Writing: Judd Apatow, Kevin Smith, Seth MacFarlane, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Have them submit some skits of their own, that will help.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Andrea

    They need people of color... A Caucasian man plays Obama and multi-culti-looking Maya Rudolph is long gone.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  63. V

    Kristen Wiig is genius – her "crazy lady at McCain rally" impersonation absolutely killed me. I miss Maya Rudolph and hope that she somehow makes a comeback as we saw last weekend. She's solid..... solid as Barack!

    October 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Nicklover

    Keenan Thompson is a very funny guy.
    SNL should take advantage of his comedy!!!

    October 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  65. k-dogg

    Hey! I thought The Ladies Man was great! And I agree with much more usage of Andy. They should let him loose.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  66. DamitaJo

    Two words: MORE PENELOPE!

    Kristen Wiig is brilliant! She is the only reason to keep watching the show. I have faith that she will really go places.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Jim

    Alex – are you kidding, that Lawrence Welk skit was hilarious.
    Also, while SNL had become really bad after Chris Farley died (bless his soul), and after Spade, Nealon, Sandler, Morgan, and others left...in the last few years it has gained momentum and re-asserted itself as a great show. This current cast is great. Seth Myers is hilarious, and is the top writer.

    Kristen Wiig is super talented, and I don't see why she can't join Seth on Weekend Update.
    Go SNL!

    psst – Barack Obama for President!

    October 31, 2008 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  68. NoRez

    Kristen Whig is AWFUL, a warmed-over version of Molly Shannon, who was pretty annoying but at least seems to have some talent. Every single one of Whig's characters is annoying, obnoxious, unlikeable. Guess it really does pay to have a boyfriend with a good job on the show.

    The problem with SNL can be seen in its list of Emmy-nominated writers: google it and pick out the ones who are actually performers; there are maybe one or two. Actors are not writers, writers are not actors – this wasn't the case when SNL first started, and the difference is jarring. The current cast has no improv skills and cannot memorize lines (does EVERYONE have to look at a 45-degree angle off of the face of the person they are speaking to?) Yes, it's a regular thing to knock SNL and each year is the worst yet. But really, it's going to be completely unwatchable starting.... tomorrow.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Mobius

    SNL = Irrelevant for a long time now.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  70. The Dude

    First, to the guy who put Norm MacDonald on the Top Cast members list, no way! He was terrible on SNL. His only revival to his career has been the voice of 'Death' on Family Guy.

    I don't find Tina Fey all that funny, but other people do and that's why she has her own show now. Amy Poehler isn't bad but we'll see what happens with her show. But these two were not the best female cast members on SNL by far! Heck Ellen Clegorn (sp) and Julia Sweeney were funnier in the early 90's.

    Yup too much Politico and not enough satire. SNL has been on for 33 years. It's not going to go quietly into that good night. Lorne has a lot of juice at NBC. If the top guys approached him about ending the show, he will fight hand and foot against it. But if he lost and the show did end, its not gonna happen fast, there's going to be an announcement before the season starts saying this is the last season with dedications, special guest appearances from alum and so on.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Scott

    Why are there 8 white guys on a cast of 11 regulars?

    October 31, 2008 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  72. nomadd

    couple more things:

    1) I know it's a comedy show, but the biased, liberal views of SNL are becoming a bit too much to chalk up to comedy. They are way too blatant in their support of Obama, and we get that they're mostly democratic, just try to pretend it's not the "bash Republicans" shwo once in a while.

    2) The Digital Shorts. They used to be awesome. Does anyone remember the Natalie Portman rap? Dear Sister? D**k in a Box? I wish Andy could bring that quality back to the show, because if I have to watch one more short like Space Olympics, I may just have to shut my TV off.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Rick

    Two words come to mind - FIX IT!

    October 31, 2008 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Psyqlone

    SNL – The last of the great 1970's variety shows is facing:

    1. Talent attrition – The best writers are gone. ...not that the new ones are awful, but writing for stand-up is different than writing sketch comedy. The digital shorts stuff might stop the bleeding. ...short subjects for a You-Tube audience.

    2. Old media – Television in general aint gettin' any younger, neither is its audience. Now more than ever, SNL must compete with more cable channels, DVD's, video games, the web, and Saturday night nightlife. To their credit they have held their own against comedy clubs in the 80's, Howard Stern and Mad TV for this long.

    3. American politics – ...especially if Obama wins. Neither SNL, Jon Stewart, nor Stephen Colbert have ever had to deal with a media darling for a president whose party controls Congress.

    It'd be a new experience for the world, so it's not as if it won't be interesting.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  75. nomadd

    Not to rehash old ground, but I completely agree with rw and Shane. The cast happens to be extremely talented and funny, and anyone can see this if they've ever seen any of them perform individually at the UCB or anywhere else. The problem begins when the writing dictates they perform these trite and boring sketches with awful dialogue. The newcomers are an excellent addition but they haven't been utilized yet to their utmost potential. Bobby Moynihan is an extremely gifted and talented comedian who can pull off a smorgasbord of characters given the chance. And Casey Wilson?? She totally could've done Sarah Palin had Tina Fey not been available amongst many other hilarious characters. So hear me out writers, give them the chance!

    October 31, 2008 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  76. brad

    That Lawrence Welk skit Alex references was pure genius. It showcased Wiig's great talent and has become one of my favorite SNL skits in recent memory (second, possibly only to Will Forte's dancing coach skits). SNL has survived worse downturns than losing Fey and Pohler (who are indeed two of my alltime faves), and will continue to overcome and prodce great comedy in years to come (even if it means wading through a sea of mediocre skits to get to it). It may have taken years to get over it, but SNL survived losing their original cast and the casting of Joe Piscopo. When the All-Star cast of the 90s eventualy left, tey were succeeded by Ferrell and his gang of misfits. Personally, I think the current cast has great promise, with my only complaint being that Seth Myers only does Weekend Update. When he came on as a featured player, I thought he was going ot be the new star, but sticking with only Weekend Update has limited his promise. Still, I think Wiig is the new foundation of the cast, and SNL knows this, and has shown that they understand and know how to utilize her talents. Even after the Sarah Palin skits are gone, I know that SNL will continue to be funny, even if they drop a few turds along the way.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Patrick Frickleton

    Wiig is the unsung hero of SNL. She has the humor and the charm to be the next Fey. Just watch anything she's been in. Even her small Yoga instructor roll in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" was hysterical! She is definitely worth a look for anyone who does not know who she is...yet.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Rod

    Back in the day the hosts were topical at least. Now there just the latest thing today, forgotten tomorror. A couple years ago I got to go see the show (Lance Armstrong), NOT funny. As you leave the studio you wald down a corridor lined with pictures from past shows. All I remember thinkink was how sad SNL has become. Cancel this thing please before tey embarras themselves any more.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Ray

    SNL has needed new writers with imagination for many years. The program is a good cure for insomnia.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  80. Pirate

    Are you kidding me? Night at the Roxbury was pure genius!

    I quote that movie almost daily. The other movies were bad, and maybe Roxbury wasn't great at release, but that movie has aged very well. I recommend watching that again, because you are dead wrong.

    "Dad, Doug is like a fax machine. Without a cover page, you don't know where he is going"

    October 31, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Deb

    Please get better writers!!! So many funny moments in life can be spoofed and you guys go for the really lame. Why? Get better writers! Get better writers!!

    October 31, 2008 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  82. sub

    SNL has never been funny all the time. Mostly it is lame. The only reason that the Palin sketch is getting so much air and not the Obama sketch is because Obama's friends own NBC. The guy that does the Osama or I mean Obama impersonation is actually better looking than the purple lipped spider monkey.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Brandon

    SNL died along with Chris Farley

    October 31, 2008 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  84. PLM

    I think they should get rid of Kenan Thompson and Andy Samberg. Kenan isn't funny at all, and I just can't stand Andy. I don't know what the heck they'll do after Amy Poehler leaves. She's the only really funny one on the show.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  85. curious

    Just what is Maya Rudolph doing now????

    October 31, 2008 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Rob - Houston, Texas

    Andy Samberg needs to move to the front with Wigg. Also, Seth needs to take a back seat to new writers. Sorry Seth, the show is getting stale.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  87. R

    Quite the lecturing for a show that has always found its own way!

    October 31, 2008 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  88. tl

    Wait, mk: I think you made the correct point but the editors fixed it in the article. My apologies if I'm correct.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Erin

    There is nothing wrong with Andy Samberg. Digital shorts are one thing that kept that show on the air when it was struggling and brought new viewers!

    October 31, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  90. MK

    A-ha! The copy editor has arrived! : )

    October 31, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Gadget

    The biggest problem with SNL is that the skits are often way too long, which makes the good ones mediocre and the bad ones painful. Overall I like SNL and hope it never goes away, but there are definitely some weak links that need to be replaced.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  92. tl

    Hey MK – "me" is correct, not "I."

    October 31, 2008 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  93. Mike

    SNL will be bad without Poehler and appearances from Tina Fey. Aside from the Palin sketches and a handful of Poehler moments, this season has been awful.

    Kenan Thompson is the absolute pits, Andy Samberg's digital shorts are hit or miss, Jason Sudeikis is used too much and Bill Hader is used too little.

    As for Wiig – she is brilliant, but they are Cheri Oteri'ng her (doing the same sketches over and over).

    If they want to do something smart, hire some of Poehler's former Upright Citizen's Brigade counterparts and let writer Jorma Taccone (Samberg's partner) come in front of the camera.

    October 31, 2008 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Lynn Adams

    I like Seth Meyers on Weekend Update a lot. "Set your sights on STUNNING!" He makes me laugh.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  95. Joe

    Wiig is hilarious. One of my favorites.
    Writing is great this year. Good job Seth. I was dying laughing at the Laurence Welk skit.
    Tina Fey has a whole lot more than 15 minutes of fame. Actually, she has 30 minutes every Thursday night.
    SNL will always be relevant, election or not. If you're the type of person that gets offended by a comedy show poking fun of politicians than maybe you should just continue watching FoxNews.

    To paraphrase Cameron Frye, "some of you are so uptight that if you stuck a piece of coal up your butt, in two weeks you'd have a diamond."

    October 31, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  96. JT

    Also, it is worth point out that these shows are pulled together in less than a week. The writers have 2-3 days to write a sketch. It's hard to do, and it's not always going to be the funniest thing you've ever seen in your entire life.
    When you look at SNL from 1975 to 2008, you can't deny it has been one of the best running shows of all time.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  97. jack

    There's a lot of talent left in the SNL cast besides Kristin Wiig, who is admittedly my fav. Andy Samberg's bizarre Digital Shorts are always a highlight, Fred Armisen is totally underrated/underused, and Bill Hader, Jason Sudeikis (sp?) and Will Forte are all very funny. Even Keenan Thompson has his moments of genius (Jean K. Jean). I know I'll keep watching.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Annie West

    I have been a great fan of SNL since way back when, with Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase, John Bulushi and Eddie Murphy and so on. The show was funny funny funny. I wanted so much to be in the audience but I understand it is very hard to get tickets. Today, Tina and Amy will be missed. SNL is not as funny as it use to be, What's happening? The casts is great. Is it the writers? I will always watch SNL I'm just hoping for improvement. Annie W.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  99. Dan Daoust

    I love SNL just kidding I hate it just kidding it's okay but it's not the same just kidding it is the same just kidding they need better writers just kidding they need worse writers just kidding I never watch it just kidding I never miss it just kidding just kidding.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  100. Michael

    Someone seiously didn't compare Kristen Wiig to Gilda Radner, did they?

    October 31, 2008 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  101. Robert

    Poehler is part of the reason the show has gone downhill since the days of Ferrell, Gasteyer, and O'Teri. I'm not sure why, but it seems lately that the SNL writers find one funny quirk, and try to turn it into a sketch. Whereas before this has worked (such as Will Ferrell's uninterested doctor skit), the latest come off sophmoric and definitely not funny. This brings me to Wiig, who beats a joke so far into the ground, you'd think after one sketch you'd never see the sight of it again. But the following week there she is, doing the same skit with the same jokes over and over again. How many times can you see Wiig chewing gum annoyingly before it is no longer funny? SNL seems to think 30-40 times should do.

    The beauty of the old days was the variety of skits, so they didn't grow stale. Cheri O'Teri's old lady skit, where she takes the kid's ball away was histerically funny and an instant classic. But how many times did she use that premise? I'd say in her entire time on SNL, she probably did that skit less times than the much less funny Target lady skit has been mercilessly run.

    If SNL wants to get better, Lorne needs to focus on bringing in creative minds who can come up with a constant stream of ideas, like Andy Samberg for instance. I really hope the show turns a corner, I don't think I can stand the "high school drama class free day" feel much longer.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  102. Amanda

    Maybe if Seth Meyers could write a decent sketch for once...

    October 31, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  103. JT

    To those that don't think Wiig is a huge talent, you're dead wrong, and the show really needs her to be bigger than she was last season. I've watched the show all my life, and it's always been up and down, since the 80s it's always been big during an election year, this is not new.

    The cast is incredibly talented, save a few I wish would politely leave (Keenan Thompson, Andy Samberg, Casey Wilson), although I get the sense that those three were hired to play to the 15-25 crowd.

    SNL has historically pulled talent from The Groundlings and Second City, but these newer cast members have come from places like Upright Citizen's Brigade in New York and iO in Chicago/LA – all Del Close era improvisers. Other SNLers that trained with Del: Bill Murray, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Tim Meadows, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Horatio Sans, list goes on.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  104. Used to love SNL

    Yup, SNL used to be funny. All the time. Like many others who had stopped watching it, I tuned in for all of the Tina Fey performances. And on the night Palin actually showed up, guaranteeing huge viewership, what did they put on? One of the lamest pieces ever shown on TV–an entire segment built around the term "Fart Face." It will take a lot more than good replacements for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to bring that show back to being a TV destination.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  105. EDS

    Kristen Wiig is the most annoying person on the show. I very rarely laugh at any of her characters. She plays the same character in every skit. She reminds me of Maya Rudolph – also horrible, using the same voice and mannerisms for every character. Ugh! If Kristen Wiig's characters are the future, I don't think I'll be able to continue watching.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  106. Methuselah

    SNL has always found the best and brightest to play as paart of the ensemble cast. Sometimes it takes a couple years to get the chemistry right.

    The show has always been 1 part genius, 1 part funny, and 1 part crap. Even in it's so called 'prime' half of what was presented to the viewers failed miserably. Although, "Weekend Update" has seen a popularity rise because of the the ample political/election material, it has also sucked at times.

    Rest assured, any demise in popularity (in the short-term) will be offset by a continued climb to something more relevant, more funny, and more of what we have all come to expect, a haven for the cultivation of comedy.

    Thanks SNL for a lifetime of funny.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  107. Steve

    Dan Akroyd to Jane Curtain: "You jump from bed to bed with the frequency of a cheap ham radio." Edgy, funny, and rarely equalled. That's what this show needs – some edge. It's the best concept on television, but often gets bogged down with lame choices.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  108. DW

    Don't forget about the biggest SNL alum failure to date, Jimmy Fallon. How bout that movie "career" of his.

    Can't wait to see him tank the 12:30 slot on NBC. Can you say "train wreck"??

    October 31, 2008 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  109. A Jizzle

    people seem to forget how unfunny SNL was before Will Ferrel and Gang brought new life to it. this show seems to run cycles, if it gets canceled, we could miss out on the next great cast.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  110. jamie

    The people who are saying that the show isn't funny anymore should realize something... the show isn't written for you anymore. Just like it wasn't written for your parents when you thought it was hilarious. You've gotten old, and SNL will likely still be on and relevant for another 35 years.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  111. Pete

    Kristin Wiig is really very funny, but let's face it: SNL's success is not at all dependent on the success of "another breakout female star". Tina Fey is good, Amy Poeller has her moments, but for the most part these female cast members are not all the publicity has made them out to be. Molly Shannon, Cheri O'Teri, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer... they all had their moments but had a tendency to wear out their welcome real fast. All the greatest names in SNL history- Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Jon Lovitz, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Mike Meyers, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, David Spade, Norm MacDonald, Kevin Nealon, Will Ferrell... noticing a pattern? It's not sexism, it's the truth. There have been ok females in the past few years but to pretend that "the women are saving the show" is a major exaggeration and an unnecessary one to boot. Seth Meyers was always better than Amy Poeller on Weekend Update anyway.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  112. Me

    I was never a big fan of Amy anyway, Kristen is more than capable of filling the void. Sketch comedy is always hit and miss, right from season one SNL has been hit and miss. Some skits do go on far too long, would be good for more shorter sharper skits on SNL.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  113. steve

    Alex: The Lawrence Welk show skit has had myself and my friends, who are all extremely creative and hysterical, in stiches; Kristen Wiig as the bizarre sister with the baby doll hands was hilarious; bummer that you didn't catch the same funny that we (and a lot of other viewers) did....you missed out.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  114. Meg

    Casey Wilson is NOT funny! I cannot, for the life of me, understand why she is on SNL. Every week I hope that she'll be funny, but she has yet to even make me crack a smile. She can't deliver a line... everything sounds the same... and she seems uncomfortable. I can't understand how she got the gig.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  115. totally neutral

    And what of Poehler? The entertainment world has been littered with the failed sitcoms and movies of “SNL” veterans. I’d hate to see Poehler end up in a version of “It’s Pat,” “A Night at the Roxbury,” “The Ladies’ Man” and Molly Shannon’s new flop of a show “Kath and Kim.”

    UH – I think SNL veterans as a whole have embraced many more successes than failures. You must be under 30.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  116. Steve

    I've been a consistent viewer of SNL since the second show (back in the mid-70's). I think the quality (rather than popularity) improvements have been coming over a series of years (good Weekend Update personalities, SNL Digital Shorts, etc.). Some of the sketches are definitely lame (as has been noted by others). Glad to see that others have pointed out that Kristen Wiig has definite talent, but gets slotted into some very lame recurring roles. I guarantee that I will fast-forward through anything with her as the "can't deal with a surprise" woman, or similar).

    As for adding new female talent, check out the set of characters from this YouTube video (from Broadway Star Leslie Kritzer):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihjy6dBVXvk Some hysterically funny stuff. She could address the fact, that ever since Maya left the show, there's been a lack of good singing from the cast.

    Andy Samberg's Mark Wahlberg bit has been the best thing he's done this year. Jon Hamm was a great choice as a host & I hope they bring more "under the radar" people in as hosts. And big props to Darrell Hammond for doing consistently great characterizations for many years.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  117. Mary

    The show hasn't been that funny for quite some years. Jimmy Fallon and Horatio Sans were the funniest actors they had. They need to bring Horatio back.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  118. DLagent

    Kristen Wiig – not funny. That surprise sketch the other week was PAINFUL, and so was Suze Orman.

    Kenan Thompson – not funny. Nickelodeon stars do not automatically become SNL stars.

    I personally think that the restaurant sketch with Bobby Moynihan was one of the funniest things I've seen in a very long time. I was a bit confused when I first watched it, but after watching it a couple more times, it became more and more hysterical.

    I'm not a huge fan of Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers on Weekend Update. I always get the feeling that I'm watching a couple of 5 year olds in their first school play as I watch them goof up the lines, giggle, and look at each other.

    As was previously said, SNL tends to be cyclical... it's good, then it's not, then it is again. I personally think they're on the downside of the slope right about now.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  119. Randall

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

    Since "Saturday Night Live" was never funny (from its inception in 1975 onward), why is this thing still on?

    Oh, sure, it's had its bright spots, with a few memorable skits and some genuinely funny people (e.g., John Belushi, Billy Crystal, Eddie Murphy, among others).

    But otherwise, the show, as a whole, just ain't funny. Never has been.

    I agree with one of the other reviewers. This horse should have been put out to pasture a long time ago.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  120. Ms. L

    Really, Kristin is the worst person on the show? And the new chick with the big eyes who can only do Rachael Ray – she's better?

    They should have Justin Timberlake on more often – his shows are always fabulous.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  121. BostonMike

    "Wiig is by far the most brilliant of the women remaining ..." That is not saying much, isn't Casey Wilson the only other remaining female cast member? I find everytime Wiig comes on the screen (unless it is the A-holes) or Kenan Thompson for that matter, I need to turn the channel, because their skits are usually just plain stupid and not funny.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  122. Nathan S.

    How many times in the history of SNL have people said that it didn't have much longer? That it wasn't funny anymore? I think it is more that it isn't funny to you anymore, cause guess what, you are alot older than you were 10 years ago. SNL is an ever changing enigma, and when we are living in an age of awkward humor, abstract and absurd humor, anti-humor even, dominating the younger generation, and an older generation that simply does not get it, you have to realize that you need to go with the flow or watch something else. I hear madTV is still on. Go there. I want you to look me directly in the eye and say that Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Will Forte, Jason Sudeikous, Kristen Wiig, Seth Meyers, even the two newbies Bobby Moynihan, and the girl, are not laugh out loud hysterical. Only weak link on the show is Kenan. The truth is, SNL has been very funny, and quite relevant the last two seasons, people have just been turned off by the Jimmy Fallon era. I am here to tell the world. He reign of terror is over. Embrace this cast. They are, by far, the most reminiscent of the original "Not ready for prime time players" (Bill Hader obviously being the Dan Akroyd of the gang).

    October 31, 2008 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  123. Bo Zho

    SNL has its cyclic ups and down, stretched out over decades. I no longer watch it as frequently as I did when I was in High School (early 90s), but I know that has more to do with me and a change in my lifestyle than the quality of the show. Now or in the near future, I'm sure the kids of many of these posters will find the show hilarious.

    To those who bash Keenan Thompson – I think of him as the funniest male cast member on the current show. Even while playing a background character (like in the recent Joe Biden / John Murtha sketch) and not doing a whole lot, Keenan makes me laugh just in the way he holds his face.

    Andy Samberg on the other hand, what a disappointment after ' Lazy Sunday'.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  124. CV

    While they're at it, they need to hire someone to do a better Obama impression, too.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  125. Tom

    I used to love SNL but it just hurts to watch now. The only reason I laugh when I watch it is becasue I am laughing at myself for thinking something might be funny if I turn on SNL. Then I realize how bad the show has gotten and start to cry.

    Where did they find some of the actors? Was Lorne Michaels just shoping a Home Depot and asked the first people he saw on isle 7 to be on his show.

    Do you hear that noise?........... Its the sound of John Belushi turning in his grave.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  126. Susan from Princeton

    I don't get Tina Fey's success either. According to the ratings, nobody watches "30 Rock", which I find infinitely annoying despite Alec Balwin's brilliant presence. Yet the NBC execs continue to keep it on life support. "Baby Mama" was OK, but I was distracted by how much Tina Fey was so obviosuly taken with herself throughout the entire movie. The excellent "Mean Girls" is her zenith so far, and it's been all downhill from there.

    BTW, Fey's musician husband is way hotter than she is. Get HIM a show already.

    Poehler is OK, but her impersonations suck (think Hillary Clinton) and without the newscast all she had was the rap thing going for her.
    Even then, it was almost always written be someone else (Seth Myers wrote the one that Palin was supposedly going to perform). She's good with physical comedy, that's about it. Oh, Amy, thanks for finally retiring those awful skits featuring the annoying little girl who speaks with a lisp. Evidently, Poehler sold that character's voice to some cartoon my daughter watches.

    It's Wiig who is is incredible. I think she's the most gifted female comic ever to appear on SNL. She can do wicked impersonations, she has the physical comedy down, and she comes off every bit as cerebral as Fey, and without the artifice of those stupid glasses. Plus, she's gorgeous. It's her time to shine.

    Casey show promise but still needs some seasoning. With her, Kristin, and maybe the addition of Iliza Shlesinger (Last Comic Standing), there'll be a strong female presence on the show. Badly needed if they insist on keeping that adolescent retard Andy Samberg on much longer.

    Is it me, or does the marriage between Poehler and Arnet look a little strained, even before the pregancy?

    October 31, 2008 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  127. gus

    Kristin Wiig should be fired. She's the worst person on the show.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  128. Jeff

    People who bash SNL blend together the highlights of the years they were superfans. It's easy to say the first 5 years were the best or the early '90s were the best. Yet, SNL has always been uneven. Sure it's funny but for every good sketch there are about 3 that you can never figure out how it made it to the live show. Watch a DVD of the first three seasons and sure there's the samuri and coneheads but then there's some stuff that isn't date, it just wasn't funny back then (listen to the lack of audience laughter). people just need things to complain about. if you don't find SNL funny anymore, stop watching it. the same goes for everyone who likes to take shots at the Simpsons, Letterman and every other show that bored people find time to complain about on the internet.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  129. Dan

    SNL has it moments, but has generally been pretty lame. I've been watching off and on since the mid 70's. Nowdays I watch the opening skit, digital short and the weekend update and maybe one other skit. I can't stand the music segments – never have. If they got rid of those it would be much better. Thank god for TIVO!

    You know SNL is in need of fresh blood when it is regularly out-satirized by the old-folks radio show Prarie Home Companion!

    October 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  130. amanda

    why is kath and kim a flop i think that show is hilarious and often find myself quoting it

    October 31, 2008 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  131. Bubba

    Two words: Sarah Palin. They could go on for years just doing Palin jokes, and she's got lots more material for them, ya, you betcha.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  132. Madlogic

    It's not sad to see them go at all. Maybe now the "L" in SNL will stand for "Live" again instead of "Liberal."
    SNL has been hit and miss for years, but I (and a lot of people) just got sick of having liberalism jammed down our throats while shoddily disguised as humor.
    The Digital Shorts were consistently the best parts of the show while I was still watching and they'll go back to being the most watchable and popular once the 2 political one-trick ponies leave for good.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  133. ACL

    Come on now, why dis Keenan? They don't give him enough to do. Oooo-weeee, Teeshane. Need more Deep House Dish. And I miss his Star Jones, which disappeared when Finesse did. The show definitely has it's ups and downs, but Kristen, et al can carry it off – if they get a ltitle help from the writers. (oh, and the new guy is a poor substitute for Horatio Sanz – who wasn't the best but was pretty damn funny – Jimmy Buffet, Elton John, "I'm Carol!") I'm keeping my fingers crossed but I sense another unfunny down period on the horizon ....

    October 31, 2008 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  134. shannon

    Wiig, to me, seems like a hybrid of Gilda Radner and Laraine Newman–great character work and great physical comedy. As others have pointed out, this is what made Molly Shannon so engaging. Hopefully, even after the election and after SNL's bump from it, they continue to provide her with hilarious material.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  135. Christine B

    We all thought this same thing would happen after the departure of Farley, Rock, Sandler, Hartman, etc. This happens, and there will always be new and fresh, up and coming comedians to fill the shoes

    October 31, 2008 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  136. Steve

    Stopped watching SNL regularly in the early 90s...I think it should have been laid to rest around then. What I've seen since is was horrible with only a few bright spots here and there. I used to wait every week to watch Phil Hartman, Sandler, Myers...and it was great in the 70s. Writing stinks. And most the talent not what it used to be either. Can it make a comeback? Dunno. With cable and more TV choices it's hard.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  137. Nic

    Tina Fey – go hoos!
    As for life without Tina and Amy, SNL will be just fine.
    Kristen Wiig is one of the funniest women on television – she's very good with the deconstruction comedy (much in the same way Adam Sandler was); Bill Hader and Fred Armisen are two of the most gifted guys who have been on the show in years; Samberg's digital shorts are brilliant; If anything, Kenan is the weak link, and his skits are extremely one-dimensional; As for the writing, there are many talented writers out there, and they need to realize that repeating characters is much different than repeating sketches (ie, the Michael Phelps/Peyton Manning motivational coach sketch was carbon copy) whereas McGruber is very, very good, and always progressive. Otherwise, hire me – I'm good with lights.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  138. MacGruber


    October 31, 2008 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  139. Dustin

    I'm personally sick of the liberal slant of SNL. They make fun of McCain and Palin every week, especially during the weekend update segment. they did how many obama skits? I don't watch it anymore, and it's kind of a let down. I wouldn't be sad to see it go

    October 31, 2008 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  140. Lauren

    Hey! A NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY was a quality movie!
    Amy Poehler had a career before SNL. She's super talented and I'm sure she'll constantly reinvent herself.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  141. John

    The things I don't think are funny my kids think are histerical and vice versa, with a few exceptions where we agree (Lawrence Welk skit: "Hilarious!"). It seems like they are moving their target audience to younger people every year... I think the struggle for talent and inevitible turnover of staff is good for the show. As funny as it was at the time, I don't want 30 years of variations on the Land Shark skit.

    October 31, 2008 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  142. Raymond

    Time to ride off in the Sunset, same for NBC they have both lost their way and value to society. Humor is funny when displayed evenly, oh well Mad TV is doing good.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  143. Joe Chicago, IL

    If SNL really wants to be funny again, it has to do what it's been doing for the past few weeks: taking real shots at people.
    The Palin and Mark Wahlberg sketches have been very effective because they haven't been afraid to bruise people's egos.
    You know that saying - if you haven't offended anyone, it's not really comedy? In this case it's true. Remember the classic SNL - Belushi as Elizabeth Taylor, choking on a piece of chicken? Could NOT have been more offensive to Liz at the time. But it was like "horror comedy" - you couldn't stop watching that sketch.
    The person who said "it's in the writing" is correct.
    SNL is ALWAYS about the writing.
    People are going to watch anyway.
    The past month has given more of the public a REASON to watch.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  144. Bryan

    Kristin Wiig is actually pretty terrible. Every skit she is in she plays the same character. I cannot stand to watch her. The first couple times it was funny but now its just old. Maybe they should get some new talent on the show? Talent that can write as well as act.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  145. Robin

    While there are some great cast members on SNL, hopefully the writers will try to put Kenan Thompson in the spotlight . He has done some great characters and I would like to see him do more.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  146. Scott

    The "disaster" was letting Lorne Michaels get away with keeping it on the air way too long. It stopped being funny after the "Church Lady" was on. MAD TV is and has been far and away BETTER than SNL over the last 7 years!

    October 31, 2008 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  147. kirt

    The Ladies Man was freakin awesome, don't ever talk smack about that movie!

    October 31, 2008 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  148. Steve

    Wiig's characters are all one trick ponies. OK I'll give you Suze Orman that one is pretty funny. The Target lady & surprise Sue are utterly redundant. Sorry Kristen Wiig is not the next leading lady just because you say so. I am not an SNL hater, in fact the opposite. She is just not funny.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  149. Todd

    The show isn't even remotely funny anymore. The weekend update is a far strech from the wonderful rantings of Dennis Miller to the mindless garbage of Fey and Poehler. Its supposed to be fake news, not a forum for your personal political views with horrid attempts at sarcasm and humor.

    People have better things to do on a Saturday night than to sit around and watch these junior high antics. Sure even back in the mid ninteys with that crew its humor was very sophmoric, but it was still entertaining.

    They need to fire everyone, clean house, and start from scratch to try to bring a new fresh feel to the sketch comedy scene. Who knows, with people feeling a penny crunch cable might go out the window and air broadcasts back up to the top, they should invest now in the future of the show or sell the stock before it plummets (more than it has.)

    October 31, 2008 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  150. JoeyG

    I too do not like Wiig very much and have maintained that most of here characters are similar and similarly annoying. Target lady is hysterical – I do like that one – but so many other characters stem from the same source. She needs to broaden her characters if she wants to be a player. BTW: Tina fey was never a major force onscreen as much as she was the head writer of the show.

    October 31, 2008 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  151. Michele d

    I love love LOVE Kristen Wiig..she's absolutely a breakout star. Surprise Sue and Target are about the funniest skits I've ever seen! SNL is just something you need to watch and stop giving it a rating, people! Comedy is comedy.. SNL is like anything else..there's good skits and then there's nights when it isnt' the funniest.. but they all put forth so much effort..and it's been around forever.. and personally I love it no matter what. MacGruber is soooo funny. Just because everyone's all cranky Fey and Poehler are done doesn't give everyone a right to knock the show in its entirety. Did anyone see Hot Rod? Andy Samburg is VERY funny. I love that movie. Not everyone thinks that all the same things are funny–so don't worry about it and just laugh already. Comedy is in the eye of the beholder. 🙂

    October 31, 2008 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |

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