Two Impressions About SNL Turning 40

I stayed up to watch most of the SNL 40th anniversary special last night.  I doubt that I know anyone who didn’t watch at least part of it, even if we don’t watch the show on a regular basis anymore.

I roll with those who laugh.

My first impression after watching the show was that while the skits on Saturday Night Live have had their ups and downs over the years, the players who performed the skits have been consistently amazing, if for no other reason than that they showed up.

It’s easy to forget how difficult it is to be involved in a live performance and make it work to the best of your ability.  There’s a lesson there: just because you aren’t a brilliant success in one place, doesn’t mean that you’re a failure.

Just look at what some of these players went on to do.

And my second impression is that SNL used to have some funny, universally recognized catchphrases [“Jane, you ignorant slut.”“Well, isn’t that special?”] but that’s no longer the case, is it?  If it is, I never hear or read them.

I miss those snarky SNL characters, with their enduring catchphrases and spot on observations, who made me laugh at the foibles of human nature while bringing skits to life.  Those hilarious characters, who permeated our real world, were nothing if not memorable.

Like the ones from long ago who we saw last night.

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24 thoughts on “Two Impressions About SNL Turning 40

  1. The Fox reference was the highlight of the night. Your observations are spot on – have to appreciate how they produce that show weekly on a live basis – not easy. And I too miss some of those characters.


    • Zen-Den, knew that you’d love the quote! Live TV is so rare now– as are memorable characters with catchphrases that embody one specific [often whacked] way of thinking that we all encounter daily. I miss that.


    • Margaret, you never watched Saturday Night Live?!!! I’m amazed. It was a staple during my teen years and early 20s because it provided the best, and sometimes only, source for all things funny/edgy/absurd. That’s why I wrote about it this morning, seeing those clips last night made me relive happier, simpler times. I’m sorry that you missed it.


  2. Managed to catch part of the show. (Is it just me or did Eddie M not seem really happy to be there?) Those hysterical characters from the older shows – how they are missed. Less witty, less thinking jokes with the more recent ones. (Locally NBC’s ch 2 has the blonds – even a couple of men – Molly could do the “news” better.)
    Coneheads and sharks knocking on the door. Sigh.


    • philmouse, Eddie M seemed very put upon to be there at the celebration. I don’t know why, nor do I know why I was being told that at one point he saved SNL.

      We must be lucky here because our local newscasters seem to be with it. But when Jane Curtin called out Fox News for what it is, I thought that I’d pee my pants laughing at the truth of it.


      • He seemed miffed and annoyed. We always thought he was funny. Wonder if the tabloids will go nuts speculating. Not really familiar with FOX national – the local fox is all Hispanic. Cute hyper expressive ones, but really San Antonio style now (you’d probably have to live here to understand that) – it’s funny ho w the local stations here seemed to have carved up the territory and each has an ethnic focus with anchors, stories, and such – we’ve got a new batch of faces on screens so it must be close to ratings season. Always interesting to see how the new ones manage the all the odd regional names of places here. We tend to be channels switchers a lot and manage to cover all the local news channels – only way to get more of what’s actually happening.


        • Eddie seemed miffed to be sure. Weird behavior considering…

          We switch channels all the time, too. This is a tri-state region, so each news channel juggles the news to fit its own agenda, meaning that certain stations prefer certain states. Confusing when we first moved here, but now seems totally normal.


          • When you move around, you do notice the quirkiness of the news in various places. sad there’s no such thing as neutral – just the facts – no opinions – news reporting anymore. And now they are they are making it up…maybe the anchors really wanted to be writers and this is as close as it gets – and it pays a lot more! (giggles)

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            • You’re right that there is no such thing as neutral news anymore. Maybe there wasn’t back then and we just thought that there was. I adore your idea that anchors really want to be writers. Explains a lot.

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    • Carrie, it was long and uneven, but overall it reminded me how wonderful SNL sketches could be. On the DVR you’ll be able to fast forward through the less interesting bits, while savoring the humorous– which might be the best way to watch it. For me, the celebration was a walk down memory lane, laughter & tears included.

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  3. For those who missed it – including me – it will probably show up on Hulu, though episodes seem to be delayed a couple weeks. Clips are up.

    I miss the old cast. SNL was the best part of babysitting on Saturday Nights! I’ve only watched clips of the recent cast and it just doesn’t hold up to the classics. Either that or I’m getting old. I can imagine myself standing on my porch and shaking my fist at these kids who don’t remember the land shark or the church lady. Or Rosanna Rosanna Danna.

    You might enjoy this article on Rolling Stone


  4. I caught a good half hour of it. Lots of fun. I miss the catch phrases too. Loved how everyone came back to bring their characters back to life. Very cool. Especially Matt the motivational speaker–Melissa did Chris proud!


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