I was very, very drunk

Two things happened this past weekend, independently of each other, but they sort of tie together pretty well. I caught the latest episode of Saturday Night Live, with Jake Gyllenhall and the Shins. Now, SNL has been poor for a long time, but this episode was a new low. Just flat out bad comedy sketches.

Secondly, I binged on series three of The Fast Show, a BBC sketch show from the late 90s. The difference between that show at its peak and SNL at its current nadir was really stark, and often easy to spot. For one thing, like mid-period Mercury Rev songs, SNL sketches don't know when to end. There were a bunch of them which had a decent premise but just ran and ran and ran. This week, there was one where "two burnt-out soccer moms interview a local author" which stopped being funny pretty quickly. In the last episode I saw, there was one in which a local news broadcast was hosted by two people who really hate the town (Good Morning I Hate This Town).

What's really lacking, though, is a range of good characters for a sketch show. They recur with the "Two A-Holes", people who are jerks and don't answer questions from policemen. Not a lot of mileage there. And don't get me started on the "Deep House Dish" music thing that Kenan hosts, which is terrible.

You want characters, jerks?

* Rowley Birkin, QC
* Dave Angel, Eco Warrior
* The 13th Duke of Wimbourne
* Swiss Toni
* Indecisive Dave
* Chip Cobb, Deaf Stuntman
* The Suits You Sir blokes (guest star: Johnny Depp!)
* and the Cockneys.

And so on. There's hope yet for SNL - the Lonely Island guys have delivered the show's best moments lately, so hopefully there'll be more from them. But honestly, where's good American sketch comedy these days? I wish there was more like this...


Anonymous said...

David Cross also demonstrates the right way to draw out a joke! Why is eating a pretzel so funny?

I've given up hope for SNL, but I'd think a good start for them getting back on track would be to step away from their standby formulas of a talk show with stupid/angry/strange host(s) or a seemingly normal dinner where waaaacky things end up occuring.

Anonymous said...

^ That was Jeremy, by the way.

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