Friday, 27 February 2015

Saturday Night Live - SNL rocks !!!

I had been meaning to write about this one for a long time, but with the 40th year anniversary celebrations, its just right.

I never knew about SNL till the last few years.  I had heard the phrase 'Live from NY' quite a few times but couldn't place the reference. But now I know and I can understand the privilege and honor to both host and perform for SNL

I think SNL is a far cry from what you normally get in talk shows - be it letterman, Leno, or the others.  They also have their skits and short videos but SNL does it best.

This is one of those difficult and undecipherable secrets.  And I always wonder how certain magazines become such great institutions - right from New Yorker, to the Economist, National Geographic etc. 

I mean its obvious that there is a great deal of quality control and of course great talents but they manage to get it right almost always.

SNL - and I have only seen I reckon less than a quarter of their best shows, manages to break ground in almost all their performances.

Be it social commentary, politics, other talk shows, celebrities, or just pure fun for the sake of fun - they get it bang on.

And that's one of the striking things which gives you a picture of what the US must be like - I mean SNL lampoons everyone from Jesus Christ to jews and they do it unabashedly without fear or uproar time and time again.  It says a lot about the freedom of expression practiced in the US media. (check out the religious parodies section)

The commentary about celebrities and the politics and presidents are done really tastefully (if that's a way to describe this). They never cross the fine line of this being a personal attack or a judgemental position, or mocking the individual - its a simple fun filled note.

I also liked how SNL notices social trends and captures them - be it in the media, advertising or just plain living.

The talents who make it to SNL and who eventually have leapfrogged to great stardom - each one of them deserves an article by themselves.  My favourites are practically everyone from Maya Rudolph, to Amy poehler, keenan Thompson, Eddie murphy, adam sandberg, Chris rock, etc etc. 

Though I didn't particularly like some of the sections - weekend updates can be a little painful, as most non-americans cannot place the reference.

Hosting would be an honour, and the best Hollywood and TV celebrities would jump at it. Tom hanks, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake even Robert De Niro has hosted the show (even though he's made it only ONCE to the new York talk show by Dave letterman).

But their best ones would be when the politicians would drop by - Good ol' Sarah Palin became a regular, and even Obama and Hilary have put in appearances there (and of course, how could Monica Lewinsky then not join in...)

Some sketches became properties and were repeated again and regulars, like the church lady, The Joe Pesci show, whats up with that, Bronx beat, Celebrity Jeopardy (with an outstanding Sean connery lookalike) etc.

Similarly a few talents would be a little below par - but still pulled up by the rest of the cast.  I personally think the segment of weekend update is my usually 'toilet break' or 'raid the fridge' section, even if Tina Fey was on it

A good thing is that now its on youtube (though where I stay, a lot of the videos are banned - don't ask!).  But if there's a celebration of all things American, of humour and all the greatness of NYC - it has to be SNL


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