Everyone’s the Lorne

Filed Under Sketch Comedy

Lots of “insiders” have stated who they think are going to be leaving SNL. Who they told and what they told below:

Wow, way to prove William Goldman right, huh? Nobody does know anything. There was no real concensus in the comments in our “Be the Lorne” Game either. Everybody seems to like someone or if they don’t like him or her, think there are much bigger problems to be addressed. I was surprised at the couple of voices that Amy Poehler should leave - simply because she’s too good for the show. People aren’t even optimistic that dropping six players will help. That’s rough.

To me, the house cleaning should be even bigger… not because the players aren’t good, but because the compromises that are made to keep 16 players or even 10 players happy are just too much. Sketches have to be put on simply to throw a bone at a player. I don’t know if I have a better number in my head, but let’s go with seven. Seven should be enough to handle any idea the writers have, keeping in mind that at least one role in almost every sketch will be handled by the guest host.

If I had my seven it would be: Armisen, Parnell, Poehler, Rudolph, Thompson, Samberg, Sudeikis. Some of these were tough to make and to be honest, I’m filling holes here with a couple that I would want better players for but need because of their physical types. I think I’ve dropped a fair amount of the players who supply the bigger impressions, mostly because I come from the school of Chevy-as-Ford, i.e. you don’t need to look like the guy to play the guy. What do you think? Is seven too few? Too many? How wrong am I here?

Commenter Jack Szwergold made a good point in that again, why should SNL be 90 minutes? The last half hour is dead weight anyway. It’s a great point and time could be spent on the premises that do survive the shorter airtime. But I think this has to be done in conjunction with a deep staff cut - so the focus won’t just be getting on air but getting something great on air.

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Posted by Mike on 08/25  at  06:56 PM

Too many players may weaken the show, I’m not sure.  Look at its heyday during the first few seasons: a handful of actors and writers, and it made history.  Which isn’t to say that the current players are weak—on the contrary, individually they are all solid performers.

Maybe Lorne thought that overt competition would produce the best performances.  And, from a purely acting standpoint, I think they’re well done.  In my view, it is the writing and/or politics-of-selection that has caused SNL’s recent decline.  If I had my druthers, they would have a rule of no more than 3 sketches for any given character.

I do dislike the idea of shortening SNL to 60 minutes (unless they cut the musical guest—which lately has been the Billboard band du jour).  I recall some of the best sketches appearing in the last half hour.  It seems like that’s when the writers get a little more leeway to put on the weird and experimental stuff.  Granted, there is a lot of crap that gets in that slot, but not worth cutting the show by one-third for.

Posted by Ravi on 08/27  at  03:18 AM

I like the idea of cutting it to 60 minutes.  It would hopefully force the writers to shorten the sketches and cut the bad ones, and an episode would not overstay its welcome.  Even at its best it is kind of a slog to get through an episode.

SNL needs to be fearless.  Give people a reason to tune in.  The Daily Show has outdone Weekend Update, and even old Mr. Show episodes feel fresher than current SNL.

I can accept the fact that they will do sketches on current politics and pop culture, though that’s not my favorite kind of sketch humor.

Posted by Jack on 08/27  at  09:16 PM

After writing the initial “cut the show down to 60 minutes” comment, I have an idea that can allow SNL to have 90 minutes of TV airtime, yet also have one show that is 60 minutes long.

Shorten the main show to 60 minutes (obviously), but what about doing a 30 minute primetime SNL “satellite” show. Hasn’t NBC toyed around with the idea of bringing SNL into primetime in the past? Then why not make a sketch comedy show that’s short and sweet and can be a teaser to connect to the main show.

It can bridge both markets and focus creative energies more.  At least in theory.

Posted by seamus on 08/28  at  02:12 AM

I used to agree that 60 minutes made more sense, but I’ve recently thought otherwise. For the past five years (when I can bear to watch), I’ve noticed that some of the edgier and funnier sketches are going on after 12:30, while much of the deadweight sits in the first hour, probably because they tend to put their worst recurring sketches (“Gays in Space”) up front.

I think everyone’s glad to see Sanz go. Pohler’s SNL’s Kobe Bryant—massively talented, but needs to share the ball a lot more.

Finally, I don’t know any of the writers on the show, but the writing over the past few years has kind of disgusted me with its intolerance. Particularly the sketches with Finesse and Kenan have bothered me—they all seem to be plays on “aren’t black people lazy?” or “aren’t black people ignorant?” There’s a HUGE difference between making fun of racism and making fun of races.

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