The TV Addict How-To: Fix SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE in 5 Easy Steps

Remember When SNL Was Funny?

Forget Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin. America has voted and the unanimous choice for November’s winning ticket is Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Whose much blogged about opener to SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE’s thirty-fourth season completely knocked it out of the park.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the rest of the show’s eighty-four minutes and forty-two seconds. Which played out about as funny as the current economic crisis America currently finds itself in.

But before you accuse this TV Addict of playing couch potato quarterback. Because let’s face, as the saying goes, “Those who blog…. don’t write for SNL” [Or something like that!] isn’t coming to the table empty-handed. We’ve got five surefire ways that America’s late night institution can very quickly improve itself prior to Saturday night at 11:30PM.

Step #1: No More Hosts from the Sporting World
After his record-breaking Olympics, we all knew it was coming. Heck, this TV Addict even went on record by predicting it. There was no way Michael Phelps, the savior of NBC’s Summer Olympics wasn’t going to open up the thirty-fourth season of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. But you know what else we predicted, that Michael Phelps would tank. Especially because as Saturday’s installment so clearly illustrated — this season’s team of actors and writers simply aren’t funny enough to help propel Phelps [or any athlete for that matter] to a Gold medal win in the funny department. Which brings us to Step #2…

Step #2: Fire Fred Armisen
The only funny thing about Fred Armisen is that he specializes in characters that fail to connect with the audience. I mean think about that for a moment. Billy Smith — a Native American stand-up comedian who tells jokes that no one gets, Mackey — a senile drummer with poor timing and Nicholas Fehn — a political comedian who can’t improvise to save his life. If it wasn’t so painful to watch on screen, it would almost be hilarious that Armisen’s fictional characters are about as ‘funny’ as he is.

Step #3: Cut the Musical Guest
While musical guests may have been seen as cutting-edge thirty-four years ago, it’s pretty much this TV Addict’s bathroom break in the current world we live in. If I really wanted to watch the latest musical act, there’s this little thing called the internet, iTunes, MySpace, MTV, VH1, MuchMusic, Late night talk shows… I think you get the idea.

Step #4: Bring Back Cheri Oteri
Before the ink [sorry, pixels] dry on the media’s ever-so-predictable “How Will SNL Survive without Amy Poehler” piece, this TV Addict is here with an answer. The Perfect Cheer! Translation: it’s time to bring back one of SNL’s funniest leading ladies. Cheri Oteri. Who after leaving the show in 2000 has inexplicably failed to become the mega-star she so richly deserves to be.

Step #5: Be More Funny
To quote one Homer Simpson, “Be More Funny!” Studio 8H houses some of television’s sharpest mind and funniest comedians. Was another off-putting Kristin Wigg sketch honestly the best they could come up. Or as Weekend Update Anchors Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers might have put it, “Really… that was the best SNL could do following a three month summer hiatus. Really!?”

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  • nctodc

    With regard to Step #1, I have two words for you: Peyton Manning. His guest hosting stint on SNL was, hands down, one of the funniest episodes of the show in a long, long time. Athletes are capable of delivering in the hosting job; they just haven’t picked the right athletes.

    Sidenote: I’m curious to what extent The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have hampered SNL’s ability to make fun of the news as they use to–it’s hard to tell an original joke when Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert deliver punchlines all week long.

  • nctodc,

    While I’ll concede that Peyton Manning did a decent job. I still believe that if you look at SNL’s history – the bad far outweighs the good when it comes to sports stars as hosts.

  • Chris

    I find Fred Armesen hilarious. His characters on Weekend Update are the only characters that never really have a new script for every new appearance… y’know like how Target Lady, Debbie Downer, The Couple that Should be Divorced, ect ect ect have never changed from their first sketch.

    They should fire Keenan Thompson. Oh my god… complete lack of talent.

    The main thing they need to do is cut down the length of sketches. No one needs to see a 10 minute sketch, when the joke got tired 3 minutes into it.

    Also, I know why they have repeating characters. Afterall, they are writing a 90 minute show a week. But, if you’re going to use old characters, also use new scripts. Last season, Seth Rogen was in an unfunny sketch where he and Kristen Wiig were annoying kids. This season, the same sketch was recreated with Swimmerboy, with little changing. Really… one year later, and they barely touched the script. Imagine after seeing Star Wars, excited for Empire Strikes Back, and only to find it being the same movie, but with Ron Howard as Luke.

  • Dan

    NO way man. Nicholas Fehn is second only to Jean K Jean on Weekend Update. Not to mention Armisen’s Howie Mandel.

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