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post #181 of 311 Old 04-12-2010, 10:48 PM
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Yeah, I actually liked his better myself. The guy was just so darned good and funny with everything he did on that show.

But he really acted like him, where Hammond moreso just plays up the mannerisms (like biting the lip, smirking, the thumbs up, etc.).

Hammond looked like a guy made up like him, where Hartman was really more natural.
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post #182 of 311 Old 04-13-2010, 03:30 AM
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Well, asking for a dissection of why it was supposed to have been funny may have been asking too much.

To your specifics, no, the premise didn't really seem clear. The whole female teacher/young student thing hardly seems topical. Maybe back in late '90s during the Mary Kay Letourneau scandal it could have been, but the number of cases don't seem to be going up or down, just going through the typical news cycles. At any rate, the idea of a teacher/student affair is hardly shocking or surprising anymore.

Usually, late-night comedian jokes referencing these sad cases revolve around the homeliness of the teachers, how stupid they are, how naive the children are, etc. The goals of a sketch are usually different, and highlight the absurdity of the situation. Didn't really see that in the sketch, so maybe that was an execution problem.

Often sketches are relatable, but that didn't seem to apply here, either. Maybe a large percentage of SNL watchers are secretly attracted to underage boys, so statutory rape skits feed off of that hidden desire. That seems like a stretch, though.

Maybe the joke was that Tina Fey is actually attracted to that Justin Bieber kid, and so having the power to incorporate him in a sketch with her in the lusting role is some sly wink at the audience showing that women secretly crave power over men, but have to settle for young boys instead. No, that seems overwrought and unlikely.

I appreciate your attempt to help me understand, but perhaps it would help to know which parts of the sketch actually elicited a laugh or even a chuckle.

Scott

Well, as to eliciting laughs, I think I find myself actually laughing with much greater frequency at things not intended to be funny. With comedy endeavors, I rarely ever laugh, so my assessment of whether it is funny rests on other considerations. If something strikes me as clever, well written, well done, a little unusual, executed with commitment even absent the material, may have me thinking it is funny, even hilarious, all sans the actual laugh-inducing component. Perhaps I think making me laugh is probably too much to ask.

Tina Fey is about the funniest person on the planet to me. Her skewed perspective is warmly eccentric, versus bash-you-over-the-head WACKY!, humanistic, gentle, self-effacing. 30 Rock gives me joy and presents things I never would have thought of and illuminates the human condition on an amusing light level. I even sometimes laugh.

She raises the game wherever she appears -- talk show, movie, and here, where SNL is expected to be week to week weak and not at all funny, she makes it "funny." This will always be a subjective thing, but the best humor is perhaps that which is timeless, so I don't think I was making a case for topicality per se, but I will note as a nightly Leno viewer, that he regularly pounces on these older female teacher/male student relationships. There does not even have to be a case in the news currently. It is a standard comedy fallback anymore that there are alot of these cases cropping up in the news, whether this may actually constitute greater incidence is probably unlikely as you point out, but there can be no doubt that folks are always drawn with rapt fascination to them.

This fascination I think is due to curiosity about all thing sexual of course, but also the hypocrisy inherent in our culture, that such age and influence disparity cases are obviously taboo and forbidden, yet have virtually universal at-a-boy kindof acceptance from Fathers, young male peers, etc. -- almost anyone, if you were able to extract actual truth versus posturing, does not react with "shock," or offended sensibilities, yet that is precisely how they are supposed to react. Every human living probably fantasizes about a return to youth, or at very least daydreams about how they might have relived the awkwardness of adolescence with their present understanding and worldliness -- even without the sexual component, this is universal. But this culture gets all freaky when the sex element is introduced, leading to this idiotic charade of "shock," or being "offended" that one might find a younger person the object of daydreams. A fundamental dichotomy such as this is ripe for comedy, parody, a little laughing at our foolishness for reacting one way, pretending another.

That said, if I were to guess, I think the skit very naturally arose out of learning of Justin's readiness to participate in sketch material. The SNL tradition is to lampoon whatever the celebrity is all about, the movies they did that bombed, the scandal they were just involved in -- in fact it is the go-to place for just that. So we have Tina, who alot of folks consider quite hot, but on 30 Rock she is always the one left out, pining away for the perfect romance, playing the older lady to Justin's teen idol sex symbol image. Come on, what else you gonna do? In that sense it was not unexpected at all, except that it lays bare something really juicy about the actual images of real people, and parodies our culture at the same time.

I thought this was very funny. I do not think I laughed at all. BTW, Justin is from Ontario Canada. This is what Wiki Answers says about the age of consent there:


"...the Criminal Code of Canada makes it a crime to touch, for a sexual purpose, any person under the age of 16 years. Section 153 then goes on to prohibit the sexual touching of a person under 18 by a person in three circumstances: if he or she is in a "position of trust or authority" towards the youth, if the youth is in a "relationship of dependency" with him or her or if the relationship is "exploitative". The term "position of trust or authority" is not defined in the Code but the courts have ruled that parents, teachers and medical professionals hold a position of trust or authority towards youth they care for or teach. For determining whether or not a relationship is "exploitative" s. 153 (1.2) of the Code provides that a judge can consider how old the youth is, the difference in ages between the partners, how the relationship evolved and the degree of control or influence that the older partner has over the youth."

So basically the age of 16, Justin's age I think, is considered a pivotal year in consent. Navigating these waters can be treacherous and no one emerges unscathed -- just one reason we would like to laugh at the delicate social, legal, personal, issues involved. I think we all recognize why a teacher should not actually engage a student this way -- that is in the law too (although it seems to give something of a pass to student being over 18), but that objection seems to be primarily exploitation, influence, dependancy. In the sketch, I think the material dealt almost exclusively with fantasy, so we are not even talking about real exploitation or undue influence, just reliving youthful vitality after time left you behind a bit.

But all these issues are very very tricky at any stage of human development, and in any sexual relationship -- they have made a billion comedies centering on these themes, and will make a billion more, but in the end, if a given thing does not strike you as funny, then that is that -- perhaps you were not the intended audience.
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post #183 of 311 Old 04-13-2010, 05:42 AM
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Maybe a large percentage of SNL watchers are secretly attracted to underage boys, so statutory rape skits feed off of that hidden desire. That seems like a stretch, though.

Let me address this more directly: I do believe that a vast majority of viewers of anything Justin appears in are attracted to what Justin may be said to represent -- youth, talent, charisma, good looks, money, fame, power. Whether these elements reside in a man, woman, or child, they always get our notice and are always universally attractive. I would even go so far as to say almost every viewer of anything Justin appears in, at some point fantasizes about sex, in the sense of pondering or musing or daydreaming things of a sexual theme -- our own percieved prowess at that age, why we were or were not attractive then, how many members of the opposite sex seemed to desire us versus this kid who has MILLIONS of opposite sex types desiring time with him, what our lives would have felt like if we were ever in his position. These types of musings are all universal, so again this sketch went right at the heart of it.


Oh, and I should not neglect to state emphatically that I think the number of viewers of SNL that would characterize this sketch as a "statutory rape skit," is almost neglible, so perhaps the fact that you fall into this category is why the universal aspect of the humor escaped you.
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post #184 of 311 Old 04-13-2010, 07:16 PM
 
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tina fey was brilliant.

funniest line I've heard in a long time referencing Bombshell Mcgee

When your body looks like a dirtsbag's binder from 7th grade metalshop...........
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post #185 of 311 Old 04-13-2010, 09:22 PM
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Tina Fey is about the funniest person on the planet to me.

I completely understand that many people find her funny. No question there.

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This fascination I think is due to curiosity about all thing sexual of course, but also the hypocrisy inherent in our culture, that such age and influence disparity cases are obviously taboo and forbidden, yet have virtually universal at-a-boy kindof acceptance from Fathers, young male peers, etc. -- almost anyone, if you were able to extract actual truth versus posturing, does not react with "shock," or offended sensibilities, yet that is precisely how they are supposed to react.

So the humor comes from a winking/scoffing of society's outward disapproval of adult/child sexual relationships?

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Every human living probably fantasizes about a return to youth, or at very least daydreams about how they might have relived the awkwardness of adolescence with their present understanding and worldliness -- even without the sexual component, this is universal. But this culture gets all freaky when the sex element is introduced, leading to this idiotic charade of "shock," or being "offended" that one might find a younger person the object of daydreams. A fundamental dichotomy such as this is ripe for comedy, parody, a little laughing at our foolishness for reacting one way, pretending another.

While that might be ripe for comedy or parody, how was that represented in the skit?

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That said, if I were to guess, I think the skit very naturally arose out of learning of Justin's readiness to participate in sketch material. The SNL tradition is to lampoon whatever the celebrity is all about, the movies they did that bombed, the scandal they were just involved in -- in fact it is the go-to place for just that. So we have Tina, who alot of folks consider quite hot, but on 30 Rock she is always the one left out, pining away for the perfect romance, playing the older lady to Justin's teen idol sex symbol image. Come on, what else you gonna do? In that sense it was not unexpected at all, except that it lays bare something really juicy about the actual images of real people, and parodies our culture at the same time.

That might make sense, if the skit were about Justin's time in school and how he's treated as a celebrity, but he was just playing a normal kid named Jason.

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But all these issues are very very tricky at any stage of human development, and in any sexual relationship -- they have made a billion comedies centering on these themes, and will make a billion more, but in the end, if a given thing does not strike you as funny, then that is that -- perhaps you were not the intended audience.

Sure, there have been lots of comedies made about this, but usually from the student's perspective. The humor usually relates to the audience's reflection on youthful desires to reach for the unobtainable (as you mentioned above), not the from the viewpoint of the lecherous predator's lustful and illegal desires.

Yes, you're probably right, I wasn't the intended audience.

Scott

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post #186 of 311 Old 04-14-2010, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by srw1000 View Post

So the humor comes from a winking/scoffing of society's outward disapproval of adult/child sexual relationships?

While that might be ripe for comedy or parody, how was that represented in the skit?

That might make sense, if the skit were about Justin's time in school and how he's treated as a celebrity, but he was just playing a normal kid named Jason.

Sure, there have been lots of comedies made about this, but usually from the student's perspective. The humor usually relates to the audience's reflection on youthful desires to reach for the unobtainable (as you mentioned above), not the from the viewpoint of the lecherous predator's lustful and illegal desires.

Yes, you're probably right, I wasn't the intended audience.

Scott

Well, of course we are dissecting here, which again is necessarily antithetical to the extraction of humor, but nevertheless humor can be discussed, as long as one does not expect to be suddenly amused where amusement was initially absent, as in your case apparently.

That said, off we go:

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So the humor comes from a winking/scoffing of society's outward disapproval of adult/child sexual relationships?

Even this artificial distinction between adult and child is ridiculous and ripe for parody. The very notion that one day a person is not capable of making determinations for their life in an adult legal context, then one day later after the passage of their 18th birthday, they are suddenly endowed and empowered with wisdom and insight that were wholly lacking before, is a standard imposed by men that bears only marginal relationship to life as the Creator has imparted it to us. The legal age demarcation is more related to societal preservation and establishing some cutoff which is acknowledged to be arbitrary and artificial.

On the sexual side of this, the notion that an adult person, here Tina Fey playing a teacher, would scarcely even recognize the gender of any particular student, would never allow it to enter her conciousness the idea that said student may have a sexual identity even whilst they are swept up the maelstrom of the overpowering, all-consuming, flood of life-altering hormones we call puberty, is on the face of it absurd -- always has been. Especially as we recognize male students are perhaps focusing their attentions on teacher herself. If we are to pretend these things do not exist, it creates an elephant in the room. It is ripe for comedy.

Of course, one day later, when a person turns 18, OMG! I never knew you were a man before! OMG! You are man, I am woman -- oh-oh, that means we could theoretically couple up! OMG! You are an attractive man, I might be open to this! If you think that happens with the passage of one arbitrary day set forth by people you never knew making choices for the rest of us, then it is obvious why this humor eludes you.

There will always be interest in the opposite sex, the universe has been set up this way, yet due to the imperfect contrivance of law, many people feel obliged to pretend that the law represents the boundary between "normal and healthy" desire and a "lecherous predator's lustful and illegal desires." Are you being real with that? Look, if you are going to try and pretend that whether you find someone attractive depends upon first seeing an ID -- without seeing it, you are neutral, unmoved, barely catch any awareness of gender whatsoever, but then you see the ID, and OMG! There it is -- the possibility of changing my life! Going from mundane day-to-day to I AM IN LOVE! Well, there it is -- the ridiculousness of that notion is partly where this comedy derives from.

Also I would take exception to your characterization that Tina's desires were illegal. Fortunately the law has not gotten this absurd. Whatever Tina imagines here, no matter how pornographic, how down and dirty, how raucous and unbridled passionate -- none of that is illegal desire. ACTING UPON IT is what the law hopes to curtail, or at least punish. But in the sketch we see that when she did allow her fantasy life to erupt into action, namely losing herself momentarily and inadvertantly VERBALIZING what she was fantasizing about, she gets her punishment, immediate and devastating -- as I'm recalling the skit, the kid is disgusted and marches out. If you were looking for some evidence of "moral justice," rather than the law intervening, here Tina gets the comeuppance of universal truth -- you can't go back-- this is "desire to reach for the unobtainable" (as you framed it), namely forbidden romance with a student, swatted down.

Part of the universal humor here is that we all know it is folly to fight natural aging, yet the human condition is not bounded by logic always -- sometimes the image we hold of ourselves as never quite truly adult, ever youthful, able to make human connection with any person regardless of some distinctions, holds sway, and we imagine it is all true -- then a kid comes along and says "step aside decrepit fossil, youth blasting through here," and you are summarily chastened.

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That might make sense, if the skit were about Justin's time in school and how he's treated as a celebrity, but he was just playing a normal kid named Jason.

If you can't see that there is a double layer to this skit, I don't know what to tell you. Yes, Justin was playing average kid, yet CLEARLY we know who it is, and the comedy CLEARLY plays off of his teen idol image -- object of fantasy for millions of girls AND OF COURSE older women as well. (OMG!!!) Accentuating this is the fact that he is so young, not known yet to be an actor or portraying other roles/selves, so we are basically looking at JB who is only in the most superficial terms playing someone else.



So maybe we have exhausted the potential to reach clarity as to the mechanics of this bit. I have enjoyed the exchange, but again, if a given thing does not strike you as funny, then it is NOT funny...to you -- so be it. I say, go with the flow -- I don't question that I might not find Dane Cook funny. I just don't go to his shows, or if he is on SNL, I don't expect to be amused. Chances are I watch anyway, but I find that I can often enjoy thinking about why it is not funny and often see such things as a reflection of our culture, which I never tire of examining. Hopefully our discussion here has worked this way with you.

Humor is always said to be very very highly subjective, and I found this installment of SNL to be actually funny where almost none are. But that is me. I think I understand a fair amount of why I thought it was funny, but ultimately part of the magic of mirth is that it does not stand up too well to scrutiny. Still, examining humor can illuminate some big issues of humankind. The humor of this skit I think conforms quite nicely to that objective.
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post #187 of 311 Old 04-18-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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Good episode last night.

Greg Stink is my favorite character this season.

They've run the same skit several times this season but it just keeps coming
on funny. great comedic timing with their feminine products promos.

good stuff!
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post #188 of 311 Old 04-19-2010, 01:36 AM
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Good episode last night.

Greg Stink is my favorite character this season.

They've run the same skit several times this season but it just keeps coming
on funny. great comedic timing with their feminine products promos.

good stuff!

Greg Stink is hilarious! So is their feminine products promos.

Ain't nothin finer than a yeast free vagina.

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post #189 of 311 Old 04-19-2010, 05:45 AM
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I thought the Hip-Hop Kids trapped in the bear cave was freaking hilarious.

And yes, Greg Stink skit is pretty funny. "Front butt" LOL.
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post #190 of 311 Old 04-19-2010, 05:59 AM
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I liked this weeks episode.
Tina's show was better.
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post #191 of 311 Old 04-24-2010, 09:04 PM
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Enjoying tonight's episode.
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post #192 of 311 Old 04-24-2010, 09:28 PM
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If only Megadeth was booked.
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post #193 of 311 Old 04-25-2010, 07:53 AM
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Gabourey Sidibe turned out to be such a winning personality with fire in her (ample) belly that it was nice that they didn't stick her in a mediocre show. Most of the skits were really funny, and Bill Hader's bit on Weekend Update was hysterical. Despite muffing her lines here and there, Gabourey had real comic flair and with luck she should be able to have a nice career in the manner of Kristin Wiig's many character roles in comedies.

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post #194 of 311 Old 04-25-2010, 08:12 AM
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I thought the Hip-Hop Kids trapped in the bear cave was freaking hilarious.

And yes, Greg Stink skit is pretty funny. "Front butt" LOL.

Greg Stink is hilarious. My wife doesn't find much funny on SNL but she dies laughing at all the female hygiene skits, especially at Greg's childlike stupidness.

When you can't keep your legs shut, put one of these in your front butt...Today's Sponge!
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post #195 of 311 Old 04-26-2010, 05:44 AM
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I also liked Steve Harvey on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. That was classic.
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post #196 of 311 Old 04-26-2010, 07:04 AM
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I also liked Steve Harvey on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. That was classic.

That and the cranky, but wise elderly woman skits were my favorites. As usual, Kristen Wiig didn't disappoint with her Judy Grimes character.
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post #197 of 311 Old 04-26-2010, 11:37 AM
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gptta love bill hader. that bit on weekend update was so outrageous
i'm still laughing. his best character since the alien on the sports talk show.

wonder how long he'll be around. he's so talented he's going to wind up with his own show soon.

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post #198 of 311 Old 04-26-2010, 12:29 PM
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I also liked Steve Harvey on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. That was classic.

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That and the cranky, but wise elderly woman skits were my favorites. As usual, Kristen Wiig didn't disappoint with her Judy Grimes character.

Agreed on all three counts!

I used to be a big fan of Krisyten Wiig, but over the years her characters have been sub-par at best. Judy Grimes and the tiny-handed woman on the Lawrence Welk show are the only ones I still enjoy.
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post #199 of 311 Old 04-26-2010, 02:59 PM
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I used to be a big fan of Krisyten Wiig, but over the years her characters have been sub-par at best.

She's so able they tend to just throw her any old thing because they know she can (usually) rise above the material. I will confess I have no love for her Aunt Edna and Kathy Lee. The latter in particular.

CW Hinkle
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post #200 of 311 Old 04-26-2010, 03:13 PM
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I love Wiig, but I agree that many of her characters sort of run into one another. Hard to distinguish them apart. I loved her in the Shake Weight commercial as the girl in pink who was "definitely in on it". I also enjoy Aunt Linda's movie reviews "Wahhhhhhhhhhhh?" and although they haven't done it in years, I liked The A-holes.
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post #201 of 311 Old 04-26-2010, 04:29 PM
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I love Wiig, but I agree that many of her characters sort of run into one another. Hard to distinguish them apart. I loved her in the Shake Weight commercial as the girl in pink who was "definitely in on it". I also enjoy Aunt Linda's movie reviews "Wahhhhhhhhhhhh?" and although they haven't done it in years, I liked The A-holes.

target lady is my favorite of her characters

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post #202 of 311 Old 04-27-2010, 12:57 AM
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I like the Gilly character the best.

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post #203 of 311 Old 05-08-2010, 08:32 PM
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Checking in for tonight's episode.
The intro is good.
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post #204 of 311 Old 05-08-2010, 09:14 PM
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Is this Jayz crap ever going to end. I think he's been "singing" for 10 minutes now (EDIT: I rewound and he sang for 8 minutes....glad that's over).

Other than that, enjoying Betty White. She cracks me up.
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post #205 of 311 Old 05-08-2010, 09:49 PM
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That Jay-z slot was really feeding his ego. I don't think any other act has been given that amount of time.

It could have been mutual to allow Betty White some longer downtime between sketches but even so, way too long.

Most of the sketches tonight have been pretty funny but they really did seem to be falling back on "nice old lady swears a lot" as the basis for some of them. Which is a bit lazy.


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post #206 of 311 Old 05-08-2010, 09:53 PM
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I missed the first music performance but the second one sounds awful and I'm not talking about the audio mixing. :P
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post #207 of 311 Old 05-08-2010, 10:26 PM
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How awesome you find the show to be will depend upon how faithfully you have kept up with the show the last decade or so. If you have kept up, you will see a reunion the likes of which SNL has not come up with... ever, probably.

Betty White is a television fixture for the last sixty years or more. Lorne and the bunch have used this as a fitting excuse to bring back most of the SNL funny women from the late nineties through first-decade-of-the-21st-century for an hilarious, loving, warm tribute to female funny people in general and Betty White in particular. It's true that Jay-Z went on a bit too long, but he was actually pretty good.

This was hands down the funniest show of the season.

CW Hinkle
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post #208 of 311 Old 05-08-2010, 11:32 PM
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I loved the show. Betty White is one of the most 'natural' hosts SNL has had. I highly enjoyed Jay-Z's musical segments as well.
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post #209 of 311 Old 05-09-2010, 12:57 AM
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This has got to be one of there funnest shows in years it has been a while since I have laughted that much. Amazing what happens when you have more then just one talented women on the show at a time.

You can never judge a show by its pilot episode or the half season following it.
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post #210 of 311 Old 05-09-2010, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

Most of the sketches tonight have been pretty funny but they really did seem to be falling back on "nice old lady swears a lot" as the basis for some of them. Which is a bit lazy.

They went overboard with this. They should have let her be funny instead of shocking people with nasty language which is not funny.

Broadcast TV - a vital national public resource
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