"Saturday Night Live" 40th season 2014-2015 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 09-12-2014, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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"Saturday Night Live" 40th season 2014-2015

Starts Sept 27.

Big changes for Weekend Update.

Cecily Strong exits, returning to main cast for sketches (I hope!!!). Colin Jost remains (this is a terrible decision of course, as he is very poor in his delivery... IMHO), to be joined by 1-year "The Daily Show" rookie and already departed/throwaway correspondent Michael Che (who was TERRIBLE on Daily Show, as he couldn't read his lines cleanly and with humor).

So now there are TWO LOSERS on WU!!! This of course has always been that mid-point of the show "intermission" to the sketches which I always looked forward to as foolproof humor that would finally and truly make me laugh, or maybe even rewind/replay something that was super clever or funny. I'm afraid those days are now over. Sounds painful: Jost and Che.

Nevertheless, I will reserve further opinion until I see it on air in a few weeks.
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post #2 of 31 Old 09-12-2014, 09:14 AM
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Wow, they've destroyed WU. At least it had a pretty good streak starting with Tina and Jimmy. Jost is awful and as you said, Che was a disaster of Olivia Munn proportions on The Daily Show.
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post #3 of 31 Old 09-16-2014, 11:07 PM
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Second worst part of it all: we'll see the return of Strong's character "the girl you wish you hadn't started a conversation with at a party."

Absolute worst part: when Strong does her, she'll be playing off Jost or Che.

That said, I'm not surprised Milhiser and Wheelan are gone, as they were hardly given any material at all.  Wells's departure surprises me a little, and O'Brien's return to full-time writing and departure from camera view more so, since he was getting increasing airtime as Season 39 wore on.

Thompson will be back; does he already hold the longevity record as an SNL cast member?
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post #4 of 31 Old 09-18-2014, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Latest news for the new season... Darrell Hammond to replace Don Pardo as announcer.
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post #5 of 31 Old 09-18-2014, 04:04 PM
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9/27: Chris Pratt/Ariana Grande
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post #6 of 31 Old 09-20-2014, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by dattier View Post
Thompson will be back; does he already hold the longevity record as an SNL cast member?
I think the typical "tour" is 7 or 8 seasons. Keenan's approaching his 10th, I believe; guess he loves his gig. Maya Rudolph actually did 2 (separate) tours of SNL duty.

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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post #7 of 31 Old 09-20-2014, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Jost is awful and as you said, Che was a disaster of Olivia Munn proportions on The Daily Show.
Che's "farewell" on The Daily Show was simply awful. The guy is just not funny, and cannot deliver any lines. He's just NOT FUNNY!

Between him and Jost, WU is now truly in the crapper. I predict: embarrassingly bad.
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post #8 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I wouldn't normally post any comments until I watched the whole show. But I'm watching it right now, and 20 minutes have gone by without producing one single smile or chuckle.

Opening monologue was HORRIBLE, and delivered with multiple fumphers and unfunny attempts at physical humor. Terrible.

And if that is Darrell Hammond announcing, he's no Don Pardo. Can hardly hear him... his delivery is just too low-key.

The studio audience seems to be screaming with hysterical enjoyment at the ridiculously unfunny birthday wish first skit of the season, with simply awful reading of cue cards and a forced-appearance stupid mandatory cameo by Ariana Grande.

The pet hospital skit just started, with presumably the all-star female cast members. Even more terrible and unfunny than all that's run before it.

Embarrassingly awful... as I predicted. And Michael Che and Colin Jost haven't even made their appearance yet.

Dreadful. Time for the entire writing staff to be canned.
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post #9 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 01:20 AM - Thread Starter
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OMG.

WU truly painful. Cannot believe Pete Davidson's "how much would it take to get you to go down on a guy" routine was probably the winner of the entire night's so-called entertainment. Very sad, that this was the winner.

I FF'd through EVERY sketch after WU. Couldn't stand it. Each sketch was worse than the last one, right up through the final sketch which was simply impossible to sit through.

Criminal non-use of Kate McKinnon, a la Nasim. I hope this is a fluke.

This might have been the worst SNL I've ever seen.
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post #10 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 08:24 AM
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I think that was the worst SNL ever.
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post #11 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 09:36 AM
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Agreed. Still can't believe they put the big boned chick in every skit for as much time as possible. No chance of laughing when she shows up. Who is finding her so hilarious?
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post #12 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezzy View Post
I think the typical "tour" is 7 or 8 seasons. Keenan's approaching his 10th, I believe; guess he loves his gig. Maya Rudolph actually did 2 (separate) tours of SNL duty.
This is his 12th season. Two more and he'll tie current announcer Darrell Hammond's record.
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post #13 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 02:56 PM
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WU truly painful. Cannot believe Pete Davidson's "how much would it take to get you to go down on a guy" routine was probably the winner of the entire night's so-called entertainment. Very sad, that this was the winner.
I welcome the return of The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party. Glad they subtly referenced her absence last season.

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This is his 12th season. Two more and he'll tie current announcer Darrell Hammond's record.
That reminds me of an old episode with Mike Meyers as host, where in the monologue he thanks Tim Meadows for coming back and supporting him. Tim replies he's still on the show, and never left...

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post #14 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 03:02 PM
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I agree with DSperber: that Davidson's monologue during WU was the high point, and that it's sad that nothing else was better.
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post #15 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 03:21 PM
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Show was trash in more ways than one. I think Lorne Michaels is just seeing how far he can go. I am sure some would argue fine but no one can argue it is just not funny.
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post #16 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I welcome the return of The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party. Glad they subtly referenced her absence last season.
I have always liked this bit. It's kind of a variation on "two girls who are no longer porn stars" (which I also like), but I still like it.

However last night I had a hard time understanding what she was saying, and her malapropisms are what makes the character so funny. It seemed like she was kind of mumbling a bit. Probably out of practice on camera.

Of course Michael Che "did not disappoint"... HE IS JUST NOT FUNNY, and cannot read a cue card without messing it up, and his delivery is embarrassingly awkward. Why has he been recruited for this super-high-profile position, I cannot figure it out.

The entire writing quality last night was like from a 3rd-grade elementary school show. The cast stood on stage and mouthed words mindlessly, trying to furtively sneak peeks at the cue cards while also trying to "remain in character". Vanessa Bayer said zero that was funny, not that the words she was given to say constituted part of a sensible "script" for the sketch. Kate McKinnon said NOTHING. I mean, where are the story lines here?? Normally reliable Taran Killam was like a complete rookie... and said absolutely nothing funny.

Seemed like everybody couldn't wait for their skit to be over as soon as the first lines came out and we all realized this was another catastrophe, but they went on endlessly! I think they are all embarrassed to still be on what's left of this show. Painful. Nasim was lucky to make her exit over to "Mulaney", although I normally dislike network sitcoms... especially when they have a laugh track (yet to be determined on Oct. 5).

There wasn't really a "story" or "funny essence in premise" to anything that made it to onscreen. Not one funny premise, or dialog that constituted humans talking intelligently. Can you imagine what got cut?? These are supposed to be professional comedy writers for SNL??

And putting Aidy Bryant as the absolutely unfunny "star" of the cold open which itself had a timely origin in the news but was presented horribly by Jay Pharoah overdoing his reworked Reverand Reggie character as Shannon Sharpe, and an embarrassed Kenan Thompson who seems to have put on some weight over the summer as Ray Rice? What a disaster!! Not one funny line, not one funny delivery.

HORRIBLE!! The entire night should be erased. What a disaster. What kind of an audience did they find, that laughed so appreciatively? Wonder what Lorne thinks of what he put on last night?

And "musical guest" Ariana Grande? How special and relevant.
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post #17 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 03:35 PM
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I can't believe what I'm reading. Last night's episode was literally the funniest episode I've ever seen. What were you guys watching? Oh wait, I was watching Archer last night on Netflix. I caught this on DVR this morning and holy sh** it was beyond bad. I love Pratt, but he wasn't up to the task. And not to be mean and pile on, but I'm sick of the fat girl being in every skit. Where the hell was Kate last night? She's the best thing this show has now and they keep going to the fat girl who still flubs every other damn line in every skit.

Weekend Update went on forever last night, which wouldn't be bad if it were funny, but Jost and Che were as terrible as many of us feared. Holy crap this is so bad that I don't think even an appearance by Fallon and Timberlake could save it.
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post #18 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 03:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Decided to see what the rest of the world thought, and I found this writeup from Hollywood Reporter. It makes many of the same points I've made...

(1) The season premiere began with former cast member Darrell Hammond settling in as the show’s announcer, replacing the recently deceased Don Pardo. (Note to the engineers: Hammond’s voice was difficult to hear in the sound mix.)

(2) Music? Ariana Grande proved once again that she has a big voice with little nuance, and has mastered all the dreadful techniques that American Idol has instilled in a generation — pointless melisma; grasping the mic dramatically to feign passion, etc.

(3) Lame jokes hobbled Michael Che's debut as “Update" co-anchor with Colin Jost, and the show went to the NFL-problems well once too often with both a cold-open that featured Pratt as Roger Goodell and, about an hour later, a totally laugh-free football sketch.

(4) The night needed a whole lot more Kate McKinnon and Sasheer Zamata, however.

(5) Michaels’ other success is the hiring of young comic Pete Davidson, whose gleefully raunchy “Update” segment about performing oral sex for a million dollars was exceptionally strong. Essentially a stand-up bit done sitting down, Davidson’s comic rhythms were smoothly impeccable—it’s no wonder that, during the closing-credits, Pratt and Bobby Moynihan brought Davidson forward onstage and pointed at him: They knew who scored the night’s most memorable moment.

(6) Host Chris Pratt was invariably charming, even when trapped in glum sketches about lousy videogames and awkward dating.




And, from this review on Entertainment Weekly...

(1) Are SNL‘s growing pains over as it enters its 40th season? It certainly didn’t seem that way from the show’s bizarre season opener.

(2) This confidence resonates better than last season’s opener, when the new cast members were forced to endure the “New Cast Member or Arcade Fire” sketch. But in doing so, the show seemed to push aside some of its strongest, more veteran players, like Kate McKinnon and Vanessa Bayer.

(3) The night was filled with strange bits. (Case in point: “He-Man and Lion-O.”) I doubt anyone was clamoring for the return of the “Animal Hospital” nurses, and yet there they were. No sketch, however, was weirder than the Mooney and Beck Bennett offering “Bad Boys.” Look, Mooney and Bennett are an acquired taste; I can’t say I possess that taste, so take my evaluation of this sketch with a grain of salt. And this season, Mooney and Bennett (and SNL segment director Dave McCary) have been joined on SNL by Nick Rutherford, the last member of their old sketch group Good Neighbor—meaning that their takeover of the show may be complete.

(4) It was incredibly strange not to hear Don Pardo’s voice booming across the opening credits. I’m sure we’ll get used to Darrell Hammond’s take eventually. It wasn’t bad, just a bit quieter.

(5) SNL really gave Pete Davidson a chance to shine in his show debut, giving him a Weekend Update segment as “resident young person,” commenting on a teenager who photographed himself in a lewd manner with a statue of Jesus. What followed was a routine centered around what Davidson called the “‘How much money would you go down on a guy for?’ game.” He launched into an explanation of why he would perform sexual favors for cash, saying, “If you’re gay, it’s fine. Me and my friends are just trying to make money.” The bit was daringly racy, but also felt backwards; the whole concept is that oral sex between two men is inherently gross. Clearly, it was an auspicious beginning for Davidson, and, if nothing else, it demonstrated that the comedian can capture an audience’s attention with ease. There have already been cries of "this kid is going to be a star" on the Internet, and I don’t necessarily doubt that—but this material just did not sit well.

(6) The cold open, a particularly stagnant sketch, found Aidy Bryant playing Candy Crowley opposite Jay Pharoah’s Shannon Sharpe and Thompson’s Ray Lewis.

(7) Che visibly stumbled a bit in his first Update appearance

Last edited by DSperber; 09-28-2014 at 03:54 PM.
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post #19 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Found another review on Screenrant...

(1) Last season’s breakout star, Kate McKinnon, was supposed to truly take over the show this week, Colin Jost and Michael Che’s strength was supposed to be in the way that they played off of each other on Weekend Update and young Pete Davidson was probably going to stay in the shadows in his debut. None of those things happened

(2) Instead of McKinnon (who was depressingly low-key this week), the season 40 premiere’s most constant presence was Aidy Bryant, who was the first cast member that we saw onscreen at the top of the show during the cold open where she played CNN personality Candy Crowley in a sketch about the NFL’s response to repeated domestic violence controversies. Unfortunately, the sketch also asked Jay Pharoah to mug for the camera while playing former NFL player Shannon Sharpe in a performance that almost overshadowed Bryant’s strong but less busy character work.

(3) Following the cold open, we had our first chance to hear Darrell Hammond introduce the cast in his role as announcer. Unfortunately, Hammond’s voice was a bit more laid-back and far less booming than Don Pardo’s, and his voice also seemed like it was outshouted by the sound of the band as they played into the show. A rough start for Hammond in his small but crucial role.

(4) Coming out of Chris Pratt’s somewhat musical monologue, we got a mostly lifeless pre-recorded commercial parody for Cialis Turnt – a concept that felt like the writers had been sitting on it all summer.

(5) The show’s first signs of life came after Cialis Turnt, thanks to a simple and silly concept about a lonely boy (Kyle Mooney) who wishes that his toys would come to life as they do in Toy Story. Unfortunately, when He-Man (Pratt) and Lion-O (Taran Killam) appear as humans they are incredibly dim and sex obsessed, rubbing their crotches for comedic effect while trying to follow the boy’s sister (Cecily Strong).

(6) It was surprising to see the return of the insensitive vet technicians sketch after its lackluster debut last year. This is one of the last sketches that I thought we’d see become a recurring bit and there was simply nothing added on to the one-joke premise to make the case that the sketch had value as anything more than filler. “Oh, your turtle is sick? Now he’s dead.” Repeat, repeat, repeat. The Saturday Night Live content assembly line is at its worst when it gives time to something as unimaginative as this.

(7) I didn’t really see the greatness of the “Good Neighbor” sketch later on in the show that starred Mooney, Beck Bennett and Pratt as roommates in a stereotypical ’90s cheeseball sitcom, but they get an “A” for effort. I can’t be as kind to the half-baked and weird closing sketch about the soap opera within a video game, but if the show is going to cede a few minutes, I wish that they’d just let more weird things like those two sketches live on the off chance that they hit rather than burn time with junk like the vet tech sketch.

(8) Weekend Update was another high point for the show, but not for the reason that Lorne Michaels probably hoped for. Part of me wants to say that Colin Jost and Michael Che have very little chemistry together, but they barely acknowledged the other’s presence. Even at the end, when Kenan Thompson sang “O-o-h Child” while Jost and Che joked about the President’s looming lame-duck status, they switched off and didn’t interact. So it’s an incomplete for the pair, but separately, Che did reasonably well as a news reader and really clicked with Cecily Strong, who returned to the Update desk as her Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation with at a Party character to talk about Ebola.

Jost also had a nice exchange with Leslie Jones, but really, that is all on Jones, who delivered a supercharged desk piece on what it’s like to be single. Jost’s solo delivery was decent, but he still seems a bit wooden.

The best part of Update, though, was 20-year-old Pete Davidson. A stand-up comic before joining the cast, Davidson kept pushing further and further as the laughs got bigger. It felt like one of those debuts. Pete Davidson might wind up being a star on Saturday Night Live, and there I go being a prognosticator again.
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post #20 of 31 Old 09-28-2014, 06:05 PM
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I was a little shocked at how flat Chris Pratt came across. He's a reportedly fantastic improv actor, and from what I've heard many of his lines on Parks & Rec (don't really watch it) are unscripted. So I was excited to see what he could do, and his first two skits he barely had anything funny to say at all. The awkward date one, he looked lost, and in the He-Man/Lion-O sketch, Taran Killam had all the (somewhat) funny lines while Pratt mostly did a failed "Yes, and..." attempt.

She-Ra should have been Anna Faris instead of Arriana Grande, would have been a great cameo.

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post #21 of 31 Old 09-29-2014, 02:17 PM
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I can't believe what I'm reading. Last night's episode was literally the funniest episode I've ever seen. What were you guys watching? Oh wait, I was watching Archer last night on Netflix. I caught this on DVR this morning and holy sh** it was beyond bad. I love Pratt, but he wasn't up to the task. And not to be mean and pile on, but I'm sick of the fat girl being in every skit. Where the hell was Kate last night? She's the best thing this show has now and they keep going to the fat girl who still flubs every other damn line in every skit.

Weekend Update went on forever last night, which wouldn't be bad if it were funny, but Jost and Che were as terrible as many of us feared. Holy crap this is so bad that I don't think even an appearance by Fallon and Timberlake could save it.
LOL!

Pratt is so-so to me, though he did well in GotG. I purposedly didn't tune in, but did intend to watch the (10pm) retro episode and forgot all about it...

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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post #22 of 31 Old 09-29-2014, 02:52 PM
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I'm not a comedian and don't pretend to know what goes on in the writer's rooms, but I'm frankly surprised they didn't try and do some kind of sketch riffing on the Lego Movie. I know it came out in February, but making fun of cartoons/animation with live action is one of those things that historically has been hilarious to me, especially when you put traditionally kid-oriented characters in adult situations.

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post #23 of 31 Old 09-29-2014, 03:51 PM
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making fun of cartoons/animation with live action is one of those things that historically has been hilarious to me, especially when you put traditionally kid-oriented characters in adult situations.

Do you mean like the skit where the kid's He-Man and Liono dolls came to life? Wasn't that funny.


The premiere was a let down. They had the luxury of the time-off to come up with some great material and there was nothing LOL-worthy. A few chuckles here and there and a lot of awkward groans.
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post #24 of 31 Old 09-29-2014, 03:54 PM
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Do you mean like the skit where the kid's He-Man and Liono dolls came to life? Wasn't that funny.
I was thinking more like the Charlie Brown skit they've done a few times. Better writing would have made the He-Man/Lion-O skit much more funny, so I agree that it was a huge let-down.

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post #25 of 31 Old 09-30-2014, 05:30 PM
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It wasn't the best timing that the first Vintage episode, with Don Pardo's recent passing, ended with Pardo asking what he has to do to get out of his job.
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post #26 of 31 Old 10-06-2014, 05:04 AM
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Was it just my affiliate, or did Saturday's vintage episode have some SERIOUS interlacing going on?

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post #27 of 31 Old 10-06-2014, 05:56 AM
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Dang, I didn't record the classic episode at 10:00 and just tuned it by accident halfway through. Caught "King Tut" and the "Medieval Barber" sketch, but missed the first half hour which included (according to the guide) the Blues Brothers and other great stuff of the kind they just don't do anymore in the 30 years since the show has been funny. Surely they're going to rerun it...? Naaah.

Color me sad.
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post #28 of 31 Old 10-06-2014, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by archiguy View Post
Dang, I didn't record the classic episode at 10:00 and just tuned it by accident halfway through. Caught "King Tut" and the "Medieval Barber" sketch, but missed the first half hour which included (according to the guide) the Blues Brothers and other great stuff of the kind they just don't do anymore in the 30 years since the show has been funny. Surely they're going to rerun it...? Naaah.

Color me sad.
My DVR did have the 10:00 classic episode scheduled but it's no longer in my recorded list. I had my DVR set to only keep one episode of SNL so after it recorded the 11:30 airing it deleted the 10:00 one. Damn, I was looking forward to watching that again. Setting has now been changed so that doesn't happen again. I'll have to check if NBC has it on demand.
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post #29 of 31 Old 10-06-2014, 06:54 AM
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0 for 2 so far this season. Deleted it after WU. If the first few skits aren't funny I don't watch past WU... This week's WU was a bit better though - jokes were better, but Jost and Che just have awful timing.

It'll be on the DVR out of history and nostalgia, but I don't see how it's going to get any better. I'm not a big fan of any of the cast members and I think they overuse Aidy Bryant way too much. Trying to cash in on the Melissa McCarthy heavy-set funny gal trend.

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post #30 of 31 Old 10-06-2014, 10:23 AM
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I thought this week's show was quite funny, at least through Weekend Update. After that it sort of hit the skids, though the VitaMix commercial was pretty good satire.


I have the complete sets of the 70's shows so I didn't tune in to the 10:00 hour. I have lately been purging my old beta tapes and still managing to keep more than I'll have time or inclination to watch but just can't stand to just toss: Gance's Napoleon, The Wonder Years, late 80's SNLs,various PBS documentaries and Mystery Science Theaters, Pascal's print of Major Barbara with the extra 15 minutes, etc. etc.


Sure is hard to deal with the old standard resolution.

CW Hinkle
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