Most people would agree that Saturday Night Live
has gone down in quality in recent years. I don't really know whether it's that the comedians aren't what they used to be or what. It seems like in past years, the most talented performers around could be found on SNL. Now, with the exception of only a couple of people (Tina Fey and Amy Poehler come to mind), you mostly have people who couldn't make it anywhere else (not talented enough to have their own shows or make it in stand-up). Some of the cast members can't even make it through their own jokes without laughing (note to Horatio Sanz: it was only cool when Sandler and Fallon did it; you're just not funny enough to pull it off). It seems like the writing has gone down as well. Some of the jokes almost seem like inside jokes, and the sketches fall flat much of the time. What the audience is left with is more akin to a bunch of high schoolers goofing off, instead of a professional comedy program.
Well, at least we have classic SNL to comfort us. The cable networks play reruns of the greats all the time. But you can also visit The SNL Archives
. At the archives you can relive all aspects of SNL's 31 year history, including the cast for each season, the skits, the impressions, the recurring characters. My favorite performers from SNL's past have been the late Phil Hartman
and Norm MacDonald
. I don't think I have to say much about Hartman. He was a comic genius, a man with a thousand characters and a million voices. He was just extremely funny, and his loss was a big blow to the world of comedy. Norm MacDonald was also very funny. He did the best Weekend Update since Kevin Nealon, who was the master at it. And he had a sort of off-kilterness to him that seemed to make him funnier. Who are your favorite SNL performers?