The Farr Side column: ‘Saturday Night Live’: The laughter continues
Columns share an author’s personal perspective.
“Live from New York, it’s ‘Saturday Night’!”
Those were words I cherished when I was growing up. It was the weekend and it meant I didn’t have to go to bed early. It also meant that I could watch “Saturday Night Live.”
I remember watching “SNL” and busting a gut. The sketch comedy was always brilliant and funny, whether I understood the dialogue at the time or not. I loved all the people on the show.
If you think about it, a majority of the stars we have loved for years, including now, got their start on the NBC variety/comedy show: Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, Dana Carvey, Will Ferrell, Molly Shannon, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig and countless others.
I find it interesting because everybody responds to the show differently and, by that, I mean it seems to be era-based. The premiere episode aired this week in 1975. I wasn’t even in kindergarten yet. You have those who liked the original cast best. And who wouldn’t? Chase, Curtin, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi were comedic geniuses. They took situational sketch comedy to a new level. I can watch reruns and still laugh.
Then, you have viewers who loved Eddie Murphy, Joe Piscopo and Billy Crystal. Murphy was the man. His laugh alone could make you laugh.
I began to take notice more with the cast that included Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman. Each exemplified perfection. It also marked the time when I first saw “SNL” take on politics. Carvey made for awesome George Bush, while Hartman nailed Bill Clinton. My dad thought Carvey was one of the funniest guys ever.
Through the years, “SNL” has seen its popularity rise and fall. However, it always picks up steam in presidential years. Who can forget Will Ferrell’s hysterical interpretation of George W. Bush or when Tina Fey was Sarah Palin? Fey was almost more Palin than Palin herself.
Politics is typical fare for “SNL,” but it was comedic genius that brought Alec Baldwin to portray President Donald Trump. He nails Trumps’ nuances and mannerisms perfectly. In some ways, he humanizes him in ways Trump sometimes fails to do. In 2016, Baldwin and Kate McKinnon, who captured Hillary Clinton, brought some much-needed laughter.
Of course, you have naysayers who believe this type of thing shouldn’t happen. My words to you: chill out!
Baldwin returned recently as Trump, but it was a guessing game as to who “SNL” would bring on as Joe Biden. I was thrilled to see Jim Carrey. Who better than Fire Marshall Bill to play Biden than Carrey?
“SNL” has been on fire the past three weeks, with opening skits of the presidential debate, the vice presidential debate and, most recently, the town halls on opposing networks. Did I mention Mya Rudolph as Kamala Harris? She’s awesome!
I think I’ve watched these skits a gazillion times on YouTube. In a year as crazy and sad as this one has been, this hilarity is a welcome treat. They are taking this political nonsense and making us laugh. Is that a bad thing? It can’t be any worse than what we are already watching on the news, only the news makes me wanna cry.
David T. Farr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.