Have you ever sat in church, listening to the same pastor you’ve listened to for four years, and thought to yourself, why am I here? I’ve heard this sermon at least six times before. Why am I going through the motions like this? I could be at home in bed or eating chocolate chip pancakes right now.
I had a similar feeling last weekend as my wife and I sat down to watch our weekly recording of Saturday Night Live. About halfway through the show, I thought to myself, why are we doing this? I don’t even enjoy this show anymore. In fact, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed it in at least two years.
As we know, Saturday Night Live has gone through all sorts of incarnations in the almost 40 years it has been on the air. There have been bad seasons and good seasons, and just so-so seasons of Saturday Night Live. The problem with the show now, in my opinion, isn’t the cast or the guest stars. It’s the plotting and the writing. Saturday Night Live has become more formulaic and devoid of innovation than ever before.
Here’s a summary of the formula:
1. Opening political sketch that usually runs for five minutes before the first joke.
2. Guest monologue with a cutesy song-and-dance number that includes a cameo of Lorne Michaels.
3. Game show parody.
4. Talk show parody.
5. A music video parody that hasn’t been the same since Andy Samberg left.
6. Musical guest.
7. Talk show parody.
8. Weekend Edition.
9. My wife or I usually fall asleep.
Anyway, last Saturday night, after watching about an hour of this, I stood up and declared, “Saturday Night Live sucks. I’m not going to watch it anymore.”
My wife did not disagree.
We have started recording Jimmy Fallon instead. So far, I think he’s been pretty funny.