watch your step
by Liz Davies
“Saturday Night Live was so much better when Sandler, Rock, and Farley were on it.”
That is hands down the most repeated line I hear when I mention Saturday Night Live, replacing a name or two each time. My love of SNL started when I was around 10 years old. I’ve always been a night owl, and since I slept in until around noon every weekend, I was always able to stay awake for the 11:30pm cold open sketch. My parents would have never allowed this if they had been able to stay awake past 10pm themselves. But they were tired from being productive human beings during the week, and from driving my brother and I to activities and sports where I would mostly chase butterflies around the field and make crowns out of flowers and grass for myself. Also I had good hearing so I could watch the TV on a low volume.
I’ve seen innumerable episodes of SNL during my life, both live and on repeat at some point or another, and I don’t understand why people are so quick to attack the current cast members of any season.
Think about everything that SNL has to offer right now: digital shorts, Seth Meyers as head writer and anchor of Weekend Update, the unbelievable impressions of Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig. I’m just going to repeat that: Kristen Wiig. She is hands down one of the top five SNL cast members of all time, and yet people still have to audacity to say that SNL sucks right now. These are the same people who are going to complain when she exits the show that it was so much better when she was on. You know what I call these people? Debbie Downers…or butt savages (a name my mother called me the other night. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean anything dirty. According to Urban Dictionary, a butt savage is: someone who is more than just a butt, they are big poop heads. Thanks again, Terry, for teaching me more than I ever learned at a four-year private college).
The cast and crew of the current season of SNL have brought us some incredible gems, including Stefon, the Target Lady, Shy Ronnie, and more. I honestly don’t know what more people want from SNL. It’s impossible for cast members to stay on the show forever, but the featured cast members show a lot of promise. Do you know how many people want to be on SNL? Do you know how many people have tried out for SNL and haven’t made it? Watch any stand-up special on TV, any sitcom, or order a coffee from any Starbucks in the city. Chances are, all of the people in those TV specials or serving you coffee have tried to become a cast member on SNL. It’s not like the pickings are slim when it comes to casting; the producers could pick anyone to be on this show, and they only pick the best and funniest.
Obviously there is going to be some nostalgia whenever a particularly memorable cast member leaves. Would I like to see Will Ferrell still on SNL every week? Of course. But if he hadn’t left the show in 2006 to focus on his movie career, he wouldn’t be able to keep pumping out such incredible films. And an Anchorman sequel is currently in the works, which is probably my dream come true. And don’t the hosts kind of have a huge part in making their weeks’ show a great one? Justin Timberlake is hands-down one of the funniest guests to grace studio 8H, and he has hosted primarily in the past 3 years.
The bottom line is that you’re always going to miss something that’s gone. Sure I miss some friends and classes from high school, but would I go back? Hell no. There aren’t enough Lisa Frank folders in the world to make me to sit through 7 classes in one day again. So let’s stop focusing on the past and start appreciating the current cast of SNL for making us laugh each week. With rumors that cast members Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis, and Kristen Wiig are leaving the show, I think it’s time for us to start being thankful for we have.