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Classic Saturday Night Live Thread

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by MikaelaArsenault, Jun 20, 2020.

  1. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    If you ever want to refresh your memory on an episode, this guy has a wonderful blog where he reviews every episode with screen caps of every sketch. He really has the proper understanding of what were the iconic things about the show and knows lots of trivia, so all of that is interweaved throughout his commentary. And, yes, these are written reviews, not video reviews, thank goodness:

    THE 'ONE SNL A DAY' PROJECT
    A project where I review one SNL episode a day, in chronological order

    October 11, 1986 – Sigourney Weaver / (no musical guest) (S12 E1)
     
    Pete Puma likes this.
  2. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    Location:
    The West
    The Murphy "Fifth Beatle" sketch reminded me of this one he did with Tim Kazurinsky on Oct. 8, 1983. He plays a down on his luck jazz musician who has to "prostitute himself" by playing weddings. :laugh: Hilarious bit!


    dan c
     
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  3. Scowl

    Scowl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Watching season 12 reminded me of how I watched this season of SNL in the student lounge at the dorm with dozens of rowdy college students. Dennis Miller was a huge hit and we all laughed and laughed at Weekend Update.

    That is until a guy named A. Whitney Brown would appear on the screen, then for three minutes the lounge would become completely silent as we waited for his "The Big Picture" segment to end. By the end of the season, it became three minutes of boos and groans. Everyone wondered why this guy was still on Weekend Update. Did he have dirt on Lorne Michaels? 35 years later I'm still wondering.
     
    hi_watt and JediJones like this.
  4. swandown

    swandown Under Assistant West Coast Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I still remember that skit from seeing it 30 years ago.

    "If I ever meet the jackass who wrote 'Proud Mary', he's a dead man."
     
    mmars982 likes this.
  5. mmars982

    mmars982 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    "Can you prooo-ve you're the fifth Beatle?"
    "Yes, I can. And I suggest you get that sarcasm out your voice."
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
    hi_watt and Chip TRG like this.
  6. swandown

    swandown Under Assistant West Coast Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    A. Whitney Brown was one of the main writers at SNL during that 1985-1991 era. So you may not care for his performing style, but you almost certainly enjoyed his brand of subtle/absurdist comedy because he wrote or co-wrote dozens of classic sketches.
     
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  7. Chip TRG

    Chip TRG Senior Member

    It shows you how times have changed to considering that the fifth Beatle sketch on the best of Eddie Murphy VHS included actual Beatles music.

    She loves you, man!
     
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  8. Chip TRG

    Chip TRG Senior Member

    Vimeo is literally the "dirt mall" version of YouTube. May it forever live on happily! Lol
     
    Dan C likes this.
  9. swandown

    swandown Under Assistant West Coast Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Here's the full clip of that sketch. It's another classic.

     
  10. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    As noted by @swandown, Brown was a writer. In fact, he was one of the main writers of Weekend Update during this period, so if you thought Dennis Miller was funny it was in large part because he was reading jokes written by Brown.

    The Big Picture was his attempt to do something a little different. It was more complex and cerebral than the typical simple, rapid-fire Update jokes, so maybe a little too smart for the room (especially if the room was filled with rowdy college students). It also wasn't helped by Brown's low-key delivery... he was a fine writer, but not an exceptional on-camera talent. That said, I never thought it was bad in the manner that you and your friends did.
     
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  11. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I saw Brown on a Carson rerun recently doing a full stand-up routine. It was pretty funny, and he put out a little more energy than he did in his Weekend Update segments. His Weekend Update segments were aimed at people who were actually fully informed on current events, so a much older crowd than even most college kids. I didn't understand them at all as a kid, but I get them a little better now.
     
    hi_watt, czeskleba and OldSoul like this.
  12. Mosep

    Mosep Forum Resident

    Location:
    St.Louis, MO
    I always saw A. Whitney Brown's stuff as a prototype of The Daily Show. Of course, he was briefly a correspondent on The Daily Show as well.
     
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  13. modrevolve

    modrevolve Forum Resident

    I believe he was really hoping for a shot to host the show once Kilborn left.

    He is a fun follow on Twitter but doesn’t so
    do anything comedy related anymore. Maron tweeted to him that he has an open invitation to come on his podcast, but he has no interest.

     
  14. R79

    R79 Forum Resident

    Location:
    39629
    A kind of understated sketch I liked were "Perspectives". Usually aired near the end of the show they were parodies of late night "public affairs" shows. I remember one sketch where Tracy Morgan's character was telling Tim Meadows (playing the host) about the struggles Jackie Robinson had, and he just kept responding with inappropriate responses like "Fantastic", "Outstanding".
     
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  15. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
  16. Scowl

    Scowl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    They weren't actually my friends. Just people from the dorms. And I'm a lot smarter now than I was 35 years ago and I still find his Big Picture segment annoying. It isn't just his low-key delivery. It's his whining condescending tone, like he expects most people to not understand his opinions which were not in any way clever or funny. He still sounds like my parents telling me that I'll "understand" when I get older. Wrong!
     
  17. Scowl

    Scowl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I saw two good things about music on some Peacock episodes. The theme to the Phil Donahue Show did not prevent them from including Phil Hartman's fantastic Phil Donahue impressions including the "celibacy" episode, which I think is the best one.

    Also Peacock included Mr. Valerie Bertinelli playing a song with G.E. Smith when his wife hosted. I was more surprised that this broke Lorne Michaels' rule about never showing closeups of instruments (this is the only time I remember this happening on a show he produced).
     
    Matthew Tate likes this.
  18. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Well, you like what you like. I haven't watched one of those Big Picture things since the original airings, but my memory is that I found them mildly amusing, not horrible or tedious like you did. But like I said, I think Brown was better as a writer than a performer.
     
    Scowl likes this.
  19. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Location:
    Victoria, Canada
    I always enjoyed Tim Kazurinsky and Mary Gross. They were not as appreciated as I felt they deserved. Also Norm McDonald I found totally hilarious... unlike the audience many times, or the guy in the office further up who was a pal of O.J.s! I first saw the show staying up late when it was Bill Murray and Gilda Radner that were my favorites, probably the last couple seasons of the original not ready for prime time players... and Mr. Bill! If you were really lucky there'd be an Andy Kaufman 'thing' of some sort in it. Then he did a Yukio Mishima... :sigh:

    Nobody remembers Mark McKinney being on it but me, I thought he was great as that opera freak. Robin Duke also had a blink and you'd miss her stint in there somewhere and again I felt I was her only fan. :cry:
     
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  20. Scowl

    Scowl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Watching Dennis Miller (and every Peacock episode includes Dennis Miller's Weekend Update) has made me think about Norm's Weekend Update. Miller also had many bad jokes that totally bombed, but no one cared because he always moved on immediately. Norm seemed to relish jokes that bombed, pausing, grinning at the camera, and trying to salvage them with some improvised comment that only made it worse. I don't think he should have done that.
     
  21. tomhayes

    tomhayes Senior Member

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca
    Man with the dirty(not sexual) stories about A. Whitney in the 80's I've heard on other podcasts it would be a dynamite episode.
     
  22. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I think Norm was just following in the Letterman tradition of leaning into the jokes that bombed. I find it really funny when they do that. Johnny Carson did it too sometimes.

    I noticed you can watch the entire mid-90s Dana Carvey show online for free:

    https://www.crackle.com/watch/231

    Also, if you're in Canada or can VPN there, CTV has recently put up the short-lived pre-SNL sitcom Dana did with Mickey Rooney which had gone unseen for decades. Also co-stars Nathan Lane and Scatman Crothers. Meg Ryan and Wendie Malick appear in some episodes. From the clips on YouTube, I can see they "used" Dana's impressions for jokes in the show:

    One Of The Boys
     
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  23. modrevolve

    modrevolve Forum Resident

    Gary Kroger has a very entertaining podcast called “Gary Has Issues”. He talks about his time on SNL a lot and has recently had on both Brad Hall and Tim K.

     
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  24. Scowl

    Scowl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Today's Peacock edit complaint... Remember when Charlton Heston hosted the first time and they had the great Paper Chase parody with the college being UNLV? Remember how funny it was whenever Heston said "University of Nevada... Las Vegas" in a dignified John Houseman tone? Well, that sketch didn't make the cut, but the nonapology about the sketch at the end of the show did make the cut. Maybe the sketch used music from The Paper Chase? This episode was cut down to 25 minutes.
     
  25. trickness

    trickness Gotta painful yellow headache

    Location:
    Manhattan
    absolutely the right decision not to hire him for Saturday night live. If you ever take an improv class you learn on day one that it’s not about you, you always say yes and do your best for the ensemble and the piece. He was absolutely awful as Biden recently and it’s for the same reason he didn’t get the gig in the first place… He tries to draw too much attention to himself and it distracts from the piece. Certainly he did well on his own.
     
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