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Count Three And Pray

Good morning, Jane Lynch.

I am a huge fan of yours, starting from when I first noticed you in Best In Show.  I knew right then and there you were an expert improv player (not just anyone gets into the Christopher Guest Stock Company.  Not even Jamie Lee Curtis, who has comedy chops AND is married to the guy, is there).  I followed you on LoveSpring International, your turn on Thank God You're Here was aces...I admit, I haven't watched a single episode of Glee, I'm more interested in how you handle off the cuff stuff.  One of my dream match-ups will always be you and Ryan Stiles.

I bring up your comedy background and improv skills because I see you are hosting Saturday Night Live tonight.  SNL used to be awesome.  Then, hosting the show became a sign that you'd made it to the Big Time, not that you had talent but not a mainstream following.  In the ensuing years, there have been a bunch of flash-in-the-pan hosts.  The names read like a chronicle of who was popular, but not what they were popular for.  Elle Macpherson hosted.  Kayne West hosted (a year after he slammed them for making fun of him for the Taylor Swift debacle.  Amazing what you will do when your career is in the toilet).  Personally, I think the worst was when Paris Hilton hosted.  That wasn't just the nadir, that was the Challenger Deep of the show.  It's one thing for jokes to bomb.  It's another when it's just not funny.  And it's even worse when everyone is acting like it is anyway.

SNL needs help.  You know your shit.  So please, for the love of God, when you're on the show, PLEASE TEACH THE SNL CAST A THING OR TWO ABOUT BEING FUNNY!  Think of it as keeping America beautiful.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 10th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
I used to love to watch SNL!^_^ My brother says it slowly getting better... Any opinions on that?
Oct. 10th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
I personally don't think so. I mean, it's easy to improve when you're at the bottom, but they aren't climbing to the top of the ladder so much as simply moving to the next highest rung.

Here's the problem, and I see it with a lot of comedy (comic strips, comedians, TV shows, movies, etc.) -- there are different techniques for getting laughs, from slapstick to recognition to the anti-climax to the callback...comedy techniques are varied and well-understood. SNL's problem is that they think simply doing something that should be funny automatically means it is funny. They don't try for anything original, creative, or insightful. Or even try anything. They simply do something that should be funny and consider that to be that. Will Ferrel was in a skit about a kids show where four of the cast members lined up with sweatshirts that had the letters U, C, K, F. And whenever the F tried to move to the other side of the line-up, the "broadcast signal" got lost so that the dirty word wouldn't be see. I saw that coming as soon as everyone appeared on stage in their order. The infamous "More Cowbell"? Christopher Walken sold his lines and made it funny, but the passive/agressive cowbell player was an asshole, not funny. (He appeared later playing alongside the show's actual music act that night, getting laughs for recognition, not because he was actually funny.) The first Ed Foley, Motivational Speaker was a riot because of the pathos and values of the family. After that, Chris Farley was just doing his character's shouting schtick and that's it, nothing new to the situation. The laughs came from recognition, not from actual jokes.

It's kind of like how movies will put pop culture references in order to connect with the audience. Kevin Williamson brought it to a new level with the Scream movies, but now, everyone is referencing pop culture and expecting that to get the audience on their side, they aren't doing anything with it (Scream was all about using the conventions to explore how silly the whole set-up was. It was ironic and forced the movie to move in a more theatening direction instead of the cheap ways out they mentioned).

SNL needs to get genuine funny writers and genuine funny people up there. As it is, they are like Paris Hilton or the Kardashians -- they are part of the public consciousness because of exposure, not because they are actually doing anything good.

Oh, and I missed it last night. Fighting a cold and went to bed early instead.
Oct. 10th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
I see your ppoint, unfortunatley. I hope you get over your cold, and feel better soon.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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