It wasn’t long ago that SNL seemed promising. Of course, with a rotating cast, these things are absolutely cyclical. But when it was Maya Rudolf, Amy Poehler, Tina Fay and Will Forte, there were a lot of quality sketches. Any one of those people can pretty much do or say anything and make it funny. They also weren’t so much with the recurring sketches. And the characters that were recurring (Donatella Versace, the arrogant, one-legged chick, fucking MacGruber!) somehow seemed fresh every time. Now the funny ladies are gone, replaced by much less funny ladies and Kristen Wiig, who can be very funny, but not all the time. So far this season, SNL has been a real dud. They seem to be mostly falling back on recurring characters, mostly played by Kristen Wiig and those sketches are indistinguishable from one another, save the appearance of that week’s host. Seth Meyer is absolutely lost without Amy Poehler. Will Forte has pretty much been relegated to play the straight man (Gilly…GILLY…). Furthermore, Andy Samberg’s once fresh Digital Shorts are generally one-noted.
And then there’s the “What Up With That?” sketch. It’s Keenan Thompson playing a soul-styled host of a talk show called, you guessed it, “What Up With That”. The joke is that his theme song is so long and involved that he never gets around to talking to his high-profile guests, people like James Franco and Al Gore, who are brought in just to sit there and look annoyed and bewildered. It goes on way too long and it’s not terribly funny. BUT the song is extremely catchy.
I was just in the elevator with 4 young ladies on their way to lunch. For some reason, they were all discussing corndogs and they all agreed that corndogs are “gross”. “I like hot dogs. I like cornbread. But I just don’t like corndogs,” said one. “Yeah! I can’t rememeber the last time I even ate one. I was probably drunk,” said another. I didn’t know these people so I couldn’t chime in. But I think corndogs are terrific. In my head, the phrase “Corndog haters in the elevator” popped up. “What up with that?” And with that, I’d written a new verse of the annoyingly infectious “What Up With That” song. And now it’s in my head. Till the end of time.
It always seems like the most obnoxious sketches are the ones that people remember. And the truly original, funny ones, get banished to obscurity. No one will ever remember the “Garden Party” sketch as well as they’re remember Penelope the one-upper or fucking Gilly. What up with that?
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