Lorne Michaels went on the record this summer, telling The New Yorker, that this season of SNL would essentially be "a rebuilding year".
I hate to break to Lorne here, but Saturday Night Live is the Chicago Bears of television shows. They've been rebuilding since the 80s.
I guess they lost eight cast members from last season (Pete Davidson- good riddance. Kate McKinnon- actually funny. And a bunch of other randoms), so naturally there's an influx of more no-names this year.
I didn't watch the entire episode (thankfully), so I didn't see the rookies, but from the feedback online it didn't look like it went well.
This cold open kicked things off and I have to say, whoever was responsible for writing this should probably hit Indeed up with a resume tomorrow morning because I don't think it's going to work out.
The only thing amusing about this entire sketch was how much the makeup artists were able to make Miles Teller actually look like Peyton Manning, and how well Teller pulled off Peyton's accent, complete with the talking out of the side of his mouth thing.
Other than that? Complete dumpster fire.
“The show is in a rebuilding year for sure,” Teller said, adding, “Thank god they’ve got Kendrick Lamar [as musical guest] because that’s the only reason anyone is tuning in.”
He was right. And Kendrick's team should be ashamed for booking it.
Trotting out Jon Hamm to be unfunny- (Asked what he made of the sketch so far, Hamm said, “I don’t know, but it’s not comedy. They haven’t even used Kenan [Thompson] yet. That’s like putting a whole team of Elis on the field when you’ve got Peyton sitting on the sidelines." and "Maybe this is strategic, like when a sports team tanks to get a better draft pick next year.”), followed by Shaun White. Yah.
If this entire sequence seemed like a bunch of shitty ideas rolled into one, it's because it was. All with an emphasis on self-deprecation because they knew they were going to get smoked for it being terrible, but it still didn't work.
SNL was funny back in the day because they had the funniest people on the planet writing the bits behind the scenes, and performing them. It was a two-headed monster. Now it's neither. They need to get back to basics and start with good writing. Now that Conan's show is donezo, if I'm Lorne Michaels, I am backing up the Brinks truck to the people who used to write the Conan Show sketches and telling them they have free reign. Scrap the political shit completely. Political satire isn't funny because you can't possibly top reality anymore. Political sketches were funny back in the day because we had politicians who attempted to carry themselves professionally, and really didn't have much personality. Today we have actual politicians who are straight out of central casting and off the pages of sketch comedy. You can't top reality. So don't try. Plus, everybody's a pussy today and only wants to laugh and make fun of the other guy. When you knock their guy they get butthurt and tune out completely. It's a no-win. Call up the hall-of-fame alums on the roster and tell them you're phoning in favors and need them back to host. The Will Ferrells, Eddie Murphys, Chevy Chases, Dan Akroyds, etc. Get them involved in the writing process and hope their magic rubs off on what you're working with now. At the very least, viewers will have iconic comedians we grew up watching, loving, and laughing at to watch. No offense to the Miles Tellers.
Which, back to Teller, the only somewhat funny sketch of the night featured him in a pre-filmed bit-
But it was far outweighed by the bad. And very very bad.