Sean Connery: I pose a conundrum to you, a riddle if you will.
Alex Trebek: I don't want to hear it.
Sean Connery: What's the difference between you and a mallard with a cold? One's a sick duck... I can't remember how it ends, but your mother's a whore.”Saturday Night Live – Celebrity Jeopardy”
As promised, I am going to introduce a regular feature exclusive special article here on Poker On Film, right now and today even.
Just to break up the monotony of bitching about bad beats all the time, I’m going to introduce here “Heafy’s House of Awesomeness”. Each week, or whenever I could be bothered, I will induct something new into the House of Awesomeness. It might be a person, a place, an activity, a movie, a theme, a game, a food, or a TV show, or anything else that I consider worthy.
For no other reason than I had to stifle a laughing fit when I read that above quote yesterday, the first induction into HHA is Saturday Night Live.
If I watched every episode of SNL every week from start to finish, I would probably have a lower opinion of it. I get sick of some of the repeat characters that just have a lame catchphrase that they try to insert whenever they can. But when it’s good, SNL can be comedy heaven.
I read the SNL 25 year book, which was a great insight into what went on behind the scenes and had some fascinating stories about the show and the cast members.
SNL was never shown in Australia until recent years, but for some reason the video store I worked at got the compilation tapes. Man, when you take 2 years worth of sketches and whittle them down into 90 minutes, you can get some great stuff.
Anyways, I think I have made my point – SNL: Lots of filler, but some gold stuff comes of it. AND I don’t mean that damn cowbell, which I still don’t understand why people think it is funny.
Celebrity Jeopardy should have it’s own DVD, if it doesn’t already. We had “Game Show Parodies” at our video store, and despite going in with very low expectations, this became a regular for us to put on the store systems.
I’m sure video stores work the same elsewhere, but here in Australia we had TV all around the store, and they were hooked up to the one VCR at the front of the store. We were supposed to run a preview tape that had a bunch of ads on it, but that can get kinda boring for an eight hour shift. We were permitted to put PG or G rated videos on if we wanted, which we of course always did. But it was hard to find anything good in those categories that isn’t in the kids section (don’t get me wrong, the kids section did get some play), so the SNL tapes got a fair run. At one stage I had put on the 25 year anniversary tape 9 times in a row when some customer would ask what we were playing on the TV’s, and inevitably they would ask to borrow that tape. Pretty soon I stopped explaining everything to them and just handed the tape over. Since I worked at a number of video stores all owned by the same guy, I grabbed one of the tapes from one store and “transferred” it to the store I worked more regularly at, so I always had a back up copy.
Even when the show comes on and it looks crap – which usually starts with a crappy host – I’ll still hang around for Weekend Update. I think Chevy Chase is the only anchor for weekend update that I never liked. I have no idea why people find him funny, I think he fooled the world on that one. But Dennis Miller, Norm MacDonald, Jimmy Falon & Tina Fey, even Colin Quinn, all did an excellent job and was worth watching. Kevin Nealon…well, he didn’t do a bad job, it’s just that I don’t remember anything great about it either.
I think my favourite period was ironically enough the worst period ratings wise for the show, around the early 90’s when they had Sandler, Spade, Farley, Rock, and Schneider.
A bad host usually means a bad show, but sometimes the regular cast can pull it out of the dumps. But when the host is into it, everything turns to gold. You can tell with the ones that come back so often that it is going to be a good show – the likes of Christopher Walken, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Tom Hanks et al.
I can only think of two movie spin offs that actually worked from SNL, those being The Blues Brothers and Waynes World. All the spin offs since then have been mostly absolute bombs (even though I liked A night at the Roxbury). You almost feel sorry for them when they come out. Even Al Franken has been known for making jokes about how bad “Stewart Saves His Family” went.
Finally, one of my all time favourite parts of Saturday Night Live, and one of the best emails circulating every year or so, Jack Handy quotes. Here be my favourite:
“Kids love jokes. So one day I told my 7 year old nephew that I would take him to Disney world. Instead, I drove him to a burned out warehouse and said, "Uh oh, Disney world burned down." He cried and cried, but deep down I bet he thought it was pretty funny. I was going to take him to the real Disney World, but it was getting late.”
So there we have it, the first induction to Heafy’s House of Awesomeness. Tune in next week when shit will more than likely be the same.