Monday, September 28, 2009

Crank Out the Funny or...You're Fired!

So who else caught the season premiere of SNL this weekend? UGH. So disappointing.
It's still the "BE ALL, END ALL" dream job, however it's irritating to watch again this season.

The sketches that drag on for days. The hosts that bring nothing to the table. The boring musical breaks. Pretty much anything Kenan Thompson does (are there honestly NO OTHER funny black guys to replace him???? Come on! And while we're at it, Lorne Michaels, please meet Amber Ruffin, Dionna Griffin, Claudia Wallace all extremely talented black women).

The current pace of the show is exhausting. The scenes go on so long - why isn't head writer Seth Meyers editing anything? If the writers and cast could learn to edit themselves quicker, we'd always be wishing for more...instead of wishing for the end.

I know they have some new blood in there (specifically some intense writing talent via Second City), but unfortunately, the premiere didn't offer anything fresh, except for a couple of new faces that only stood to embarrass the cast and show.

And here's a question, WHY the new faces? Why did Casey Wilson and Michaela Watkins get fired? I liked Casey Wilson, I just think she needed to invent more opportunity for herself to be seen and she'd still be around. (Not sure if the rumours about her having to lose weight to stay on are true or not - and this should NOT be an issue's SNL not Melrose Place!) Michaela had some great characters...not sure at all why she was booted. Age?

Here's the thing about comedy. Age = Life Experience. Life Experience = Funny. And is replacing curvy or older women with fresh-faced idiots that cause FCC problems, simply an effort to get a younger demographic? And is aiming for a younger demographic really going to help SNL? Don't young people prefer to make and watch their own videos as opposed to some old tired sketch show? Really, who is at home on Saturday night watching anything on network television? Probably an older demographic that would appreciate a cast that looks more like them.

As a person involved in the comedy scene - I it not enough to just be funny? I am just about exactly the same size as Casey Wilson, and only a little younger than Kristin Wiig. However, as long as I can keep creating new characters, writing things that make my fellow castmates and I laugh, and keep getting cast, I'll never stop! And I hope Casey and Michaela keep going too.

But the thing that remains true whether you are on SNL, an improv troupe, a traveling company or just trying to be seen, if you're not regularly bringing the funny, you're not a factor, and likely fired. It's a high pressure, high stakes life. Every opportunity you have in front of an audience is an opportunity to strike gold...or to fall flat on your face. The key is to keep inventing. To stand out at places like SNL, Second City, Upright Citizens Brigade you have to bring the funny. And I mean, really funny, not just slightly amusing. And you have to be a machine. The funny needs to be cranked out by the yard and on a regular schedule. Some people only have a handful of funny ideas in their entire life...the people that succeed in the SNL pressure cooker have endless ideas. And these are ideas that work. Perhaps Casey and Michaela had a shortage of ideas. Or maybe it was something more arbitrary like demographics and appearance. In any case, you can bet your chances of survival are much higher if you can be counted on to bring unique, interesting, and memorable characters and scenes to life. And all the better if they only last three minutes or less.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't realize those 2 were let go! Boo. The show is getting so terrible. There hasn't been a funny sketch in ages.