Friday, May 01, 2009


I don't think Patrick Kavanagh was writing about Saturday Night Live when wrote, 'through a chink too wide comes no wonder'* but in Ireland and the UK I think we are actually well served by not seeing full episodes of SNL. From the earliest days SNL for me meant just 'best of' clip shows of the Dan Ackryod/Chevy Chase stuff which would be shown on late-night Channel 4, (along with The Maniacs: Four on the Floor') back when late-night Channel 4 was insteresting. This trend continued with the Will Ferrell and Chris Rock best of DVDs which Monaghan Library has and have been a great source of solace.
Of full episodes, which were periodically shown at like 4am on ITV4 or something, I've only recently seen the Zach Braff and Dane Cook ones, which were pretty awful. In the Braff one about three of the sketchs just trailed off with no punchline and title comes up with 'The End' so we know the sketch is finishing in lieu of laffs. It's telling that in the episode of supposed comedian Dane Cook, he only appears in one sketch.

The current line up is alright but there is a too-many-cooks dearth of handsome leading men type jocks like 8 or 9 of them all filling time until some awful movie vehicle. Since Chris Farley they need a token fat guy and since Rock and Eddie Murphy they need a token black guy...step forward your man from Kenen and Kel, Kenen Thompson, they must of been so pleased to find him, yet they don't even let him play Obama, but they also have a backup fat guy/Jonah Hill look-alike Bobby Moynihan.

The highlight so far has been the great Neil Patrick Harris, who since the Harold and Kumar cameos and of course Dr. Horrible has transmuted into a whipsmart comedy collossus. 'Two First Names' is a classic sketch. It would be nice to show some clips but of course they've taken them down off YouTube so we'll have to settle for SNL approved digital shorts.

Of course 'excusi excusi!' the current star is Fred Armisen is still excellent, if they put up clips, I could show you the wonderful Scarlett Johansen 'Moirble Columns' sketch but know.
In the meantime, there's Andy Samberg and the great This Lonely Island crowd.
*My second favorite potentially sexually misconstruable phrases in Irish poetry after W. B. Yeats' 'fumble in the greasy till'

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