Monday, September 17, 2012


I'm too damn old to stay up until midnight on a Saturday night and watch SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE "live".

Instead, I record the broadcast and enjoy watching it with Judy on Sunday evening. This way, we can fast forward through all of the commercials and the truly horrendous "musical" guests, most of which consist of music that would stun a police dog. The last decent musical guest on SNL was probably The Blues Brothers although I must admit that Mick Jagger did a great job on last season's final episode. For years I thought that Sun Ra was the worst musical guest I'd ever seen on SNL but almost any guest from the last thirty years is equally wretched, if not flat out worse.

When we can zap through a third of the content of a 90-minute program, we can enjoy an episode in about an hour. The season premiere from two nights ago was very good but here come some confessions that may surprise some of my readers.

I had no clue about guest host Seth MacFarlane. Never seen or heard of the guy. I've never seen an episode of FAMILY GUY. I've never seen an episode of AMERICAN DAD. I didn't see the recent film, TED. So, MacFarlane was a total unknown to both of us. We were pleasantly surprised.

MacFarlane was a very funny guy with a tremendous voice talent, both impressions and singing. We both thought he should have been the musical guest as he possesses a terrific singing voice. Now that I know who he is, I'll definitely check out his work. He's a very talented and likable performer.

The show was uniformly funny. There was no stand out WTF? sketch in the last ten minutes of the show, the slot were the truly unfunny stuff usually gets dumped. Loved Eastwood and Chair. Overall, a big thumbs up, especially since we didn't have to endure the commercials and the musical guest, Frank Ocean (who?).

We're looking forward to another season of SNL even though we're usually not familiar with the hosts or the musical guests (which we don't watch any way).

By the way, SNL is not the first television program to go by that name. In September 1975, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE WITH HOWARD COSELL debuted on ABC at 8:00 p.m. EST. The show ran until January of 1976. The program was your standard variety show format with sportscaster Cosell as host. The "mouth that roared" played host to such stars as Frank Sinatra, John Denver and John Wayne as well as sports figures such as Evel Knievel, Alex Karras, Jimmy Connors and Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. The fact that the show was broadcast live didn't add much to the appeal and Cosell was horribly ill-suited to the role. The show lasted half a season before being canceled and relegated to the realm of TV trivia.

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