Tag: saturday night live

Brainiac On Banjo: I’m Gonna Get A Lotta Shit For This…

Life’s a football game, as every chump and champ knows. We don’t touch, we collide, till we’re worn out inside. We’re kicking each other, right where it hurts, setting up the big play, and trying to score. — “Football” written by Iggy Pop, Whitey Kirst, and Whitney Kirst.

Art by Jack Davis

Yeah, I know I’m going to get a lot of shit for this, but the worst thing that ever happened to America is football.

OK. Breathe into a paper bag for a minute and then read my explanation.

As George Carlin told us back in 1975 during the very first episode of Saturday Night Live, and I excerpt, “football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness. Football is played in any kind of weather: rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog. In football, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you’re capable of taking the life of a fellow human being. In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy’s defensive line.”

Art by Jack Davis

Fine. That’s the sport of football. Compared to the way the rest of the world plays their football, very few people actually get killed. Except in Canada, where they play a different game of football altogether and they are very polite, once they get outside of a hockey arena. But the culture of American football — and that’s the last time I’ll use that adjective with respect to sport — well, that’s a whole different thing. It is much more dangerous. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo: I’m Gonna Get A Lotta Shit For This…”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #048: Saturday Night Lived

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #048: Saturday Night Lived

It’s the show mom and dad told me I couldn’t stay up to see until I was old enough; so of course I snuck downstairs to see it before it was allowed. It’s one of the few shows that remained appointment television when I got my first DVR. It’s a show that has remained firmly entrenched in the zeitgeist since its inception. Even when it was bad? It gave us Eddie Murphy. It’s spurned movie and TV careers for literally dozens of its long cast list.  Live from New York… It’s Saturday Night Live.

For many, whatever season(s) they caught first tend to set the bar of future expectations of quality and hilarity. For me personally, I became a fan somewhere towards the end of the ’95 season. This meant I missed Dana Carvey by a year, but got to see the end of Mike Myers, Adam Sandler and Chris Farley’s tenure. The very next season we got a fresh-faced set funny people: Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, Cheri Oteri, and Molly Shannon (to name a few).

While most will agree that SNL itself ebbs and flows in quality — as casts learn to play off one another, writers get into a groove, and current events offer unique opportunities to capture the zeitgeist — the show by and large has become an institution unto itself. Not unlike the brainchild of Vince McMahon (the WWE), Lorne Michael’s not ready for primetime players has grown in stature and expectation such that it may live long after it’s impossibly driven creator should ever choose to retire. And make no bones about it. I personally believe Lorne and Vince will die while still maintaining duties in their respective kingdoms. But I digress. Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #048: Saturday Night Lived”