Saturday Night Live - Season 34

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by RyanAn, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. RyanAn

    RyanAn Screenwriter

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    The following was from NBC.com -

    Emmy-nominated Comedy Powerhouse Starts an Extended 34th Season September 13 with Four Live Shows in a Row (Saturdays, 11:30 p.m.–1 a.m. ET)

    Three Live Primetime Outings -- "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday" -- Begin Thursday, October 9 at 9:30 p.m. (ET)

    "Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash 2008" to Air Day Before Election Day, Monday, November 3 at 9:30 p.m. (ET)

    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – July 20, 2008 – Fresh from its six primetime Emmy nominations, NBC's comedy institution "Saturday Night Live" will make an early return this fall to capitalize on the hotly contested Presidential race, extending its traditional 20-episode season to 22.

    After making a splash this spring during the Democratic primaries, "Saturday Night Live" will return to the air with 10 new live broadcasts this fall with a Presidential Bash special prior to Election Day, Monday, November 3 (9:30-11 p.m. ET).

    Dubbed "TV's Funniest and Most Influential Political Player" by Entertainment Weekly, "SNL" recently featured appearances by Senators Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Barack Obama and the show's political sketches became talking points at the Democratic debates and in the media.

    "'Saturday Night Live' always reflects what people are talking about. This is especially true during an election year," noted Rick Ludwin, Executive Vice President, Late Night and Primetime Series, NBC Entertainment. "This fall, we're giving the audience what they clearly want."

    "SNL" will make its 34th season premiere on Saturday, September 13, kicking off four live shows in a row, a rare practice that generated momentum for the show this past spring when the show returned after the WGA strike-imposed hiatus. All told, seven all-new "SNL's" will air on Saturdays prior to the election.

    In addition to the revved-up Saturday schedule, "SNL" is ready for primetime with "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday." Three live primetime half-hours will air October 9, 16 and 23 at 9:30 p.m. ET. These primetime special editions will be anchored by the show's signature "Weekend Update." This marks a return to the NBC Thursday night lineup for "SNL," which produced similar live "Update"-centered broadcasts in 2001.

    Finally, on the eve of Election Day, "SNL" will present its quadrennial political special "Saturday Night Live Presidential Bash 2008" (Monday, November 3, 9:30-11 p.m. ET). The special will feature all-new material and a look back at some of "SNL's" recent political satire including Fred Armisen's Barack Obama and Amy Poehler's Hillary Clinton as well as a selection of Presidential satire from Chevy Chase's Gerald Ford to Will Ferrell's George W. Bush. In addition, in some cases, appearances from the actual candidates are featured in the special as in 2000 when the Presidential Bash boasted a sketch featuring candidates Gore and Bush.

    Hosts and musical guests for the Saturday shows will be announced at a later date.

    "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE" PRE-ELECTION SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE
    SATURDAY, SEPT. 13 – SEASON PREMIERE, 11:30 PM
    SATURDAY, SEPT. 20 – LIVE
    SATURDAY, SEPT. 27 – LIVE

    SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4 – LIVE
    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9 – "SNL WEEKEND UPDATE THURSDAY" DEBUTS AT 9:30 PM
    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16 – "SNL WEEKEND UPDATE THURSDAY"
    SATURDAY OCTOBER 18 – LIVE
    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23 – "SNL WEEKEND UPDATE THURSDAY"
    SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25 – LIVE

    SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1 – LIVE
    MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3 – "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE PRESIDENTIAL BASH 2008" AIRS AT 9:30 PM

    I can not wait!!! Anyone want to make guest guesses?
     
  2. RyanAn

    RyanAn Screenwriter

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    Michael Phelps will be hosting the season premiere with Lil Wayne being the special guest!!!
     
  3. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    The only sketch I found truly funny was the cold open, mainly because EW recently had a poll that had Tina Fey getting the most votes as a Sarah Palin doppleganger. Phelps stumbled over his lines a bit too often and the directing seemed a bit off on the timing.

    Poehler looks like she's pretty close to delivery. Will this mean more work for Wiig? Hopefully.
     
  4. Joe_H

    Joe_H Screenwriter

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    I didn't watch the whole thing, just the open on Youtube, but I have to say, Tina Fey both looked and sounded exactly like Palin.
     
  5. Greg Kettell

    Greg Kettell Screenwriter

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    Phelps was better than I thought he would be, which isn't saying a whole lot. I did like the Michael Phelps diet sketch at the end. The Digital Short was atrociously bad. Weekend Update fell a bit flat. The opening bit with Fey and Poehler was hilarious though.
     
  6. David Norman

    David Norman Cinematographer
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    Having seen somewhere around 25+ of the Opening season shows, I think I can pretty reliably say this was the worst I can remember. After the 1st skit with Fey it was just atrocious.

    I usually like Weekend Update, but my god it was bad last night. For a swimmer/athlete as a host Michael Phelps is a great swimmer. I don't usually hope for much with most gimmick hosts (Peyton Manning being the exception), but the poor guy was given nothing to work with and botched the rest. The opening monologue was just bad to the point of having to import Shatner to get some life into the show. Phelps Mom's was cute though.

    Any variation of a skit about an obnoxious/terrible waiter should finally be retired after last night. The concept has long been run into the ground.

    The Ugly Kid skit -- ughh.

    Locker Room skit awful.

    Talk Show with Karolyi and Phelps worse.

    Digital short terrible.

    Quizbowl was the only marginally funny thing I can remember after the opening. The Phelps Diet was 2nd for the first 20 seconds at least and then the beat down repetition of the same joke for the next 5 minutes just sucked any remaining humor out of it.

    Skipped the Musical Guest as usual as it's just irrelevant. I can't remember the last one that I thought was interesting. I'm just too old.
     
  7. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Cinematographer

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    It's never a good sign when the host plays themselves in half the sketches. [​IMG]

    I liked the cold open, Cathy (mostly because it was so random), and the T-Mobile sketch. The Michael Phelps diet and jar opening commercial were amusing and the Shatner cameo was fun, even if they couldn't come up with a decent ending ("No, I'm not here to shill, it's about integrity...and Priceline!" made no sense--how about "...besides, they only paid me to do one mention").

    They really, really need to do a complete cast overhaul, and I'd say it's about time to dump Lorne Michaels too. SNL used to take risks and change things up--even if it turned out crappy, at least people talked about it. If it weren't for the writer's strike and it being an election year, the show wouldn't have any press whatsoever these days. Cast members used to stay on for 4 or 5 years; now it's closer to 7-9, and Darrell Hammond is in his 14th. No wonder the show is so stagnant.
     
  8. Alex-C

    Alex-C Screenwriter

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    Being nearly 40, I can attest to that, even without E! reruns. They use to take risks and be edgy, now we get second and third rate sketches ran and re-ran over and over. Dancing coach, ugh.

    Only thing that was funny was the jar opening short commercial parody.

    Here's a risk taking idea: The Obamas winning the election and portraying it like the television show The Jeffersons complete with a sassy maid. yea, its un-PC, yea, its inappropriate, yea, it'd probably piss off every one on that show, but it could be funny and it would be in the spirit of the old SNL who used to take risks.

    When you think about Garret Morris doing the news for the hard of hearing by yelling it and 1,000 other funny sketches before the PC era, SNL has not only lost a step, they lost the connection to why SNL was so important/unique/beloved in the first place. National lampoon indeed.
     
  9. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    The cold open was funny, but they could have gotten a bit tougher with it.

    Monologue was pretty lousy (you know the Shatner cameo wasn't working when you notice "Hey, isn't that the host of DINERS, DIVES AND DRIVE INS sitting next to him? Is he supposed to be in this sketch too for his TGI Fridays ads?")

    I have to say I did like the digital short. That is the only thing I rewatched this morning. ("You're a winner!") Maybe it helps to be an 80's music fan.

    Cathy was funny, and the T Mobile skit was as well.

    Otherwise, it wasn't one of the best.
     
  10. Joe_H

    Joe_H Screenwriter

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    You mean sorta like "That's My Bush" did 8 years ago? I mean obviously that was a white family moving into the White House and Obama is black, so its not as direct a comparison to The Jeffersons, but I don't see it as taking a risk to do something like that when its already been done.
     
  11. David Deeb

    David Deeb Supporting Actor

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    This show needs to be overhauled or simply cancelled. It's just done.

    I tried watching it, and yes, the opening skit was funny and the jar opening commercial was clever. But the rest was just jaw-dropping bad. That game show skit was awful, especially the part with the mom. It made no sense.

    If they are going to keep it on the air, here are 2 suggestions.

    1. Have comedians be the host.

    2. Do we really need anymore monologues where the host tells "how hard they worked" or "how much fun they had" or they take a tour backstage????

    Drop that idiotic opening. It hasn't been funny in 20 years. Just have Seinfeld or some up and coming comedian tell jokes for 5 minutes.

    I don't see any comedians jumping in the swimming pool to try to compete in the Olympics.
     
  12. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    They needed a poll for that? I mean, they look so much alike that who would even be in 2nd place?

    I can't think of another SNL person that naturally looks so much like the celebrity they are playing.

    I thought of Fey immediately the first time I saw Palin, and I figured there would be a sketch about her on the season opener despite Fey not being in the cast any more?
     
  13. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    [​IMG]

    Here are the "official numbers:"

    41% Tina Fey
    30 Rock's Liz Lemon

    36% Megan Mullally
    Will & Grace's Karen Walker

    23% Linda Kash
    Waiting for Guffman's Mrs. Pearl
     
  14. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Cinematographer

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    Wow, it really makes a difference when the host has at least an ounce of acting ability. Wasn't a perfect show by any means but that was much better than last week's atrocity. Unfortunately the ratings for last week probably means we haven't seen the last of athletes hosting but whatever, as long as we only have to put up with one non-actor season.
     
  15. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    I've got to disagree. I thought last night's show made the previous week look like a masterpiece.

    I don't think there was a sketch that worked. That opening with McCain (allegedly written by Senate candidate Al Franken) was horrible. It was downhill from there.

    I've never been one to say "cancel this show now!" I remember the mid 80's and the show can always improve. But I can see why people would say that.
     
  16. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Better than last week, but not by a whole lot. The last sketch was actually one of the better ones.
     
  17. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    Phelps wasn't that bad for a non-actor.

    I think the real problem with the show is the writing. If the skits aren't funny, it doesn't make much difference who's in them.
     
  18. xfile94

    xfile94 Stunt Coordinator

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    Last night's show was REALLY BAD!!! The only funny thing was Tina Fey--and she's not even a regular cast member. Ana Fariss was horrible. She doesn't act well at all. The "dumb blonde" jokes are really tiresome. I really don't know why I keep watching this show. I guess it's a bad habit I can't break.[​IMG]
     
  19. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Every joke last night seemed to be something I've basically heard in one form or another already. Some of the sketches seemed to be direct rip-offs of youtube type pieces or online blog bits.

    The originality on the show at this point is pretty appalling. It's not the acting, it's that the writing is not only unoriginal, it seems to be blatantly cribbed from elsewhere.

    I thought the Phelps episode was bad, but at least they had more sketches that felt as though they had a clear ending.

    Say what you will about Fey, and there were years under her writing that recieved a lot of criticism. But I can't think of a single moment where I ever thought that the skits were basically lifted from elsewhere/not original.
     
  20. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    At least Anna was able to deliver her lines with some needed inflection and interest. She's a good host (compared some many of the stiffs they'd had on this show these past few years).
     

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