The Farr Side: ‘SNL’ at 40:?Hilarious memories
“Saturday Night Live” turned 40. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. Where has the time gone?
I can blink my eyes and go back to the moment I first saw Dana Carvey as the Church Lady or Eddie Murphy singing “Wookin’ Pa Nub.” I love “SNL” and I always will.
Watching the “SNL 40” special commemorating the show’s anniversary brought back so many fond memories of the show. It’s weird, but knowing the show is 40 sort of makes me feel old, but it also makes me feel young, too. That’s the genius of Lorne Michaels’ and the 141 cast members who’ve made the show so successful all these years. Its topical nature and brilliant casting has made it a staple of late night TV on Saturday nights.
As a kid growing up in the early ’80s, staying up late on Saturday to watch “Saturday Night Live” was like a rite of passage. It’s what all the cool kids got to do, so when you went to school on Monday you could talk about what crazy stuff Eddie Murphy did as Gumby.
I’ve loved all the cast formations, including re-runs of the beginnings with John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner. They’ve all been funny. But there have been some standouts throughout the years that have made me continue to tune in each week. Funny people like Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Chris Farley, Bill Murray, Cheri O’Teri, Jason Sudeikis, Dennis Miller, Phil Hartman, Darrell Hammond, Kevin Nealon, Tim Meadows, Joan Cusack, David Spade, Molly Shannon, Jan Hooks, Nora Dunn, Ana Gasteyer, Kenan Thompson, Mike Myers, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers.
Who am I kidding? The talent to come from “SNL” is unparalleled. It’s nearly impossible to name a favorite or two when you see a list like that. My all-time favorites would have to be Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig and Amy Poehler. Their overall talents, closet of characters and versatility made them clear standouts. I often start laughing just thinking of the many funny moments they’ve had on the show.
I especially love moments when the show tackles politics. Ferrell’s George W. Bush was hilarious, as was Hammond’s Bill Clinton, but it was Fey’s Sarah Palin and Poehler’s Hillary Clinton that were so spot-on that you couldn’t resist tuning in to see what they were going to do next. I sometimes had to remind myself that Fey wasn’t Palin — that’s how well she did.
My all-time favorite skit still has me viewing it on YouTube to this day, on a show hosted by Lindsay Lohan: “Debbie Downer” (played by Rachel Dratch) ruins an Ohio family’s trip to Disney World. Dratch can only seem to talk about depressing topics while the others (Fallon, Poehler, Lohan, Fred Armisen and Horatio Sanz) can barely keep it together during the sketch. It’s a classic moment for sure.
Thanks for the memories “SNL.” Here’s to many more.
“Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”
Email David T. Farr at email@example.com.