“Would be compelling if SNL could harness some of that madcap energy displayed on 30 Rock tonight.” That was the abbreviated tweet I sent out after watching “30 Rock’s” live episode last Thursday. Clearly I wasn’t the only one thinking about “Saturday Night Live,” which became obvious as I read the reviews the next day.
So I thought it warranted an experiment. “30 Rock” was still sitting there on my DVR. Why not watch it over the weekend back-to-back with “SNL” and try to figure out what the latter could learn from the former? In all, I think I watched “30 Rock” four times. It held up that well over repeated viewings. But I could barely get through a single viewing of “SNL”—but it was more than, “It’s just not funny.” Why are many of “SNL’s” sketches clunkers? I think Tina Fey’s efforts on “30 Rock” were instructive, if not at least a conversation starter.
No doubt the good readers of the Chicago Tribune will have their own opinions and I am eager to know what they are. “Saturday Night Live” still has such an emotional pull despite the grumbling it generates—it’s a pop cultural ritual; we love it, we hate it—and you can’t argue with the list of film and TV stars that have logged time on the show. But it’s in a rut. And I think Fey pointed out the many ways in which “SNL” might just pull itself out that hole.
Let me know what you think at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my Twitter @NinaMetzNews
-- Nina Metz
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