SNL isn't what it used to be, but I think our view of what it used to be is skewed. Despite the constantly playing archives on cable and satellite television, nobody remembers the really bad shows, hell, entire seasons. Even the golden era, with Akroyd, Belushi, Jane Curtin, and Gilda Radner, had it's clunkers and skits that you had to work to laugh at, really, who got the coneheads?
SNL is rarely all good, but it has a few skits or moments that strike a chord, and make us laugh, but they have never done it consistently. This years bunch, fresh off the writer's strike, had a lot of good moments Saturday night.
Starting off with a mock Obama/Clinton debate, we get a quick view of their latest version of the presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton's character was almost flattering, and Obama's very close. Reminding me of when Bush was new and they hadn't decided what about him to make fun of. Tina Fey was the hosst, making me think, "Did she leave the show?" And almost in answer, they bring the king of those, "Part of the show?/hosting the show?" quandaries, Steve Martin, in a quick skit during her monologue.
I was pleasantly surprised at how good the rest of the show went. The first fake commercial, about a birth control that limits periods to once a year, was as funny as any I remember, followed by decent skits and a good weekend update. Until the late skits, "I Drink Your Milkshake," and "Lady Business," this was running like one of the prime-time SNL compilation shows that makes you wonder where all the good skits came from over the last year. Usually, this show starts getting tired before the first musical break, this week, it stayed strong until the end. Even the bad skits could possibly hit a chord with someone, someone else.
It's nice to see SNL back.