I’m part of one of the first generations that has had “Saturday Night Live” my entire life. Almost every Saturday since I entered this world has had “SNL,” for better or for worse. And each generation after the show debuted has their “SNL.” There are the folks who were there from the start who claim the best years were the early years. There are those born after me who contend the late 90s were the best. I’ve yet to meet anyone who thought the mid-80s “SNL” was any good, so there is that.
I was born in 1981, so I never knew Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy (to name a few) other than big movie stars, let alone cast members on a weekly sketch television show that I started watching toward the very late 80s. The cast I grew up with had Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey, Mike Meyers, Jan Hooks, Victoria Jackson, Tim Meadows, Dennis Miller, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, ect. Those years will always be my “SNL” years I look back fondly on.
There was “Wayne’s World,” a sketch about two metalheads with a public access channel that would go on to become one of my favorite comedy movies. There was Chris Farley freaking out over someone switching his coffee, or his Matt Foley character who lived in a van down by the river. Phil Hartman’s spot-on Bill Clinton sketch were the president eats (steals) people’s food as he explains various politics at a Mac Donald’s was classic. That was the “SNL” I grew up with.
This year marks the 40 years of the show. It’s also a show that definitely goes through phases of quality. For instance, this past year I started watching it regularly again for the first time since probably 1999-2000. And in all honesty, this has been more of a nosedive in humor, with very few highlights that come to mind. It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last time, that this show is nearly unwatchable. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that this show, much like a cockroach, refuses to die. And it will more than likely become funny again.
Anyway, here is a classic that I will forever enjoy from “SNL.”