What Teams Are Playing On Monday Night Football Today Has "Saturday Night Live" Finally Become Saturday Night Dead?

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Has "Saturday Night Live" Finally Become Saturday Night Dead?

When I was younger, I watched “Saturday Night Live” faithfully because it always seemed to have enough “funny” to keep me positive and smiling. The list of comedians who passed through it on their way to greater fame and fortune reads like a who’s who of comedy and is too long to repeat here. A much shorter list would be who has never been a cast member or guest on Saturday Night Live.

I don’t think it’s much of a revelation to say that Saturday Night Live has lost some of its “funny” like a lot of its audience. People just talk less about it on Monday morning. All of this came back to me when I watched Peyton Manning in his guest hosting debut on Saturday night.

Manning, the Super Bowl MVP for the world champion Indianapolis Colts, has a reputation for being very intense, demanding and uptight to the point of imprisonment when it comes to game preparation and execution. It makes sense that he could be just as intense on Saturday Night Live. Peyton Manning certainly saw the program as an opportunity to give viewers an impression of his “other side.” He can afford media consultants to suggest how he can refresh his image.

That’s why I found it disturbing when in one skit he knocked down kids by throwing a ball at them and then scolded them for being stupid and incompetent. After watching this attempt at humor, I thought the National Football League and its United Way partner would stay out of touch. I was wrong. I’ve heard very little about Manning’s skits. I doubt Manning lay awake the night before his appearance dreaming of the skits he was doing. The soccer part with the kids didn’t impress me at all, and I didn’t find it funny in the least.

When you stop by to watch a Little League Baseball game these days, there’s always one or two coaches screaming, cursing and berating kids for throwing out or throwing a ball to the wrong base. Loser fathers become coaches who are legion to “beat up” the kids.

Successful athletes do not do this under any circumstances. They understand how hard it is to become good and how making mistakes is how you learn to correct them. Successful athletes are positive and encouraging almost without exception. I agreed with this particular skit because kids today have too many heroes who are not worthy of admiration or emulation. Some of today’s heroes have a rap list longer than their list of valuable credits.

Media pundits might insist that the program is for “young urban adults” or some such special demographic, and that kids shouldn’t even be watching comedy at that time. Experts say that’s why what I have to say is meaningless. I say nonsense, these routines are funny because they strike a chord with the vast majority of viewers or not, regardless of age or when the program airs.

Being young, sophisticated and from New York doesn’t mean you recognize and appreciate comedy more than a 62-year-old grandpa from Lacey, Washington like me. The current state of Saturday Night Live probably has more to do with a lack of originality than a lack of presentation. If you went to any metro center looking for a whore, a pimp would tell you that “pimping is not easy”, and so is writing comedy on deadline.

We’ve all probably had a comedic moment in our lives, but how many of us can come up with a comedy routine on the fly? This is why we watch comedy, not try to create comedy. God bless Seth Meyers, the new Saturday Night Head Writer. He clearly understands that what is not alive is dead. Having said that Seth Meyers needs help. Tina Fey, the head writer who preceded Myers, also needs help. Even Lauren Michaels should be under the microscope; he provides leadership and hires the talented or the untalented as the case may be.

Saturday Night Live just isn’t as funny as it used to be. Everything is tired. I believe it’s not so much about the cast as the cast simply needs better material. If there’s one thing I dislike more than comedy that isn’t funny, it’s politicians who have nothing better to do than take up space and talk their mouths off without any solutions.

So if I’m kidding, let me offer Lauren Michaels a humble suggestion: publicly ask viewers to submit ideas for comedy sketches and dialogue. Give viewers the opportunity to send email suggestions without compensation.

This is a cheap idea and who knows, maybe some new ideas will surface and if someone clearly continues to contribute new ideas that work, then maybe they should join the show for opportunity and compensation. Think about it, Lauren. Recognize this fact: It doesn’t take much talent to come up with bathroom humor, but does bathroom humor really work that well? I do not think so.

The best humor is when we make fun of ourselves, not others. Anyone can relate to that kind of humor without taking sides. Comedy is not about divide and conquer, comedy is about everyone having a good laugh. And, as Readers Digest says, laughter is the best medicine.

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