An open letter to NBC regarding "Saturday Night Live"

Dear NBC,

I know you are probably too busy worrying about Comcast buying you up, but there is something I need to bring to your attention that you have been ignoring for far too long:

Why, for the love of anything holy is "Saturday Night Live" still on the air?

The show has been a staple for your late night weekend schedule for 35 years and there have been some truly epic and memorable moments during its run. Comedians like John Belushi, Dan Akroyd, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Eddy Murphy and even Chris Farley are indelible icons of live television. I remember a broadcast in 1975 that had a recurring plot line about giant monster lobsters taking over New York and the show ended with the entire cast being killed off by the monsters. (its the same episode that had the famous Olympia Diner "Cheeseburger!" sketch.) People still talk about that show. It was absolutely genius.

But like a guest that's overstayed its welcome (by about 20 years or so), the jokes are just not funny anymore. There is absolutely no redeeming quality of the show worth watching. There was a time when I used to stay up to watch SNL and would occasionally laugh at the ridiculous sketches. But as the years progressed, I started to realize that while the audience has matured, the jokes have stayed the same. There was a time when people were impressed with the idea of a truly live comedy show. But I think people have grown tired of watching actors obviously reading cue-cards and writers desperately trying to keep their jobs. I stopped watching SNL a few seasons ago, but I decided to give it another chance and set my DVR to record it once again.

And then I watched last night's episode, with guest host Blake Lively and musical guest Rihanna. To be honest, I am hard-pressed to find anything even remotely amusing about the show. The "Digital Short" which seems to be a clever way of saying "Something we thought up and shot during the week of rehearsal to make it look like we know what we're doing" was just OK, with Rihannna sinning in an elementary school classroom with Andy Samberg as "shy Ronnie" in a red wig mumbling into a microphone. Amusing perhaps, but certainly not as memorable as "Lazy Sunday."

And the "Weekend Update" news segment, which has traditionally garnered the most chuckles, seemed to fall completely flat. There was a joke about police finding ecstasy tablets in the shape of President Obama's face: “The high is characterized by a brief, powerful high followed by a long, slow comedown.” But other than that, there was nothing about last nights broadcast that was even remotely entertaining.

And then came the end-of-the-show filler. This, as I am sure you're aware, has traditionally been the worst part of an otherwise terrible live show, where the writers (if you can call them that) scoop up whatever festering crap may have been tossed out on the first day of script writing. We all know that the filler is there just to get the show to its last commercial break before the cast mercifully says goodnight, but last night, the filler became the most bizarre, unfunny, and downright sickening moment I can recall in the history of television.

On the rare chance I come across anyone that tries to say that "Saturday Night Live is still funny" I will simply show them this sketch:

Lorne Michaels is still credited as being the Exec Producer of the show, right? Does he even watch it anymore? Does he go to rehearsals? How can he consider that sketch to be even remotely funny? The man needs to hang it up. Its been a long run, but its time to call it a day.

In fact, NBC, maybe under Comcast's watch, there is hope that they might get the balls to kick this once funny, now pointless, hopeless, worthless piece of live television once-and-for-all to the proverbial curb where it should have gone the moment someone in your management thought Anthony Michael Hall was a comedian.

Please NBC, I'm begging you: stop torturing audiences with this terrible, TERRIBLE television.



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