Pin It

Remote Possibilities 

by TED S. McGREGOR JR. & r & & r & Saturday Night Live & r & & r & (Saturdays, 11:30pm, NBC) & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & E & lt;/span & verybody knew it was coming -- Tina Fey coming back to SNL to play her separated-at-birth twin Sarah Palin. And we tuned in, giving the show its biggest audience since Al Gore came out of hiding to host in 2002. And Fey and Amy Poehler (as Hillary Clinton) delivered an instant classic -- one of the funniest bits in the show's 33-year history.

But then they had to do some more skits (they had the whole summer, mind you) and delivered some of the worst, least funny bits in the show's 33-year history.

Weekend Update -- the original fake news outlet -- is worth staying up for, but beyond those two things, you have to ask what the hell happened to this beloved American institution? Even a show about the show (30 Rock) is funnier.

It starts with the "talent." Apparently Lorne Michaels decided that Andy Samberg was the next Adam Sandler. He's not. And that Kristen Wiig could be the next over-acting, obnoxious Molly Shannon. She's not.

The best seasons (after the first few unmatchable ones) have had actual stars; most cast members support those stars (like Will Ferrell or Dana Carvey). So they need to get over the idea that it's an ensemble. We want to see more of the funniest people. Right now, I'd say Will Forte is the best they have -- and he's no Will Ferrell.

So that means they need a better talent scout. Just check out The Daily Show if you want to see who is pulling in the best talent -- comedians who are routinely getting placed in primetime series and in movies. Dig into that NBC bag o' money and hire The Daily Show's talent scout away.

And the problems extend into the writing. (Does there have to be a fake game show every week? No, there doesn't. Time for a fake game show moratorium until further notice.) Again, it's about the stars and writing funny characters they can perform again and again -- America likes the familiar, like Church Lady and Ferrell's cheerleaders. Maybe Alec Baldwin could come down and fire some lame-o writers, just like he does on 30 Rock.

As long as Sarah Palin is around, Saturday Night Live will be reeling in the viewers. Now they just have to figure out how to keep them awake after the opening skit ends.



Season Three kicks off with an hour of catching up, then a new episode called "Villains" -- meaning, yes, there will be more bad guys this season. (Monday, 9/22, 9 pm, NBC)

American Masters

When four brothers moved to Hollywood from Youngstown, Ohio, it was a typical American story of heading West for brighter prospects. It worked out pretty well, as those brothers were named Warner and their movie studio has, for 85 years now, been a leader in the world of film. The American Masters series tackles the tale in three parts in You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story, narrated by Clint Eastwood. Interviews with the likes of George Clooney, along with clips from classics like Casablanca will fill six hours. KSPS can't seem to figure out when to schedule it, so watch Idaho Public TV. (Part One: Tuesday, 9/23, 9 pm; Part Two: Wednesday, 9/24, 9 pm; Part Three: Thursday, 9/25, 9 pm, KCDT, Comcast Ch. 26)

Survivor Gabon

Are you up for another season? If so, tune in for the two-hour premiere and meet the contestants and check out the West African jungleland of Gabon. (Thursday, 9/25, 8 pm, CBS)

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Buried in the Headlines
  • Buried in the Headlines

    Big stories largely ignored by the mainstream media
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • A Sense 
of Détente
  • A Sense of Détente

    In only two months, the seemingly intractable battle between mayor and council has turned into an exuberant truce
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • Not Green Enough
  • Not Green Enough

    State says no carbon exemption for Spokane Waste-to-Energy Plant; plus, settlement reached in Priest River high school football concussion lawsuit
    • Oct 27, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
SpookWalk in Browne's Addition

SpookWalk in Browne's Addition @ Browne's Tavern

Fri., Oct. 28, 7-8:30 p.m., Sat., Oct. 29, 7-8:30 p.m., Sun., Oct. 30, 7-8:30 p.m. and Mon., Oct. 31, 7-8:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Defending North Idaho

    Why Heather Scott must go
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • The Do-Over

    After failing to pass a bus service tax hike last year, Spokane Transit Authority has a plan to get you to vote for it again
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

election 2016


green zone


trail mix

Readers also liked…

  • Buzzkill
  • Buzzkill

    Elected officials in Idaho won't mellow the state's pot laws. Can an initiative change that?
    • Apr 22, 2015
  • Trump vs. Jesus
  • Trump vs. Jesus

    Why my conservative Christian parents can't vote for the Republican for president this time
    • Sep 22, 2016

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation