A favorite pastime of Americans since basically 1976, from critics to the average viewer, is to complain, almost always unfairly, about Saturday Night Live. The cast, the quality of the sketches, the hosts, the musical acts, the politics — everything gets complained about, usually simultaneously. If the show actually sucked you’d think people would stop watching and, you know, talking about it.
The point is, it’s becoming ever rarer that SNL puts out sketches or has moments that most people agree on — this despite Saturday Night Live low key being one of the more politically balanced comedy shows on television. (Yeah, they still lean left. So do 99% of your favorite artists. It comes with the territory. At least they make a real, quality effort.)
This week, though, SNL had another great political moment as well as two genuinely hilarious sketches. The first was their tribute to recently deceased former president George H.W. Bush, who was famously impersonated on the show during his presidency by former cast member Dana Carvey. Bush was also maybe the most gracious president about being impersonated. He saw comedy and the mockery of those in power as vital to a healthy democracy. Bush appreciated Carvey’s work so much that he invited the comedian to the White House and the two became friends who spoke and corresponded a lot over the years.
(The clip begins at 1:41.)
The first sketch that was pretty inarguably great (though probably NSFW) was a spoof of, uh, the relationship Charlie’s other grandparents in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” had.
And, finally, a commercial spoof extolling the negatives (and maybe one positive) of kids having a second Christmas at their recently divorced dad’s house in Florida.
Based on the many things I’ve written about Florida, and my own objective ideas about how I’d live as a middle-aged divorcee, that feels accurate.