Like most of the internet, I am buzzing about the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live that aired this weekend. It was a spectacular event that left me floating up off my couch. As a child of SNL, watching so many names & faces on one stage, one night, was overwhelmingly funny, nostalgic, and heart warming.
I grew up watching Saturday Night Live from a very, very young age. I have memories of my teachers making references & doing impressions from the show meant to go over our heads, but I would laugh & continue the joke, with my teachers wide eyed. They’d realize they were quoting SNL with their 8 year old student. In 3rd grade, I was Linda Richman for Halloween. “Fat Guy in a Little Coat” was part of the regular comedy routine I performed for my older brothers. My point is, I’ve grown up with SNL being in some of my earliest memories. My family didn’t have an abundance of things we regularly did together, but we always sat down to watch Saturday Night Live. My parents were cool enough to let their tiny children stay up that late to watch extraordinary comedians make dirty jokes & invent legendary characters. So, to see it all back on stage for just a little while, it made the child within me glow. It was a big, giant blast of nostalgia. Sure, there were a lot of things from before my time, and lot from the more recent years of the show, but the bulk of it focused on a lot of the things that I so fondly remember watching as a kid. I think that’s because, in my opinion, when I was growing up, SNL was in it’s golden years. The 90’s and early 00’s were the best time for comedy on that show. And SNL 40 certainly didn’t forget that. There were callbacks to some great characters from that era, including one of my all time favorites; Matt Foley.
The fantastic thing about this anniversary was that a lot of new talent were paying homage to legendary talent. To reenact Matt Foley, was Melissa McCarthy. For Roseanne Roseannadanna, was Emma Stone. For all of the sketches redone, all of the characters reappearing, I think there was just an overwhelming feeling of “We will never forget you, we will never forget this, thank you for all of this tremendous fun”. The whole night was a blast to watch. Multiple musical guests, appearances by everyone under the sun, and an appreciative spirit brought to you by the audience which was made up of only past hosts & cast members. Oh and of course, endless Jon Lovitz jokes.
I was afraid for how this reunion would go. I was afraid that all of the revisiting and reviving, it would just seem like beating a dead horse. But I was so foolish to think that, because so many of the characters, the jokes, the people on SNL are timeless. They will always be funny, it will always make you laugh. That spirit and that feeling is what was payed homage to this weekend with SNL 40. Regardless of my feelings of the more current seasons of SNL, this special was handled extremely well. It was exactly what it was supposed to be; funny.
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