Hopefully you mentally chimed in with, "And the only prescription is more cowbell."
Writing as a Christian and for a Christian site, it's a bit tricky writing a blog post which centers around Saturday Night Live (SNL) and their recent 40-year celebration. A lot of it is funny. Some of it is a little off-color.
One aspect a fellow coworker made note of is that through the 40 years of SNL, only about 2-3 years per decade actually produced good, funny shows. The rest were just odd or poorly done. It's also interesting that most shows aren't given this much grace when ratings fall. Perhaps NBC always saw its potential or its place in American television and society. Or, maybe I give them too much credit and it just was the only thing that would make a little money on a late Saturday night.
What amazes me the most about watching last weekend's SNL's 40th is that through those good years per decade, I can remember the skits and quote the lines. Perhaps only Seinfeld has had the same type of lasting effect on popular culture and me. Looking at a picture of the original 1975 cast is a glimpse into some brilliant comedic careers through stand-up, sit-com and movie fame. The original cast included Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris and Chevy Chase. Listing that cast's achievements would take the entire post.
Here are a few of my favorite skits from the 80's-90's suitable for reposting here…
With SNL being on the night before church, Dana Carvey's Church Lady was always timely and most often quoted in my youth group Sunday school classes a few hours after it aired. We can credit the Church Lady with pointing out the Santa/Satan similarities, starting a funny little dance that even I could imitate and the ability to make fun of a "holier than thou" attitude based on some traditional values and how we discuss them. It at least opened a conversation.
Perhaps part of its staying power is the fact that it satirically, or sometimes blatantly, faced and faces sensitive cultural issues and news. I appreciate SNL bringing attention to and making issues, in a roundabout way, something that can be talked about.
From this, as Christians, we are to be involved in the conversations of popular culture to offer a resounding voice and direction with a moral compass to one another and those who do not yet know the love and hope of Jesus Christ.