Rob exclaimed, “You can do it!” during a recent interview with renowned satire specialist Glenn Beck. Schneider gave the eulogy for Saturday Night Live, the program that gave him his comedic credentials. Rob claimed that SNL had swung too far to the left, citing Kate McKinnon’s performance of “Hallelujah” after Hilary Clinton lost the 2016 election as “the exact moment” when the show lost its way.
Before his show, Schneider noted, “I hate to fake on my show.” It’s done. It is done. Six full seasons after the sketch he thinks killed the show, he stated, “It’s not going to come back. (Someone should alert YouTube; the song’s official video has received over 13 million views.)
Despite the long-running program’s obstinate determination to continue to screen every Saturday night, Schneider is not the only Nostrodamus to predict its end. Here is a short history of how the program has been written over the years.
1980: ‘Saturday Night Dead on Arrival’
It’s impossible to say for sure, but humorous Newsday journalist Marvin Kittman was the first reviewer to use “Saturday Night Dead” in a headline. Belushi, Radner, and Murray’s unfortunate successors were called “squeaky clean California types.” The new show was “offensive and bawdy,” which was much worse (yet somehow squeaky clean). Pittman proclaimed that the new Saturday Night Live was “Saturday Night Dead on Arrival.” Undoubtedly, the axe was ready to fall!
1985-1992: More ‘Saturday Night Dead’
By the time Lorne Michaels made his comeback, “Saturday Night Dead” had established itself as a go-to for critics forecasting the show’s impending termination. NBC executive Dick Ebersol said, “It was the hardest season Lorne had made the show, and everyone came out of the woodwork to attack.” He had never been exposed to the “Saturday Night Dead” material.
According to the eventual host Tom Hanks, everyone wanted the show to be canceled. “Saturday Night Dead” By the time I appeared on the program for the first time, how frequently have you read that? According to Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller in Life From New York, after Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman left, the traditional chants of “Saturday Night Dead” resumed, with one critic dubbing the program “a lifeless, humorless corpse.”
1994: Is Saturday Night Dead?
At least Entertainment Weekly had the decency to include a question in its headline rather than a flat-out demise notice. It nonetheless declared that viewing the show was “a difficult ordeal.” Since the show’s ratings were dropping, the magazine offered solutions to prevent its eventual demise while also speculating as to whether it would be able to resurrect itself.
1995: Comedy Isn’t Funny
An infamous New York Magazine piece claimed SNL was a “gargantuan exertion of sweat, blood, fried food, and bluff self-denial that generates, for example, a mind-bending bad sketch involving space aliens and rectal probes” seemed to be trying to kill the program off on its own.
Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the piece portrays working on SNL as a living hell, with numerous complaints from critics and performers. Despite the likelihood of cancellation due to the show’s numbers, Lorne tells the writer that the program is “fighting for its life.”
2014: The Nine Lives of Saturday Night Live
The New Yorker lamented the program’s poor ratings (a then-recent episode hosted by Bill Hader had the lowest ratings in SNL history). Because of the advent of YouTube, viewers could watch Saturday Night Live (SNL) whenever they wanted, and its real-time immediacy was the primary factor keeping it alive. Critic Ian Crouch acknowledged that people often claim the show is dying, but it might be fatal this time. Was the poison that finally put an end to the front the diminishing value of “live”?
Rob Schneider responds, “No.” Sketches of Hillary Clinton will be the final nail in the coffin. Or not. No show can last indefinitely, but if history has taught us anything, predicting SNL’s demise almost always results in the show’s longevity. A few years ago, SNL writer Steve Higgins dismissed any death predictions, pointing out that the “it’s not as good as it used to be” gripes probably began in 1975 following show #2. He accurately predicted that it would only be a matter of time before “Saturday Night Dead” was once again reported in the news.
For more updates like this, do visit lakecountyfloridanews.com.