Sunday, November 29, 2009

AASB: Does Lorne Michaels know what he's doing? (Saturday Night Live)

Ask Andy Samberg Blog: Is Lorne getting tired? Is he going to retire?

I think if he is planning on retiring, he should be preparing somebody younger to pick it up. My recommendation is Seth Meyers or Bobby Moynihan.

Bobby is driving some of the writing right now, and I think that's only going to increase in the future. Bobby is a huge student of SNL, and he has the tenacity and focus to keep the show true to Lorne's intentions. Lorne just has to mentor him or Seth (or another younger guy) as a producer.

I think Lorne still has some kick in him, though. He's still making bold moves for the good of the show, like laying off cast members who aren't contributing enough, including Michaela and Casey.

Why I think bumping Michaela was a good move...

She was on for one full season. I really liked her blogger bit. But it was one amusing character that wasn't super popular. What else did she do? She's best known for Hoda, but that skit was really all about Kathy Lee.

Basically, Michaela was good at doing characters that Kristen Wiig could do if Kristen wasn't already in the skit. Lorne needed a better balance for the show. That's what he told Michaela, and I agree with that. He also told Michaela that she's talented and could do her own show. I agree with that too.

Contrast Michaela with Abby, who made a big splash with her Angelina Jolie appearances, where she completely outdid Kristen's Madonna when they went toe to toe. Since then, Abby has continued to bring out great impersonations (but she needs to work on doing characters). Her Sarah Mclachlan (with the dog songs) was hilarious. She can also do an amazing Kirsten Dunst. I don't think she's busted that out yet.

Also contrast Michaela to Nasim Pedrad, who busted out a perfect Kim Kardashian, some strange girlfriend character in that Taylor Swift skit, Mrs. Mahmoud, and her Japanese translator in the last episode was amazing. Lorne needed fresh women. He got that in Abby and Nasim. Jenny might not make it though, unless she does something drastic (in a good way).

So, no. Lorne knows what he's doing. He can't please everybody, and he needs to get the players to team up more and try out more characters. The players have mad skills, and Andy Samberg brought something new to the table. Pretty soon, this seasoned cast of men will start dropping out the way Fey, Hammond, Dratch, Maya, and Amy have. And then he'll also have more room to try out new men. It's not perfect, but it's never been perfect, and he's working on getting the right women right now.

So right now Lorne's concentrating on getting the mix of women right. Then some of his guys will leave, and he'll have to bring on some new guys and try to get that mix right. It's what he does every year, and he's been doing it for over 30 years. It's a difficult task, and even when SNL was at it's best, I still remember there only being a few funny skits in many shows and that many shows dragged on and never connected.

Lorne has a lot of talented people on right now, and Andy Samberg has taken SNL to the Internet. I think Lorne's doing pretty well.



Anonymous said...

lorne is the heart and brain of saturday night live. there would be no snl without him. he left the show for a short time in the very beginning and it went down hill until lorne returned. he just has the eye for talented people, nasim is just the latest proof of that.

I also think that lorne is doing pretty well at the moment ( though it would be nice if they planned the sketches a little better, I don't want to see kenan and/or kristen so many of the sketches. less is more in this case. they should use the entire cast more efficiantly. also I think they should give jenny slate a chance to show off her talent)

Ed Price said...


Regarding Jenny Slate, Lorne gave her the Biker Chicks skit in her first episode, and she flubbed it, being nervous and cursing.

You're right that they need to give her another shot, and she needs to go for it soon, or she'll be off like Michaela and Casey. Right now, Lorne's getting his mix of women right, and Jenny is the one that might go.


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