Thursday, December 24, 2009

Is Andy Samberg SNL's savior?

Editor: So this guy is right, but he obviously doesn't know Andy well. Check out my comments at the end.


He’s a star in the making. Saturday Night Live’s fastest rising featured player since Will Ferrell. I wish I could have called this four years ago. If I had, I would’ve looked like a goddamn Nostradamus. Instead, I’m just one of the many people hopping on the Andy Samberg bandwagon.

[Editor: Star in the making? He hosted the MTV Movie Awards this year! And I guess I'm Nostradamus, because I've been blogging about Andy for four years, and I called that he was going to save SNL the moment that Lazy Sunday aired. It was obvious then that Andy Samberg was going to lead SNL.]

A few years back, Tom Hanks was hosting SNL. I hadn’t watched the show in years, mainly since Ferrell and a host of others left, and the sole reason I turned it on was because of Hanks. After all, Hanks is my favorite actor and I miss him in nothing.

Anyway, there was one skit that stood out to me. It sounds stupid, but I remember it making me laugh harder than anything else. It was a song called “Testicles” and it featured Hanks and some other dude, dressed as gay German pop singers called Ariel and Efram.

The bit was kind of stupid, but the way Hanks and the other dude got into it was what made it work. The other dude was of course Andy Samberg.

[Editor: I agree that I thought that skit was hilarious.]

Here’s the thing about SNL: it’s a show that has to be carried by one or two stalwarts in order for it to be successful. Think back on its history. Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Phil Hartman, Will Ferrell. These are the people who’ve carried the torch.

In its bad years, it’s been carried by no one. The show needs a leader. What’s the reason it has fallen off in the past few years? The lack of a true stalwart. (The only memorable ratings stretch over the past five years was the Tina Fey as Sarah Palin show – more of a lucky coincidence for creator Lorne Michaels).

Actresses like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are great. Jimmy Fallon is a funny dude. Horatio Sanz – eh I could go without him. None of them could carry a show ala Ferrell. Until Samberg arrived in 2005, the show really didn’t have anyone in that realm. They didn’t have the go-to guy.

Samberg is that guy. If Michaels and company were smart, they’d make him the star. They’d continue to showcase him in the always funny Lonely Island skits. They’d also continue to let him flex his muscles as a great impressionist (his Mark Wahlberg is dead on). They’d give him meaningful characters like Myers’ Wayne Campbell or Linda Richman.

In an SNL skit from two weeks ago, I watched Samberg perform as “Shy Ronnie” alongside Rihanna. Typically, Samberg’s musical performances are met with high energy. This one was met with dead silence. After all, the guy’s name is Shy Ronnie. It worked beautifully. Even in silence, Samberg brought it.

It’s been said that Phil Hartman was the glue that held the late 1980s, early 1990s cast together. Undoubtedly without Hartman, names like Adam Sandler and Chris Farley would likely have as much meaning to us today as Gary Kroeger. Not that those guys weren’t talented. Obviously they were. However, with thriving SNL behind them (thanks to Hartman and also Mike Myers), they were able to showcase their talents to a wide audience and eventually leverage that into a movie career.

Hel!, freaking Rob Schneider launched a successful movie career and I know he’s not talented.

If Lorne Michaels is smart, he’ll give Samberg a chance to carry the show (alongside the immensely talented Bill Hader) and the magic might just happen again.


I think they're using Andy well. Especially this last episode featured Andy Samberg in Fraternity, the digital short (which Andy sang), and his new Mark Wahlberg skit. So I think Lorne is using Andy. I agree that Andy doesn't have enough characters, becuase Andy isn't a chameleon. He's just funny. So the writers don't write characters for him very often because they don't know what he can do (at least not compared to the other performers).



TheKinkySurgeon said...

Obviously I think Andy should get bigger party in snl skits (because actually my first priority while watching snl is.... when is andy coming???.... and I'd love to see him more often.

So to me it's clear that the writers are not using andy well far as I'm concerned he has never done a jimmy fallon impression on snl, which would propably be a hit, concidering that jimmy is an snl alumni.
And I'm sure that he's got more up his sleeves that that.

what I also hope for is another digital short with the lonely island. or just bring jorma into the cast :) he's hilarious as well and cute as a button.

finally... the answer to the question is clearly: YES!!! ANDY IS SNL's big saviour!

Ed Price said...


All good points:

- Writers: Use Andy more
- Have Andy do a Jimmy Fallon impression
- Prompt TLI to do more songs together
- Bring Jorma onto the cast

I have a few more:
- Have Andy do a musical digital short with Jimmy Fallon
- Have Andy also do one with Taylor Swift (she been practically begging for it)
- Writers, write some characters for Andy instead of just for Kristen Wiig (although Kristen is a writer or co-writer for most of her characters, they can still up the efforts to do it with Andy)

So I think all these ideas would be steps in the right direction. Thanks Jennifer!


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