Saturday Night Live
has been a fixture on late night television since 1975. While some readers may not have been born during that decade, most remember the Saturday Night Live
sketches of the 90's. If not, you can always catch up on the best of those years with the third installment of SNL's behind-the-scenes compilation "Saturday Night Live in the 90's: Pop Culture Nation," which will air Sunday May 6 at 9pm ET on NBC. BuddyTV was fortunate to be a part of a press conference this morning with writer/director/producer Kenneth Bowser who compiled the clips for the special as well as comedian Tim Meadows (also know as The Ladies Man) who has been one of the show's longest running cast members. The following is a recap of what transpired:
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Kenneth looked at 500 shows in a row starting in 1975 and believes that the 90's are the funniest decade of them all. He thinks the writing was exceptional, the characters were ongoing and it had the most interesting cast. The decade was broken up into very different schools of comedy, but in a positive way. The 80's on the other hand were broken up as well but not necessarily the right way. Ken has always been a fan of Saturday Night Live
and saw the first show on the first night that it aired and was immediately hooked. He said that it was very "I can't believe they just got away with that." He also noted "there had never been anyone speaking to my generation at the time so I was watching right from the beginning." When asked what his favorite sketches from years past have been it was hard for him to pinpoint only a few. He did say that the Clarence Thomas senate-hearing sketch from the 90's was great as well as Chris Farley's Chip and Dales sketch.
As this compilation is the third review, Ken learned he had a certain confidence that the show "by it's nature somewhat autobiographical and that the songs over the course of ten years will give more than enough material to comment on what is going on." The choice of clips is driven by how he can tell the story. Ken believes that Saturday Night Live
is part of our culture and sometimes is reflective, commenting on politics or celebrities, but that it also is sometimes creating the culture. He said, "It always stays in the now."
After going through all the shows Ken said that you could see that there are certain people who are great comedians but very few who can do the comedy as well as be wonderful actors. Ken noted that Tim Meadows is one of those people.
Despite being one of the show's longest running cast members, Tim Meadows wasn't always on top. His first year on the show he was surrounded by "all heavy hitters." As time went on he realized that "to keep your job you had to produce what they expected." He noted that "after a certain point the performer in you, you get comfortable and it comes out."
Tim grew up in Detroit in the 7-mile area and was the only one of his friends who watched SNL. He was a big fan of the show and used to record the audio of Saturday Night Live
and listen to it later in the week while his friends were listening to music.
Most of the sketches he performed he wrote by himself but as far as performing goes, he did have some favorites that he worked with. He had a lot of fun with Will Ferrell, Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Steve Martin and Bill Murray. He said, "We always tried to make each other laugh. Will would change things on the live show or do something different and Farley would do things off camera and you'd try not to laugh." He also noted that Alec Baldwin was one of the most fun hosts to work with, especially because every time he was there Tim was able to get something on the show. Tim believes that the best hosts are the ones who will do anything. He remembered how Tina Fey wrote a French prostitute sketch for Garth Brooks and he actually did it. After that show Tim had a lot of respect for Garth.
Tim set the record straight about about Steven Segal being the worst Saturday Night Live
host. He noted that "it wasn't a fun week that week...It's hard for someone with almost no sense of humor to host SNL, I think that's the best way to put it."
The most fun Tim had throughout his Saturday Night Live
experience was the rewrite meetings on Thursdays. He likes being around funny people and always looked forward to Thursdays because everyone would go through all of the sketches and punch them up. If he didn't have anything else to do that day he would stay at the writers table.
-Cameron Curtis, BuddyTV Staff Writer
Image Courtesy of tvguide.com