The relative quality of Saturday Night Live is always in question. The Tina Fey years were the best. No, the Will Ferrell years. No, the Chris Farley years. No, the Eddie Murphy years. No, the John Belushi years. No, after episode one, it was all downhill.
But without a doubt, an easy reference point for the quality of any Saturday Night Live season is: who’s sitting at the Weekend Update desk. Chevy Chase was the icon, followed by Dan Aykroyd and “ignorant slut” Jane Curtin. Dennis Miller was more loquacious than Henry Clay on opium. Kevin Nealon perfected the sarcastic tone, while Colin Quinn tried his best to kill the Weekend Update desk. Then, after a long drought, they brought back the duos with Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon, and all seemed right with the world.
I’ll admit to being a huge Tina Fey fan. Her tenure brilliantly flipped the traditional idea of news. Often today, the man is the older respectable journalist and he’s flanked by some pretty young blonde. Instead, Fey took the reins as the smart one, with Fallon constantly goofing off and cracking up at his own jokes. Amy Poehler filled in admirably, but when Fey left to do 30 Rock, it seemed like Weekend Update would never be the same.
However, Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler have a natural chemistry that breathes new life into this aged franchise. Nowhere is this better seen than in one of the finest Update segments ever devised: “Really?!? with Seth and Amy.” The premise is quite simple, as the two anchors pick a news story that is, on its face, laughable, and mock it. Previous installments included Alberto Gonzalez’ “I don’t recall” testimony to Congress and Michael Vick getting busted for marijuana possession at an airport. Below, you will find a video of the most recent edition, focusing on Larry Craig’s bathroom situation and his subsequent denial of guilt.
It’s easy enough to find a news item and make a joke about it. But what Seth and Amy have done is poke holes into the ludicrousness of the current state of news. Americans have become disillusioned by politics, questioning everything they see. It’s about time someone took a hard look at what’s going on and, with disbelief in their heart, asked, “Really?!?”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Initially, Norm MacDonald was left off the poll. After some technical details were sorted out, we discovered how to add him in. We apologize for this oversight.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)