Did anyone catch this special on the weekend? I thought it would just be a "Best of" special, but, instead, it was a detailed chronological telling of all ups and downs of the show during the 80's. They had interviews with the producers, writers, performers and hosts, with clips from the show.
I know there were a lot of big names that went through that cast during that time, but, given that I was only starting to be old enough to watch that show near the late 80's, when they were back on the rise, I didn't have a full idea of what most of the 80's were like for the show. It was very informatative. I didn't realize how close they were to cancelling it a number of times, and how many times they really just cleaned house.
The one sketch that I'm suprised I really hadn't heard much about was the "fire" sketch, where they ended the season with a cliffhanger, leaving it up in the air who would return or not. It was the period when they had a really, really young cast of guys that just didn't fit in (i.e. Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Downey Jr. etc.).
It also indicated how political the show was behind the scenes. There was a whole process of performers getting the writers to write parts for them.
Anyone else catch this. What were people's thoughts?
I figured this would happen. Any reference to SNL will inevitably bring out people talking about how bad the show has become. I'm not disagreeing either. It's god-awful. Every once in a while, in the last few years, I hear about who the host is, so, if I'm home, I'll try to catch some of it, and, I won't watch more than a few minutes.
The special from the 80's though provides a bit of insight as to what the problems are. In the 80's, there was no guarantee they weren't going to be cancelled, and therefore, big changes would happen to the cast. They made complete roster turnouvers some years. They went out and got guys like Billy Crystal and Martin Short for one year, to give the show new life. They haven't tried anything drastic on the show like that in years. They knew when they had a bad show, and they were willing to change it. They don't seem willing to do that nowadays.