Big Changes for SNL’s 40th Year

This past year for the late night comedy show Saturday Night Live has come with many new changes. There were the changes that happen every year, like welcoming new cast members and saying goodbye to old ones, but a bigger change that happened this year was SNL’s long-running announcer, Don Pardo passed away and was replaced by Darrel Hammond, a former cast member. Many say that Pardo was the voice of SNL, but Hammond gives the show a more modern sound.

Another big change is the Weekend Update members. After Seth Meyers left the show, there has been a struggle to find the perfect person to fill his big shoes. Cecily Strong tried, but struggled, and she was later joined by Colin Jost. This duo did not work well either: the chemistry was just not there, so Strong left the Weekend Update desk and was replaced by Michael Che. Jost and Che are working to create their relationship, and it seems to be going well. It is a big position to fill considering the dynamic duos that have come before them, such as Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers.

The season opened with Chris Pratt hosting for the first time, and while there were elements that were comical, the show seemed to fall flat. Critics believe that this is due to the fact that SNL is no longer known for pushing the envelope like it was when the show first began in the 1970’s. The show is still popular and fairly risque, but when the show first began it was breaking down barriers for women in comedy and people of all different races, and they did it by making crude jokes. The show often shocked people, but now the show is a cultural icon and many of the players go on to star in movies and television shows. It is hard to say if the shock factor is no longer there because we are not as easily shocked, or that the writing is not as controversial as it once was.

SNL is still paving the way for live television, and in a world of fake perfection it is refreshing to see humans making mistakes on the screen. That is personally my favorite part of the show: when the actors break into laughter in the middle of a scene. It creates excitement because everyone in the audience is sitting at the edges of their seats, waiting to see how they will recover from this. That is more entertaining to me than any pre-recorded show out there.


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