Thursday, 26 February 2015

Saturday Night Live 40

by Oliver Clark

After forty years of various hits and misses, America's hit comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live is still as strong as it has ever been. As it marked the landmark occasion on the 15th of February (oddly enough, a Sunday), I felt that the least I could do to honour the show and its history was to stay up until 5am to watch it. This was much to my parents annoyance, as it appears that my laughter and singing managed to keep them up all night as wemll. The were all out on that night, ranging from Chevy Chase to Jim Carrey, Miley Cyrus to Alec Baldwin, Paul McCartney to Jack Nicholson, it was a colossal night that no one who witnessed it will forget in a hurry. Although the show, with a duration of over 4 hours, featured numerous sketches, including Bradley Cooper engaging in a extremely drawn out kiss with the 92 year old Betty White, and Nick Ocean singing the love theme to the movie 'Jaws' (a 2 minute segment that brought me to uncontrollable tears), here are my top 3 highlights of the show.

1. Opening Monologue/Song - Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon

Now this may seem rather biased, those readers who know me will be aware that I am a Justin Timberlake mega fan. What no one could deny was the charisma, chemistry and pure creative genius that was shared by him and long time friend Jimmy Fallon for the opening of the night. With references to near every catchphrase, sketch, laugh and tear that the show has experienced in its 40 years (that could be fitted into a 5 minute rap), this was a truly fitting way to start an excellent night of comedy.

2. Celebrity Jeopardy - Will Ferrel, and a host of stars portraying other stars

The parody of the popular quiz show 'Jeopardy' has been featured on SNL for over 30 years, with Will Ferrel taking the reigns as quiz master Alex Trebek. In the 30 years of the sketch, no contestant has managed to answer a question correctly, and it looks like this may be the case for many more years to come. The jokes made and parodies of the high profile celebrities are so outrageous, that it is evident that the show does not take itself seriously in any way, shape or form, which I believe is key in modern comedy.

3. 'That's When You Break' SNL Digital Short - Andy Samberg and Adam Sandler

Although perhaps not the most memorable of all the digital shorts that have featured on the show in the more recent years of its legacy, this parody of Simply the Best made a mockery of every time cast members had been unable to control themselves and broken down in a fit of the giggles on live TV. The partnership of Samberg and Sandler highlighted both the past and the future of the show, and possibly even comedy as a whole, as the two generations combined for this epic finale to the show.

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