My SNL Picks

I clearly remember waiting for Saturday Night Live myself. I sat on the couch in the den, watching the credits roll at the end of the local NBC affiliate's 10:00 news. SNL represented my weekly TV highlight, especially in the era before I had access to the more refined pleasures of getting older: drinking and driving. (Not in that order.) My "peak" SNL era was from 1987 to 1993, although with the benefit of Comedy Central reruns I keep up with newer (and older) shows.

I respect my nicely-named colleague's choices. However, we disagree on a few points. Without further adieu....

Ten Worst Cast Members (1 being absolute worst)

10. Chris Kattan. He's mildly entertaining, but that Mr. Peepers character makes me uncomfortable. Mango also gives me hives, although the episode where he had a heart-to-heart with "fairy" Michael Stipe was entertaining. Just too much over-the-top humor.

9. Chris Rock. He just wasn't that good in the live bits. As much as I liked the Reebok pump turkey, I disliked Nat X. Although I like Rock's standup show, his live act on SNL didn't go far.

8. Jimmy Fallon. Little talent, and laughs at himself WAY too much. He's improved, but still screws up with alarming regularity considering he reads the Weekend Update script off of a TelePrompTer. I don't buy the cute thing either.

7. Horatio Sanz. That webcam skit where he's on weed. Reminds me too much of the frat boy era of SNL.

6. Chris Elliot. Agreeing with wadE, I don't see the appeal of this guy. Awkward, bad delivery. It didn't help that he was on one of the weakest casts in the history of the show.

5. Jay Mohr. Useless. How's that talk show on ESPN going, Jay? Yeah, I thought so.

4. Chris Farley. He'd be lower if not for my respect for the dead. Remember that frat boy era I referenced earlier? Farley was a big part of that (pun intended.) There was little-to-no intelligent humor that came from Farley, just falling through tables and rubbing his fat rolls. About the same humor intelligence as Jay Leno.

3. Colin Quinn. Ugh. Following up my favorite Weekend Update anchor (Norm MacDonald) with Quinn was a kick in the groin. He couldn't deliver a line to save his life, and would get get upset at the audience when they called him on it.

2. Jim Breuer. HATE Goat Boy. Can't stand him. Why does Comedy Central insist on showing his standup?

"Worst? Something that could have been brought to my attention YESTERDAY!!"

1. Adam Sandler. Sloppy joe, slop-sloppy joe. No, the Cajun Man didn't float my boat either. Similar to his counterpart Farley, Sandler took crotch humor to the masses. Sure, he made us laugh, but he made us embarassed to admit it. Sandler set SNL back years-- he was the captain of the idiot brigade during those seasons in the early- to mid-nineties.

Ten Best Cast Members (1 being absolute best)

10. Tina Fey. Although she isn't involved in many skits, I'm a big fan of Fey's delivery on Weekend Update. (Of course, anyone looks good with Fallon as a partner.) And, despite the fact that she's apparently a favorite of the prison lesbian circuit, I think she's kinda cute. And I see her close to WU close more as paying homage to Chevy than simple plagiarism. (And that's pronounced "hom-AJ".)

9. Ana Gasteyer. Two characters iced this for me: Bobbi Moughan Culp and Margaret Jo (co-host of NPR's "The Delicious Dish.") She may play mainly a supporting role, but a team's only as good as the eleventh guy on their bench. Or some other mixed metaphor like that.

8. Chevy Chase. And you're not. Although I'm much more hip to the 90's SNL than the 70's SNL, I've seen enough of the original season to appreciate Chevy's brief tenure. My personal favorite: his impersonation of Gerald Ford... when he did nothing to actually impersonate Ford. I understood there would be no math....

7. Chris Parnell. Another newbie, but his impression of the Tom Brokaw is top-notch. Some days I go up to co-workers and say "Gerald Ford, mauled by wolves." I don't have many friends at work.

6. Jan Hooks. She was a very multi-talented actress, able to handle a number of roles easily. From Sinead O'Connor to Candy Sweeney, Sally Jessy to Eleanor Clift, Hooks was a female Phil Hartman.

5. Mike Myers. Another multi-talented bloke. Myers is one of the few success stories of someone who left SNL for the movies.

4. Darrell Hammond. I don't think I know any characters that Hammond did other than Bill Clinton. And I don't care. Incredible. Oh, wait-- he played Sean Connery on Celebrity Jeopardy. Suck it, Trebek.

3. Phil Hartman. Defined versatility. Listing the number of characters he did would take too long. And he did 'em all well.

2. Dana Carvey. Carvey was the star during my most impressionable era, '88 through '91. He was the person I most wanted to be like during that phase of my life. I spoke like Carvey's Bush impression for all of 1990. Ask my parents.

"I love child pornography..."

1. Will Ferrell. Simply the best. Better than all the rest. Better than anyone. Sorry. Anyway, there wasn't a character of his that didn't make me slap my knees, laughing like a schoolgirl. It's hard to pick a favorite, but it would come from the list of James Lipton, George W. Bush, Marty Culp, Harry Caray, Craig the cheerleader, Alex Trebek, the angry father (I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS), the Unabomber, Neil Diamond, the cowbell player from Blue Oyster Cult... GET OFF THE DAMN SHED!!!

Of course, Ferrell has moved on to greener pastures. Time for me to do that, too.


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