Saturday Night Live Losing Its Live Edge
Show needs to change that if wants to stay relevant: SplitSider columnist
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2014 1:57 PM CDT
Lorne Michaels should shake up the live sketches, says one critic.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

(Newser) Saturday Night Live has lots of great pretaped shorts these days, but Erik Voss at SplitSider thinks one crucial element of the show is lacking—the "live" part. That's too bad, because a sense of "live-television danger" that has long been part of the show's DNA is slipping away. "Live sketches seem to be fading into the periphery, with the longtime SNL crutch of talk shows, game shows, and press conferences filling in the cracks between bland setups and odd character pieces that never quite take off."

There are exceptions, of course, and Voss singles out last year's "Darrell's House" sketch with Zach Galifianakis as one in which the show challenged itself in the live format and succeeded spectacularly. SNL needs more of that. Pretaped shorts have always been a part of the show, but what's different now "is how often SNL seems to be doing videos instead of live pieces, and how much more successful those videos have been than the live ones," writes Voss. If the show wants to remain relevant, it needs to remember that "live" is what sets it apart. "SNL should think of that live component as an opportunity to take a risk, not a requirement to play it safe." Click for the full column.

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sandrae
May 29, 2014 6:18 PM CDT
Saturday Night Live is still the best. I often wondered how they were able to go from skit to skit. Bruno Mars was a host some time ago. He was excellent, however, it was apparent that there was a rush to set up from skit to skit, and Bruno (a couple of times) looked as if he was having great fun, but he was a bit overwhelmed with the transitions. "Live" presents some drawbacks for shows like Saturday Night Live with scenery changes, costume changes, and then there are lines to remember. All of the dialogue cannot be put on a cue card or cards! There are a variety of writers putting that show together and they all just do not have the same sense of humor. So, the humor changes from time to time. I certainly do not want to laugh at the same line of humor; I want to be challenged at recognizing funny intellectual, funny funky, funny ridiculous. Perhaps, the critics will win, but it will also be a winning situation for the show that can change its name to "Saturday Night". A good chess play might be inviting well-known guest writers to head up or join the team for each show. We need them to help us look at the humorous side to life as it is.
Brenda Chan
May 13, 2014 11:47 AM CDT
SNL is not funny anymore, the skits are 'Stupid' , last season sometimes the show would be so so funny. this season Stinks!!!!!
Mark Dreher
May 12, 2014 4:25 PM CDT
Saturday Night Live Is all about "Making fun of Republicans". Conservatives. Bible believers. i.e. "the man". Stick it To the man. What if the man Is right?