Saturday, September 15, 2012

38 Suggestions, Predictions, Prayers, Fears, and More for Season 38 of SNL

I already made my host picks (that Arnett one isn't looking too good) but here are some things I want to, or think will, or hope will, or something else, happen on SNL this season. 38, for the 38th season:

1. Michelle Obama is a problem, but not a problem they necessarily have to fix.
Did anyone ever play Laura Bush? Maya Rudolph can come in the few times the FLOTUS is needed.

2. Don't replace Kristen Wiig, move on.
No "Secret Word" with Vanessa Bayer, no "Target Lady" with Kate McKinnon, and no "Garth and Kat's Sister Kit" with Kenan in drag. Other than Wiig's impressions that need to stay around, leave her characters for when she comes back.
3. Promote Killam, Bayer, and Pharoah; and if McKinnon is solid by midseason, don't wait on her.
I assume the first 3 are happening. I think Kate McKinnon is gunna be a good one. 
4. Let Sudeikis walk at midseason.
What are you gaining by him staying unhappily? Two Joe Bidens and a Devil at Weekend Update? Let him walk, and give him a sendoff like Samberg's (final 2 Digital Shorts) and Wiig's (this tear jerker).

5. If you won't give Meyers a regular WU co-anchor, at least give him one for Thursdays.
Look, I get that Meyers doesn't want a permanent co-anchor, even if he's better when he has someone to play off of. But when adding 2-3 weeks of extra work of a WU show on Thursdays, it's a necessity. Last time they did this, in 2009, Amy Poehler returned to co-anchor. NBC employs the last 3 Weekend Update co-anchors, two of whom are New York based. Just bring them each in for a week. 
6. Give Meyers a co-head writer.
The show has clearly dropped off. Just do it.
7. Don't forget Kenan
His impression portfolio isn't substantial (at least of news makers), so SNL's 6th longest tenured cast member ever (yes, ever. The guy from Good Burger) sometimes gets lost. But he's good. Find times to use him.

8. Nasim Pedrad will be the next breakout star.
Lots of people are talking about Hader and Killam. And don't get me wrong, they're both great. But since Will Ferrell left, SNL's star has been a woman. Nasim Pedrad will enter this season as the only woman with time as a Repertory Player on her resume. There was a time when I got Nasim Pedrad and Jenny Slate confused. That time is over. (well that time was over when Jenny Slate left the cast several years ago. But you get my point.)
9. Three Stefons. Max.
Look, I like Stefon as much as the next SNL fan. He's the breakout character of the past couple of years, and really put Hader on the map. But all characters, even those who are simply Update guests, can quickly wear out their welcome. Limit Stefon to Save Stefon.

10. Don’t overuse Hader’s Eastwood.
When Hader introduced his solid Clint Eastwood impression following Eastwood's GM ad at the Super Bowl this February, nobody thought it was going to become a significant impression for the 2012 political season. It has. That said, use it once or twice. Don't have Eastwood come in mid-debates, or at the Update desk with an empty chair every week. It was parody enough in itself.
11. Stop with the Charles Barkley.
Charles Barkley retired from the NBA in 2000. He is the second-most famous analyst on the NBA's #2 cable network. Why has he hosted SNL twice in the past three seasons?

12. But give us a more recent athlete host.
No baseball player has hosted since Derek Jeter in 2001. No female athlete has hosted since Nancy Kerrigan in 1994! Enough with the quarterback of the year.
13. More female hosts!
I broke this down on Twitter last month, but there have been far more male SNL hosts than female, even recently. Unfortunately, this season's first 3 hosts are all male. 

14. A two-time host!
15. Duel hosts!
In early days, SNL would have Buck Henry or Steve Martin host SNL twice in a season. Or random pairs (George Wendt and Francis Ford Coppola! Billy Martin and Anjelica Huston!)would host together. Mix it up!
16. Bayer can play Candy Crowley, don’t bring someone else in.
SNL tends to bring in outsiders to moderate the debates. Chris Parnell is particularly good at it, and I expect him to play both male moderators this season. In the past, Queen Latifah has been brought in to play Gwen Ifill. This year, with Candy Crowley moderating the town hall debate, SNL should stay within its cast and tap Vanessa Bayer.

17. At least 3 cast members will leave by the end of this season.
My guess- Sudeikis (midseason), Armisen (after season), and Moynihan (after season, see below). But neither the long-tenured Hader or Thompson would be surprising. Same with the long-tenured Meyers who at least flirted with Live! this season.

18.Don’t get a host who can’t handle it just because he/she means ratings (a la Lindsay Lohan last season)
Lindsay got ratings, but she was awful. SNL isn't getting cancelled anytime soon. And during a presidential year, SNL's ratings will be high. Don't go for the stunt host, it just makes for a bad show.
19. But don’t shy away from musical guests who are there just for the ratings.
That said, with musical guests, who cares? Book Lana del Rey every week if you want.

20. Keep doing the “in memory” bumps if other hosts/guests/alumni pass away.
Let's hope this isn't an issue (although I wouldn't be surprised with a Tom Davis tribute of some sort tonight), but it was a nice touch the couple times they did this last season.
21. More Hamm! More Timberlake!
It won't happen, but if Jon Hamm and Justin Timberlake (and perhaps a 3rd star) split 1 featured cast member spot, it would be great.

22. If you can’t make a new parody commercial for a new episode, don’t have a parody commercial in that episode.
SNL's commercial parodies are iconic. But after seeing them once, you don't really want to see the same one three episodes later. In recent years the show has gotten into a habit of re-airing the same commercials over and over. Just stop.

23. Have a new female alum host. Ana Gasteyer is on a TV show!
Only FIVE female alums have ever hosted SNL- Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Molly Shannon, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. SNL showed off their female muscle with the Betty White episode and their Women of SNL special. Get one of the others to host! (And wait a year on Wiig)

24. Don’t focus on one star so they can get an Emmy nomination. They’ll never win anyway.
Self explanatory. There's a large cast, and there's no Kristen Wiig. Spread the wealth.
25. Get a politician to host again!
The last "politician" to host was Al Sharpton in 2003, with Al Gore and John McCain as the last elected officers to host, both in 2002. No female politician has ever hosted. Dream host- Bill Clinton.

26. Do what it takes to get a cameo from Romney or Ryan.
John McCain and Sarah Palin's cameos were highlights of the fall 2008 political season. I understand a sitting President and VP not making appearances, but at least one member of the GOP ticket should stop by 30 Rock.
27. Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin might not be in NY next year, so make use of them now.
This one is pretty obvious.

28. There have been a lot of new members to the Five-Timers Club since it was last addressed. Do a new sketch.
The first Five-Timers Club sketch is brilliant, with a certain former SNL writer as the doorman, and chunk full of cameos. Other five-timers have mentioned joining the club since. But it has not come up since 2007. Bring back the Five-Timers Lounge!

29. Give me at least one host I have to Google.
I mean maybe not me, I'm pretty up on my pop culture. But someone VERY of the moment is always fun to look back on.

30. Digital Shorts were Lonely Island’s; rebrand your pre-filmed segments.
There were pre-filmed segments before Lazy Sunday and the Digital Short era, and there can be later. Just without the title care.

31. But if Samberg and Lonely Island do return to do shorts, they can use the Digital Short brand.
With this exception.

32. Keep looking for new cast members through the season. And not just from UCB, Second City, and The Groundlings.
The cast shouldn't be set in stone just because the season started. See Kate McKinnon.

33. Do a Malibu Country sketch with Kenan. I don’t care how low that show’s ratings are.
The unbelievable randomness of Kenan playing Reba- this isn't the gender issue of Kenan as Whoopi, this is straight parody- plus Reba's return to television, sets this up perfectly.

34. If your best sketch isn’t political, let your best sketch open. And if you have a good political sketch, it doesn’t have to open.
Have you noticed this with sketches? They put all their political stuff up front, regardless of how good it is. They shouldn't.
35. I’m pretty serious with those Claire Danes and Lena Dunham hosting picks.
These are of-the-moment, zeitgeisty, female television stars. And Lena is based in New York!

36. Get working on that new Miley wig for Vanessa Bayer!
The Miley Cyrus Show was a very good sketch for Vanessa Bayer in her first year on the show. That's pretty cool. But it was benched last year. With Miley's new do, it is time to bring it back.
37. Lorne Michaels and Broadway Video are losing 30 Rock this season. So set up a current cast member with a Broadway Video/NBC sitcom deal.
My pick? Bobby Moynihan. No real good reason.

38. No more Sacha Baron Cohen-style in-show advertisements.
This was just embarrassing. Let's never speak of it again.

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