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"SNL" Doesn't Suck

By Margaret Hicks in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 20, 2007 3:17PM

We’ll admit it, we haven’t watched "Saturday Night Live" in … well … let’s just say that the last time we watched "SNL" we thought it was about time for Kevin Nealon to finish up.

When we watched this past weekend, we got settled down on our couch (which happens to be on a very high horse), molded our face into a scowl, and got ready to rip apart every scene. But when a friend asked what we thought, we said, “You know, it wasn’t half bad,” and then quickly changed that to “Well, it was half bad”. For "SNL," that's actually a compliment.

The guest this week was Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a total pro who can read teleprompters better than anyone. We’re sure she had something to do with the funny this week; she obviously knows what she’s doing and is completely missing that deer-in-headlights look that most hosts get when faced with a live audience.

Watching some of the old-school Chicago improvisers was a real treat. Amy Poehler is still as hilarious as she was 10 years ago on the I.O. stage, and just as strange. Her take on The Secret’s Australian Rhonda Byrne was awesome (as was Maya Rudolph’s Oprah). We would have posted a clip of this scene because it was pretty funny, but alas, it is not available. Cutie-pie and former Chicago improviser Seth Meyers had great chemistry with Poehler on the Weekend Update, and they definitely got a few really nice groans from making bad jokes — a sign of success.

And Jason Sudeikis, an acquaintance of Chicagoist from years back, was perfect in this boom mike scene. He’s so good-looking and such a great straight man. There was something perfect about this scene, a nice, quiet, self-contained, totally realistic scene where no one was over-the-top and each actor had a nice grasp of what was going on.

There were plenty of scenes that felt like they were scraping the barrel; and we still have our general complaints about the actors watching the effing teleprompter too much and scenes going on too long. Overall though, we genuinely enjoyed watching some of "SNL." So are we crazy? Is "SNL" really not so bad? Or were we just in a good mood when we sat down to watch?