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I found this in the library and it was absolutely fascinating. It's basically behind the scenes look at the "making of" an episode of SNL. They have some historical context intermixed--how the show got started (it was to fill the Saturday night timeslot that Johnny Carson ruled during the week), the ebb and flow of the popularity of the show, etc. But it mostly focuses on 1 particular episode as a case study of how the show comes together. Harry Smith interviews past and present cast and crew members about what it is like to work at SNL and the answers are candid and insightful. This kept me riveted for 1 1/2 hours. Interesting concept for a "Biography" show in that it isn't about an individual person. Highly recommended.
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The documentary does talk about the history, ratings, VIPs, and highlights of SNL. However, the work is focused on the mechanics of the show. The documentary starts with how writers and comedians must pitch ideas on Monday and over the course of the weeks, the show is widdled (sp?) down to what viewers see live on Saturday. It may stand out to people how unfunny the process is. The work says actors don't want to laugh to hard at other people's ideas because that idea my upstage theirs and cut down on the time that they are seen on TV. Tina Fey is especially dry being interviewed here. I knew that SNL actors leave the show all the time. However, I didn't know Chevy Chase was the first to do it and he did it after only one season. Actors talk about how they don't want to play certain characters for the rest of their careers. Shockingly, the narrator says, "Critics have consistently pointed out the minority and women comics are never given as much attention as their peers on the show" and the SNL director responded, "Yup! Life's not fair, I guess." This work is quite informative, but I did see things missing. What stands out to me about SNL is all the musicians who have performed there and they don't come up at all in this work. I don't think they showed Pat once. SNL always seems to have at least one fat comic and at least one Black comic: are those slots or is that a fluke? You see Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon as they were guests that week. However, SNL has had non-actors on the show. (Jesse Jackson, Sr., John McCain, and Michael Phelps come to mind.) How does the show get non-actors prepared to perform live within a week? I saw this work through a certain red envelope. It said the work was 50 minutes long. In actuality, it's 90 minutes long.