Friday, December 30, 2005

Narnia rap

Saturday Night Live long ago ceased to be a beacon of our pop culture direction. I risk widespread disdain by saying it is no longer the factory of tomorrow's major comedic talent, nor is it the same favored Saturday night entertainment destination that it once was.

When I was a kid, however, it was an event to stay up late to watch it. If we were lucky enough to make it all the way through, we often ended up rolling across the floor, doubled over in pain from laughing so much. Many of the characters and sketches became personal cultural icons and happy memories of a time when great comedy was still a valued form of art.

These days, SNL is more like a 90-minute exercise in waiting for something funny to happen in between the 6-minute commercial breaks. In an age where Jon Stewart has pushed the envelope of funny intelligence on television, SNL seems a bit quaint and lacking in comparison.

Still, it is capable of hitting one out of the park on occasion. To wit, this recently-aired rap tune that parodies the Chronicles of Narnia. Here's the link. Crank the volume, and enjoy.

Your turn: What other old SNL - or related sketch comedy - favorites lurk in the dark corners of your personal cultural dustbin? How might we find them?


sage said...

SLN came on when I was a senior in High School--and it was funny. I remember those old skits of President Ford and Carter--I think my favorite was Carter (as a nuclear engineer) going to Three Mile Island during their troubles. And of course, Chevy Chase was classic. Once, I was in college then and it was right after my grandfather died and I was spending the weekend with my grandma, we watched SNL together. Chase did one of his skits where he got a phone call in the middle of the skit and was carrying on a onesided coversation with lines like, "Well, no, you don't blow on it..." It was pretty obvious what he was talking about and I was extremely embaressed to be there with my grandmother... she didn't say anything, I'm not sure she understood and wasn't going to ask and find out.

I haven't watched SNL in years... I agree, it lost its punch years ago.

The Sylph said...

I stopped watching SNL years ago. Not sure if it's because SNL got stale or I got older. But my 15-year-old son stays up to watch it and I hear him laughing every time. He too loved that Narnia rap. Okay, I'll stick to SNL appeals to adolescent humour and that's why I'm no longer interested in it.

Raehan said...

Funny that my husband just sat me down and had me watch the clip before I came here.

We can't stay up for the real thing anymore.

Trillian said...

OK - obviously "I Need More Cowbell" is up there. As is the Greek restaurant skit with Dan Akroyd and John Belushi. I also loved "Buckwheat is Shot".

And, I'm not sure if this was what Sage was talking about, but there was this one with, I think, Ed Asner at a nuclear power plant where the engineers argue over what he meant by "you can't put too much water in the reactor". I don't know if I'd find it that funny now, but it killed me in 84.

Shannon said...

Ah, I have many fond memories of watching SNL as a teenager. My favorites were Eddie Murphy's Gumby, Buh-weet, Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood... also Martin Short was terrific as Ed Grimley, I must say.

I agree it's not the same anymore - although it has its moments. As another commenter said, perhaps I am just getting old. The Narnia Rap was pretty funny.

colleen said...

I still watch (I only get 4 channels still)but agree it doesn't compare with the old days. It was so revolutionary when it first came out and I felt like it represented our generation. Even though every season doesn't seem to measure up, there have been some good talent that comes through in the end. I usually try to stay awake to hear Tina Fay. I can't get excited about half the music because I don't like rap. Neil young was on recently.

creature said...

The political stuff is good, not Jon Stewart good, but good. And my girlfriend is still singing the Chronic of Narnia song.

Lisa said...

how funny that I happened across this in your archives, because my brother and I were just discussing SNL via e-mail the other day. Some of my favorites that I'll never forget was Weekend Update, where Dan Akroyd always said to Jane Curtain, "Jane, you ignorant slut".
The killer shark knocking on the door always cracked me up, too..."Candygram!"
But nothing beats the Blues Brothers. :-)