600 pages later and I finally finished this oral history of Saturday Night Live. The entire book is just stories and interviews with people involved with the show from its inception in 1985 to 2002. While I was reading I flagged my favourite parts, so I thought I would share them here.
Chevy Chase speaking with 20/20 hindsight. He is quite remorseful over his inability to get along with John Belushi, and more generally for being an ass.
Everyone talking about Gilda. How sweet and wonderful and funny she was, and how terribly tragic he death seemed. Of course a number of Saturday Night Live Stars have lost their lives prematurely, like John Belushi, but the interviews about Gilda nearly brought me to tears, especially Bill Murray’s and Steve Martin’s.
The process undertaken to hire Eddie Murphy. How much of a stir it caused, how talented and undervalued he was, and how upset everyone was when he left the show. At the 40th anniversary show it was nice to see him come back.
Dan Akroyd talking about John Belushi – “I had eight ears with John, and we had a ball every second. I mean, we had our disagreements, naturally, but we sure made each other laugh. In any group you’re going to have people who precede the others. I just hope he’s waiting for me on the other side. I’m sure he will be.”
Larry David wrote for SNL and none of his sketches made it on to the show. They did however, become future episodes of Seinfeld.
Tina Fey, Amy Poheler, and Jimmy Fallon talking about just starting out on the show and their hopes and dreams for the future. We’re in that future now and with 30 Rock ended, Parks and Recreation ending, and Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night Show, its great to know that things panned out for them
There are so many great stories and tales from the show. The ideas behind sketches, the friendships that were made and broken, the best and worst hosts. It’s revealing and funny, and while long, totally worth the ride.
First, I love Amy Poehler, I cannot stress that fact enough. I love her so much, and I wanted to love this book so much but I just couldn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good book; funny and well-written, but it was just missing that certain something that makes a book like this amazing. Her stories and anecdotes fell flat for me, and there were times where I knew she was trying to be funny, but I just didn’t find it funny.
She spends a majority of her book complaining about how hard it is to write a book, or mentioning her divorce. Still, there are some shining moments and the stories she tells about being in drugs (Amy Poehler smoked a lot of weed), about Parks and Rec, and about her children were simply wonderful.
I was talking to some friends about my mixed feelings towards this book, and they all mentioned hearing that the audio book got rave reviews. I was intrigued, and even though I know Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are both immensely talented in everything they do; in my head Tina strikes me as more of a writer and Amy a performer. So I bought my first ever audio book with an itunes gift card from three Christmases ago.
The audiobook does make the story come alive. You get Amy, as well as a host of guest stars reading her book and getting off track with other conversations. I would highly recommend the audiobook for Amy I would highly recommend the audiobook for Yes Please, but also be warned that you do miss out on the pictures/doodles/art that are included within the pages of the physical book.
This past weekend, Saturday Night Live held a three and a half hour live celebration of the show’s 40th anniversary. The special brought back favourite cast members and characters and did its best to stuff as many cameo appearances into as many sketches as possible. The show also features montages of some of the more memorable moments on the show. Everyone who was interviewed said the same thing, be it a host, a cast member or musical guest, that the experience was just so unreal.
Live From New York is an oral history of the show from its birth in 1975 to the 2002-2003 season when it was published. It is 600 pages long as is simply conversations with people who were involved with the show. Seeing all of these old sketches made me want to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes, so I am looking forward to reading this.