Once the original SNL cast was set, and people began to leave, the next forty years or so was spent in attempting to fill various niches left by the cast members who made major impressions.
This was usually difficult, if not impossible, to do.
But it was tried anyway.
And because of the void left, and because of original mistakes made to begin with, we have had people foisted on us, mainly by Lorne Michaels, but not exclusively, who need to be singled out.
I put most of the blame on management.
It's otherwise like putting the blame on a baseball player for making a bonehead play, like that pinch-runner for the Cardinals, who entered the game the other night to end the World Series game in St. Louis the other night by getting picked off of first base.
It was the manager who sent this nitwit in to run.
The nitwit can't help being a nitwit.
And all that Lorne had to do was not put them on in the first place.
And that's the way it was with the SNL cast members who stunk up the joint.
For the most part.
The rest of this is going to be subjective, (and some may surprise you) as I rattle off the names of those cast members who, at least to me, made a particularly rank impression.
I'll do about half of them today, and half next time, as there are that many of them.
In alphabetical order.
Because it's easier.
1- Jim Belushi.
Right. You can't replace John Belushi. No matter how hard and how often they tried.
2- Chevy Chase.
He always thought he was a laugh riot, and always thought the camera was there to be winked at. Including in his movies.
3- Ellen Cleghorne.
Four years of arrogantly never making me laugh.
4- Rachel Dratch.
I'm going to be merciful, and not comment.
5- Nora Dunn.
The bland, white version of Ellen Cleghorne.
6- Chris Elliot.
I never saw what Letterman saw in him. And SNL didn't even bother to look.
7- Chris Farley.
Another attempt at Belushi. He had the danger, and the suicidal tendencies.
But to me, never funny.
8- Tina Fey.
This one might spark some controversy, but if there was no Sarah Palin, she would have NEVER made me laugh. "30 Rock" was entirely made up of winking at the camera. Got the mostest out of the leastest since Chevy Chase.
There are parallels here.
9- Ana Gasteyer.
Nora Dunn's been gone for six years? We've got to get Ana Gasteyer!
10- Mary Gross.
She always seemed embarrassed to be there.
11- Victoria Jackson.
Couldn't stand her BEFORE I realized she was a Right Wing loon.
12- Chris Kattan.
I don't know if it was him so much, or the gay-bashing sketches they had him do.
13- Dennis Miller.
See Victoria Jackson.
And see you all next time.
My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."