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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Did Weekend Update Thursday mostly prove how bad Saturday Night Live is now?

24

October

Lorne_michaelsobamaclinton The cool thing about Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update Thursdays is the way it's leveraged the funniest elements of the weekend show to skewer all the big political fish this election season.

But that may also be the worst thing about the Thursday show. Because it has reminded us just how bad the rest of Saturday Night Live has become.

To be honest, critics like me were skeptical when NBC announced plans to carve out a half hour of prime time on Thursdays for SNL to air political sketches. The show hadn't really nailed impressions of Obama or McCain and seemed to have a tough time filling 90 minutes with watchable work.

But producer Lorne Michaels -- who may be TV's most underrated mogul -- came up with a crafty plan, drafting alums such as Tina Fey, Chris Parnell and, this week, Will Ferrell to boost a show which was already plucking out the one thing which works every week on the Saturday program, Weekend Update.

Feypalin_2  The downside: SNL's most visible showcase in years has mostly focused on people who don't work on the show regularly anymore and rising star Amy Poehler, who is expected to leave the program once she has her baby. It remains surprising that a show with more than 20 writers and a cast big as we've ever seen comes up with so few non-political successes.

Here's hoping Michaels figures out how to get the rest of the cast to step up, once they don't have the election, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to lean on, anymore.

Below is last Thursday's opening, in case you were too glued to the Rays World Series win to check it out last night. Click here to see the full episode:

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:52pm]

    

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