History YMMV / SaturdayNightLive

6th May '18 1:19:48 PM AmuckCricetine
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* DorkAge: The show has had plenty of ups and downs in its [[LongRunners decades-long]] history. However, there are three seasons that are generally singled out as being particularly embarrassing:
** Season 6 (1980-1): The first season after Creator/LorneMichaels left the show and the entire cast was replaced (including the last of the original cast). Lorne wanted Creator/AlFranken to take over as producer, but NBC president Fred Silverman refused because of a segment Franken did on SNL mocking Silverman (Silverman was relatively humorless). Silverman instead chose Jean Doumanian to produce SNL, and she proved extremely inept at the task. Many of the sketches were extremely crass, and critics wrote scathingly of the show's decline in quality. Dick Ebersol took over as producer late in the season (only one episode was made that season after he was hired before a writer's strike ended it) and stayed on for another four years. Creator/EddieMurphy and Joe Piscopo were the only Doumanian cast members to make it into the following season, and the entire season helped lead to Silverman's career taking a nose-dive after success in the 70's; this got an honorable mention in ''Literature/WhatWereTheyThinkingThe100DumbestEventsInTelevisionHistory'', which took several shots at Silverman.
** Season 11 (1985-6): The first season after Lorne's return, the entire cast was replaced again, this time with a new cast that included such famous or soon-to-be-famous names as Creator/RobertDowneyJr, Anthony Michael Hall, Randy Quaid, Creator/JoanCusack, and Damon Wayans. However, such an eclectic group didn't work well together, and the show once again faced critical bashing and danger of cancellation. Creator/JonLovitz, Creator/DennisMiller, Nora Dunn, and A. Whitney Brown were the only cast members kept for next season, where a group of new cast members led by Creator/DanaCarvey and Creator/PhilHartman saved the show.
** Season 20 (1994-95) The first season after Hartman left (and two seasons after Carvey left), the cast was now led by the likes of Creator/AdamSandler, Creator/ChrisFarley, and David Spade, who weren't versatile enough to lead the show. Sketches often had very thin premises, many centering around the O.J. Simpson trial, and levels of sophomoric humor reached critical mass, resulting in lambasting by critics. Also, reports of behind-the-scenes turmoil, much of it involving Creator/JaneaneGarofalo (who joined the cast that year but left in disgust midway through), led to the perception of general decay. More than half the cast was replaced after the season, and a new group led by Creator/WillFerrell helped create another resurgence.



* SeasonalRot:
** Just like in the NostalgiaFilter entry, there are former fans who believe the show hasn't been the same since whenever the last time they saw it usually, it's Seasons 1-5 (Fall 1975 to Spring 1980), but there have been other claims of when ''SNL'' started to seasonally rot, like when a fan favorite cast member (such as Creator/DanAykroyd, Creator/JohnBelushi, Creator/EddieMurphy, Creator/WillFerrell, Creator/TinaFey, etc.) leaves. The transitional periods between old casts and new ones are usually low periods, with Season 6 (1980-81), the first without any original cast members, widely considered the most disastrous in the show's history. Season 20 (1994-95) is also infamous due to the departure of Phil Hartman, reports of backstage tension between cast members, and the weak ideas for sketches (most of them were about the O.J. Simpson murder trial).

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* SeasonalRot:
** Just like in
SeasonalRot: ''Any'' season can fall into this depending on who you ask, with the NostalgiaFilter entry, there are former fans who believe popular answers being a) that the show [[FirstInstallmentWins hasn't been the same good since whenever the last time original cast was on it]] in TheSeventies, or b), if viewers were [[JustHereForGodzilla just watching it for one sketch or cast member]], they saw it usually, it's Seasons 1-5 (Fall 1975 to Spring 1980), but there have been other claims of when ''SNL'' started to seasonally rot, like when a fan favorite will blame the seasonal rot on the cast member (such as member's departure. Popular cast members cited include: Creator/ChevyChase, Creator/DanAykroyd, Creator/JohnBelushi, Creator/BillMurray, Creator/EddieMurphy, Creator/WillFerrell, Creator/DanaCarvey, Creator/PhilHartman, Creator/ChrisFarley, Creator/JimmyFallon, Creator/TinaFey, etc.) leaves. Creator/AmyPoehler, [[Music/TheLonelyIsland Andy Samberg]], and, as of 2013, Creator/BillHader.
**
The transitional periods between old casts sixth season (1980-1981) stands out as uniquely awful, and new ones are usually low periods, with Season 6 (1980-81), is the first without any original season that most fans will agree is a mess in terms of quality. The entire cast members, widely considered and writing staff left in 1980, but [[ExecutiveMeddling the most disastrous network insisted]] that the show continue along anyway; new producer Jean Doumanian, who had previously been in charge of booking musical guests, knew ''nothing'' about comedy. (On a special about ''SNL''[='=]s history in the show's history. Season 20 (1994-95) is also infamous due 1980s, Creator/GilbertGottfried, a cast member around that time, went on record in saying that Doumanian was so clueless about comedy that she would root for Margaret Dumont in a Creator/MarxBrothers film.) As a result, the musical guests were fantastic, but the rest of the show was barely watchable (including Weekend Update, which Creator/LorneMichaels invented as a way for viewers to at least find ''one'' funny moment in an episode that they didn't like because of the host or if the writing was a little flat that week). More to the departure point, Doumanian passed up a lot of Phil Hartman, reports of backstage tension between potentially talented would-be cast members, and members (Creator/JimCarrey being one of them), misunderstood a lot of obvious punchlines, thought that VulgarHumor was what made the weak ideas for sketches (most funny (as opposed to RefugeInAudacity) -- which became her downfall when Charles Rocket said "I wanna know who the fuck did it" at the end of them the Charlene Tilton episode -- and focused more on humorless character pieces (some of which were about intentionally not funny, like the O.J. Simpson murder trial).one from the Karen Black/Cheap Trick episode in which Creator/GilbertGottfried played a stroke victim laid up in the hospital while everyone around him -- except his true friend, Rachel [Denny Dillon] -- mocked him). Finally NBC stepped in and fired everyone except Joe Piscopo and some kid named Creator/EddieMurphy that was hired mid-season and was showing a lot of promise...


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** The 20th season (1994-1995) also stands out as particularly bad. Between Phil Hartman's departure, the popularity of the O.J. Simpson murder trial (which ''SNL'' repeatedly wrote sketches about during this time -- when it didn't write sketches laden with HoYay or {{Overly Long Gag}}s disguised as sketches with some semblance of a plot), and cast and crew tensions backstage (particularly with Creator/JaneaneGarofalo, who hated the juvenile humor of the show and left mid-season), it's really not hard to see why some critics and fans have compared season 20 with Season 6 in terms of sheer unwatchability. (That said, like Season 11, Weekend Update was considered a bright spot in an otherwise messy season -- this time, with Creator/NormMacDonald as the anchor, though even Weekend Update suffered from being weak and repetitive just like the rest of Season 20.)


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** The first half of Season 39 (2013-14) has been criticised fairly harshly for a number of reasons, the most common complaint being that six new cast members is just too many for one season to add. [[note]]While Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Sasheer Zamata and Noël Wells have been acclaimed for their performances (John Milhiser is getting there), Colin Jost, Mike O'Brien, and Brooks Wheelan seem to still be finding their voices.[[/note]] Pre-taped sketches are also usually now the best parts of the episodes.
5th Apr '18 8:42:28 PM Ezclee4050
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** After a rough start, the Jean Doumanian-produced season 6 actually had some decent episodes as the year went on, but that all went out the window when Charles Rocket made his PrecisionFStrike, which became what both that season and Rocket himself were best known for. Only hardcore SNL buffs even know who hosted that particular episode.[[note]][[Series/{{Dallas}} Charlene Tilton]][[/note]]

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** After a rough start, the Jean Doumanian-produced season 6 actually had some decent episodes as the year went on, but that all went out the window when Charles Rocket made his PrecisionFStrike, which became what both that season and Rocket himself were best known for. Only hardcore SNL buffs even know remember who hosted that particular episode.[[note]][[Series/{{Dallas}} Charlene Tilton]][[/note]]
5th Apr '18 8:38:48 PM Ezclee4050
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* MemeticLoser: Garrett Morris is the prototypical example of a cast member whose career went absolutely nowhere after leaving the show. Many later black cast members have said they took pains not to end up like him.

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* MemeticLoser: MemeticLoser:
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Garrett Morris is the prototypical example of a cast member whose career went absolutely nowhere after leaving the show. Many later black cast members have said they took pains not to end up like him. Morris has carved a niche as a comedic character actor, though.
** Joe Piscopo and his bizarre career trajectory. From co-headliner in the Eddie Murphy years to largely forgotten movies and solo comedy projects to an amateur UsefulNotes/{{Bodybuilding}} phase and finally a stint as a right-wing radio host.
5th Apr '18 5:58:38 PM Ezclee4050
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* OvershadowedByControversy: The Creator/TimRobbins episode from season 18 is remember almost exclusively for being the notorious episode in which Music/SineadOConnor ripped UsefulNotes/PopeJohnPaulII's photo and screamed, "Fight the real enemy!"

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* OvershadowedByControversy: OvershadowedByControversy:
**
The Creator/TimRobbins episode from season 18 is remember almost exclusively for being the notorious episode in which Music/SineadOConnor ripped UsefulNotes/PopeJohnPaulII's photo and screamed, "Fight the real enemy!"enemy!"
** After a rough start, the Jean Doumanian-produced season 6 actually had some decent episodes as the year went on, but that all went out the window when Charles Rocket made his PrecisionFStrike, which became what both that season and Rocket himself were best known for. Only hardcore SNL buffs even know who hosted that particular episode.[[note]][[Series/{{Dallas}} Charlene Tilton]][[/note]]
1st Mar '18 7:38:16 PM AaronHong
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* OneSceneWonder: With the online release of the cut-for-time My Little Stepchild sketch, viewers are heaping praise on the CreepyChild actor and questioning the decision to leave this one sketch out of broadcast.
25th Feb '18 4:25:18 AM AmuckCricetine
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* GrowingTheBeard: The Season 1 episode hosted by Creator/RichardPryor took the show from being a grungy, New York-style variety show into the edgy, late-night sketch comedy show where anything can happen (scripted or otherwise).
13th Feb '18 9:49:47 PM AaronHong
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* SignatureScene: Creator/KateMcKinnon's emotionally charged cover of "Hallelujah" for Season 42. It even got a big CallBack in the season finale's cold open.

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* SignatureScene: SignatureScene:
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Creator/KateMcKinnon's emotionally charged cover of "Hallelujah" for Season 42. It even got a big CallBack in the season finale's cold open.open.
** The one time Chevy Chase couldn't appear on the show and winds up calling on the phone, after which they replicate his PratFall by ''pushing the phone off the table.''
9th Feb '18 10:58:09 AM Premonition45
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* UnderminedByReality: The show's turn towards mocking the Trump presidency is undermined by the fact that [[TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong they ignored viewer complaints that they were promoting Trump's then-candidacy when he hosted in November 2015]], with several performers later admitting that they were uncomfortable working with him.
31st Jan '18 9:50:17 PM AaronHong
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* HollywoodHomely: One of the "Kirby" sketches is a spoof of ''{{Film/Aliens}}'', where one of the space marines claims that they've been on the ship for so long that even the CaptainErsatz of Vasquez is "starting to look good". "Vasquez" is played by resident hottie Cecily Strong.
28th Jan '18 8:38:10 AM Pren
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* MemeticLoser: Garrett Morris is the prototypical example of a cast member whose career went absolutely nowhere after leaving the show. Many later black cast members have said they took pains not to end up like him.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=YMMV.SaturdayNightLive