So I see courtesy of this site that he was denied access to SNL, but couldn't they have had a comedy-writer consultant, or at least a comedy-writer to write the comedy? I kinda like the show other than (a) the occasionally whiplash-inducing Humour Dissonance and (b) the Sorkin-standard-issue soapboxing. That said, some of the sketches are good for Narm Charm, and some of them are genuinely funny - Wolowitz'sNicolas Cage impression is hilarious.
They did eventually bring in Mark McKinney, from Kids in the Hall, as a writer, but it may have been too little too late.
I heard they had Mark Mc Kinney from Day 1. Maybe he didn't play a very big role on the show, or possibly, he's just not that good of a sketch writer in that style. Not sure how to explain it
The West Wing, when it wasn't using sports metaphors, was usually good for an awkward and off-putting reference to some kind of old-school Catskills stand-up world that Aaron Sorkin seemed to think still existed. Even before this show I got the impression that he thought he was a comedy nerd and really wasn't.
The two-part episode where what's-his-name gets arrested in Nevada
A: The judge played by John Goodman induces a shocked silence by referring to the Chinese businessman guy and his daughter as "the Japs," only to announce shortly thereafter that he's just pulling everyone's leg. This is part of the episode's mission of informing the viewers that not everybody who lives in the "flyover states" is a knuckle-dragging Morlock, which, thanks for that, I had no idea, but my question is, is Judge That's-What-You-Get-For-Assuming-I'm-A-Racist-And-Don't-Try-To-Tell-Me-You-Didn't-Because-You-Totally-Did-You-Bastard really helping his case by using a racial slur personally directed at two Asian people, who are, you know, real and sitting right there, as his medium for delivering this message to those arrogant city slickers, and trusting that a "Just Joking" Justification will negate its effects? Oh but of course, it's so much more important that we understand his plight as a white judge in a conservative state who has to live In a World where television writers are generally somewhat left-leaning than that white judges refrain from calling people Japs while on the job, however deep and fascinating their reasons. (We even get a nice shot of the father and daughter's nonplussed reactions, like, I guess the message there is that it's their responsibility to fine-tune their racism radar for situations such as this or else they're complicit in the perpetuation of anti-Nevada-ism.)
B: Then he pretends he's never heard of NBS, and it's when Jack tries to explain that he starts laughing, interrupts and says of course he has and fuck them all for thinking he wouldn't have. Yes, what assholes they are for thinking a judge would be unprofessional enough to toss around racist remarks and not recognize the name of a major TV network for no other reason than that that's what he said, when in reality, he's merely unprofessional enough to toss around racist remarks he doesn't even mean, just for his own amusement, and play politically motivated mind games with prisoners he doesn't like.
C: Then he spends the rest of his screen time gloating about how he hates their show and is going to take it out on them and, ah yes, making ignorant-as-fuck remarks about Simon's hair (and thinking he's named Sammy, isn't that hilarious?) The thing that gives him his change of heart in the end is learning that the arrested cast member has a brother who's served in Afghanistan. So basically he hates them Hollywood commies but lurves the military, and that's all he needs to know — nothing to do with, say, whether the guy actually broke any laws or not. Way to break your own poorly-planned anti-stereotyping aesop, Aaron. Like someone on the main page said, people assume this show was about liberals and atheists being smart and conservatives and Christians being stupid, when in fact the conservatives and Christians are intended to win their storylines in the end. And then it's done in such shitty, badly written ways that it doesn't matter.
Simon and Darius
Forgive Me if I come across as stupid by asking this and this will probably come across as more of a wallbanger but what exactly was the aesop that We were supposed to get from the Darius/Simon storyline? To explain, Simon wants a black writer on the staff so he and Matt attend a comedy club where They see a comedian whose material is clever but whose performance is sub-par. Upon going backstage where Simon is incredibly rude and outright insults him, He tells Darius that He will now be working as a writer and makes sure He is aware of the utter seriousness that this job entails. The next episode, Simon is treating Darius like dirt and insisting that He speak to him like in a certain respectful manner and call him "Sir". When Simon gives Darius a sketch to do which Darius passes on to someone else, Simon acts like a prissy drama queen who can't believe that someone could be so disrespectful as to question his wisdom on such issues. This is despite the fact that Darius understandably said that he didn't want to just be "The Black Writer" and Simon was nearly fired for being unable to impersonate black celebrities early in his career. The entire mess comes to a conclusion when Simon forces Darius to read racist letters sent to Him. The show plays this all on Simon's side and tries to paint him as a noble figure who is trying to give young comedians with similar circumstances a shot when really He comes across as a sadist who just enjoys treating people like shit because He can.
The main lessons I'm getting from this are:
1) If You believe Yourself to be in the right, it is entirely acceptable to treat those under You like shit and if someone does call You out on it, They are disrespectful and don't appreciate Your insight.
2) There was something about Racism but it was so mishandled and buried under crap I can't quite make it out.