These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Saturday Night Live
The show as a whole contains examples of:
Acceptable Targets: Used with varying degrees of intensity: the more the writers hate it, the meaner they'll be. So far, everything has been ripe for parody.
Best Known for the Fanservice: Channing Tatum's first time hosting (who actually was a stripper for a year before becoming an actor), the monologue especially. The only non-stripper bits people remember from this episode is the Newt Gingrich: Moon President cold opening and the Weekend Update segment with Kristen Wiig as Lana Del Rey trying to defend herself against claims that her performance on SNL was a disaster because of her atonal caterwauling and inability to move around.
Inverted in the monologue as Tatum (the stripper) remembers all of his customers (an allegedly religious woman named Denise, a married woman named Bridget [whom Tatum remembers as "Flithy Bridget" because of all the filthy things she would ask for], a man named Leslie [who ends up dying when Tatum uses his stripper moves to refresh his memory], and Leslie's doctor, Dr. Matthews), much to their chagrin.
The episode hosted by Alec Baldwin and his wife at the time Kim Basinger on February 12, 1994 will forever be remembered as the episode that had the "Canteen Boy Gets Molested" sketch (and the episode after that, hosted by Martin Lawrence, will be remembered for Martin's raunchy monologue about women's hygiene [which was so tasteless, it nearly got everyone on the show fired and is often cut in reruns and replaced with title cards explaining the gist of the monologue and why it can't be shown on TV anymore]).
Likewise (for a nonsexual example) for the Tim Robbins episode from season 18, which was the notorious episode in which Sinead O'Connor rips Pope John Paul II's photo and screams, "Fight the real enemy!"
Every season after the first five years has a Broken Base (save for the seasons that were universally bad — season 6, season 11 note though it does have some fans, if only for Dennis Miller as Weekend Update anchor, and much like season 6, is viewed today as "It sucks, but it's not as bad as everyone else says.", and season 20).
Dude, Not Funny!: Some of Seth Meyers' jokes on Weekend Update are often met with the audience groaning over how tasteless the joke is. In fact, a lot of past Weekend Update anchors have had this happen to them (particularly Brad Hall, Dennis Miller, Norm MacDonald, and Colin Quinn)
In a 1995 "Weekend Update" sketch, David Spade, as part of his "Hollywood Minute" segment, said "Look, kids, a falling star! Make a wish!" as he mocked Eddie Murphy's (then-)lackluster career. This made Murphy so mad that he called SNL about it. To this day, Murphy still hasn't forgiven Spade. It should be noted that, years earlier, Murphy did a bit during "Weekend Update" on a possible return of the military draft. Concerned that he might get drafted, and deprive SNL of its token black cast member, he suggested someone else get selected. Someone he said whose very name scared him: notoriously-underused original cast member Garrett Morris, whom he pointedly noted wasn't very busy at that time. Making the David Spade joke Laser-Guided Karma, perhaps?
The cheapkids.net commercials are about parents who don't want to spend money on raising children and buy them extremely inferior products. The ads reek of child abuse, though that was probably done to take the edge off the fact that Paris Hilton was hosting the episode and wasn't doing a good job of it.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment and Harsher in Hindsight: A lot of past sketches are harder to look at (and laugh at) now due to cast member deaths, host deaths, or the "prediction" of a horrifying/tragic/controversial event that was once played for laughs and not thought to be real at all. Examples:
The infamous "Don't Look Back in Anger" short film that showed an elderly John Belushi as the last living member of the original "Not Ready for Primetime" cast who ends up dancing on his cast mates' graves. (What's more disturbing is that the short film "predicted" that Gilda Radner would be one of the dead cast members)you can watch the clip here.
The worst part is Belushi's comment that "they all thought [he'd] be the first to go" (a reference to his then already well known excessive lifestyle).
Oh, and John "died" at the end of "Wolverines," the very first sketch in the very first episode. So did Michael O'Donoghue.
A lesser known example from the "Not Ready for Prime Time" era is in a sketch known as "Least-Loved Bedtime Stories." Michael O'Donoghue narrates a story called "The Little Engine that Died," where he says "I think I can...I Think I Can...HEARTATTACK...OHMYGODTHEPAIN!" In 1994, "Mr. Mike" woke up, felt what was thought to be a severe migraine headache, and screamed "OH MY GOD" in pain and later died from cerebral hemorrhage. Michael O'Donoghue was an SNL writer known for his sadistic humor and his frequent migraines, making this death a literal "funny aneurysm moment" and a Karmic Death.
On season 5 (the 1979-1980 season), Strother Martin hosted SNL. One of the sketches he was in was about a dying man who recorded a video will. In August of 1980, Strother Martin died, not only making the episode (Martin's last acting gig, mind you) he hosted a Missing Episode, but making the video will sketch a lot less funny.
Season 6 had an episode where Malcolm McDowell played John Lennon; its air date was November 22, 1980. Not sure if it counts, but just over two weeks later...
Any time Chris Farley faked a heart attack during the Chicago Superfans sketches. Also, the one-off sketch where Farley plays a man called "The Relapse Guy" who keeps going on and falling off the wagon.
The final sketch on the season 19 finale hosted by Heather Locklear where Phil Hartman, in his last episode as a cast member, sings a lullaby to Chris Farley. It was meant to be sweet and signal the end of the season, but with both Farley and Hartman dead (within 6 months of each other!), it's now too depressing to watch.
On the season 11 premiere hosted by Madonna, there was a cold opening where then-NBC executive Brandon Tartikoff announces that he's subjecting the 1985-1986 season cast to mandatory urine tests for drugs (this sketch was later Edited for Syndication, as the censors in the 1980s thought that the idea of urine testing was too taboo for late-night TV at the time — never mind that ''SNL'' is supposed to be the vanguard of edgy, late-night TV humor). One of the cast members during the 11th season was a 20-year-old Robert Downey, Jr., who would later spend all of the 1990s being more well-known for his drug abuse and arrests than his movies (though it was playing drug addicts that got Downey, Jr. back into stardom in the 2000s. Go figure).
When Phil Hartman came back to host for the second time (in season 22 — the 1996-1997 season), he says in his monologue that he bought his family's affection with the money he makes from being on "NewsRadio" and "The Simpsons." Apparently, it didn't work, when you consider what happened to Hartman a few months after he hosted.
The episode hosted by Charlize Theron on the 2000-2001 season had a cold opening called "A Glimpse into Our Possible Future," a sketch showing what would happen to America if George W. Bush were President (and later, if Al Gore were President and if Ralph Nader were President). While the sketch did exaggerate how far George W. Bush (played by Will Ferrell) would run America into the ground (like setting the Great Lakes on fire or giving Texas to Communists), lines like, "I hope I get a war. Wars are like executions supersized," and "I killed Dick Cheney in a hunting accident" (and the fact that his new map of the United States shows several flooded states starting in Louisiana and pooling in the Midwest and California as a flaming wreck) now don't seem so funny.
On the Seth Rogen/Phoenix episode from season 34, Seth Meyers (the Weekend Update anchor) did a report on how during Michael Jackson's summer world tour, he would bring his son onstage, who would be accompanied by a police officer who would have Michael Jackson arrested. Unfortunately, the concert (and the punchline to the joke) would never come to pass due to Jackson's death two months after the episode originally aired.
Then there's that SNL Digital Short where Bill Hader plays a man who writes a letter to his sister and his friend (played by Andy Samberg) shoots him, leading to the shooting deaths of another man (played by episode host Shia LaBeouf), the sister (played by Kristen Wiig), and two police officers (played by Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis). Two days after the sketch aired, the shooting at Virginia Tech happened, which was one of two reasons why the sketch never appeared on NBC's Saturday Night Live web page, which has video highlights of past and present sketches (the other reason being that NBC never cleared the copyright to the song used in the sketch). What a shame that everyone overreacted to a simple parody of The O.C.. As it was, the short became one of the first from the show's to be unofficially popularized on YouTube. Memetic Mutation followed; the Imogen Heap song which SNL couldn't get cleared has now been sampled for a hip-hop beat.
Here's one that doesn't involve death, but still became controversial after the fact: On the Anne Hathaway/The Killers episode, there was a sketch about the assorted deadbeats and greedy people who would benefit from the economic bailout at the time. One of the people was a couple by the name of Herbert and Marion Sandler (played by long time cast member Darrell Hammond and 2-year feature player Casey Wilson), who screwed Wachovia Bank out of a lot of money and personally thanked the Congress for not holding them responsible for their corrupt activities. Who would have guessed that Herbert and Marion Sandler were an actual couple that actually did this (according to show creator Lorne Michaels, he and the other writers had no clue about this until after the sketch aired)? Because of this, the Internet video version of the CSPAN Bailout sketch and the NBC rerun of the Anne Hathaway episode edited out the entire part with the Sandler couple. The Netflix version does keep the part, but the lower-third caption describing the Sandlers as "People who should be shot" and Herbert Sandler (Darrell Hammond) thanking the Democratic Party for letting them get away with what they've done were removed (the edits are obvious, but not as blatant as removing the entire scene with the Sandlers, like on the television and Internet versions).
When Al Gore hosted a Christmas episode in season 28 (2002-2003), the monologue showed how Al Gore picked his running mate, rejecting John Kerry (Seth Meyers) and John Edwards (Will Forte). Gore then remarks that "one of them would make a great Vice President someday." Kerry and Edwards would team up to run for President and Vice-President in 2004, only to be beaten by Bush and Cheney (who were running for re-election). Depending on your political leanings, this is either a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment or Hilarious in Hindsight.
A "Meet the Press" sketch on the episode hosted by Senator John McCain (the genuine article, not a cast member impersonation) in 2002 had McCain denying that he would run for President in 2004. McCain was right; he didn't run in 2004. The 2008 election was a different story, and, as mentioned before, depending on your political leanings, the fact that McCain ran and lost is either an aneurysm moment or Hilarious in Hindsight.
Even the Jean Doumanian era isn't immune to the Funny Aneurysm Moment. At the end of the first episode (hosted by Elliot Gould), Gould introduces the cast again and tells the audience, "We're gonna be around forever!" Eleven episodes later, all but Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo were fired after the F-bomb debacle on the episode hosted by Charlene Tilton, and most of the cast members from that season haven't really been in the spotlight since then (with the possible exceptions of vastly-underused cast member at the time Gilbert Gottfried, Eddie Murphy [despite the career slump], and Gail Matthius, who did voice acting in a lot of 1980s and 1990s cartoons before becoming an improv and theater teacher).
Speaking of the Charlene Tilton episode, the whole "Who Shot C.R.?" running joke is a lot less funny, considering that Charles Rocket took his own life in 2005 (even worse is the fact that Charles Rocket in the sketch got shot in the neck and wore a bloodied bandage during the infamous "Goodnight" part; in Real Life, he slashed his throat with a pair of box cutters) and SNL would later have a cast member who was shot in cold blood (Phil Hartman).
An in-sketch example: "The Carter 'N Sons Barbecue" fake commercial from the Taylor Swift episode (season 35), which was supposedly filmed in 2002 and didn't air until 2009, which was when the H1N1 ("swine flu") virus was much-talked-about. The "commercial" was plastered with disclaimers stating that "swine fever" (an appetite for Carter 'N Sons brand barbecued pork) wasn't associated with the H1N1 virus (followed by a disclaimer reading that the management regrets naming their Sausage and Ribs Sampler platter "S.A.R.S").
Speaking of SNL and the swine flu, a lot of the second season jokes and sketches about the swine flu outbreak in 1976 ceased being dated when round two showed up in the late 2000s.
In the 1985-1986 season, there was an episode hosted by Pee-Wee Herman that had two (count 'em two) Aneurysm Moments:
The cold opening where Pee-Wee Herman performs a tightrope walk across the World Trade Center towers and falls, screaming the show's opening line. Thanks to the 9/11 attacks, whatever humor can be mined from this sketch has been tainted from tragedy (like everything else made before 2001 that shows New York City with the World Trade Center towers as part of the skyline).
Then, there was a sketch where Pee-Wee Herman is thrown in jail and meets the Pathological Liar, Tommy Flanagan (played by Jon Lovitz). Pee-Wee Herman (or rather, the actor who plays him [Paul Reubens]) would find himself on the wrong side of the law in the 1990s and early 2000s (both for sexual offenses). That Pee-Wee is screaming, "I'm innocent! I'm innocent!" adds to the cringe factor of rewatching this sketch.
The Christmas episode from season 28 (2002-2003 season): in the cold opening, Al Gore is worried when he can't find his wife, Tipper, then when he finds her, they kiss so long and so hard that it takes a taser for them to separate. It took eight years: on June 1, 2010, Al and Tipper announced their separation.
In the Colin Firth/Norah Jones episode from season 29, Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton remarks that John Edwards is like a "boring version" of himself, stating, "This guy might have sex in the Oval Office, but hed probably do it in the missionary position - with his wife." Thanks to the Rielle Hunter affair and the sex tape scandal, that line rings hollow.
A sketch on the Topher Grace episode from season 30 (2004-2005 season) called "The Not Incredible Adventures of the Down-And-Out Dollar" parodies the fact that the U.S. dollar had reached an all-time low by having a tiny dollar bill (Amy Poehler) being mocked by currencies from other countries, one of which is a Euro (played by episode host, Topher Grace), who brags that he's doing well in every country in the European Union. That would prove to be so very false five years later with news of several European countries suffering from economic meltdown (what's worse is that the Euro mentions that Greece was doing better than America economically in 2005, which isn't true now). In addition, economic trouble in the U.S. combined with a declining trust in government and the dollar means the moment hits home as well.
Back in the early 80s, there was an episode hosted by Drew Barrymore - fresh from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Firestarter, all smiles and curls, just seven years old (making Barrymore the youngest host SNL has ever had, beating out Jodie Foster, who was 14 when she hosted in 1976) - who finished her monologue by asking for a drink. "After all," she declared with a broad wink, "I am a Barrymore." Her family legacy of alcoholism and self-destructive behavior would catch up with her for real, and in a big (bad) way, not long after. Subverted in that there is a happy ending to all of this: Drew Barrymore did manage to climb out of the same pit of drugs and despair as her ancestors did and has come back to host a few more times, now becoming SNL's most frequent female host (beating out Candice Bergen, who frequently hosted in the early days of the show) as of October 2009.
In the SNL Digital Short on the Gwyneth Paltrow/Cee-Lo Green episode, Andy Samberg has a wild, drunken night out with Pee-Wee Herman (the same one who hosted SNL in 1985 during its 11th season). During this night out, they break a chair over Anderson Cooper's head in the street (and Cooper comes back later in the short with a bandaged head, complaining that his blue eyes [which he considers one of America's national treasures] almost got destroyed). Less than three weeks after the sketch aired, Anderson Cooper really was brutalized in the streets during his coverage of Cairo's uprising.
A 1970s episode hosted by Steve Martin had a sketch called Jeopardy 1999. It was basically Jeopardy in a (then) futuristic setting. One of the answers was, "Comedian whose career fizzled when he left NBC's Saturday Night" The question: Who is Chevy Chase? While Chevy has currently found fame on the NBC sitcom Community, he did go through a career decline after leaving SNL, making that line eerily prophetic.
Lindsay Lohan's monologue during her 2005 hosting appearance included a visit from her "future self"note from 2007 played by Amy Poehler, warning her to stay away from her drinking, partying ways. She didn't end up marrying Tommy Lee and hosting a Cinemax show called Night Passions, but what did start happening not too soon after that made this monologue eerily prophetic as well.
From around 2003-2006, whenever Finesse Mitchell appeared in one of the "behind-the-scenes" sketches before the start of a show (like the Kanye West episode or when Will Ferrell came back to host for the first time), there was a slight Running Gag where hosts and crew members (including Lorne) were unable to remember his name or differentiate him from Kenan, to his chagrin. It can be uncomfortable (or amusing) to see this in retrospect, given how he ended up getting fired after a relatively short tenure, without having really distinguished himself as more than "not Kenan".
Finesse: (referring to Kanye West) You want me to make sure he's not going to say anything crazy before he goes out and performs, huh?
Lorne: Exactly, Ke-...
Finesse: Finesse! Look, it's my 3rd season, Lorne! Finesse!
Mr. Bill was a popular SNL sketch from the 1970s. While this didn't air on SNL itself, there was a spin off video "Mr. Bill's 20th Anniversary where he goes hang gliding off the World Trade Center, and is sucked into an airplane jet engine and one where he's duct taped to the space shuttle Columbia. Ouch!
Hell Is That Noise: Bill Hader's cat/snake hissing, which he used when he played James Carville and Stefon.
In a second season episode hosted by Eric Idle, there are two big examples of Hilarious in Hindsight in a sketch involving Idle and Dan Aykroyd as cops who dress in drag:
The sketch is derailed when John Belushi (also in drag) tells Idle that drag doesn't work in America. Fast forward to the 1990s and 2000s when drag comedies starring Robin Williams, Tyler Perry, and Eddie Murphy make for some of the biggest hits.
Throughout the sketch, Aykroyd is doing a Jack Webb impression, yet when the sketch derails Aykroyd claims that his impression sucks. Cut to 1987 when Aykroyd did a fantastic Joe Friday impression in the major motion picture adaptation of Dragnet alongside Tom Hanks.
The premiere had a fake commercial for a multi-bladed razor and the slogan that pointed out that consumers are so stupid that they would actually buy this. Multi-bladed razors became very real and actually would sell well in the late 1990s. To be more specific, twin-blade razors were becoming the standard, so the mock commercial was about tri-blade razors, implying that they would be a stupid idea. Nowadays two of the leading companies, Gillette and Schick, have five-bladed razors (Fusion and Hydro 5, respectively). And that doesn't count the extra "precision" blade on the Fusion!
A sketch on the Season 23 episode hosted by John Goodman (with musical guest Paula Cole) had a sketch where airline passengers are attacked by cobras. This sketch first aired in 1998, a scant eight years before the movie Snakes on a Plane hit the theaters.
In 1994 (on the Season 20 premiere), there was the "Steve Martin's Penis Beauty Cream" fake infomerical, featuring the line "Just take a small amount and rub gently on the penis for several minutes up to a half-hour. You'll notice a difference right away!" About a decade later, Maxoderm hits the market with the exact same advertising pitch.
On the Season 30 episode hosted by Tom Brady, there's a sketch that takes place backstage where Peyton Manning (Seth Meyers) asks Brady why he was chosen to host over Manning. The real Peyton Manning would host in Season 32 (and his brother, Eli, who was in the audience for Peyton's episode, would host five years later).
In a Season 29 episode hosted by Ben Affleck, he touted "Bennifer" T-shirts during the monologue, explaining that he had unfortunately ordered 50,000 of them prior to his breakup with Jennifer Lopez, and went on to offer several other Portmanteau Couple Name combos such as "Benyonce", "Mary-Kate and Ashfleck", and (in the unlikely event that Matt Damon finally came around), "Ben-Gay". Only a couple years later, Affleck would get hitched to Jennifer Garner (and is still with her as of 2012), making those "Bennifer" shirts valuable again.
In 1998, Alec Baldwin hosted a Season 24 episode. In the opening monologue, Jimmy Fallon appears and tells Alec that he was given a prediction about his future in which he becomes famous enough in 2011 to host SNL. Thirteen years later, Jimmy Fallon is now one of TV's most popular late-night personalities and hosts Season 37's Christmas episode.
During the SNL Digital Short in the Gwyneth Paltrow/Cee-Lo Green episode, Andy Samberg asks Anderson Cooper if he ever "got freaky with Barbara Walters". Cooper's response is along the lines of "Are you insane?" The joke when the episode first aired was funny because Andy was drunk off his ass, but now that Anderson Cooper revealed that he was gay, it makes Andy look like an idiot.
"The Duh Winning" sketch features Bill Hader as Charlie Sheen and Miley Cyrus as Lindsay Lohan. One year later, it was revealed the two (Sheen and Lohan, not Hader and Cyrus) would star in Scary Movie 5.
One Saturday TV Funhouse sketch is about a fictional animated musical about the Titanic, featuring singing animals. The whole idea is just too stupid for someone to make one in real life, right?RIGHT?
On the season 36 episode hosted by Scarlett Johanssen, there was a fake commercial for MTV's reality shows that focus on young mothers. One of them was called I'm Snooki and Pregnant (with Bobby Moynihan as Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi from Jersey Shore). The fake commercial aired in November 2010. Snooki actually would be pregnant in March 2012. Whether this is Hilarious in Hindsight or a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment is up for debate.
During one sketch Miley Cyrus played Justin Bieber saying that he would smoke Salvia (which Miley herself had done) because it's legal. In 2012, images of Bieber smoking the illegal marijuana surfaced and when Justin Bieber hosted SNL, he appeared as a Bieber-hating member of Miley Cyrus' fan club who told Cyrus that he heard that Justin Bieber had smoked marijuana and was sorry for doing it.
In turn, any post-salvia incident humor on the sketch depicting Miley herself as a stoner, as she revealed in 2013 she actually is one.
A 2001 sketch made fun of the soundtrack for the horror film Valentine, mainly mocking some of the bands on it for being rather unknown. As some of the bands included Disturbed and Linkin Park, it's kind of amusing now as those bands went on to be incredibly popular.
One of Seth Meyers' celebrity impressions back before he was a Weekend Update anchor was Anderson Cooper. On the Weekend Update for the season 38 finale, guess who Seth beats up at Stefon's wedding?
Just Here for Godzilla: Most people who watch the show only watch it just to see one thing (be it a favorite sketch/recurring character/cast member/favorite host) and cite it as the main reason to watch the show.
I GOT A FEVER! AND THE ONLY PRESCRIPTION... IS MORE COWBELL!
Nostalgia Filter: As noted on the main page, those who grew up with the show are among the most vocal critics of its current shape (if they still watch it at all; otherwise, it's Complaining about Shows You Don't Watch...Anymore). Also, because 60-minute cable reruns and video compilations have trimmed a lot of the weaker material from the older shows, it's easy to forget that even during its good seasons SNL had bad moments (from lousy hosts and musical guests to recurring characters and sketches that suffer from being underdeveloped and/or annoying though this can apply to the stuff that people actually remember or have currently seen). The DVD box sets of uncut and complete seasons of the show, in the original order and from the beginning, may be helping to undercut this; check out the reviews at DVDTalk.com.
Replacement Scrappy: Some feel this way about way about Finesse Mitchell, not because he replaced a cast member, but because he was chosen over Kel Mitchell. SNL really dropped the ball there apparently not getting Kel's chemistry with Kenan (though this is alleviated somewhat as Finesse Mitchell was fired after the 2005-2006 season and Kenan is still around, though Kel isn't on the show as a cast member).
Seasonal Rot: Just like in the Nostalgia Filter 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 Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, 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).
Season 11 (when Lorne Michaels came back and tried to assemble a cast of semi-famous people to be cast members, only to almost get canned due to plummeting Nielsen ratings) from 1985-86 also counts. According to the book "Live From New York: The Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live", a lot of the staff (including Al Franken and then-future Simpsons writer George Meyer) view Season 11 as terrible because the first episode hosted by Madonna wasn't well-received, which led to plummeting ratings and reviews stating that SNL's new cast at the time wasn't funny, the writing was too weird and thin, and the show as a whole has run its course and needed to end.
Sequel Displacement: "Delicious Dish" with Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon had already been a recurring sketch for a while that mostly made fun of the dry, monotone of NPR hosts. Then in December 1998 they did a sketch with Alec Baldwin as confectioner "Pete Schweddy" and his "Schweddy Balls". That sketch became very popular and now gets shown in Christmas specials with all the previous Delicious Dish sketches forgotten.
Special Effects Failure: SNL has always been known for flimsy sets, cheap costumes, and obvious Stock Footage (Lorne Michaels even said on an E! special about SNL's history that the show had this problem), especially in the 1970s and 1980s episodes (not so much in the episodes of the 1990s, the 2000s, and the 20-Teens, but it does crop up occasionally). More recent seasons have occasionally added in bad Chroma Keying as well. Some sketches have used this and ended with the cheap set getting destroyed in some way.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The near-constant changing of writers and cast members is one of the most common reasons why fans have a love/hate relationship with the show.
Unfortunate Implications: The decision to have Fred Armisen as Barack Obama did piss a lot of people off when it was first revealed that Lorne Michaels picked him (and turned down Jordan Peele from MADtv and Donald Glover from Communitynote though the joke is on SNL as Jordan Peele now plays Obama on Key And Peele) to play Obama, as Fred Armisen wasn't black (despite that, like Obama, Fred Armisen has a mixed ethnic backgroundnote Hispanic on his mom's side and Japanese and German on his father's side), though Armisen has played two black celebrities before (Prince and Ice-T, though he got away with that because Prince and Ice-T are light-skinned black) and no one complained (in fact, Armisen's Prince impression has been lauded as being just like the real deal). This was later reversed when Fred Armisen was traded out for Jay Pharoah, who is black, skinny, and can do a Barack Obama impression better than Fred Armisen.
Actually, the train wreck of Armisen as Obama was far more than just that Armisen wasn't black. Absolutely zero effort was made to darken his skin, plus Armisen didn't even try to put on a passable Obama voice, and he stayed in the role for almost the whole of Obama's first term. In over four years, SNL couldn't find any black men capable of playing Obama? This gets worse when you actually see Jordan Peele's Obama and realize that Michaels passed up a great impression.
What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: A lot of SNL's sketches from the 1970s were drug-influenced (such as one that had an Abraham Lincoln portrait calling Richard Nixon a "dip.") and a lot of the writers and cast members at the time were high as kites. These days, the writers and cast members aren't like their 1970s counterparts (at worst, they get high from sleep deprivation in writing and planning the show), but there are some crazy sketches and characters that seem like they're the product of a drug-influenced mind (Toonces, The Cat Who Can Drive a Car, Will Ferrell's impression of Harry Caray, Bill Hader's Stefonnote who is heavily implied to be on cocaine, meth, prescription pills, and possibly ecstacy, according to Bill Hader, just to name a few).