We watched the final Saturday Night Live Thursday edition last night. Then I read my colleague Nathan Rabin's post about it this morning.
I'm not sure I saw the same episode, to be frank. I don't believe I've laughed more at any SNL-produced piece of television in the last year. Part of it, I'm sure, is just a difference in perspective. For example, while I understand why Seth Myers rubs people the wrong way on Weekend Update, I have a very different experience, because I filter his performance through Amy Poehler. I trust Amy Poehler. I believe she's funny, and she knows what's funny. I think she has a great sense of humor. And because she clearly enjoys what Seth Myers is doing, I tend to give Myers a huge break.
But the part of Nathan's review that really runs counter to my perceptions is his accusation that Kenan Thompson's economics commentator character. He describes the shtick as a one-note idea that has been run into the ground by having him appear three times in a row. No clips appear to be on YouTube, so if you haven't seen it, you're out of luck. The character, upset about the economy, demands that somebody "fix it!" He offers a three-step plan. Step 1: Fix! Step 2: It! Step 3: Fix it! Thompson pronounces it more like "Fiss it! and yells it in a screechy staccato of frustration.
Yes, there's only one joke. But it's precisely because the economic news gone from bizarrely bad to bizarrely worse that the repetition of the gag week after week strikes me as brilliant. When Thompson came on this week, he was trembling with fear and anger. What can any of us do in the face of this massive boondoggle but yell to "them" to "fix it!"? Thompson's impotence seems to speak volumes at this moment in time. And without the recurrence of the bit week to week, that fuming, combined with the inability to offer any particular plan, is exactly where all us viewers find ourselves.