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They should cancel Saturday Night Live. It's just not as funny as it used to be.
Sound familiar? It should, because it's a refrain we've been hearing for decades. Literally, decades. Pick any season of TV's most unkillable comedy institution and chances are someone thinks it stunk.
And that's because a lot of it definitely has had a rather pungent waft. Whether your idea of SNL's heyday is Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey or Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon, the show has infamously had spikes of brilliance separated by years-long stretches of painful mediocrity.
Scuttlebutt suggests that current SNL castmembers Kristen Wiig ( Bridesmaids), Jason Sudeikis ( Hall Pass) and Andy Samberg (funny songs involving penises) will all leave the show after this, its 37th season.
The departure of these three will gut the already sagging show--Bill Hader and the new kids (such as recent addition Kate McKinnon, doing her first stint as a featured player this week) can only carry so much.
Here are some ways we think Saturday Night Live can be saved from itself. Lorne Michaels, feel free to call us to discuss.
1 Get rid of the musical guest and shorten the show to an hour
At the risk of being murdered by the horde of teenage girls who tuned on Saturday to see One Direction, uh, perform? SNL's musical guests tend to be less about showcasing exciting talent and more about signalling the audience to take a pee break.
2 Choose hosts who can act
Athletes in general make notoriously terrible hosts. (Michael Phelps, we're looking at you. Even though we wish we hadn't.) And hot actresses can also be a special kind of terrible -for every delightful Emma Stone there's a horrible January Jones. Would it be too much to ask that comedic chops be a requisite for hosting a comedy show? Jones' Mad Men co-star Jon Hamm is an example of a host who nailed it, because he actually worked with the writers to make sure the material was good. And he's, y'know, funny.
3 Get better writers
On paper, SNL hiring young writers from places such as College Humor and The Onion sounds brilliant. In practice, it hasn't seemed to bear fruit.
4 Get rid of Fred Armisen
Sorry, Kenan Thompson haters, but Fred Armisen is the weak link in the show's repertory cast. Gazing wide-eyed into the camera as a punchline only goes so far. And surely someone else can do a better Obama.
5 Find the next Lonely Island
Nothing has boosted SNL's cred in the last decade more than The Lonely Island, the musical comedy troupe made up of Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone. Their music videos ( D---in a Box, for one) have been some of the funniest things to come out of SNL, and have been crossover hits on YouTube and iTunes.
6 Expand Weekend Update
Not everyone loves current faux anchor Seth Meyers, but they should -he's doing some of the most biting comedy on the show, and the segment's "special guests" often provide the biggest laughs of the night.
7 Have Justin Timberlake do a cameo in every show
Self-explanatory. But only a cameo -a little JT goes a long way, and too much is too much.