Saturday Night Live: Let’s Just Say I’m Glad Charles Rocket Isn’t Around to See This

gilly1I’ve been a fan of SNL for a long time now. I remember the years withBrad Hall Terry Sweeney, A. Whitney Brown all the way up to today. I’ve suffered through the good times and the bad, with the good times coming about 20% of the time. So it was with delight that I was finally able to use the “I’ve never missed a show in 20 years” when they had their resurgence this year with Tina Fey’s Palin. It reminded me of that line in stripes when Bill Murrays girlfriend complained about him ordering out and spending all night listening to Tito Puente albums;

Tito Puente is gonna be dead, and you’ll say “I’ve been listening to him for years. He’s fabulous.”

But this last week was another example of how bad they can be. In a totally phoned in show with a forgettable lame guest (Sac Efron) we were treated to a lazy bunch of sketches that bombed one after the other. From the opening lame Obama sketch with Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis doing awful impressions of the President and Vice President, to yet another awful Will Forte singing on update bit. It was just crap from start to finish.

sg-dub and I were watching it this weekend and this is what we don’t get. This show has at least 20 writers. 20 people cannot come up with, at tops, 10 mildly funny sketches? I mean shit, give sg-dub ten minutes and we can work up something. And on top of that, the show never goes more than 3 weeks without a break. Is it really that hard? 20 people can’t come up with about 40 minutes of sketch comedy? They need a break every few weeks because of the “grind” of having Will Forte do his lame reverse Bon Jovi sketch? Really? But it was Kristen Wiig who provide the biggest disappointment…

My main problem is the “recurring character”. I ma not opposed to the idea at all. Belushi’s samurai was always funny, and Ferrell’s hippie college professor taking a lover always was good for a chuckle. The problem is the recurring character that is 1. not funny and 2. simply repeats the exact same jokes as the previous sketch. I present to you, “Gilly”

OK, it’s one thing to have a sketch that’s not funny, but this sketch is so unfunny I have no idea what joke they were actually going for. I mean, is her saying “sorry” the punchline? Is that what were supposed to be laughing at? Is it the face she makes? What is the point of the character?

What I am having trouble with is imagining the writers room with 20 professional comedy writers for the most revered sketch show in TV history getting pitched the idea for a “Gilly” sketch and thinking “YES! That is SOO Funny! We are so going to do that!!” But what really blows my mind is that this is the SECOND time we’ve seen a Gilly sketch. So not only did the writers think it was funny but they thought it was so good that they needed to do it again.

But luckily the next episode will be better. After writing that Gilly Sketch, SNL has decided to take a much needed break with next weeks episode a repeat.

EdHill | 04.14.09 | Filed in Misc,Uncategorized

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39 responses to “Saturday Night Live: Let’s Just Say I’m Glad Charles Rocket Isn’t Around to See This”

  1. B-Side says:

    I don’t get the Gilly skit either, and I am much more tolerant of SNL than you are. To be fair, I thought this Gilly skit was better than the first, but they still leave much to be desired.

    I think it’s a skit spearheaded by Will Forte. You can always tell his skits because a) he plays a significant role, b) they’re sort of subversive and absurdist, and c) he usually winds up repeating a word over and over and over again. Oh, and d) they’re usually not very funny.

  2. chick110 says:

    Love how you say that this week’s will be so much better because it’s a repeat. I can’t watch it anymore. Mostly because if I manage to stay up that late (yes, I’m getting old), it better be funny enough to reward me for actually staying up to see it. And, the times I have been awake, I’ve had to find something else to watch. Reruns of old movies are funnier than SNL…

  3. chick110 says:

    For some unknown reason, I wanted to see how bad this skit was, so I tried to watch it. Wow. Really? Is that the funniest thing they could come up with? Does anyone think she’s really funny with the stupid catch phrase, “Sorry” and the goofy smirk?

  4. sg-dub says:

    But 110, to reiterate the point, they did the Gilly skit several weeks ago in a classroom setting. The EXACT SAME skit, albeit with different injuries “apologetically” inflicted on the nearby folks. The verbiage could have been exactly the same for all that anyone would have cared.

    It’s just embarrassing. Keep in mind EdHill and I and our better halves were several bottles of wine in, and STILL didn’t laugh at the show.

    Contrast that with the random Colbert Report we watched prior that had us laughing, followed by the genius that is NRB channel’s “Walk on Water.” TiVo that show now, and thank me later. The combination of acting and writing has taken television to new heights.

  5. EdHill says:

    They get too comfortable. IF they are going to have a few sketches bomb, they need to just go for it. You know every week there is one sketch that is too offensive, or esoteric, or wierd, that they never use. I say air it at 12:40 and see what happens. Remember when being “edgy” was good on this show? Instead they look at the board, see they need 5 sketches and just say “OK, lets do a GIlly, a reverse Bon Jovi Update”

    And the reverse Bon Jovi. OK, first time It was fine. Cute almost. A cover band that does Bon Jovi sings but reverses the lyrics, and then gets offended when you call them a cover band. I get it. Good for a quick weekend update bit and satisfies Will Fortes need for singing sketches.

    But this week they did the EXACT SAME BIT on update. They simply took a few more songs and reversed the words, which took about 5 minutes to put together since they already wrote and performed the sketch a month ago. That is the quintessential example of phoning it in. I don’t mind recurring characters, I mind recurring jokes. Put the character in a different situation. Don’t literally repeat the exact same sketch with the exact same jokes. How is that funny?

    And sg-dub is right, Colbert has about the same number of writers and they come up with absolute comic gold 4 nights a week for months on end.

    I have an idea. I’m just going to repost old lost recaps and fix the typos. It’ll be like my version of an SNL sketch.

  6. EdHill says:

    I thought this Gilly skit was better than the first, but they still leave much to be desired.

    really? then explain it to me, and I’m not kidding. What was the joke? her facial expressions? The way she said “sorry”? Was it a take on old 50′s cartoons or something? The reason I pointed this one out because it wasn’t just bad. There are plenty of bad sketches every week. This one was worse because It didn’t even make sense. I couldn’t even look at it and think “I know what joke they are trying to do but I don’t think its funny”. I simply was left scratching my head wondering at what point they were even expecting a laugh.

  7. plethLaura says:

    What’s with the Zac Efron and Jonas Brothers all of a sudden? Much of the blame goes to the Variety reading producers who covet the lamest demographic and can’t say no to veteran writers (FORTE!). Disney-safe SNL is AWFUL.

  8. sg-dub says:

    My theory on the Gilly character is to first, not think too deeply about it. She’s the outcast “weird” kid who is borderline special needs but is capable of impossible feats.

    (See: Autistic basketball players as of late)

    However, her impossible feats involve her maiming and disfiguring unaware bystanders so quickly and splendidly that no one notices. Then, when challenged, she charmingly says “I’m sorry” as if that makes it all better – which is exatctly what we tell 5 year olds to do when they fuck up.

    The trick of this sketch was to convince anyone over the age of 5 that it was the least bit funny in the first place. For that, Wil Forte is a genius.

  9. honeybunny says:

    There is more text from edhill & sg-dub in this post then there has been for months. I love it when they get heated up about something.
    Thanks Gilly.

    I still love SNL. If I gave up on things that I loved just because they suck sometimes, I wouldn’t still be hanging around here.


  10. mountain_girl says:

    Burn! That was a good one, hb!

    I may have given up on SNL but never on my MSR, unless you go all corporate like TOS.

  11. copygodd says:

    there’s a sketch with keenan thompson that spoofs scared straight that i’ve seen two or three different iterations of this season. same characters, same setup, same delivery. but at least it’s packed with jokes about anal rape, so it’s not totally devoid of humor, ala gilly.

  12. Claire-Anne says:

    I am in the minority because I find the character of Gilly funny. Kristen Wiig just looks so funny in that wig. I know they can do better, but I’ve seen worse. And aren’t the recurring skits all repeating themselves anyway?

  13. savemyfish says:

    I have been watching SNL since I’ve been about to stay up late and get the jokes. SNL has always burned out characters with the same basic sketch. TV funhouse even parodied it as the “the life of a catchphrase” in one of their sketches during the early 2000′s. Sometimes I think they writers may be a little out of touch with their audience, but other times I think I’m just getting old. The digital shorts have been very good for the most part, though. Finally, when are they going to start calling it “The Kristin Wiig Show!” Her characters are really wearing on me. The new additions seem to be working pretty well, and Chris Elliott’s daughter is surprisingly cute…..

  14. no-idol says:

    see to me she’s just being the same Kristin Wig character we always see. Pointless and rather stupid, and always annoying on some level. I think the skit might have actually been funny if they let Keenan Thompson and he guy playing the potato battery creator run with their portion of the skits….The two broken arms – my dh had that in high school – there’s miles of comedy gold with that…and his protests about the field trip and riding a horse with fire in it’s eyes did make me chuckle. Overall the skit bombs cause of that stupid “I’m sorry”

  15. may says:

    I’m not embarassed to say that I’ve stuck with this show from the first episode of the first season. There are times it’s so bad I can’t watch, but I return the next week hoping it will be different. Then there are the times when I can’t believe I’m seeing what I see. I don’t repect them for phoning it in, and I do think they beat a dead horse on many occasions. But, I keep watching hoping for that golden skit. I DVR it, and FF thru a lot of the bullshit.

  16. mamacita says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the problem is that, for so many years, we’ve all been saying, “SNL sucks.” And some people even said it during the golden years of Tina Fey/ Will Farrell. Maybe SNL has become immune to criticism.

    But I was thinking EXACTLY what you were thinking this past Saturday night. WTF was that? Did all the writers come down with the flu? There was not one SINGLE, watchable sketch.

    I can identify at least one problem at work: Nobody really cares if a sketch is “absurdist” or groundbreaking in any way. The show has become too “meta,” concentrating on its place in “comedy history.” Yo Lorne — How about just making a show that’s funny?

  17. 626 says:

    I cannot stand the Gilly sketch and am amazed that they’ve turned it into a recurring character. SNL has been pretty good this season but this past Saturday they were just off. I did laugh a few times at the High School Musical sketch they had after Weekend Update and remember chuckling a couple times during the opening monologue but beyond that I don’t think I laughed once. And I’m still pissed about Gilly. What a waste of space!

  18. Lucas says:

    Gilley is one of the FUNNIEST ones on SNL!
    Are you kidding???

    Wow, you obviously don’t know what funny is!

    Did you even see her dance?

  19. toolsquatch says:

    I’ll tell you what’s wrong with the “Gilly” sketches:

    1) Kristen Wiig doesn’t belong on SNL and neither does a majority of the rest of the cast. Kristen Wiig looks, acts, and writes like someone who should be on MadTV, she’s got it written all over her down to the facial expressions and voices she uses for all of her characters.

    2)Bobby Moynihan, one of the “featured players” who played the first finalist, is too Disney and kid-friendly in this sketch and I’ve yet to see him do anything to make me laugh in any of these stinkers.

    3) Zac Efron…self-explanitory, I just have to say his name and I can rest my case.

    4) Keenan Thompson , rhe only person who made me laugh in this sketch: the moment they cut away from him my half-smile turned back into a scowl. That being said, his years on Nickelodeon have saturated his existence and whenever he says something, I feel like I’m watching an Episode of All That or something else “kid-friendly”.

    and finally:

    5) The days where Will Forte was funny have long passed, much like Fred Armisen’s limited days of being funny have long passed: I’ve seen older episodes with the two and was amazed at the fact that they accomplished being funny, given all of these years of becoming nothing more than annoying. Maybe it’s because they were acting other people’s sketches instead of being allowed to do their own and their seniority in the cast has given them the luxury of bringing these painful characters to the table, maybe they’ve just forgotten about the scathing criticism you KNOW they received when they first started out…maybe they’re tied to a contract they DESPERATELY want to get out of and are hopelessly bound to it, causing them to resort to unleashing shitty chracters just to try to get away.

    The solution is simple: SNL needs an enema, both in the writing AND cast department.

  20. Brad says:

    The first time I saw this sketch, I was confused. I write and teach sketch comedy in a major city and I kept giving them the benefit of the doubt that there was something I was missing.

    Later, I realized that no — there is not anything else to get. Just “Sorry”. I was as confused as I’ve ever been when it appeared that this would be a recurring sketch…then, the news. Kristen Wiig was scheduled to host the SNL holiday special…as Gilly!

    Am I insane? Am I the only one who doesn’t understand? I guess these other answers prove I’m not alone, but really, it makes me feel like I’m out of touch when I watch that sketch and hear it get laughs.

  21. Sarah says:

    Gilly is hilarious … and if you’re going to write a rant on the internet, at least use correct grammar.

  22. troublemkr77 says:

    Wish lorne would find his balls wtf. I miss Mr Bill and dan calling jane a stupid bitch. Much like this “sarah u stupid bitch” comic gold

  23. troublemkr77 says:

    And yes I know its supposed to be ignorant slut but I like stupid bitch better

  24. copygodd says:

    scene: snl writers’ room. man enters and confronts group of writers.

    man: which one of you losers wrote the gilly sketch?

    writer 1: we all worked on it, but i guess i did the final version.

    man pulls out gun and shoots writer 1 in the face.

    writer 2: oh my god, you shot him in the face! what the hell’s wrong with you? it was just a stupid sketch.

    man shoots writer 2 in the groin, then pisses on writer 1′s corpse.

    man: sorry.

  25. zoobabe says:

    and cgodd should be writing for SNL after that one! Seriously- you’d do so much better than them. I still watch it as well -even though I HATE how most of the sketches are recycled.

  26. troublemkr77 says:

    Cg I have a addition to the script. The guys walks in with a friend who keeps saying his name Willie and he does the robot before he says sorry lol

  27. EdHill says:

    Gilly still sucks ass.

  28. EdHill says:

    Actually, a skectch of her sucking as would be a marked improvement.

  29. flounkGoodo says:

    so what do you think?

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  31. Debbie May says:

    Omg Gilly totally rocks as the geek in all of us if you dont get that then dont watch SNL. Also I watch it with my 16 yearold teen and we make the Gilly smile at each other and saY WHAT!!!!!!! WE WANT MORE GILLY & no were not hicks we live in South OC!!!!!(Orange County.

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