7 'SNL' Characters That Need To Be Retired
A few years back, I interviewed comedic genius Kristen Wiig after that week's Saturday Night Live featured yet another appearance from her afro-topped, violence-prone creation Gilly. I used this as a springboard to talk about the act of removing characters from SNL rotation. Her exasperated reaction simultaneously said, "it's not up to me" and "but I wish it was."
Since then, Gilly has thankfully been benched while other Wiig women have taken up that overplayed mantle. In fact, it feels like this current season of Saturday Night Live has relied on a reservoir of repeated characters like none in recent memory, driving me to demand their retirement.
Here are the 7 SNL sketches that need to be put out to pasture.
Sketch: Garth & Kat
Was It Ever Funny: Yes. Side-splitting, I would say. The first time Kristen and Fred Armisen performed this improv-olympic, tears were streaming down my face watching them try their damnedest not to break character.
The Problem: As they've gotten more comfortable taking this unwritten risk, it's become less dangerous and therefore, less funny.
Exhaustion Level: 4 (bringing in a third person, a' la Chris Martin, is an inspired way to keep me laughing)
Sketch: Secret Word
Was It Ever Funny: Moderately. Although I often found the self-aggrandized ramblings about Mindy Grayson's career to be more hilarious than her inability to avoid saying the Secret Word.
The Problem: It's literally the same joke every week.
Exhaustion Level: 5
Was She Ever Funny: Yes! The initial reveal of this freakishly shaped singer remains one of the best sight gags in show history.
The Problem: Now that we've seen her forehead and baby hands a million times, there's little surprise here.
Exhaustion Level: 6
Sketch: The Kissing Family
Was It Ever Funny: Less funny and more shocking as the skit was basically an excuse for the "family" to engage in incestual games of tonsil hockey that always ended with two men kissing.
The Problem: Just like any real couple will tell you, the show needs to find new and exciting ways to keep the spark alive.
Exhaustion Level: 7
Sketch: Herb Welch
Was He Ever Funny: Not really. The joke (aging reporter continually slaps his interview subjects with a microphone) was stale by the end of the first sketch.
The Problem: This sketch is typically around three minutes in length, which is about 2 minutes and 30 seconds too long.
Exhaustion Level: 8
Was She Ever Funny: Um .... no. In fact, I'm amazed Kristen's been forced to bring this character to life so often since the sketch is basically one long build up to watch a hot girl fart.
The Problem: SNL is better than poop jokes. Isn't it?
Exhaustion Level: 9
Sketch: The Manuel Ortiz Show
Was It Ever Funny: No. Not at all.
The Problem: Everything. What exactly is this doing on a sketch comedy show?
Exhaustion Level: 10