It doesn't seem to happen every weekend, but on some weekends Saturday Night Live airs "classic" episodes of the once very funny program at 1:00am.
Some months back was, I think, the premiere episode aired that featured a very young cast of original Not Ready For Prime Time Players, along with musical guest Billy Preston and comedian George Carlin.
It was obvious, to see, from that episode why the show was to be a hallmark of comedy for years to come. Tonight's episode, however, didn't fare as well.
The cast included Randy Quaid, Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Michael Hall, Joan Cusack, and others and only one or two skits were even mildly amusing. Even with guest host Paul Rubens as Pee Wee Herman (whose opening monologue was fun) the comedy just never seemed to get off the ground.
It's amazing that this show is still on the air. And I'm actually kind of happy for that in a way. In the world of television if a show doesn't hit consistent home runs, it's usually canceled. This Saturday night show can probably dodge a bullet or two because there's nothing really in the wings ready to replace it.
And I have no doubt the show will rebound. Or at least I hope it does. So I'm willing it wait it out if the execs at NBC are. It's just that lately the show is so hit and miss, well, mostly miss, that tuning in on Saturday nights, just to see who's on is becoming less of a habit than just, flipping the channel to see what's on in general.
For a great history on the show from cast members and execs alike, check out Live From New York from Little Brown. It's a compilation of stories and anecdotes and well worth the read.