Nostalgic for the Old SNL

John Lovitz and Dana Carvey, SNL 2/5/11

This past weekend, Dana Carvey returned to host Saturday Night Live (SNL) for the first time in 11 years. I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a little emotional when I saw the opening “Cable 10 Auroa Public Access” graphic in the opening of the show. I immediately knew it was Wayne’s World and memories from my teenage years came flooding back. In Carvey’s opening monologue he jokingly sang a song about how the ’86-’93 cast of SNL was the best. For me, it was the truth. Fellow cast member John Lovitz joined him mid-tune and I selfishly hoped for the rest of the golden-era’d cast to come out as well.

I believe that audiences probably latch onto the SNL cast that they grew up with but I’ve compared the aforementioned cast against line-ups before and after. For me, it doesn’t get better than Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Phil Hartman, John Lovitz, Victoria Jackson and Kevin Nealon. When I was in school, my friends and I used to get excited about a new season of SNL. I wonder if kids are still excited about that stuff or if I was just destined to be a comedy nerd.

My heart sank when I heard the late Phil Hartman’s voice on some on Carvey’s sketch intros like “Church Chat.” I believe the writing for the sketches containing old reoccurring characters did justice to the legacy of his cast. As the program went on, Carvey left a lot of breathing room for the new cast and with their new characters and schtick. Again, I may sound selfish when I say this but I think Carvey should have tried to do all his characters. I would’ve loved to see The Grumpy Old Man or Hans, just to name a few.

No matter, I’ll take what I can get and I was grateful to see Carvey back on SNL. I hope this starts a trend of more classic cast members from SNL’s history to come back and host the show. Who’d like to see Eddie Murphy play Gumby one more time? Or Bill Murray do some new lounge renditions? I’m game.

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