It’s nine o’clock on a Sunday morning and I wish I had a crazy tale to tell about my Saturday Night. However, I didn’t do anything remotely interesting. I tried to stay up to watch “Saturday Night Live”, but I fell asleep at nine o’clock. I don’t know why I watch “Saturday Night Live”. The sketches are juvenile. The show isn’t that funny, and the cast is meh. This wasn’t always the case, though. Back in the 80’s the show was actually worth staying up for.
We all have our favorite comics, and no one was funnier to me than Eddie Murphy. His impersonations were so funny. He was so funny. He just had that face that made you laugh…even if he didn’t say anything funny. Chris Rock is another favorite comic of mine, and he got his start through Saturday Night Live. The sketches on the show kept pushing the envelope. In particular, there was the sketch with Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor in which Chevy Chase used the “N word”.
“Saturday Night Live” has a very high turnover rate in their comedians. Some have made it to superstar status while many others into obscurity. However, one thing is for sure, every black comedian that had their start on “Saturday Night Live” have all made it big. Garrett Morris, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Tim Meadows and Traci Morgan have all made it to the big screen. They have all had their television, movie or cable television deals. In all of Saturday Night Live’s 38 year history there has only been two black women comedians to be on the show–Ellen Cleghorne and Mya Rudolph. We all know who Mya is, but who is Ellen?
This is such a problem with “Saturday Night Live” that they even felt the need to address the problem when Kerry Washington hosted two weeks ago. Jay Pharoah is the new rising star on “Saturday Night Live”. He has the potential to be the next Eddie Murphy, but only if the corporate puppet masters at NBC allow him to grow. He President Obama impression is decent, but considering the last guy on the show that did it it should be upgraded to superb. I mean, a white guy playing president Obama? puh-leaze
So, my question is why is this happening? Perhaps it is the executives at NBC that don’t want to create another successful black comedian? I mean, the more successful black comedians out in the market will put the white comedians out of a job? Not really. It’s not like whites have this incredible urge to support a black comedian in the comedy clubs.
I hope there will come a time when we have an anti-Saturday Night Live much akin to the 90’s sketch show comedy “In living Color”. There was a predominately black cast, but more importantly they were all funny. And they all went on to bigger and better things. Keenan Ivory Wayans along with his brothers Damon and Marlon went on to the big screen. Jennifer Lopez launched into super-stardom, even though she was only a dancer that appeared on the show for 4 or 5 seconds at a time. Tommy Davidson went on to bigger and better things. David Alan Grier went on to bigger things. Jamie Fox, well…you know how great his career took off. One of the white guys on the show…Jim Carey…yeah, we all know how great his career turned out.
I often question just how liberal studio executives are. A liberal is supposed to be color-blind. A liberal is supposed to give a person a job based on their talent and/or experience. I’m not advocating that “Saturday Night Live” should go out and hire all the black people they can find. I just want the producers of “Saturday Night Live” to not be so color blind. And for those who think that “black” doesn’t sell it is worth noting that “Best Man Holiday” topped the box office this weekend.
Someday, just some day, we shall overcome.