Saturday Night Live is in it’s 40th season. 40th! That’s pretty incredible when you really stop and think about it. Yes, as always, “the sketches are too long,” “the current cast isn’t as good” and “the show is absolute crap without [insert favorite cast member].” Look, here’s the thing: SNL is all about the experiment of throwing together a live, 90-minute show every week with a different host. Think about it. That seems really hard. Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows banked on 4 consistently amazing cast members (including the incredible Imogene Coca – wait, do you know what we’re talking about? DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND WATCH THIS), and they only did it for 4 years. So you’d think spreading the work load over a shit-ton of writers and a crap-load of actors, all trying to be the next Will Wiig or Kristen Ferrell, would make it easier.

Nope.  It’s hard.

The Frog tips its hat to an institution that has survived to middle age and delivered some of the greatest comedians and actors of the last 40 years. With all the difficulties of pulling off this show, it’s no wonder there are some clunkers every week. (Watch the old ones, there are clunkers there too! Don’t hate the “not ready for prime time” players, hate the “not ready for prime time” game.) That is the downside of the format. The upside… well, the upside is when topical timing meets tremendous talent. The crown jewel of this past episode was a perfect take on the scathing Scientology documentary, Going Clear. HBO (and all its lawyers) finally had the balls to push the ominous Scientology machine into the awareness of the mainstream, and SNL grabbed those balls and ran with them. Nice work!

[SIDE NOTE: Enjoy Friend of the Frog Kirk Zipfel’s musical take on Scientology’s Captain Ron with his hillbilly romp “Lil’ Ronnie Hubbard,” featured here on the Wilcox Sessions.]

…Aaaand we’re back! So, sure, the easy target for SNL was the “Neurotology” video. But that is not the nugget of comedy greatness that we would like to share today. This sketch was almost forgotten, probably overlooked by many, airing right at the bitter end of the show at 12:56 AM.

The last sketch of the night is kind of a throwaway sketch, because Lorne assumes that no one is watching and everyone has already fallen asleep. And before TiVo, he was right. Even in the last couple years, SNL would actually go to the musical guest’s second song and just call it a night. That’s why it’s the slot we like to pay the most attention to. The one where Lorne says, “screw it, fine, go for it.” Last week, in a perfect tribute to Easter, we got the following sketch. This is the Michael Keaton that won our hearts in Mr. MomNight ShiftBeetlejuice and even that short lived sitcom with Jim Belushi. (Oh, you thought we made that last one up?)

Enough already! Watch this sketch! Because Michael Keaton and Kate McKinnon are stupendous, creepy and wonderful. And no disrespect to Bobby Moynihan‘s body of work… but this is highlight of his career thus far.

Michael Keaton, we salute you for killing it in this sketch. As for the rest of you, keep an eye on those wee-hour sketches on SNL. They do not disappoint!

Happy Easter, kids! And happy 40th, SNL!




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