Controversy rocked the TV nostalgia world today when Independent Comedy Analysts (ICA) released its final report that the first few seasons of "Saturday Night Live" were not really very funny.
"In 1975, American tv was primed for a show that could capture the growing cynicism of younger viewers," said ICA spokesman Ernie Anderson. "'SNL' did just that, becoming an unprecedented success. But in our retrospective analysis, we found very little humor in the show.
"When 'SNL' first aired, the only other choices viewers had were 'The Late, Late Movie' on CBS, and 'Nightline' followed by the national anthem and a test pattern on ABC. Add to that the rampant use of drugs among young people at the time, and you have some very fertile soil in which to grow a countercultural television program. It didn't matter if a junkie was smoking grass, popping pills, dropping acid, sniffing coke or mainlining smack. At 11:30 on Saturday, he was watching 'SNL'."
Anderson said that while the ICA reviewers were able to find some mildly amusing material in most of the routines, they found certain sketches especially puzzling. "I Want To Feed Your Fingertips To The Wolverines is one that we just didn't 'get'. Others with little or no apparent comedic value included Samurai Delicatessen, Killer Bees, and Mr. Mike's Least Loved Bedtime Stories."
Anderson said the report probably won't hurt the show's cult status. "It's one of those things you think you like, like 'Good N Plenty' candy, 'Atom Ant' cartoons, or 'The Streak' by Ray Stevens. But, like all these things, early 'SNL' is best left as a fond memory of a simpler time. A little anachronism which no longer has the impact it once did.
"Do not, I repeat, do not attempt to watch an entire 90 minute episode. It will ruin it for you, too."