[I would have put this in the SNL thread, but that's been closed for awhile.]
I watched SNL last night, and it was a rerun of the season premiere with Ben Affleck. When they played the Debbie Downer sketch, it started out with a disclaimer saying "Note: this is from dress rehearsal, simply because it worked better". I didn't remember them showing that originally, but I figured I must of missed it. So they showed the sketch, but during it Rachel Dratch and Affleck were cracking up something fierce, which definitely did not happen the first time they showed it. Has anyone ever heard of them messing with the original live broadcast like that?
Incidentally, it was much more tolerable with everyone laughing. I've heard that what made the first Debbie Downer sketch (from last season) funny was everyone cracking up. Normally that's pretty irritating (one of the all-time best sketches, "More Cowbell", will always be tainted by Fallon cracking up), but when it's got zero funny to begin with, you might as well get some humor out of it.
Idle hands spend time at the genitals, and you know how much God hates that.
I didn't see last night's switch, but I do remember the live version from the first airing of the premiere. Horrible, and it made me shudder when they did the Thanksgiving one a week ago.
The original was not only funnier because of the laughter, but because it was more biting. Nothing in the last two have come close to the level of, "It's official..." *Dratch cracks up* "I can't have children!!!" Not only does everyone keep it together, but the writing is far lamer.
Upon seeing the second, the one from the season premiere, I shook my head at the feline AIDS joke where the wa-wa-wa horn was replaced with a meowing cat. "Horrible," I thought, thinking that nothing that stupid was found in the first one. Only later did I realized that they did the same joke in the first, but everyone, including the audience, was cracking up and I just missed it upon my first seven viewings.
Hierarchy of Deities: Sarah Vowell > Roger Ebert > Albert Pujols > God
So, um, I don't want you to believe everything you hear at the parent-teacher conference, okay, 'cause...they lie. And they exaggerate. That's why they're teachers, right? Those who can't, right, Mom? Those who can't.
One of the best things about the old Carol Burnett Show was how Tim Conway would always go out of his way to make Harvey Corman break. Now, no one's ever accused Corman of having the world's best poker face, or even a good one, so watching him crack up was something people actually looked forward to--how funny will Conway be? how long will Corman last?
That said, while watching a sketch derail into fits of laughter by the cast can sometimes be enjoyable to watch, I don't think they should have messed with the "Live" broadcast element of the episode. That defeats the point of Saturday Night Live--ANYTHING can happen.
The Goal: SLACK The Method: The Casting Out of False Prophets The Weapon: Time Control The Motto: "Fuck Them All of they Can't Take a Joke"
Some of the best skits ever involve someone cracking up. The Carol Burnett show was a family favorite during dinner hour in my house when I was a kid and we'd always get excited when Tim Conway was on because we knew we'd see Harvey Korman and often Carol Burnett herself lose it at some point.
There's a great sketch that Newhart did with Dean Martin way back in the day where Dean (also never the greatest straight man) absolutely loses it trying to keep up with Newhart's total deadpan.
That was also one of the things I used to love about the Drew Carey show: Lewis and Oswald especially would occasionally show signs of completely cracking on camera.
Firstly, the only cavassing of users you should be doing is with a heavy tarpaulin, a stack of bricks and a deep stretch of water" -- BOFH speaks the truth about surveys
The first segment was a great spoof of "The Office". Had they stuck with this for the whole episode (especially because they actually had a plot-related reason for having a documentary crew there), it would have been total greatness.