There was a time when “Saturday Night Live” was actually funny. The original cast was epic featuring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner and John Belushi. The 1980’s best featured cast member was probably Eddie Murphy.
But the early 1990’s had one of the best all-time casts – albeit generational preference – including Phil Hartman, Chris Farley, Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, Tim Meadows, David Spade, Darrell Hammond and Norm Macdonald.
Although, Will Ferrell is arguably considered one of the all-time “SNL” cast members despite not being a part of the team until the late 1990’s. But the comedian said recently that legendary actor Christopher Walken hilariously told him that this one famous “SNL” sketch ruined his life.
Nowadays, “Saturday Night Live” is bogged down by anti-President Trump vitriol. The 45-year-old sketch comedy staple of Saturday night television always poked fun at politicians, whether they were Democrats or Republicans, but they’ve definitely ramped it up since Donald Trump stormed onto the political scene.
Trump actually hosted “SNL” in 2015 and has made several appearances on the show over the decades. That particular episode he hosted was the best ratings the sketch show has had in years too.
Lorne Michaels fired longtime cast member Taran Killam who used to play Trump during his years before they eventually turned to Alec Baldwin to take over. Killam noted the hypocrisy of the show following Trump hosting and given the current political climate.
He said, “It certainly feels like there’s some hypocrisy there. I guess you could say, ‘Oh, they’re righting wrongs.’ And I don’t even think it’s righting wrongs. I think the show tries to — and in particular, Lorne’s outlook is — play to both sides. Play to the masses, play to whatever the popular opinion is. But, boy, they could definitely mine some comedy out of owning up to it, huh?”
Killam is absolutely right.
But in 45 years of the show’s existence are any of your favorite sketches politically driven? The best one with Dana Carvey playing George H.W. Bush and Will Ferrell playing George W. Bush Jr. hunting might be the funniest but that one probably doesn’t even rank in the top fifty of the all time sketches, right?
One of the greatest sketches of all time is the famous Blue Oyster Cult bit where the band is recording the “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” song and Will Ferrell is bombastically smashing a cowbell during the song from the instructions of the producer played by Christopher Walken.
Ferrell hosted “SNL” this past weekend but last week he appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” to promote it – who also happens to be his co-star in that particular sketch and couldn’t keep himself from laughing throughout – got candid with something Walken said to him about that sketch.
The “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” actor said, “Here’s the crazy thing. years later, I go to see Christopher Walken in a play, I say hello to him backstage and he’s like, ‘You know, you’ve ruined my life. People, during the curtain call, bring cowbells and ring them. The other day, I went for an Italian food lunch, and the waiter asked if I wanted more cowbell with my pasta bolognese.'”
Ferrell continued, “I think he was really mad at me — he had a little smile.”
This happens to actors or comedians all the time when they’re walking down the street. People just scream what they loved them in or a certain catchphrase they said in a project.
Dave Chappelle was really annoyed with how many people would scream, “I’m rich b-tch!” at him from his popular sketch in “Chappelle’s Show,” and it was actually one of the reasons why he went into hiding for nearly a decade.
But it’s even funnier when you consider how many iconic roles Walken has had and yet what’s screamed at him is “I need more cowbell!”