We all watch Saturday Night Live faithfully every week because it’s still the best place to find topical comedy and energizing live performances of the latest artist-of-the-week. (To be honest, TiVo is our friend here, as Sunday morning sprinting is about all SNL usually deserves these days).
And yes, we’re regularly disappointed with the content taken on the whole. Digital Shorts should be funny week-in, week-out… but they’ve been more hit-or-miss these days.
And we can’t get enough of WHAT UP WITH THAT?, and yet they don’t show that skit often enough.
Sure, once in a while we get breakthrough performances by Justin Timberlake and others who know how to perform comedy in front of a live audience — those are the episodes that make the show worth the bad episodes we have to sit through.
But over the years we’ve grown used to specific skits and characters. Some we grow fond of, others we can’t wait until they leave.
And we can take a look at SNL’s MOST REPEATED CHARACTERS to see how much of a rut SNL really has gotten itself into over the past few 36 years. These are those characters that we’ve seen, for some, WAY too much of:
- The Killer Bees
- The Nerds
- Richard Laymer
- It’s PAT
- Dr Jack Badofsky
- Linda Richman from “Coffee Talk”
- The Ladies Man
- Margaret Jo McCullin and Terry Rialto from “Delicious Dish”
- The Spartan Cheerleaders
- Roseanne Roseannadanna
- Pat Stevens
- Mary Katherine Gallagher
- Tommy Flanagan
- Stuart Smalley
- Hans and Franz
- Church Lady
- The Culps
- Wayne’s World
- Mr Bill
- Father Guido Sarducci
- Emily Litella
Here’s the fun part.
Over those 36 years, SNL has done 7,798 sketches and 702 episodes of Weekend Update. Can you believe that someone went to the trouble to dissect which sketches were seen in which season to determine WHICH SNL SEASON RELIED ON RECURRING CHARACTERS THE MOST?
The MOST original season, to be expected, was season #6 – the first year without the original cast. That season was 74% original.
The LEAST original season was season #4, which clocked in at just 32% originality.
While it may seem like a lot of duplication on some characters, the past few seasons have been remarkably balanced, averaging around 50% of recurring characters : original content ratio.
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