I’m really looking forward to it. More for history than anything else. Jay Leno will say goodbye to The Tonight Show this week. For good, so we are lead to believe. We can do the autopsy of the Leno administration – that he was likeable but vanilla; almost so mainstream that it almost went in a roundabout way back to edgy-ness. Rather, I like to look at the last five minutes, the goodbye and good times that have yet to be uttered. Its one of my favourite things TV has to offer; the comedy show goodbye. Not the last episode of a sitcom, although those are really fun too. When comedians are forced to be earnest, I find it compelling. This is no time for Bieber zingers, this is stuff that can be said over an instrumental version of Sarah McLaughlin’s “In the Arms of the Angel”.
As a kid, there was something delightfully naughty about watching Saturday Night Live. I can remember watching the show as a pre-teen and my grandma, who was babysitting me at the time, freaking out at particularly off-color boob joke. The show was on late, past my normal bedtime, and the zany, recurring characters were broad enough that it hardly mattered that I didn’t understand all of the punch lines. Yes, it was cool to watch Saturday Night Live as a 10-year-old.
And then, I got a bit older and slogging through the marathon session of television on a precious Saturday night didn’t seem worth it even if, as was most often the case, I didn’t have anything better to do. There was a long stretch of time that I didn’t bother with the show at all or would watch it on occasion or a few sketches here and there.
Well, I’m here to report that I’m back on the SNL bandwagon and it has little or nothing to do with the quality of the show. It has absolutely everything to do with the way that I am watching the show and having lower, or to be more precise, adjusted expectations (more on that later). And it has yet more to do with humankind’s all time greatest invention: the PVR.