It’s a conversation we have around the TLB offices quite often. As major Saturday Night Live fans we’re always debating the show, its cast, where it came from, and where its headed. We watch new episodes the day they air and evaluate them with a scrutiny only comedy fans can. One of the most prevalent statements about the show we read week in and week out is something to the effect of, “the show used to be awesome” or “it stinks now,” or even “XX seasons were the best,” or perhaps the dumbest take, “SNL sucks since it went political.”
We’ve always boiled it down to people romanticizing the iconic sketch show after the fact, with only the best sketches standing the test of time, as others ones just fall off over the years leaving behind space only for the funniest sketches in our brains. It’s completely rose colored glasses for most fans of Saturday Night Live with people’s formative years really weighing heavily on when they first get into the show and last declared it “good.” We’ve often fired off the naysayers with “watch those first few episodes hosted by George Carlin and it might re-arrange your opinion on the show.”
Well, Youtuber Drew Gooden must’ve actually had that thought and he decided to dive into all seasons of Saturday Night Live and give them a re-watch. Choosing one or two episodes per each season of the show to find any empirical evidence as to whether the show did or did not fall off in quality, here’s what he found out.