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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Writer's Life 4/19 - Controversies

Saturday Night Live has a history of controversy. The latest involves a faux ad excoriating Trump as a racist endorsed by bigots. I found it mildly amusing. Was its intent political persuasion or simply comedic? If the creators actually believe Trump is racist, how would they explain that he allowed his daughter to marry an orthodox Jew, and that he demanded his Florida country club be integrated over the objections of key members? Anyway, here are some other hairy SNL moments, gleaned from Wiki, pared and edited by yours truly: Two parts of a stand-up routine by Sam Kinison in 1986 were edited for the West Coast, and later airings replaced the audio and video with a silent image of the previous season's cast. Kinison was clearly ahead of his time in the first offense, asking for the legalization of cannabis, saying: "You can't get any more pot. If you give us back the pot, we'll forget about the crack." His second offense was a joke about the Crucifixion, which he'd been asked to remove... In 1992 Wayne's World made fun of Chelsea Clinton. Wayne noted that while "adolescence has been thus far unkind" to the then-12 year old. Garth said that "she could turn into a babe in waiting." Hillary was publicly critical, and the quips were subsequently edited out of all repeats and syndication rebroadcasts. Myers sent an apology letter to the White House... The episode hosted by Rainn Wilson in February 2007 featured a sketch that prompted the criticism of Jon Colman, the CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society, which led to the words "Down's syndrome" being bleeped in later rebroadcasts.
More interesting, here's a list of people who have been banned from the show and why, my comments in parentheses:
In 1976 Louise Lasser bumbled through her stint as host, disoriented and incoherent. She would appear only in sketches in which she was alone or with Chevy Chase... In December 1977 Elvis Costello was slated to perform Less Than Zero due to pressure from his record company. After roughly 30 seconds, Costello stopped the performance, stating: "I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but there’s no reason to do this song here." The band then broke into Radio Radio. Lorne Michaels banned the artist from the show for nearly twelve years. In 1989 Costello was invited back. He even parodied his own stunt on the 25th anniversary show by interrupting the Beastie Boys' performance of Sabotage, which quickly morphed into a joint performance of Radio Radio (both were awesome)... In 1977 Charles Grodin hosted an episode that revolved around his forgetting that the show was live, and he proceeded to wreck sketches because of his failure to prepare accordingly... In April 1979 Milton Berle's reputation for taking control of an entire production came to the fore, causing major on-set stress. Berle's sins included upstaging, camera mugging, doing spit-takes, inserting old comedy bits, and climaxing the show with a maudlin performance of September Song complete with a prearranged standing ovation. The episode was barred from being rerun until 2003... Frank Zappa was banned after his 1978 episode for doing a disastrous job of hosting, mugging for the camera and even announcing to the audience that he was reading from cue cards... Andy Kaufman's wrestling of women drew the ire of then-producer Dick Ebersol. Kaufman proposed an audience vote to let him stay or force him off the show. More than 350,000 people responded, 25,000 or so more in the negative. Kaufman never again appeared on SNL. The show did air a tape of him thanking the 169,186 people who voted yes for him. (I laugh whenever I recall his brilliant billing of himself as the Inter-Gender Champ)... In 1982 Robert Blake was banned after crumpling a script and throwing it into the face of writer Gary Kroeger... In 1986 The Replacements were banned after they came out completely drunk during their performance of Kiss Me on the Bus. However, Paul Westerberg later went solo and was allowed to appear... Steven Seagal was banned after his stint in 1991. He didn't cooperate with the cast and crew. In a later episode hosted by Nicolas Cage, Lorne Michaels got in a jab at Seagal. When Cage lamented during his monologue that the audience might think he's the biggest jerk who’s ever been on the show, Michaels responded "No, no. That would be Steven Seagal."... In 1993 Cypress Hill was banned after DJ Muggs lit a joint and smoked it during their performance, which was capped by the group trashing their instruments...  A portion of Martin Lawrence's 1994 monologue concerning feminine hygiene has been removed from all repeats and replaced with a voice-over and intertitles(?)... In 1997 Will Ferrell and Tim Meadows complained about how host Chevy Chase treated the current cast and crew. While Chevy Chase no longer hosts, Michaels has called him in to appear in minor parts like a Land Shark reprisal... In 2003 Adrien Brody ad-libbed an introduction to musical guest Sean Paul while wearing fake dreadlocks and speaking in fake Jamaican Patois for 45 seconds, prompting Michaels to ban him.

My thanks to the young blonde beauty who purchased The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley, and paid in change. She expressed an interest in Billionths of a Lifetime but was strapped for cash. I'd guess she's 20 and trying to figure out her place in the world. As she left she congratulated me. It would be hard to top the thrill she brought to the floating book shop, but Occupy Jack gave it a run. He pedaled by on his bike, holding a Sanders poster aloft and saying: "Bernie! Bernie!"
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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