Soft opening, big splash for season 35 of SNL

As I watched the Emmys last night, seeing Saturday Night Live's Lorne Michaels, Kristen Wiig and Fred Armisen in great seats in Los Angeles, I couldn't help but wonder, don't they need to be back in New York City on Monday morning to start putting on two (TWO) live TV shows this week? In fact, they do. There's a primetime Weekend Update Thursday to plan, in addition to the debut of Season 35 proper of SNL on Saturday with host Megan Fox and musical guest U2. That's a biggie. (Fun fact: It's also on my birthday!)

They had what could reasonably be called a "soft opening" last Thursday for their half-hour Weekend Update edition. So many easy targets made themselves known in the week prior — starting with Congressman Joe Wilson's "You lie!" to Serena Williams at the US Open to Madonna's "tribute" to Michael Jackson to Kanye West's outburst — that it was both a gimme and a toughie. Some jokes were so obvious that they'd already been made many times before SNL had its chance — someone had a mashup of Kanye West interrupting Obama's speech up on YouTube within hours, for crying out loud laughing. But SNL had to do something. I thought their take on Wilson (victim of bad bathroom timing) was clever, and the speech Bill Hader gave as James Carville on the Update desk was just plain funny. Other things, eh. Though it was nice to see Amy Poehler back with Seth Meyers co-anchoring the Weekend Update, even if this reunion will be brief. (Watch the Sept. 17, 2009, edition of Weekend Update on Hulu)

Which made me think of all of the previous comedians who have held the reins of Weekend Update, and if you'd like to see how I have them currently ranked, there just so happens to be a 10 Greatest Weekend Update Anchors list with videos for you to stare at over at and then you can thank/hate me later. And please come back here throughout the season for full recaps, news, analysis and more of my take on SNL.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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