As if the cast members on Saturday Night Live didn't already feel like they live in a constant pressure cooker already, wondering from week to week and day to day if they're ready for late-night network television and validated by Lorne Michaels to continue their comedy careers…now there are multiple people ranking them statistically and otherwise.
Splitsider launched what it calls an "SNL Horse Race Roundup," because performing comedy on TV is a horse race and the end goal is to be on the show more than your fellow castmates. What's that? You didn't get a lot of screen time last Saturday? Start worrying extra hard now, because your time is being tracked and compared to everyone else on the show.
Best Week Ever, which continues as a blog, if not an actual Vh1 show (so please stop pestering Paul F. Tompkins with questions about it because it's not his fault), has launched its own quantitative analysis and power rankings of the SNL cast. It assigns number values to each cast member based on his or her appearances as well as performances in sketches. Guess what, Fred Armisen and Bill Hader? You're winning so far! Isn't that great news you can take back to 30 Rock with you today?
It's one thing to assign arbitrary rankings to the fictional characters of, say, Mad Men. But that's a scripted series, taped well in advance, and it doesn't matter. Matthew Weiner doesn't even care. Probably. It's just good fun. SNL, on the other hand, is a very real thing with real people that appears live on the TV, with last-minute changes that alter and sometimes kill sketches at the very last moment due to time constraints. I'm sure the cast — already perhaps avoiding the Internet to read recaps such as my own so they don't have to worry about criticism — is over the moon knowing that they're now being subjected to power rankings.