Saturday, November 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Lorne Michaels

It is with a sense of entitlement that every post-boomer for the last several decades could complain that "Saturday Night Live is not as funny now as it was in my day." The man we have to thank for it all is Lorne Michaels, the show's producer and visionary. He had the guts to take the Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In format and put a real edge to it. In a time slot that seemed certain death, he created an institution.

I've always been amazed at the guts it took for him to take a highly successful show and completely clean house and bring in the second cast. Sure, most of them were ready to move on to bigger things, but to wholesale let go of folks who had given you such amazing comedy and take a chance on completely new people -- faces that the audience didn't know, who might not gel as an ensemble, and who would inevitably get compared to the former beloved cast members -- took an incredible amount of intestinal fortitude.

While not a comedian himself, he is responsible for some of the funniest folks we have today. On behalf of Comedists everywhere, Mr. Michaels, we say thank you.

So, what's your favorite SNL moment?