When Saturday Night Live Was In The Dumps… Pop. Culture. Trivia.

From Gloria N – “Saturday Night Live” has had its ups and downs – but when was the show really hurting? Thank you.

Mr. Pop History – The worst I believe was back in March of 1981. With eight shows remaining in its season, “Saturday Night Live” had lost nearly half its viewing audience. Four writers and three cast members, including Charles Rocket (remember him?) were let go.

Also, SNL had new competition – “Fridays” at ABC-TV. They tried damage control and brought in new improv players such as Tim Karzurinksy (remember him?)

Dick Ebersol was in charge of SNL back then, and he laid blame by billing his cast – all newcomers as, “The New Generation.” Yes, this was just after the original cast had disappeared.

Pop Culture History – Week-By-Week. Six Decades. Video below supports today’s Q&A.

From Marty U – Mr. Pop… I’ve always wondered what the first week’s ratings were for “Saturday Night Live” – way back in 1975. Do you have any information?

Mr. Pop History – The show debuted with a 6.7 rating and a 23 rating. Back then, a point equaled 1.5 million viewers. The numbers I’m told, climbed through the 1970′s. The 1978 season premiere of “Saturday Night Live” received a 12.5 rating and 37 share. 1979 premiere – even better – a 16 rating.

Mr. Pop Culture Report – March 9

Lindsey Lohan has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit over an ad which allegedly used her name and parodied her life for profit. The “Mean Girls” actress is seeking $100 million in damages and compensation over the commercial for financial firm E-Trade, which depicts a baby girl called Lindsay as a boyfriend stealer and a “milkaholic”, reports the New York Post.

Betty on Saturday Night Live - The latest chapter has White confirming, on the record, that she will in fact be appearing on the NBC late-night series. “Yes,” the nearly 90-year-old legend told People magazine Sunday night, while attending the Elton John Oscar bash. This after thousands blogged about her appearance in a Super Bowl commercial – and said they wanted to see her on SNL.

And The Sequel To Phantom Is… “Love Never Dies” – the sequel to Lloyd Webber’s global hit “Phantom of the Opera” debuts in London  “Phantom” is a tale of gothic romance set in the Paris Opera that has been seen by 100 million people around the world since it opened in 1986. It is still playing in London and New York, where it is the longest running show in Broadway history.  “Love Never Dies” picks up the story 10 years on, with disfigured genius the Phantom relocated to the bright lights of New York’s Coney Island and still besotted with beautiful soprano Christine Daae.

Zero On The Richter Scale - Andy Richter who was sidelined as Conan’s sidekick on the “Tonight” show – says NBC just wasn’t cool about Conan’s ousting and Leno’s reclaim to  “Tonight” show fame  “NBC, definitely, everybody said they were going to do something and they didn’t,” said Richter, implying the network broke long-standing commitments it made to O’Brien. It all ended much quicker than he could have imagined, said Richter, who figured his “Tonight” job was “as good as it gets in show business.”

Mr. Pop Archives – This Week In 1993 -

Cult leader David Koresh tells federal agents surrounding his Mt. Carmel fortress near Waco, that he is “ready for war” and controls enough firepower to blow armored personnel carriers “50 feet into the air.”

Michael Jackson has agreed to let three MTV winners into his Neverland Valley ranch – for an entire weekend. “My Weekend at Michael’s Neverland Valley” contest must make a video for Jackson’s song, “Who is it.” Jackson will select the best videos.

Michael Jackson, continuing his media blitz, will appear on the seventh annual Soul train Awards telecast, despite an ankle injury.

Michael Jackson announces the creation of Michael Jackson Productions Inc – an independent movie company, dedicated to improving “this troubled world.”

At the movies this week in 1993 –

Falling Down

Groundhog Day

The Crying Game

Homeward Bound

Amos and Andrew

Sommersby

Best of the Best 2

Mad Dog and Glory

Swing Kids

Aladdin

New Mom Amy Poehler – Off Saturday Night Live

The live show’s parody news anchor was missing from her spot alongside Seth Myers on “Weekend Update” because she gave birth earlier Saturday.

On behalf of Poehler and her husband, Will Arnett, “I can confirm that Amy gave birth to Archie Arnett on Saturday,” read a statement from Poehler’s spokeswoman, Kay Lewis.

Poehler, who has been on “SNL” since 2001, will not return to the show as a regular cast memeber, Lewis said in the statement.

The baby was born early Saturday evening in New York, weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce.

Mother and child were “healthy and resting comfortably,” according to the statement.

Poehler, who performed on Thursday night’s special edition of “SNL” and is known for playing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, was rehearsing the show until Friday. She also starred opposite Tina Fey in this year’s “Baby Mama” as a working class girl who agrees to be a surrogate mother for a single businesswoman.

AP.

Sarah Palin Kept Away From Comedian Fey On SNL

They might have been on the same live Saturday Night Live production, but clearly Sarah Palin and Tina Fey (Picture) were not meant for each other – in the live sense.

The Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, has made a much-anticipated appearance on NBC’s Live Saturday Night program with her chief mimic, Tina Fey.

Fey and Palin appeared together only fleetingly, to the disappointment of the Washington Post’s campaign diary, The Trail, which complained that she appeared as a “bystander” rather than a participant.

Palin was kept away from Fey, for all but a moment, and the producers also ensured she never met the show’s guest host, Josh Brolin, the star of Oliver Stone’s new movie about President Bush, W, according to the Trail.

Later in the show, Palin was seen dancing in her seat and waving her hands in the air to a rap song by Amy Poehler. The lyrics satirised both her and her home state of Alaska and featured a man in a moose suit and prancing Eskimos.

To some Huffington Post contributors it was the highlight of the show, even if it made Palin look like a “laughing stock.” “Sarah walked right into a den of thieves, her ego too large to back down,” said one post.

The New York Post loved her appearance.

The paper said she “raised the roof” on her SNL debut, “yukking it up with actor Alec Baldwin and executive producer Lorne Michaels as she watched dead-ringer Tina Fey lampoon her at a fake news conference”.

There was surprise on the blogs that Palin was up for going on the show. “I finally picked my jaw up off the floor and accepted the fact that this is what we do in America when times get tough,” said a blogger

Another blogger said Palin’s appearance showed her lack of judgement. “I hope this awful sight gets on YouTube and is shown everywhere, so people really see how dangerous someone like that with that lack of judgment is.”

A more typical response the TalkLeft blog – that Palin showed she could join in on the jokes at her own expense. “Can’t say she doesn’t have a sense of humour or is unwilling to laugh at herself,” said one.

What did you think of Palin’s appearance – was she a good sport or has she turned herself a laughing stock? Was it an error of judgement or has she boosted her ratings in the polls? Let us know what you think.

D-USA/Mr. Pop Culture