Kanye West was on Saturday Night Live the other night and he voiced his displeasure live from New York on Saturday Night Live that they tried to tell him what to do, and he was further displeased later with Saturday Night Live, because he said they censored some stuff he wanted to say at the end of the 90-minute broadcast during his third music performance. Meanwhile, lots of people are displeased with Kanye West because, apparently against the wishes of Saturday Night Live, he wore his red Make America Great Again snapback on the show and then later on Twitter wrote that we (The People) should repeal the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
As far as what he wanted to say at the end of SNL—which is usually reserved for cast members and guests standing around awkwardly congratulating each other for completing the broadcast while the credits roll—the Internet has provided clips showing about two minutes and 16 seconds of Speech before Mr. Ye drops the mic.
Two minutes and 16 seconds doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but I’ve been watching SNL for millions of years, and I know that the end of the show segment is the worst time for the host or anybody else on stage to get a point across because the show frequently cuts off even before they finish the credits. But still, they planned a performance at the end of the show, which is not something they do very much, and even with the part Kanye West says they censored, the credits weren’t shown in their entirety, so this is a simple failing of the producers of Saturday Night Live to get their show broadcast sufficiently.
This is an inexcusable and entirely preventable failure, and as a Public Service I will present some helpful suggestions for Saturday Night Live‘s time management moving forward. You’re welcome.
The recent broadcast, according to the Xfinity Stream thing I pay for on my computer—it’s really Comcast but they insist on calling themselves Xfinity—ran approximately one hour thirty three minutes and six seconds (1:33:06), with about one minute and four seconds (1:04) of pre-show advertising content (for Xfinity, of course, which I am already paying for and watching, thanks), and the quantity of advertising changed the next time I logged in to review the show and gather images, which I guess is the reward for watching more, so this adds a fuzziness to my math and slightly murks my calculations, which are approximate, and your results may vary.
The “cold open”
This is typically the most current-events thing they do on SNL outside of the “Weekend Update” pretend-news desk piece, and it has become the showcase for Alec Baldwin to portray Donald Trump, which got the show tremendous pop thanks to Mr. Baldwin’s celebrity star power, and also because the talking-head pundit shows and morning news shows love it because it gives them edgy and shouty content-clips to punch up their usual Sunday morning blathering about politics and the end of the world as we know it. This fucking thing ran for almost 13 minutes!
This thing featured Matt Damon as Brett Kavanaugh, so SNL got its Celebrity pop, but all they did was an illuminated and augmented reenactment of the Senate hearing so Matt Damon could wash off his previous errors of unwoke mansplaining by doing a Real Political Sketch and chewing on the network scenery. They could have solved this Cold Open in three minutes and made their point. That gives Kanye about 10 extra minutes at the end of the show.
The total Content of the broadcast, including the graphics they use to set up and return from commercial breaks, was about 68 minutes. That means the Cold Open was almost 20 percent of the whole show, and that’s ridiculous. Kanye West has more heat than Matt Damon and anybody else who was on this episode combined, and he got a total of about ten minutes of air to do his thing, while the Cold Open got about 13 minutes.
If full time for Kanye is what you want, we’ve already Taylorized the show to completion, and you can be done with this post, because the rest is commentary.
The opening credits take about two and a half minutes.
This week’s opening “monologue” segment with Adam Driver took 3:32 of air time, and that was OK.
The Fortnite sketch was cool and weird to look at and technically was impressive, and it seemed too long, but that’s only because it was a punchline preceded repetitively by one person not being able to play the game, so the game characters did that creepy robotic stuff game characters do In Real Game when they are not operated properly. It was not all that funny, but as far as cutting it, there wasn’t anything to trim. (3:34)
One of the filmed bits was around four minutes long and played like a movie, and it was a really good navel-gazing piece about how much popularity Pete Davison has, and rivalry within the cast. It’s pre-recorded, they know exactly how long it is, nothing to cut. (3:58)
The coffee sketch (spoiler image below) was 4:09.
The mini-movie frat segment was prerecorded and ran 2:47.
This was Kanye West’s first musical performance of the program, and maybe the funniest sketch on the program. Plus, it was one of the shortest segments, around 3:08.
“Weekend Update” is the backbone of the program. This weekend it ran about 16 minutes, but it’s dependable, and this is where they should keep the celebrity star-fucking bits. Ending the segment has turned into another Congratulatory Moment for cast members, but it doesn’t waste any time.
There’s always a break or two that comes back and it turns out it’s still a break and they go away again so they can slide in a few more commercials, but it adds flavor to the broadcast and most of the time, personally, I need more time to figure out what exactly I am going to eat for my second snack of the broadcast, and they’re only burning a few seconds of Content time.
Back in the day, the breaks where they cut to the band used to be kind of annoying. I heard this one guitar player, G.E. Smith, who was the band leader from 1985-1995, had it in his contract to be on camera a certain amount of times per show, but I think that might be an urban legend created by haters who were tired of looking at his face every time they went to break, especially since a lot of times he’d look right into the camera. The player they go to the most now is the sax guy and he ignores the camera, so that’s cool.
OK, this Career Day sketch is solid because Adam Driver commits 100 percent to his million-year-old-dad-from–There Will be Blood character, but Pete Davison, who has all the mojo right now, because he has collided worlds with pop star Ariana Grande, fucks up the sketch by not doing his job. He appears to be desperately stifling explosive laughter as Mr. Driver rants and raves in character, but what Mr. Davison is doing is the old Jimmy Fallon trick of drawing attention to himself by being cute. Saturday Night Live used to pride itself on having performers who would commit completely and not do what all the old and square teevee Variety Shows shows that preceded it did, which was show the performers mugging to the camera during sketches as a way to defend themselves from how shitty the bits were, and they’re just like “Hey, Show Biz, what’re ya gonna do.” This was a good sketch and Pete Davison pooped on it a little by being unprofesh.
The second Kanye West musical performance (4:03) featured a long part where he and Teyana Taylor stood and listened to an inspirational-speech recorded part, and it mighta seemed long because of the odd break, but it was only around four minutes, and he’s the performer, and it’s his time. If Kanye hadn’t gotten all bent about getting clipped at the end, the biggest controversy of the show would have been the top Ms. Taylor was wearing. Mostly she made me realize I need to do some sit-ups, like a hundred.
The last sketch of the show is often a weirdo sketch, but this sketch with a bunch of racists being told Vermont has lots of white people, and as racists, they’d love it, wasn’t all that odd, so I’m guessing they cut whatever the really weird sketch was because they knew they needed time at the end for the third Kanye West number.
Here’s the last bit I have on my Xfinity. They didn’t even get to the end of the credits, so Kanye isn’t the only person who got shorted. They were a couple of minutes over. Go back to the beginning Saturday Night Live, and keep that Cold Open tight.