Hard as it is to believe, but we are fast approaching our 1-year anniversary here at “Usefully Useless Information”. During this year, we have written almost 75 pieces (including this one), talked about nearly 130 SNL sketches (Double that number if you count all the Lists and their honorable mentions), and we still have yet to scratch the surface on a number of things. At this time, I would like to take a minute to thank everybody who has stopped by so far—which as of this writing exceeds 4,700 views/visitors; half of which are even more ardent SNL fans than I am; and for that, I can’t thank you enough. Unfortunately, certain things seem to have creeped up on me that is now going to force me to hit the Pause button for a few weeks—Hopefully no more than a month. The biggest concern I have to deal with, is my rapidly aging computer; I’ve been using the same laptop for about 7 years now; and recently, I’ve noticed that whenever the computer starts up, it emits sort of a “Grinding” sound from underneath somewhere. I don’t know if it’s a busted exhaust fan, or if something weird is going on with my Hard Drive (Which would probably explain why things are running slower than usual). Either way, I’m covered by Geek Squad, so I’m going to have them look at it. Hopefully, it’s a Quick fix—worst case scenario, it’s a single problem that will trigger some sort of Domino effect—but it shouldn’t take more than a week to fix, depending on how busy they are.
After I get my computer fixed, I’m going to take a break from SNL related things to focus on……SNL related things; but nothing that you will actually see on the page until the Start of Summer (6/20/2017)—because once again, we will be doing what got us here in the first place and have S.O.S.N.L. be a daily summer sketchfest…only this summer, there’s a new twist. In thinking of a way to mix things up, the thought has occurred to me that I would NEVER have been a fan of the show if it weren’t for one definitive thing—all the SNL VHS tapes I collected during my teen/tween years. I speak of course about the “Starmaker” (nee: Anchor Bay) collection of tapes that have turned me & countless others into well-rounded fans of everybody’s favorite late night sketch show. I’ll go into further details in a few weeks as to how this is all going to break down, but let’s just say that the “Summer of Starmaker” is going to occupy at least half of the S.O.S.N.L. schedule, and part of the reason for the hiatus is so I could start stockpiling sketch reviews once again—Gotta stay ahead of the game. At the same time, I feel as though I’ve been severely neglecting the REAL reason why I wanted to start a blog, and that’s to talk about things going on in the world that have been on my mind ASIDE from sketch comedy; so come hell or high water, I’m going to try to re-affirm that commitment to you, the readers…just as soon as I find something non-SNL related that’s actually interesting to talk about.
But even if I can get my computer fixed quickly or not, there’s another problem that’s looming that doesn’t affect me personally, but it COULD affect your favorite TV shows…including SNL (and by extension, being able to write blogs in connection to the show’s airdates). Many of you might not know this, but the Writer’s Guild of America (I.e. The People who write Movies & TV shows) are facing off against Movie/TV Producers once again. The contract they negotiated during the 2007-2008 Writer’s Strike is set to Expire on May 1st, 2017. This week, members of both East & West Coast branches of the guild are going to vote for Strike Authorization. If (and ONLY If) the Authorization passes, and they still don’t come up with a new deal by 11:59PM May 1st, it means the Writers go on Strike at Midnight May 2nd. Now, you’re probably wondering what the big deal is, especially since most TV shows & movies have wrapped production for the season—Well, produced TV shows (I.e. Sitcoms & Dramas) might have some time to kill before the strike affects them, in fact, they might’ve written a few episodes of next season’s shows in advance—which, last time I checked, is allowed by the union–But if you’re either a Talk Show or a certain Sketch show that relies on Topical/Same-Day Humor, you wind up feeling the effects of a strike instantaneously. In other words; shows like Fallon, Colbert, Meyers, Kimmel, Corden, and (you guessed it) SNL would go Off the air IMMEDIATELY—and considering this is looking to happen during what’s called “May Sweeps”, this is probably the worst thing that could happen to those shows…again, IF they strike; I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an 11th hour solution. So this brings me to another reason why I wanted to take the month of May off…I might have to take time off by force. No, I’m not a member of the Writer’s Guild. But in my mind, it wouldn’t be fair to write about something that is not actively on the air (even though most shows will be off for the summer by then—pending a prolonged strike)—especially when the people who help put the show together are gathered by the entrances of various TV studios holding up Picket signs. And since SNL has 3 shows to go in this season, a strike would certainly torpedo whatever it is they have planned (Which, to my knowledge, is Melissa McCarthy, Chris Pine and Dwayne Johnson hosting). Not to mention the fact that if there is a strike and it goes on longer than planned, it could also affect the planned Summer “Weekend Update” shows that will take place later in August. So with that, this would probably be a good time to slam the brakes anyway, whether a Strike comes to Fruition or not (Fingers crossed for “Not”). UPDATE: 5/2/2017: There WON’T be a Strike after all thanks to a new 3-year deal, but I’m STILL Taking the Month off…so, yeah, ignore what I just said above.
So, while the show is (potentially) off the air earlier than expected, that gives me time to do one other thing—As I mentioned at the beginning, I’ve written a lot of sketch reviews since starting S.O.S.N.L. last year; and while it remains the most popular section of the site, it has also become the most Cluttered section as well. So much so, that jumping from one decade to the next seems a little confusing and/or convoluted at the same time. So, while we’re away (after the “Laptop of Love” is fixed), we’re going to be adding sub-sections to S.O.S.N.L. that will separate sketches by decade—a separate section for the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00’s and the present, as well as another section for all the editorials. PLUS anything new I write will be featured in a section marked “Featured Sketch”, after which, I’ll re-place it in its proper decade (Or at least that’s what the intention is; knowing my luck, things could still go horribly, horribly wrong). That way, My regular blog can be a regular blog again, and all the SNL stuff will go in one place without intruding on anything. Hooray for Efficiency! All of this doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop altogether—If I have access to a computer anywhere else, I’ll try to chime in when I’m able (I actually have another story about some money I found in the trash I’ve been meaning to tell you about).
All in all, the least I’ll be away will be a few weeks, the most will probably be a month & a half. Either way, no matter what happens, I’ll be back—and I can’t think of a better way to hit the pause button than with my favorite song from one of my favorite movies…
See ‘ya when the sun rises higher, and thanks again for putting up with me for (almost) a whole year.