Sunday, July 23, 2006

Tina Fey Will Be Greatly Missed From SNL

This past week, head comedy writer for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, Tina Fey has announced that she will leave after 9 years of work to concentrate on her new upcoming Fall 2006 NBC series, 30 ROCK.

Tina Fey started worked with SNL back in 1997, and by 1999 found herself elevated to the show's head writer. Under her strong writing talents and direction, the show became very good again. With other talented actresses such as Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch and Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey had a tremendous pool of talented actresses to work with. The male pool of talented seemed to be somewhat drained after the departure of the very skilled Will Ferrell some years ago, but Tina Fey managed to reconstruct SNL into a very good program using the actresses very effectively. The strongest male actors at this point are probably Horatio Sanz whom is sort of like a Hispanic "John Belushi" and Darrell Hammond, a talented impersonator. The other male talent pool is mostly weaker compared to the actresses. Rachel Dratch is leaving SNL to work on Tina Fey's new show and other projects, and will greatly missed as an excellent talent and a very funny woman.

What SNL must do this year in the wake of the departure of Tina Fey is to maintain the strong comedy writing that was her characteristic. Both the male and female talent pools need to add at least one or two strong personalities who are so good that they will breakout in the future as a major entertainers. So far few recent personalities have matched the level of talent of Eddie Murphy, Billy Cystal,Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Martin Short, Will Farrell, Chris Farley, Gilda Radner, Chris Rock, Jane Curtain or others who became legitimate celebrites long after their SNL years.

In 2005, SNL had a renewed contract with NBC up until at least 2012. It's up to the new writing and drection team to find the talent to lift this program into the next years and beyond. But one thing is clear, Tina Fay will be missed. She served as not only the longest running Weekend Update anchor at 6 seasons and 118 episodes, but also became one of SNL's best head writers ever. Hopefully SNL will find the talent to be decent enough to survive and remain the late night TV fixture that it has become for the future.


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