SummaryIt would be a reasonable argument to suggest that “SNL” became too comfortable generating high ratings through obvious gimmick tactics (the additional mid-week mini-shows which siphoned the quality of the regularly-scheduled shows, or the shameless Facebook campaign on Betty White’s behalf which ultimately revolved more on SNL’s past female cast members than the longtime TV veteran herself). Thankfully, other missteps seemed to have been addressed: Kristen Wiig, who was being overexposed as though the lone female performer in a cast of men, was used more sparingily; Jenny Slate, who immediately alienated viewers by dropping the F-bomb on her first show and made no impact aside from a single recurring character with little growth potential, was let go. However, the most prominent change, which arguably gave the new season a slight edge over the previous one, was the hiring of four new featured performers, the largest group of newcomers on SNL since Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Jason Sudeikis and Wiig burst on the scene five years earlier. Which is not to say that these new kids — Vanessa Bayer, Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah and Paul Brittain — made quite the same splash as the now-seasoned veterans, but there were moments throughout the season where it felt like they were really trying to make the show their own, providing some of the freshest sketches seen on the show over the last couple of years.
Don Roy King has directed fourteen seasons of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him ten Emmys and fourteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for fifteen DGA Awards and won in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
View all posts by Don Roy King