“Saturday Night Live” celebrates its 40th anniversary on NBC Sunday night. Forty seasons would be a remarkable run for any television show. But, at the risk of sounding uncharitable, it’s even more remarkable given how frequently SNL has fallen into mediocrity -- with skits, whole shows, or sometimes entire seasons that simply weren’t very funny.
So why have viewers like me kept coming back? Because when SNL is on, it’s very, very on. Its cast and crew have occasionally produced true comic genius, creating skits and characters that left indelible impressions on the national psyche -- and may even have nudged the political conversation in one...
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