This post is by Steve Gillmor from Steve Gillmor – TechCrunch

Lorne Michaels is the showrunner, to use a binge term, for Saturday Night Live. The show returned for its first season under the watchful gaze of pandemic rule, and the results were thankfully successful. Last season struggled in the early days of the virus, turning into a Zoom-heavy series of audience-free college tries. We appreciated the effort, but not really the lack of comic relief. This time, things have changed.

Michaels has said he’s not sure whether the rigorous safety procedures will hold up for the next five weeks until the election. The possibility of having to shut down makes every moment count. The opening replay of the first (perhaps only) debate was exciting not just for its pairing of Jim Carrey and Alec Baldwin but for the foreshadowing jokes of the president’s hospitalization. Carrey’s careful tape measuring and repositioning of the distance between the candidates’ lecterns efficiently underlined our mistrust of everything Trump says. It felt good to see a slightly altered version of the nightmare we’ve been living.

The SNL band’s music was joyous, relief for those who long for the sound of musicians working together rather than in assembled overdubs. The individual players’ isolation baffles bridged the studio feel of the performance with a sense that this version of a new now could actually work moving forward. The band felt slimmed down somehow, but tighter and funkier in the rhythm section. Weekend Update and Chris Rock’s opening monologue delivered some edgy balance to the show’s disposable set (Read more…)