Watching last week’s SNL, and it’s not real funny. I’ve found that if Kristen Wiig is the lead in a comedy sketch, it’s best to just skip through it. She’s got talent, but the things that showcase her are just painful to me. The fact that they had her Gilly character hosting the Christmas clip show this week was sufficient reason to skip that whole affair.
So what is funny? Sadly, the biggest laugh I’ve gotten from TV today was based in irony. Around here, we’ve been watching The Sing-Off, the a capella competition. On the episode we watched today (on a delayed basis), the bands were supposed to sing “guilty pleasure” songs. Voices of Lee, a group from a Christian college, chose to do George Michael’s “Freedom ’90″.
Folks, when you’re going to sing a song in public, please examine the lyrics and make sure you know what they’re about. Yes, “Freedom ’90″ has a happy, bouncy sound. But being a dance track does not mean it isn’t also a personal tune; the words that you were smiling and bouncing through are Mr. Michael’s tale of his life, and while you might notice the ones about being a rock star, it’s about being a star with a secret… and clearly from history, it’s about coming out as being gay. They seemed so utterly oblivious to what they were singing, well, that would’ve been hilarious enough.
But to add to it, there was the aspect that they were supposed to be having fun, and instead of having fun on stage, as Mrs. Nat’s TV pointed out they were clearly acting like they were having fun, rather than having actual fun. And the impression wasn’t particularly good, as if they’d heard about the “fun” thing but had never actually seen it. It’s the lovemaking scene written by a virgin. All their protestations that despite their squeaky cleanness they know how to have fun, are proven false by the performance.
Know your songs, people. Words mean something.
(Of course, we can turn to another George Michael to prove that point. The “Afternoon Delight” episode of Arrested Development explains the problem just fine.)