Discover more from Wasn't That Special: 50 Years of SNL
Wasn't That Special: 50 Years of Saturday Night Live
Throughout history, there have been a handful of classic arguments conducted on barstools across America: MJ or LeBron? Is a hot dog a sandwich? What animal could you beat in a fight?
And, of course: What season of Saturday Night Live is the best?
"Generally when people talk about the best cast I think, 'Well, that's when they were in high school,'" show creator Lorne Michaels has said. "Because in high school you have the least amount of power you're ever gonna have. ... Staying up with friends later on a Saturday is great, and people attach to a cast."
But which cast was, indeed, the “best”? Were some seasons better or worse than we remember? Are there cast members that merit more praise than our cultural history has given them? Which forgotten skits deserve mention in the show’s pantheon among “Land Shark,” “More Cowbell,” and “Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker?”
All these questions and more will be answered in Wasn’t That Special, a podcast that digs into the SNL catalog and offers season-by-season recaps and critiques. The hosts will watch every sketch, video, and Weekend Update and summarize one full season per podcast, releasing every other week leading up to the show’s 50th anniversary in 2025.
Wasn’t That Special fills an enormous hole in that it will provide a complete history of one of the most important shows in American history. Over the show’s 48-year run, surprisingly few complete SNL retrospectives have been offered via books, documentaries, or podcasts.
Aside from the history the show itself has made, SNL has documented American politics and culture in a way no other show has; it has simultaneously reflected and influenced the way we see the world for nearly a half-century. As a podcast topic, the show is a rich vein waiting to be tapped.
Wasn’t That Special is hosted by two lifelong SNL fans: Christian Schneider is an author and member of the USA Today Board of Contributors who has written extensively about the show, and Scot Bertram is a longtime radio personality and host of the popular Political Beats music podcast.
Each episode will run between 90 and 120 minutes and include a discussion about the themes, trends, and innovations of each SNL season. Then the hosts will give out awards for the season, including Best Sketch, Hosts Who Fit, Hosts Who Flopped, Best Forgotten Sketch, Rookie Cast Member of the Year, Sketch that Aged Poorly, Sketch that Could Have Been a Movie, Best Musical Guest, Best Catchphrase, and many others.
Aside from the 50 episodes covering individual seasons, the podcast will feature special episodes with themes spanning the history of the show. These special episodes are planned to include interviews with members of the show’s cast and writing staff, various rankings and countdowns, and reviews of various SNL specials.
Wasn’t That Special will be the definitive SNL podcast - a destination for the show’s millions of fans, old and new.