When SNL Was About More Than Just Jokes

…before SNL settled into its current format, Lorne allowed all manner of comedic expression which made the show unique to begin with. This included pieces and films that weren’t intended to get laughs. Indeed, there was a time when SNL could make you cry — from human meaning, not horrible sketch ideas. Once The Coneheads, Blues Brothers, and Roseanne Roseannadanna took center stage, that part of SNL’s development was pretty much over.

There’s a great sketch with Rob Schneider and John Goodman that’s reflective on foreign policy and prejudices. 1

That aired 20 years ago.

I’m not sure that quite fits in with these examples, but that’s what I thought of.

  1. Man I wish I could find a clip of that. Schneider plays a turkish shopkeeper and Goodman plays a nationalistic racist guy who keeps vandalizing the shop, mistaking Schneider for an Iraqi. Schneider then has to remind Goodman “I’m not from Iraq! I’m from Turkey! See? Look at the sign!”


    The sketch goes through nearly 20 years of middle eastern conflicts and Goodman mistaking the shopkeeper’s nationality with whichever country the US has a conflict with at that point in history. “I’m not Iranian, I’m from Turkey! Remember? Think. THINK!”

    The final payoff is great.