So there's this book about Shakespeare and pop culture that I have been skimming for a few years now, and early on it talks about some outdoor store h...moreSo there's this book about Shakespeare and pop culture that I have been skimming for a few years now, and early on it talks about some outdoor store having a sale. The advertisements read NOW IS THE WINTER OF OUR DISCOUNT TENTS. And the point is -- have you read Richard III? Maybe, maybe not. Do you get the joke? Probably.
And so reading this book, it struck me that in some ways, Saturday Night Live is not so different. A very minor example: I say "more cowbell!" all the time. Have I seen that skit? Well, I have now, but yesterday? No. And yet.
I never watched much SNL (meow Reasons meow -- seriously, the piece of SNL history I am most aware of is that time Fear showed up as the musical guest and trashed the studio, which is an absurd statement on multiple levels), but I absorbed so much of it anyway without ever realizing it. The [pop-]cultural impact is fairly stunning if that is the sort of thing you're into, and it definitely IS the sort of thing I'm into. The fact that SNL is so pervasive also made the book pretty easy to follow. I was worried that most of it would be lost on me, and although I did stop reading pretty regularly to look up people or skits, I never felt like I had to do it.
Anyway! I like oral histories and inside jokes and weird subcultures, so I was bound to like this book. I did think it slowed down and got a bit repetitive toward the end, and the last chapter on Lorne didn't really need to be there, but skimming's no problem.(less)