Laugh, And The World Will Laugh With You

I am not an expert on anything. I rarely have strong views about any subject matter. I appreciate other people’s opinions and can usually see both sides to the story.

I used to ponder who the people were that took the time to sit down and write a letter, put it in the mailbox and send it to Reader’s Digest to say they strongly disagreed with a certain author’s point of view. Did they have so much time on their hands or did they feel that strongly about this issue?

Well, I found my answer one day when I couldn’t sit back any longer. A feeling inside my stomach became so strong that I had to get it off my chest or I felt it would burst. I wrote a letter (actually, an email) because I felt so strongly about something.

I began watching Saturday Night Live when I was 4 years old. I was born the year the show began in 1975 so I missed the first four years of production. I got to stay up late on Saturday nights and my whole family watched Saturday Night Live together.

Those early years, I was so entertained by Eddie Murphy’s skit Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood; the spoof on PBS’s, Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood. It was about a black man living in the ghetto. Watching those episodes as an adult; I realize I had NO idea what he was talking about. I also loved when the Land Shark would knock on the door, impersonate a human’s voice and then when the door was opened, would come in and eat the people. That’s always hilarious for a 4 year old!

I remember I loved Gilda Radner and hated Jane Curtin. I had become a critic of comedy at such an early age.

I think my favorite skit was The Olympia Restaurant. It featured John Belushi and Dan Akroyd and everyone was yelling “Cheeseburger” in a Greek accent. I remember running around the house repeating “Cheeseburger” over and over doing my best Greek accent for years. I had to have been the most annoying child when I think back on it. The funny thing is, I’ve seen those sketches in recent years and they really aren’t that funny!

My Dad, Mom and me at the age when I started watching Saturday Night Live

I have missed very few episodes of Saturday Night Live in the past 33 years. I have also read several articles and books about this show and the actors. I can’t say I’m an expert on this subject matter but it’s probably the one thing in my life I know the most about (that is really, incredibly sad).

When I was 24 years old, there was a cast member named Jimmy Fallon who was on Saturday Night Live. He was only a featured player which meant that he didn’t get many skits to act in. This irritated the beejezus  out of me because I thought this guy was a hoot! The reason I liked him so much was because he laughed. He usually couldn’t hold himself together when he was acting. He would start giggling and stumble over his words.

I don’t care how stupid something is; if YOU laugh when telling it; it makes it funny! When you laugh at yourself, the world will laugh with you.

I felt so strongly about Jimmy that I just had to let Lorne Michaels know (the producer of Saturday Night Live).

Somehow, I tracked down his email address from the internet and sat down and wrote him a letter that took me 3 hours to compose. I stated why I felt Jimmy needed to be upgraded from just a featured player to a star and why I thought I had enough credibility on this subject to make this kind of request.

The following week when I sat down to watch Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Fallon was moved to a starring role. I was in shock. I don’t know if it was just coincidence or if my email had made some kind of impact. Jimmy Fallon has his own talk show now. He’s doing quite well. I would like to think I had something to do with his rise to stardom. I keep waiting for him to give an acceptance speech and mention my email to Lorne and how he remembers my kindness all those years ago for believing in him.

I’m a mother now and have 3 small children. I do not let them stay up until 10:30 pm on Saturday nights to watch Saturday Night Live. I would be so annoyed having 3 little kids running around the house yelling, “Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger” in Greek accents.

33 responses

  1. I loved the Cheeseburger skit too! Samurai Delicatessen was always one of our favorites. I adore Jimmy Fallon. We have some of his old routines on CD and ironically I just started following him on Twitter today right before I read your post.

    We still watch SNL most Saturdays. It’s always interesting when major players depart. I always worry that it won’t be as funny. Sometimes it takes a little transition, but then they get right back to it. 🙂

    • That’s really weird that you just started following him today!!! Two minds thinking about Jimmy at the same time…eerie!! Yeah, I’m pretty sad that Kristen Wiig left the show last season. I thought she was one the most talented ones in years!

    • Oh my goodness…that is so funny! When I was a preteen I used to turn every pop song into a opera song to be funny! When the Culps came out I was amazed that someone else did this! Of course theirs was much more involved and sooo hilarious!

  2. I never watched SNL growing up. Always had a strict bedtime. And now, as an adult, the only one I remember vaguely is Will Ferrell. He’s my therapy. As far as waiting for Jimmy’s acceptance speech and your email to Lorne Michaels, I think it’s long overdue! Kudos to you for putting your convictions in writing! 🙂

    • After my mom read this, she said I had a strict bedtime too but wouldn’t adhere to it on Saturdays…I kept sneaking out to watch Saturday Night Live. She said she just gave up and let me watch or else she would have missed the whole show to trying to get me back to bed!! I sounded like a great kid!! LOL!

  3. The next time I see Jimmy Fallon I am soooooo telling him this story.

    By the way, I do actually see Jimmy Fallon once in a while. He comes into the restaurant where I work. He’s very nice.

      • I am not messing with you. I’ll ask him about the guitar, LOL. He comes in now and then. Sometimes I’m there when he is, sometimes I’m not.

      • Does he live in New Jersey? I can’t believe all this time you’ve mentioned all the annoying people who come into the restaurant and you never mentioned him. Did I miss that post??? Who else comes to visit that you’ve been holding out on? Snooki?!!!

      • If he had been annoying I certainly would have made mention of it. He’s the only celebrity that I know of who comes in (when The Nets were in Jesrsey some of their players came in, but I’m a Knicks fan, so I had no idea who they were).

        Where I used to work I waited on lots of celebrities/sports stars.

        I don’t know if Jimmy Fallon lives in NJ. I do, however, know that Snookie does not!

  4. I read Java’s comment and thought oops perhaps I should not say that I don’t like Jimmy Fallon. I am sure he is a lovely guy, but I can’t seem to laugh. 😦 Forgive me those who follow him, I have only seen snippets of his show over here…and I don’t wish to offend his many fans but I’m just being honest.
    Runs off and hides …

    • I’ve actually never seen his talk show believe it or not. I was just basing my like of him on his acting in Saturday Night Live. Do they have that in Australia? Anyway, everyone has a different sense of humor. I never understood the Three Stooges but my husband thinks that kind of stuff is hilarious!!

  5. I beg to differ – I thought the cheeseburger skits were hilarious! I loved those early players. Not long ago I found a DVD with all Belushi SNL skits and just had to purchase it.

    I wish I kept up with the show. I’m usually taking my pre-bedtime nap on the couch by then.

  6. Loved SNL during the Eddie Murphy years and a little beyond and then lost track somewhere. I’ve watched Jimmy Fallon a few times but I’m usually asleep by the time his show comes on. (When did I get so OLD?) To think – you launched a career! I’m so honored to know you. 😉

  7. Oh you made me smile.Loved loved loved SNL.When my boy still lived at home he would tape it and then watch it the next night because he had to work on Saturday night.I would be in bed and listen to him just crack up at the show and always knew what he was laughing about because I watched it the night before.I remember when Garth Brooks guest starred and we both watched that episode over because it was so funny.

    • I remember the one with Garth! That was hilarious! I actually love when they’ve had guest stars that aren’t actors. It makes it so much funnier because you can really see them trying! It’s amazing that they can pull off all that stuff in one week!

  8. Glad for you to write that e-mail, hey you never know if you had anything to do with it! 🙂 funny you saying “cheeseburger” with a greek accent, my hubby is Greek and get to hear greek accents every Sunday! 🙂

  9. Toonces, the driving cat. I love me some animal humor. And the Land SharK! Ah, yes. I also got to stay up late sometimes and watch it. Funny, I also wouldn’t let my kids do that either. I know I saw some episodes when I was knee high to a grass hopper. I love youtube for old SNL skits.

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