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.