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Date Posted: 22:41:10 04/01/17 Sat
Author: The Doc
Subject: In regards to the Monologue
In reply to: HerbertMcHoover 's message, "Jimmy Breslin / Level 42 and E.G. Daily - May 17, 1986 (11.17)" on 11:15:49 03/19/17 Sun

I'm just going to repeat what I posted on my blog;

I’ve lived in New York State my entire life, and I’ve been working in New York City now for the past 5 years; and in that time, I’ve learned the differences between being a tourist, being a commuter, and being a “Real” New Yorker. Thanks to some people I work with, I was able to get a jumpstart on this education by reading a few vintage articles from the New York Daily News that Breslin wrote. When he passed away a few weeks ago, he left behind a legacy of love, lust, loathing and leering for the City he called his home for most of his life………he also (unfortunately) has the misfortune of appearing not only in a terrible season of SNL as a host, but he also has the even bigger misfortune of appearing in—what some have called—one of the worst episodes of all time…It’s not Jean Doumanian Bad, but it’s pretty close. Just the idea of a person of Breslin’s caliber hosting the show is enough to make you go “Why?!”, while being paired up with Boxer “Marvelous” Marvin Haggler as his co-host is enough to make you go “HUH?!” He wasn’t an actor/singer/performer, he hardly ever appeared on camera unless it was an interview with local TV, what could possibly possess Lorne & Co. to have him on the show; not as a “special guest” (like Dick Ebersol did for William S. Burroughs in 1981…and yes, I’ll talk about THAT some day) but actually Host the show? Nobody may ever know the answer for certain; but the one thing I could say is that Breslin represented New York the same way SNL represents New York—they’re both iconic NYC landmarks in their own right, and whether Breslin was supposed to be entertaining or not, he was still on to represent the city if nothing else—and whether you liked it or not, you can’t fault him for his passion for it; especially when it comes to razzing (then) Mayor Ed Koch and the New York Mets for slacking off a little—something, that I guess “You Had to be there” for in order to get it.


This also brings up another point; in recent years SNL has received a little flak for putting on sketches that might’ve been a little too—shall we say—“Regionalized” for a national TV audience. This is especially true when watching sketches like “The Californians”, or even a few years ago when Fred Armisen payed NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg—some jokes you can ONLY get if you happen to be from the area; which would probably explain why a New York Studio Audience would eat up everything Breslin is saying here in the monologue, while 99% of the rest of the country would universally shout “I Don’t Get It!”. Despite the fact that an obvious non-performer appeared in one of the most forgettable episodes in the show’s history, I honestly don’t think he gave two fucks what people thought—and that, in turn makes the monologue all the more endearing to a New York Audience (Which, now that I think about it, might also be the reason why Yankees Manager Billy Martin wound up co-hosting that year’s finale–maybe the show was looking for more New York Icons to get in touch with the roots they may have lost along the way?).


Long story short, it's easy to say that Breslin wasn't "Funny" in the episode, but maybe that was the point (despite a warm reception from a New York audience). All he could be was himself; and because he was a great storyteller, I actually thought the monologue was poignant in a brash way--as was Breslin.

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