For every person who complains about how “Saturday Night Live” used to be funny, there’s another person who realizes that the show’s still doing great work (albeit sometimes inconsistently). In fact, Bill Murray thinks the recently graduated “SNL” cast — the Kristen Wiig era, essentially — is the best one since the original Not Ready for Primetime Players.
In a delightful Reddit AMA, Murray tackles everything from pickles on sandwiches to the financial and legal implications of recreational marijuana use. He also reveals his secret to being so awesome all the time: “Well, nothing prepared me for being this awesome. It’s kind of a shock. It’s kind of a shock to wake up every morning and be bathed in this purple light,” he writes.
But it’s his “SNL” comments that you might find most interesting. When asked what he thinks of the current cast, he writes, “They’re good. I don’t know them as well as I knew the previous one. But I really feel like the previous cast, that was the best group since the original group. They were my favorite group. Some really talented people that were all comedians of some kind or another.”
Often people point to the early ’90s as another “SNL” heydey, but Murray prefers the late-2010s cast. “You think about Dana Carvey, Will [Ferrell], [Phil] Hartman, all these wonderful funny guys. But the last group with Kristen Wiig and those characters, they were a bunch of actors and their stuff was just different. It’s all about the writing, the writing is such a challenge and you are trying to write backwards to fit 90 minutes between dress rehearsal and the airing. And sometimes the writers don’t get the whole thing figured out, it’s not like a play where you can rehearse it several times. So good actors — and those were really good actors, and there are some great actors in this current group as well I might add — they seem to be able to solve writing problems, improvisational actors, can solve them on their feet. They can solve it during the performance, and make a scene work.”
He continues: “It’s not like we were improvising when we made the shows, but you could feel ways to make things better. And when you get into the third dimension, as opposed to the printed page, you can see ways to solve things and write things live that other sorts of professionals don’t necessarily have. And that’s why I like that previous group. So this group, there are definitely some actors in this group, I see them working in the same way and making scenes go. They really roll very nicely, they have great momentum, and it seems like they are calm in the moment.”
Read the rest of Murray’s charming answers over at his AMA thread.