Kings of the ’90s. I didn’t really understand the concept of SNL as a live show, but that didn’t really matter. I could quote those early sketches with a gun to my head.
“If you’ve got a big thirst, and you’re gay…”
And then… SNL went away in my consciousness. Farley, Sandler, and Ferrell left the cast. I still kept a connection to the show with some of the great SNL movies, like The Ladies Man:
Everything changed on December 17th, 2005. Andy Samberg. Chris Parnell. Mr. Pibb and Red Vines. It’s that Chronic-cles of Narnia.
YouTube was founded in February 2005, and I’m pretty sure Lazy Sunday is the first video I ever watched on there. My life hasn’t been the same since. I watched that video ten times that day. And have watched it weekly since. It is the standard for humor in my life.
See, my parents talk about the SNL of their youth. They would stay up on Saturdays to watch it live. Or record it on the VCR. They still quote it. “Jane, you ignorant slut!”
I’ve watched exactly one episode of SNL live, and I think that’s more than most people I know. That was the Louie CK episode. It felt weird. It was disappointing. Not disappointing because it was a bad episode. Disappointing because WATCHING SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE LIVE IS NO LONGER THE PROPER WAY TO WATCH SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.
SNL is a hit-or-miss show. That’s just the nature of a sketch show. Chappelle bombed sketches from time to time. But we don’t have to sit through those anymore. This, right here, is how SNL is meant to be consumed:
Clips. Not episodes.
A big part of me wonders if SNL would still be alive if not for the Internet. If not for the ability to curate content.
Its ability to permeate our lives still hasn’t changed. Just like my parents quote “Jane, you ignorant slut!” I’ve been in frat basements that had this song on.
If you’ve never seen a basement full of drunk 20ish guys and girls trying to hopelessly spit some game while this song plays in the background, I highly recommend it. Some people don’t realize it. Some willfully ignore it. And the brave few mention it to the person they’re talking to, unsure what to do next. Ask if they want to have sex? Seems logical.
Sure, there are still reasons to watch it live, like catching this moment:
But those are few and far between. So I’ll stick to the Internet. And I want to say thanks, Internet, for bringing me and SNL together. Sure, our relationship stays on a Te’o level, but the emotion is real.
Basketball players are notoriously prolific in the Twittersphere. There are two types of basketball tweeters: those who run their own handles and write stupid things, and those whose publicists run their handles and tweet about charity events. Kobe Bryant came late to the game. Here is his inaugural tweet. When I saw it, I wondered: which type of tweeter will he be?
Hmm. Curious timing from Mr. Kobe Bean Bryant. The Lakers were 15-17 on January 4th, had already fired one head coach, and were (still are!) in a media firestorm. It makes sense why: all five of their starters have played in the All-Star game, and have a combined salary of $82 million. That kind of lineup should play above .500. Kobe criticized Dwight, Kobe criticized Pau, etc. etc. So why start tweeting now?
Ohhhhhhh, I get it. If you project a Twitter image of playfulness, humor, and general good person-ness, we’ll all buy it. Make a joke out of the feuding triangle of Bryant/Howard/Antoni (get it? no D!).
The saccharine public image went on
On January 17th, Nike dropped a new Kobe spot.
The message, beautifully crafted and amazingly accurate: the world turns, but Kobe stays Kobe.
The commercial also introduced a new aspect of the campaign: #CountOnKobe. Kobe jumped all over it.
and mixed it in with the occasional poetic humility.
Cue Kobe. He sat down to watch the game, and fired up Twitter.
Don’t lie, Kobe. You have this game set as your alarm and wake up every morning to a tape of it. Yeah, you wake up three hours earlier than you have to each day. You even watch the commercials.
…it’s the Raptors…
Actually, I gotta say, that’s really nice.
There’s a joke here that I don’t want to make.
Meta. Wait, is Kobe doubting himself?
Ah, there’s the Kobe we can count on.
More of the Kobe we can count on.
Oh yeah, forgot two teams were playing each other!
Yep. God, it’s so much fun to watch the Lakers suck this year.
Bad move. Let sleeping dogs lie. Or let sub-60 Kobes stay sub-60 Kobes. However the saying goes.
I feel weird knowing that Kobe gets goose bumps.
You’ve seriously never asked him?
Looks fine to me.
Remember your training.
And a final self-indulgent moment! Nah, it wasn’t lucky. It was a masterpiece.
81 points. 16 tweets. That was exhausting.
Look, I’m a copywriter. I work in advertising. It’s my job to come up with hare-brained schemes like this. And push for them to go through. But at no point did anybody at Nike or W+K (the ad agency) think to scrap this idea because of timing? Kobe’s previous tweets were all about humility, about recognizing other players, about playing down conflicts in the locker room.
This is straight-up masturbation. It’s a self-indulgent game of “remember when”.
“Hey, remember when I scored 81, the most since Wilt scored 100 in 1962, and the second-most all-time?”
“Hey, remember when I played on a winning team?”
“Hey, remember when we could confidently beat a team like the Raptors?”
But that’s Nike/W+K’s job. They don’t represent the Lakers. They represent Kobe, and their job is to boost the Kobe brand. This does a terrific job of that.
Here’s where it’s really gonna cook your noodle, though: did Nike tell Kobe at the beginning of January to start tweeting so he could amass a following before he live-tweeted the game? Is it all their master plan? Was Kobe just a pawn in somebody else’s game? I’ll let you decide.
The Brooklyn Nets are the most obnoxious team in basketball. And it’s not just because their 4th-highest-paid player is Kris Humphries. Or because 95% of their fan base would tell you Jay-Z’s the majority owner.
It’s the chant. Most obnoxious, terrible chant in all of sports. See Beyonce lip-syncing singing along to it.
Sound familiar? Yeah. Only the word usually being chanted is “Bull/shit” or “Ass/hole”. It’s a jeer, not a cheer! To be used against the other team! Not for your team!
I mean, I get it. Brooklyn’s jerseys are black-and-white, their image is hip-hop, their notable courtside-sitter is Jay-Z. They’re going for badass. And the cheer goes along with it.
But they do the cheer all the time. All the time. I feel like I’ve seen them start the chant after Gerald Wallace makes his first free-throw. It’s grating, it’s loud, and it’s hipsters.
HERE’S WHAT I PROPOSE: we turn the cheer around on them. The Knicks did this when the Nets came to the Garden the first time and got smoked. When the outcome of the game was clear and the starters got pulled, some inventive Knicks fans started the chant. Close your eyes and imagine Deron Williams sauntering skulking over to the bench with this in his ears.
The next time the Nets come to your home court and they lose badly enough to pull their starters, start the chant. Make them pay for their sins of being the most obnoxious home team in sports.
These are the things that keep me up at night. I fear that Twitter will ruin the tradition of bathroom graffiti.
If you actively use Twitter, you already know exactly what I’m talking about: people tweet the most when they poop. You’re not going anywhere for a while, you have your phone but no other means of entertaining yourself, and you’re pooping, which is the most philosophical moment of human existence.
It’s a time to ponder what exactly it means to be man. Sure, man invented flight, put a man on the moon, and accidentally discovered penicillin. We wrote The Great Gatsby and recorded The Black Album. But once a day, each of us takes off our pants, sits on a little porcelain seat, and slowly excretes nuggets of brown smelly goop. We should feel a mystical connection at this moment, knowing that there’s a chance Hillary Clinton is also pushing out butt-capsules at the exact same time. Is she thinking about you? Probably not, but you never know.
It’s a time-honored tradition to take these wisps of thoughts tumbling around in our head and literally write them on the bathroom wall. These shit-haikus are there for posterity, saved for generations of fecal followers. And there really are some gems on those walls. See the picture above for reference of one. It even uses audience participation!
Twitter’s changing the (brown) landscape. Now, instead of taking out a Sharpie and writing your thoughts on the wall, you’re taking out your iPhone and writing them on your feed.
Here are my issues with this:
1) Text-only. Drawings, especially of dicks, are a big part of bathroom graffiti. Twitter doesn’t really support that.
2) Lack of permanence. Sure, tweets are technically there forever, but once they fall on the feed, they’re essentially dead.
3) Exclusivity. You decide who to follow on Twitter, so if you don’t like the 140 characters somebody shits out, you can decide not to follow them. The bathroom walls are forced on you. Sorry, but if the conditions of the Diarrhea Song apply to you, then you make for the nearest philosophy cubicle and drop trou.
4) Price. Even if you don’t have a smartphone (or any phone!) you can still write on the walls.
5) Handwriting/color/size. You can’t personalize a tweet the way you can bathroom graffiti.
6) Anonymity. Twitter accounts at least have a handle name. Nobody knows who wrote what in the stall. That makes it timeless. Solomon the Wise could have written that haiku about vaginas. You never know.
You get the point. I’m getting ahead of myself.
I’m not saying to abandon Twitter. Just maybe next time you have something hilarious to say, go old-fashioned with it and draw it on the walls instead.