In Defense of The Gumby Lounge Singers

Now that the draft is complete, and Rob has enlightened us with his scientific approach to sketch comedy (which sure explains a lot about Rob’s sketch comedy “career”), I feel duty-bound to share with you the greatness that is The Gumby Lounge Singers (and if you don’t know the derivation of the name, may I suggest a more remedial class?).

Alan had a great idea about naming a bandleader, and since it was his addition to the game, I’m following his rules. I’m guessing I can pick an actual Saturday Night Live bandleader if I want, but he picked a memorable musical act from the many who performed on SNL: Shane MacGowan, drunken frontman of The Pogues. In that same vein, I’m picking a musician with a checkered SNL past: Elvis Costello. He was banned from the show for switching songs (he was asked not to play “Radio Radio” because of its lyrics, and he switched during the live show, which also put the show behind schedule), but he’s back in the good graces again, and he’s my choice to lead the band.

So with Elvis Costello conducting, and the band blaring the SNL theme, it’s time to meet the cast. Don Pardo, take it away!

I said, Don Pardo, take it away!

Hmm, Don must be at lunch. Okay, I’ll tell you about The Gumby Lounge Singers:

The men
Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Jon Lovitz, Darrell Hammond, Joe Piscopo, and Ben Stiller

This may be the best collection of male cast members in the league. I have two charismatic leading men in Murphy and Murray. Lovitz and Piscopo would be the stars on any other cast, but here they complement the top bananas with legendary characters of their own. Impressions will be a team strength, especially with Hammond and Piscopo anchoring the squad. Even Ben Stiller (who I mistakenly picked over Tracy Morgan) will contribute through his impressions and boyish charm.

The women
Nora Dunn, Jane Curtin, and Kristen Wiig

I’m very happy with the women I’ve selected, I think they are all immensely talented and three of the best actresses to perform on SNL, yet I can see that in general they fit the same category. Dunn has some crazy characters, and really it’s too early in Wiig’s career to generalize, but the three of them have a more subtle approach to sketch comedy. I could have an awesome Nora Ephron-written sketch about three society women at lunch with these ladies. I should have grabbed a goofball like Rachel Dratch or Cheri Oteri to complement the styles (hmmm, Rob has Oteri and Dratch, along with Molly Shannon; looks like he’s in the same situation only with goofballs).

The Weekend Update anchor
Jane Curtin

Like I said in the Round Ten summary, Curtin was one of the earliest (replacing Chevy Chase behind the desk), one of the longest-running (80 episodes, tied for third most all-time), and simply one of the best anchors ever on Saturday Night Live. She has a great catchphrase, “Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow,” and that is critical for a quality anchor. She’ll have to bring her “A” game every week, though; unlike other casts (especially Alan’s), my team is a little weak at Update commentaries. Thank the heavens above for Darrell Hammond.

Overall, I’m very pleased. Is this the perfect cast? Of course not, but no cast ever will. The Gumby Lounge Singers, though, has to be considered one of the favorites to win the Fantasy SNL League.

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