All the funny ladies, sort of
The 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live is this month—there’s a big special starring Justin Timberlake airing later this month—and as part of the celebration Glamour brought together some of the prominent women from the show’s long history. The photos teach us two things: 1) Tina Fey forever changed the demographics of the cast, and 2) goddamn do they need some more minority women. This was actually an issue last year, which lead to the totally-not-related-no-seriously-we-meant-to-hire-her-anyway casting of Sasheer Zamata. Given the recent controversy over casting at SNL, I’m surprised they left Nasim Pedrad out of this photoshoot. She was a cast member from 2009-2014—not an insignificant amount of time—and she’s one of the few minority women in the history of the show.
There are a few others missing, as well. Unfortunately, the great Gilda Radner and one of SNL’s true MVPs, Jan Hooks, have both passed away. It would be nice if they were somehow acknowledged, but they are not. Ellen Cleghorne is AWOL—again, SNL, can you really afford to erase your minority players? —and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, one of the most successful alumni ever, isn’t included. I sort of understand why anyone from the 1981/82 and 1985/86 seasons aren’t included—those were terrible seasons that everyone has collectively agreed to forget about—but JLD was one of the few bright spots to emerge from that early-1980s era of SNL, alongside Eddie Murphy.
And for some reason, despite the feature being titled “Funny Girls”, there are random dudes sprinkled in. I don’t understand this at all. What are they doing there? I have terrible patriarchal suspicions about this. You know what would be cool? If you replaced Taran Killam with JLD and Michael Che with Cleghorne, and if Colin Jost and his Klieg light were traded out for life-sized images of Hooks and Radner. Then it would truly be a celebration of the funny girls of SNL.