Tuesday, October 07, 2008

NBC's Newest Niche: Fey Pods!

I'm a Fey Pod and I'm not the only one.

If you didn't watch Tina Fey's latest send-up of Republican VP candidate Governor Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live do yourself a favor and check it out. It was my birthday on Saturday night so I timed my primp/departure to catch the 11:30pm SNL opening with Queen Latifah doing a hilarious Gwenn Ifill.

NBC suddenly has this new niche audience. It cuts across race, religion, sex and income level; the common denominator? We don't go out until we watch the opening of SNL. Then we watch it online AGAIN during the week while laughing at it with our friends. Repeatedly.

Like I'm the only one? Fay Pods are like an elusive, fleeting fan base. A reminder to the content creators that audiences will adjust their schedules to willingly put themselves into orbit around something that truly engages them.

There's something about actually seeing the latest Tina Fey Palin-spoof live that can't be recreated online or over a mobile device. In this multi-media, multi-channel world where innovative platforms are constantly evolving, there are still ideas that can only executed on television.

That's reassuring, grounding in some way. I grew up watching Mr. Bill and Samurai Delicatesen. Even when I'm 80 I'll still be inclined to tune into SNL. It's impact on our culture is massive. Garret Morris and Eddie Murphy helped to shape the way we see the black male.

SNL could have something here. I remember staying in on Friday's just to watch the X-Files on Fox.Think about SNL bringing a rotating crop of talent on for 6 - week engagements, just to open the show?

Christopher Walken or Chris Rock. Mick Jagger. Just something completely off-the Wall.
Today's television programming is increasingly populated with superficial reality TV, average TV dramas and glitzy redressed versions of old game shows that deaden, rather than engage or challenge the imagination of the audience.

One of the appeals of Tina Fey's spoof is that it cuts right through the filters and actually uses them to deliver a political and social message that many people are tuned into. It's refreshing television content. Behind the comedic writing, makeup and costume lies truth.

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