Now, I could have chosen my first gripe to be about my favorite comic book movie, "Superman". But instead I chose to do something about one of the greatest music artists of our generation...Celine Dion (isn't it ironic she once did a song about Superman?)
I admit to you I am sort-of-a-fan of Celine. I'm sure if you ever attended one of her shows, especially her latest gig in Las Vegas, you're a fan too! My favorite Celine hits are some of her earliest, such as "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" and "Beauty and the Beast". And I need not go into her entire career as she has had such a memorable one over the past one-and-a-half decades.
Most of you probably know her new album, "Taking Chances", is set to be released November 13, her first studio album in many years. Now, you may think such a popular artist like Celine might end up on the most popular variety show on television (in fact, the only one of its kind left on TV), NBC's "Saturday Night Live". Well, not so. You see, Celine has never appeared on the series, now in its 33rd season. And why?
That's a question I'll try to answer in today's gripe. I'll start by mentioning we have seen some sort of pattern when a new Celine album is about to be released, and I have followed this pattern over the Internet during the last ten years. So let's start by mentioning these key points as to why Celine has yet to appear on SNL...
1. Usually, one of the first U.S. promotional appearances for a Celine album is either on "The Today Show" or "The Tonight Show". That's a clear indication that Celine is having enough appearances on NBC, so the chances of being on "SNL" are...nil. In this case, at least so far and as of this writing, the only NBC appearance she's booked for to promote "Taking Chances" is on the "Today Show" for November 14.
2. She's been mocked so much on SNL. During the period of 1996-2002, Ana Gasteyer endlessly and relentelessly mocked Celine on SNL via her "Celine Dion Show" sketches. The real Celine, as I mentioned earlier, never appeared on the show to provide a punchline.
3. She's been on CBS more than other networks. With the exception of her most recent special on ABC Family, all her music specials have been on CBS. She's also been on more CBS specials than NBC, not to mention her cameo appearance on "The Nanny", which was a CBS show. And why? Which brings us to...
4. Celine has been on shows that are most watched and on networks that are more worthy to convey her message. Why wouldn't she?
Well, here's what I believe why...good old NBC, a network that pioneered broadcasting, and who once boasted "Must See TV" with Cosby, Seinfeld, "E.R.", etc. Yes, a network that's languishing in fourth place and lost a great deal of its luster to...you guessed it, CBS. The Peacock's ratings have continued to plummet in recent years. Even the 2006 Winter Olympics and NFL football can't help.
Current viewers of SNL have noticed a pattern of its own over recent months. If you noticed throughout last season, a great deal of its hosts were either former cast members or from NBC shows! My deduction is that with NBC's current troubles I guess it was cheaper to get these kinds of hosts rather than spend bucks getting big name stars (as I understand, the next live show on November 3 will have NBC's own anchor person, Brian Williams, as host!!!), not to mention sometimes getting no-name musical acts.
But shouldn't Lorne Michaels (the creator and executive producer of SNL) know that getting a big name star, especially for the November TV sweeps period, will almost certainly bring big ratings? This would be the perfect opportunity for Michaels to get Celine to host (or at least be a musical guest on) SNL. If he doesn't, it won't be the first big mistake he has made. Back on April 24, 1976 (during SNL's first season), he made that famous $3,000 offer for The Beatles to appear on the show with three songs. Tragically, it would not be once Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon in 1980 . So could it be that Celine doesn't consider SNL to be the perfect show to appear on?
You probably may have figured out that Celine could be the key to saving not only a show who's quality is suffering (or so I've heard people say), but saving a network's failing ratings.
Of course, let us remember there was a time when SNL was one show to watch during late night, when the biggest acts would appear. Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel...well, if you don't get my drift, go get the first season of SNL on DVD (or perhaps dig right into your video archives for reruns of the first five seasons) and you'll see what a great show SNL once was.
Celine, SNL needs you!!!
NEXT TIME: Football's version of Last Man Standing.