Saturday, May 18, 2024

Paul McCartney Saves “SNL” With Record Four Songs


I’m going to go out on a limb here. I don’t think any other act has had four songs on “Saturday Night Live.”

Paul McCartney just closed the show with “Get Back.” Before that, in order, he performed “Jet,” “Band on the Run,” and a medley of “A Day in the Life” with John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance.”

We can assume the last bit was a tribute to Lennon, who was murdered 30 years ago this week.

McCartney also participated in a digital short that was aired during the show.

Famously, McCartney and Lennon once almost went down to the “Saturday Night Live” studios in the late 1970s. They might have performed together. Instead, the story has become a legend. McCartney has appeared on “SNL” just one other time, in February 1993, with Alec Baldwin as host. He did three songs that night: “Hey Jude,” “Biker Like An Icon,” and “Get Out of My Way.”

The reason for Saturday night’s appearance: to plug the newly issued gorgeous box set of “Band on the Run, all remastered with lots of extras; and the Beatles finally being available for digital download on ITunes. Coincidentally, tonight’s performances are on ITunes as well.

Now McCartney heads to the famous Apollo Theater for a historic show on Monday night, courtesy of Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Sirius is also launching a Paul popĀ  up station with all his hits.

McCartney and his band sang and played LIVE tonight. You kids may not know what that’s like. There was no lip synching or track or ornamentation. It was refreshingly real, compared to the packaged product you are used to hearing on TV now.

As for “SNL”: after several good seasons, this year it is mostly unwatchable. Last night was no exception. It’s not just the writing. The new cast members are lifeless. Where the heck is Darrell Hammond when you need him? And what’s happened to Andy Samberg? That 1993 cast by the way included Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Phil Hartman, David Spade, Rob Schneider, Kevin Nealon, Ellen Cleghorne, Tim Meadows, and Julia Sweeney.

PS Paul Rudd did the best he could.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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