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(Bao Nguyen, U. S.). 90 min­utes. Rat­ing: NNN Bao Nguyen’s flashy, su­per­fi­cial doc­u­men­tary cel­e­brat­ing the 40th an­niver­sary of Satur­day Night Live plays like a skip­ping stone over the sur­face of the show’s his­tory. Yes, it’s im­pos­si­ble to fit four decades of TV com­edy into an hour and a half, but Nguyen doesn’t re­ally try, fo­cus­ing on a hand­ful of key el­e­ments and cram­ming in as many celebrity in­ter­views as pos­si­ble.

The usual bases are cov­ered: Lorne Michaels’s as­sem­bling of the cast and writ­ing staff (most of whom were poached from the Na­tional Lam­poon Ra­dio Hour); the wa­ter­shed first sea­son that es­tab­lished the show’s rep­u­ta­tion for po­lit­i­cal en­gage­ment and cut­ting- edge mu­si­cal guests; the shakier sea­sons that fol­lowed the de­par­ture of Michaels and his cast in 1980.

But then Nguyen es­sen­tially leapfrogs over the 80s and 90s to the glory days of Tina Fey, Will Fer­rell, Andy Sam­berg and Amy Poehler, ap­par­ently be­cause they were all avail­able for face time. It’s also kind of weird that the doc spends so much time on the show’s re­ac­tion to 9/ 11, though per­haps that was in­evitable given the time pe­riod on which it fo­cuses. NW Apr 29, 9: 30 pm, Bloor Hot Docs; Apr 30, 7:15

pm, TIFF 2

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