Shelley Duvall, Gilda Radner, Lorne Michaels, Laraine Newman, and Jane Curtin
'Saturday Night Live' season 2 host Shelley Duvall, cast member Gilda Radner, creator Lorne Michaels, cast member Laraine Newman, and cast member Jane Curtin (bottom) in 1977
| Credit: Edie Baskin

Live From New York!

At first you can’t help but be impressed by the A-list guests and Saturday Night Live cast members (including producer Lorne Michaels) who pop up in director Bao Nguyen’s documentary about the long-running sketch-comedy show. But soon it becomes clear why they’ve shown up: They’re taking part in a tribute that’s only slightly less self-congratulatory than SNL’s own 40th-anniversary special. Aside from audition footage of the original cast and a few glimpses inside the writers’ room, there isn’t much here that fans of a show that began as a voice of the counterculture and became a mild cog in the establishment will find revelatory. Even the biggest knocks against SNL (that it was a boys’ club, and a white one at that) are dismissed as old news. As infomercials go, the doc is funnier than a Sham-Wow! spot, but it’s still an infomercial. You’re better off reading Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller’s book of the same title. B–

Live From New York!
2015 movie
  • Movie
  • 82 minutes