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    New Carrie Fan DaveCarrieFan's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Suburb of Chicago

    Reese Witherspoon and the return of S.N.L. after the 9-11 attacks. – By Dave Smith

    At work, during an M.L.B. playoff game, I once said that the Cubs should have started their pitcher with the lowest E.R.A. instead of the one with the most wins. Somebody at our lunch table then said, "Oh no! You have to go with your ace!" One thing about our American culture that I will never forget is when Saturday Night Live came back on the air after the 9-11 attacks. We were looking at mayor Rudolph Giuliani and about twenty five Fire and Police on the stage, with completely BLANK facial expressions. There were no smiles and no tears. BLANK. They had the thousand yard stare like I had never seen it before. Snapshot visions of the horrors that they must have witnessed went through my mind, as I was watching them staring back at me. I then had to wonder how the cast of S.N.L. could POSSIBLY pull this off. Toward the beginning of his speech, Giuliani said, "Well THESE are the heroes!" After making it clear that New York was open for business again, the camera floated over to Paul Simon singing his masterpiece, "The Boxer." You could hear a very heavy quaver in his voice as he sang. That night, on that stage, I think anybody who would have cried, would have been permanently dunked in the S.N.L. dunk tank. There was not a dry eye in my house, and I was the only one in it.

    There is a lot to be said for being a true, respected A-Lister. It goes far beyond making over a million dollars for one film. It is about being a professional. It is about showing up to the set on time, while knowing your lines and not giving the director a heart attack if your, "...character would never do that." On this incredible night in television history, Reese Witherspoon then took to the stage with one of the longest jokes that I have ever heard. I could SEE a bit of fear in her eyes, as she labored through it, and I was not being subjective. When she finally got to the P.G.-13 rated punchline, everybody laughed, but it still struck me as a slightly restrained laugh. She did not bat an eyelash, as she continued through her routine. After that joke, as told by Reese, it was o.k. for American television to laugh again. All I could think of was that I suddenly had so much love and respect for that woman. In an unprecedented situation, she bravely dropped the green flag for the United States to get it’s humor back, and much moreover, she didn’t ENTIRELY LOSE IT up there.

    N.B.C. went with their ACE.


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