"The Sinatra Group"
Seth Meyers, cast member, 2001-2014: A favorite of mine – just because it happened when I was at the age where I was sort of living and breathing SNL – is "The Sinatra Group." It was a play off the McLaughlin Group sketches that they had done. My parents made us watch The McLaughlin Group on Sunday mornings. The fact that there was this sort of dry politics show that was then being parodied on SNL was a delight to me.
"Sinatra Group" was Phil Hartman, Jan Hooks, Mike Myers and Chris Rock. Sting was the host. I loved Hartman's Sinatra. Victoria Jackson and Myers played Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. I had no sense of who they were, but you learned pretty quickly in the sketch what their status level was compared to Sinatra. Rock played Luther Campbell and Hooks played Sinéad O'Connor and Sting played Billy Idol. There are lines from that sketch that my family and I quote all the time.
There were issues of the day on The McLaughlin Group. Frank's issue of the day was to ask something like, "Rita Hayworth or Ava Gardner – who would you rather nail? I disqualify myself because I've done 'em both." And he just kept getting so angry and aggressive. He also couldn't understand anything Luther Campbell said, until Luther says that he likes big butts. Then Frank said, "I hear you loud and clear." It was a crystallization of someone who was at one point the biggest thing in show business, but now attention was on younger generations. A lot of people sometimes think that SNL over-relies on things like game shows or talk shows, but what makes them so perfect for jokes is that you don't have to worry about entrances and exits. Everybody is on camera at the right time. Because SNL is a TV show, when you parody TV shows it works very well. This was a perfect example.