Albany makes return appearance on Saturday Night Live, this time for ‘hailstorm’


ALBANY – The real Albany made its latest appearance on Saturday Night Live Saturday night, this time as the setting for a fictional news station whose hailstorm coverage doesn’t go exactly as expected.

Albany’s reference comes in with the news station itself – “News 5 Center Albany.” And if there’s any confusion on which Albany they’re in, that gets cleared up with SNL’s Ego Nwodim and Alex Moffat anchoring in front of the news desk backdrop – the Capital Region’s very own Albany skyline.

The rest of the sketch veers away from the known Albany news coverage area, to the fictional “nearby” town of Pebble Falls, who the anchors not only point out the nearness of the town, but also its motto: “Come for the ice cream, stay for the big wooden nickel.”

The news anchors then go on to interview residents of this nearby town as the residents are on scene and the anchors remain at their anchor desk. The setup provides several return views to Albany’s skyline on the news set as the residents describe hail the size of golf balls and the interviews go on from there.

Instead of spoiling the rest of the sketch, the video is below.

This weekend’s sketch also provides more understanding of the Albany-area media market, at least according to SNL. The show referenced Albany most recently in a sketch from almost exactly two years ago, Nov. 3, 2018. That reference also came in a local TV news setting, but at a different fictional Albany-area station.

That sketch centered on “KCR News Albany – Albany’s Favorite News Team.” There was no mention of News 5 as Albany’s favorite in its sketch, which might be good news for KCR and its presumed interest in retaining that title.

The previous sketch is below, though note an early joke tailored to the 11:30 p.m. hour in which it originally aired.

Before that, the real Howe Caverns in Schoharie County got its own shoutout from the show in 2017 as a pennant from the destination made it into the background of another sketch.

Categories: News

One Comment

Saw it, and it was spot on.
Local broadcast news has become a parody of itself and an anachronism. There appears to be very little imagination put into its production. A couple neat looking talking heads reading a script injecting the old lines (“shots rang out” comes to mind) and idiotic puns incessantly recycled, year after year, always presented with a hair-on-fire tone. Field interviews are pretty much like the SNL skit presents; mindless questions with predictable answers, or of people with predictable opinions. On-air personalities who do seem interesting seem to often disappear in the middle of the night with no comment. Each station has exactly the same format as the other which has changed very little over the decades, and each station continues to be almost entirely written, presented and intended for a White audience.

Sports focuses mostly on the big ticket male American sports playing to most common denominator, with stories of local amateur athletes and sports relegated to human interest bits (with the possible exception of High School sports which while covered, constantly suffers from poor camera work).

Local news is important! It deserves to be presented professionally, not simply as a amateurish vehicle to sell local products and services, focused on the lowest common denominator among us. One reason I bother writing this is because “news” has a history and a place in society going back thousands of years. It’s a profession that should be treated with some reverence, sadly what we see though is a cheap facsimile. And also, in the better part of 60 years I’ve lived here, I’ve never been asked my thoughts on the local news production. That implies they’re simply looking at the ratings for guidance.

Leave a Reply