Live From New York!

The producers of Saturday Night Live spend so much time milking the show’s legacy that this 40th-anniversary documentary would seem pointless even if it weren’t so complacent and congratulatory. An opening music clip from Gil Scott-Heron assures us that “the revolution will be live,” though director Bao Nguyen spends much of the movie defending SNL against well-earned charges of white-male privilege and celebrating how the show serves as a promotional tool for politicians. Back in 2002, Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller published a down and dirty oral history of SNL, also titled Live From New York, that exposed the bitter feuds and cutthroat competition behind the scenes. Anyone looking for a real history of the show should consult that volume and skip this obedient lovefest.