NEW YORK – There’s a certain look a cast member gets that longtime viewers of comedy show “Saturday Night Live” can instantly recognize. In many ways, it’s this look, and the performer’s mastery of it, that separates the truly great “SNL” performers from your run-of-the-mill hacks. You know this look: It’s the “this is bombing, isn’t it?” look.
Different performers handled it different ways. Will Ferrell would barrel onward, as if trying to physically bully the material into being funny. Phil Hartman would never break, treating every sketch like it was Scripture no matter how hammy. Jimmy Fallon would famously just start giggling. But the look is as undeniable as it is terrifying: There are millions of people watching me not be funny right now, and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s as close as you can come to being completely naked on network television.