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Old 07/06/2003, 12:23 AM
Jericho Male Jericho is offline
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Exclamation MADtv Fans vs SNL Fans

Hey, guys. I have a bunch of things I would like to share with everybody on this forum. Many of you here have been wondering why everyday SNL fans prefer SNL over MADtv. Mad Dog, I know you tried to contact a couple of SNL buffs, asking them why they think SNL is better than MADtv. I have good news for you, Mad Dog. Whereas you were unfortunate, I somehow managed to succeed.

Last month, I emailed a bunch of my old friends from high school, who loyally watch SNL. I asked them to comment on various topics: why SNL is better, how SNL’s castmembers are better, SNL’s overratedness, SNL’s glory days, SNL’s dependence on guest stars, etc. A few of these SNLers have given me decent replies.

Just check out these responses:

Quote:
I actually used to watch MADtv religiously before I even knew about SNL. I don't think MADtv is a complete rip-off of SNL—at least not when it started out. In its earlier seasons, MADtv was good, and its style was very different from SNL’s. But since about the year 2000, MADtv has really changed and has gotten a lot worse, which made me completely lose interest in it. Around that time, I discovered SNL, and it impressed me more than MADtv. And after a while of watching both SNL and MADtv together (on Saturdays, I would watch the full hour of MADtv, and then watch the rest of SNL), I decided that I liked SNL better. So I started watching SNL regularly, and ditched MADtv altogether.

I like SNL better because I think SNL

1. is generally funnier (Weekend Update, TV Funhouse, Hardball)
2. has better characters (Boston Teens, Fericito, Jarret’s Room, Wake Up Wakefield)
3. has better castmembers (Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Poehler, Seth Meyers)
4. has better impressionists (Darrell Hammond, Jimmy Fallon, Jeff Richards).

Plus, the show is live, which adds more of an exciting and unique feeling.

I disagree about the show being overrated. I would say that the show is actually underrated nowadays. Whenever I read a comment about the show that's not on an SNL site, it’s always "the show hasn't been good since the early 90's," or "the show hasn't been good since the 70's." But I think it’s always like that, where people say that SNL hasn’t been good since [insert year here], no matter what season it is—even during the late 80’s/early 90’s era. I think the same will happen with the current cast. They get bashed by critics now. But years down the road, people will look back at this cast, and say how they were great and how the current cast (whoever that may be) isn’t as good as this cast was.

There’s probably has some truth to the claim that SNL relies on guest hosts for better ratings, especially when they're really big stars like Britney Spears, The Rock, or John McCain. But I don't think it's that bad, because those kinds of hosts can sometimes turn out to be good.

Plus, I don't think SNL “sells-out” by getting big-name hosts. I think that the show is being “bilateral.” Even though SNL makes fun of celebrities like Britney Spears, SNL can also get them to host the show. I think that by being two-sided like that, SNL is showing its fairness. Also, people like Britney probably want to go on SNL to prove that they can do comedy as well as act/sing.

I'm too big a fan of SNL to stop watching just because this past season was weak. I don’t think this past season was one of the worst ever, but it’s definitely a step down from the last few seasons. I have faith that the show will get better next season. And, occasionally, SNL still has excellent episodes like those hosted by Christopher Walken and Al Gore.
Quote:
I haven't watched any MADtv at all this past season. It’s been quite awhile. Back when SNL began their 25th season, I ‘d normally watch full episodes of MADtv whenever SNL was showing reruns. MADtv’s cast back then was probably their best. Since then, the show has lost some established castmembers. The last time I watched MADtv was when Stone Cold Steve Austin was the guest star. I haven’t watched an entire episode of MAD since then. I don’t want to bother since I just don’t think MADtv as funny as SNL overall.

I remember Will Sasso as Bush joking about Chris Kattan and his “Corky Romano” film, and saying that Kattan must be watching since SNL won't be on for another half hour. Sasso also wore a “I Heart SNL T-Shirt” when he was playing a MADtv writer. On MADtv’s 100th show, I believe Martin Short blurted out 'LFNYISN'.

Anyway, SNL has been around longer and is a more popular show. And while SNL’s budget isn't huge, it has to be bigger than MAD’s. SNL, I would say, is a more mature show. But recently, SNL has been doing comedy geared toward a younger audience—the same style of humor that MADtv does on a regular basis. In my opinion, until SNL gets rid of their political sketches, then SNL will always be better than MADtv. If SNL does away with political satire altogether, I'm sure SNL would lose masses of loyal viewers.
Quote:
On average, SNL's quality was below average this past season. There were some great moments and a few decent shows, but the majority of the season was poor and uninteresting. A lot of that has to do with the loss of Will Ferrell. I know one cast member shouldn't make a huge difference, but that's the way it is with SNL. You need someone who’s the star of the cast; someone who leads the cast. Will was that someone for a long time. One sketch can make a big difference on SNL. You can have a show where most of the sketches are average to slightly above average. But if you have that one GREAT sketch mixed in, then the show is salvaged, and the overall grade can be brought up to average. Will pulled off that great sketch so many times, whether it was one of his great recurring bits or something original. There were so many times when a show wasn't going well. But then towards the end, Will did some crazy sketch that was hilarious, and you would walk away from the show with a better feeling. You could always count on Will. There were castmembers before Will that were like that. The problem is that when the star of the show leaves, the show usually struggles and has a down period for a year or two. That's been SNL's history, and that's what's going on now. SNL's writing isn't and never will be good enough to make up for a decent cast lacking a big star who’s a great writer and performer. But the show bounces back, because it always finds another star. That star will come along again in the next year or two, and SNL will rebound. Until that happens, SNL will be alright because its fans are loyal. Most people are not pleased with the show this season, but they'll stick around and wait until it gets better. That's why SNL is still getting good ratings. And even in this poor season, I feel that SNL is still better than MADtv. In my eyes, I don’t think MADtv will ever come even close to SNL.
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Well, I became a casual MADtv fan when it debuted in 1995. But in 1997, I was getting a little bored with the direction MADtv was going, because it was becoming more and more like SNL (most notably, guest hosts in almost every episode). So I started watching SNL, and the John Goodman episode from its 96-97 season is what got me hooked. I thought that entire episode was hysterical, especially Celebrity Jeopardy. It was funnier than MADtv had been all year, and I became a faithful SNL viewer since then. When the next season arrived, I made sure to catch every episode of SNL, and MADtv became an afterthought.

To me, SNL is actually wittier and more compelling than MADtv. I can only take so much slapstick from MAD. SNL will at least have one quasi-intelligent sketch per week. Plus, SNL seems to have a Conan O’Brien-like style in its writing, which makes the show very likeable. I rarely see MADtv doing anything each week but unleashing stale recurring characters, as well as focusing on crude, tactless humor that comes off as dumb rather than funny.

SNL doesn’t really have to rely on its “glory days” to survive, because it didn’t during the Phil Hartman era. MADtv IS edgier and hipper. But, as a result, the show is more tasteless, outrageous, and irreverent. Plus, MADtv packs more tired recurring characters into an hour show than SNL does in 90 minutes. I can't stand that. It gets very irritating. At least SNL nowadays brings out the same recurring characters ONLY twice or thrice per year.

In conclusion, I don’t think SNL is superior to MADtv. I just like SNL better, plain and simple.
Quote:
Although I’m a regular SNL viewer, I’ve seen a handful of episodes of MADtv from this past season. Just to try to take a break from SNL. After doing so, I personally think that SNL is a better show then MADtv, for many reasons. First, the writing on SNL is a lot better and sharper, even though the writers SUCKED this past year. SNL is good at satirizing political happenings, current events, and social issues. Also, I particularly enjoy Weekend Update, as it is a huge part of SNL.

Second, the SNL cast is a lot more talented and more fun to watch. Truthfully, I don’t find anything funny about the likes of Bobby Lee, Paul Vogt, and Frank Caliendo on MADtv. Also, when Michael McDonald is involved in every sketch, it gets really tiresome. Don’t get me wrong, because Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon’s virtually incessant appearances in past SNL episodes bothered me to an extent as well. Plus, I find Stephanie Weir to be very, very annoying. I don’t see myself becoming a MADtv fan or even catching anymore of the show next season.

Call me traditional, but I prefer SNL over MADtv because of its history. It is a show that has produced stars such as John Belushi, Bill Murray Eddie Murphy, Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell and many others. MADtv has only managed to produce stars such as Orlando Jones, Will Sasso, and Nicole Sullivan.

I don’t think that SNL is overrated. These days, the show gets bashed a lot by critics, and a majority of Americans don’t seem to really follow (or care about) the current cast that much.

Quite frankly, I keep watching SNL because of the "anything can happen" aspect that is central to every live episode. From Belushi singing with Joe Cocker, to Sinead O'Conner ripping up the picture of the pope, to Pesci and DeNiro walking on stage in the middle of a sketch. SNL has had some major moments in TV history, but MADtv has produced none.
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I’ve watched several episodes of MADtv here and there in the past, but I don’t really follow the show that much. Even so, I still believe that SNL is a much better product than MADtv. I think what consistently makes SNL better than MADtv is a combination of writing, acting and production. Despite the fact that it is pre-taped and edited, MADtv needs improvement in all three of those areas. The writing and delivery are just extremely poor, in my opinion.

As far as the talent level goes, I feel that SNL has more talented and versatile castmembers than MADtv. The people on SNL always have a way of making me laugh, no matter what role they tackle. How many people have become mainstream stars after leaving MADtv? Only Orlando Jones and Nicole Sullivan qualify. Speaking of Nicole Sullivan, MADtv castmembers like her and Will Sasso just annoyed me more than anything. But Michael McDonald seems decent, judging from his work. Again, a castmember’s performance mostly depends on the writing.

I'm not going to get into the whole rip-off game, because practically every comedy show you see seems like a derivative of something that came before it. SNL is actually based on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show.” And MADtv basically reminds me of “In Living Color.”

I think that to say “SNL is overrated” is just a blanked statement. SNL’s popularity all depends on the particular season. Some seasons are good and others aren't. The way I see it, the early 90s SNL was terribly overrated. Plus, I give little regard for critics and anti-fans who blindly say that "SNL is surviving on its legacy," because they obviously don't pay attention to the show each and every week.

This past season of SNL wasn’t the best, nor was it the worst. The first half of the year was VERY rocky. But SNL started to find its bearings after the Jeff Gordon/Avril Lavigne trainwreck. They had only one really bad episode in the second half of the season, which was Jennifer Garner/Beck. I almost gave up on the season after that disaster, because I didn't think the show was ever going to find consistency at that point. However, Christopher Walken/Foo Fighters saved the day, and there was only one mediocre episode (Bernie Mac/Good Charlotte) for the rest of the season.
Quote:
I try to be fair when comparing SNL and MADtv. Based on what I’ve seen, MADtv caters to the lowest common denominator too much. Its style is too over-the-top for my tastes, and it ultimately turns me off. Just because something is “edgy” and “daring” doesn’t always make it funny. For the most part, sketches on MADtv seem to be sloppily written or poorly conceived (I remember seeing this really weird sketch last year where Michael McDonald “murders” a slew of people). The jokes and gags just seem too cheap and shock-valued, designed to shock the audience rather than elicit a good, genuine laugh.

SNL’s writing is better all-around, because SNL doesn’t entirely rely on lowbrow humor to carry the show. Granted, SNL has produced its share of badly written jokes revolving around sex, drugs, and potty humor. But, in the end, the good outweighs the bad. More often than not, whenever SNL produces some form of lowbrow humor, it’s usually cleverly written. Good examples of this are the “Schweatty Balls” and the “Oops! I Crapped My Pants” sketches from 98-99. When it comes to screwball comedy, SNL’s style is more subtle and less explicit.

I don’t know why MADtv marks are complaining about SNL getting mainstream celebrities to guest host each episode. If you're Lorne Michaels and you’re producing a variety show, how would you get people to watch? You’d say, "let me try to attract this big star so people can be exposed to my show and the talent on it, and if they all put on a good performance, folks might just get hooked.” Sure, this strategy beefs up ratings. But almost every major comedy on network TV today uses “flavor of the week” celebrities to bolster ratings. I know for sure that MADtv has had popular musical guests on a consistent basis, so MADtv fans shouldn’t be complaining about what SNL is doing. If you have the resources to book big-name guest stars, you might as well do it. For the record, SNL frequently books obscure musical guests (i.e., Andrew W.K.).

And if you ask me, attracting high-profile celebrities does NOT constitute as “selling out.” Ask any MAD fan this question: If SNL is considered “selling out” by inviting The Rock and Britney Spears onto its program, how isn’t MADtv considered “selling out” by inviting Stone Cold Steve Austin and t.A.T.u. onto ITS program????

I’ve watched a number of full-hour episodes of MADtv before, but I just can’t get myself to like it. So I completely gave up on the show last summer. Nowadays, I merely watch the opening montage at 11:00 P.M. to see who’s drifting in and out of the cast. Often, I believe FOX came up with MADtv in response to the disastrous 94-95 SNL season. FOX thought they could capitalize on bad television, but SNL itself rebounded by 96-97. As far as the ratings go, every time I see MADtv’s numbers, they’re in the range of 2.3-2.5 and that’s it. Perhaps it’s slightly higher in the younger demos. MADtv obviously has a cult following, but the show isn’t as timeless and well-respected as SNL. So it might linger for just a few more years.
Now, I personally think that these SNLers’ opinions seem very candid and pretty reasonable. They’re not really remarks that so-called “SNL zealots” would make. I mean, the SNLers who’ve given these responses make a lot of good points. I feel that they’ve provided a sincere, mature discussion on “The Great Debate,” as Mad Dog called it. (I haven’t told anyone about this MADtv forum, so there’s nothing to worry about.)

So how would you guys respond to the above comments?

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  #2  
Old 07/06/2003, 4:05 AM
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I guess I'll take a crack at this one. I watch SNL also, but I wish they would start at midnight, b/c I worry that I'm missing something good in the first 30 minutes.

I guess the main questions/points here are:

1) why SNL is better
2) how SNL’s castmembers are better
3) SNL’s overratedness
4) SNL’s glory days
5) SNL’s dependence on guest stars, etc.

Here are my responses as to why people might think SNL is better:

NOTE: Before you read, don't get me wrong; I like both MADtv and SNL and both have their place. I'm just stating opinions why people think SNL is better.

1) I like their Weekend Update, and that's one of the advantages about being live. They can make fun of current events that just happened in the past week, as in w/ MADtv, it's pre-recorded and what they were trying to make fun of happened months ago, and the story has died down. They seem to have more of a variety of sketches that pick into each different type of demographic (age, sex, location, etc.). I especially liked one of the SNLs I saw this season w/ West Coast vs. East Coast and the rapping that the cast did. Probably my favorite SNL sketch I've seen in a while.

2) SNL's castmembers are better, b/c of each persons versatility. I think with their sketches, they can put just about anyone in someone else's place and the overall effect of the sketch isn't compromised at all, or very little. I notice that they also do a lot of cast ensemble sketches. This shows that their cast seems to have a lot more chemistry that shows on the stage.

3) I don't think it is over-rated. I think they have a formula to attract a variety of audiences. Their writing seems to be consistent and usually has substance. Also, they write a variety of sketches. You know something, I don't see commercials for SNL either, but it's been around so long that it's a given, and usually the local news at the end of their broadcast usually says that SNL is next.

4) My favorite seasons of SNL would be when Will Ferrel, Cheri O'teri, and Molly Shannon were on SNL. So, I guess mid to late 90s. Other than that, when I catch reruns of the really retro SNLs from the 70s, even though I wasn't born yet, I like the 70s era.

5) What I like about the guest stars that appear on SNL is that they are actually involved in some sketches. I hardly see that on MADtv, but they seem to be improving on that fact. The dependence on guest stars on SNL is a good thing if they actually are involved.

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Old 07/06/2003, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for going to all that trouble, Jericho. I found their responses interesting and relevant, even though I disagreed with many of their points. It's all just an opinion anyway.

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Old 07/06/2003, 1:39 PM
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I agreed and disagreed with many of the opinions. One of them was talking about how if a former cast member becomes famous, it makes SNL a better show. Huh? Shouldn't it be how good the cast member was on the show then, not how successful he/she is ten years down the road. Like if Andrew Daly become a huge star one day, does that make MADtv a better TV show? Nope. i really don't think it matters how big Orlando Jones becomes, either way, what he does outside the show doesn't effect it.

However, I'm glad they realised MADtv doesn't rip off any other TV show...especially SNL! Afterall, SNL wasn't the invention of late night sketch comedy on TV.

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Old 07/08/2003, 12:10 AM
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yeah.. i guess they all put in a good argument and stuff.. but I just don't really agree!! I hardly think anything on SNL is funny.. It may have its moments, but at least every show of MADtv makes me laugh! The older eps of SNL might have been kinda funny, but now the current cast is just not!! My mother and watch SNL sometimes, and She couldn't even force a laugh.. My mom doesn't even like me watching madtv, (let alone does she like the show that much), and she still laughs when she ends up watching it with me!! I agree with those people's opinions, on some conditions.

I too agree it doesn't matter who became what.. it doesnt matter that Eddie Murphy became big... or Mike Meyers became famous.. Its not like SNL intended it to happen or anything!! and sure there may be not that many famous people who came out of madtv but the cast is sure funnier than SNL (and more talented too).

And i don't think that one person was right when they said that Stephnie Weir was annoying! heh I like stephnie! GO STEPHNIE!

Anyway.. I kinda agree when they say Madtv is sloppily written.. Although I dont think its ALWAYS sloppily written. maybe about 1 or 2 eps were kind of iffy, but they were still funny!

And just for the fact that SNL has been on for 25 or how many years is probably a contributing factor to why it has so many fans- because they are loyal, and they are "hoping the next season will be better" or whatever!!

I dont even know if what I said made any sense.. but Its my opinion, i'm 12, and ITS 1 in the morning I NEED TO GO TO BED!

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Old 07/08/2003, 12:15 AM
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And one more thing Id like to add- I saw David Alan Grier on Madtv AND when he was on SNL, and SNL put him in really stupid sketches that weren't even the least bit funny... but when he was on the 60 minutes sketch on MAdtv it was hilarious!!! I like him on Life with bonnie too.. heh

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Old 03/28/2004, 9:15 AM
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Isn't that what we did?

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Old 03/28/2004, 11:33 AM
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I can agree and disagree with most of these opinions. But what I think it comes down to, in the very end, is the type of humor in each show that desides who likes which show and so on. MAD seems more "edgy" where SNL has a muted humor to it.

Or, considering this season: No humor at all.....*oh snap*

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Old 03/28/2004, 2:49 PM
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I would definately agree that MADtv is not as good as it used to be...but then again neither is SNL. And I don't think either show will go back to the roots of their glory days. MADtv is still good though, whereas SNL is not IMO.

I personally think that instead of debating we should put on our MADtv gang colors and go bust some caps in the SNLers' asses. WEST SIDE!

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Old 03/28/2004, 10:25 PM
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Sorry about this old post. I should've explained myself. I merely wanted to point out what typical long-time SNL fans are like. This is how they think. I have to admit that they DO put in a good amount of food for thought.

So I hope no one here holds grudges against SNL fans.

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Old 03/28/2004, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jericho
So I hope no one here holds grudges against SNL fans.
Quote:
Originally posted by Bryansgirl
I personally think that instead of debating we should put on our MADtv gang colors and go bust some caps in the SNLers' asses. WEST SIDE!
Lol too late Jericho! Yeah im with ya Bryansgirl, lets take em down "Gangs of New York" style

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Old 03/28/2004, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jericho
Sorry about this old post. I should've explained myself. I merely wanted to point out what typical long-time SNL fans are like. This is how they think. I have to admit that they DO put in a good amount of food for thought.

So I hope no one here holds grudges against SNL fans.
I wasn't mad about this thread at all. I think everyone knew what you wanted to do.

If anyone actaully holds a grudge against someone for a TV show they watch, then that person has a problem (and is pretty weird if you ask me).

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Old 03/29/2004, 12:19 AM
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I think MAD tV has gotten better than SNL over these past couple of years. SNL has just lost it's touch. It used to be great when it had Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, David Spade and other great comedians on it, now it just drags...I dunno, that's how I feel about it.

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Old 03/29/2004, 1:39 PM
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I really miss the great production quality of the sketches from the earlier seasons... they were great. They went out of the studio!! ::gasp:: LOL. I would love to watch for of season 1, 2, and 3, But comedy central rarely shows the classics.

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Old 03/29/2004, 1:41 PM
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They went out of the studio!! ::gasp:: LOL.
I really loved that about the first two seasons too. And I miss the great movie parodies too.

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Old 03/29/2004, 1:43 PM
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I loved the walls mart and spishaks like the once a year maxi pads!

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Old 03/29/2004, 1:44 PM
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Those were great! And I really liked the Incredible Findings sketches.

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Old 03/29/2004, 1:47 PM
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I dont think I've seen any Incredible findings... I probably would if it wasn't for a certain TV network... ::cough:: ComedyCentral ::cough::

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Old 03/29/2004, 1:48 PM
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Location: Indiana
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I know, that pisses me off too. The first two seasons were the very best IMO.

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Old 03/29/2004, 1:51 PM
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Location: Rensselaer, NY
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I am not stupid when it comes to lingo, but what's IMO?

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