My Content

SNL

The ‘Right’ College Is The One You Go To

by Kevin Kelton

I got an 1190 when I took the SAT in the 1970s. And though I went on to become a fairly successful professional writer, my verbal score lagged far below my math score, proving that the SAT’s ability to test “aptitude” was pretty poor in my case.

In the college application world, anything under a 1200 SAT score is considered modest at best, and I ended up getting into Boston University and a few state schools, not the prestigious universities many of my high school classmates got into. Back then B.U. was nowhere near as respected as it is today. But it was still darn expensive, so after my freshmen year I transferred to a somewhat dreary New York state public university to cut my tuition costs. I had adored living in Boston and going to B.U., loved that they had a Division 1 hockey team, and had forged several close friendships I was loathe to abandon. I ended my freshman year devastated that I had to give all that up.

Sounds like a pretty sad story, doesn’t it? But it wasn’t. 

Because while I was studying Business Administration on my new upstate NY campus, I met a guy at the top of our dorm tower watching ˆSaturday Night Live” who shared my passion for comedy, and learned he and some fellow comedy nerds were writing and producing a radio sitcom for the school’s AM station. They invited me to join in, and soon I was working regularly at the station as a disc jockey and newscaster, things I had never thought to try before. In my senior year I roomed with that guy I had met watching SNL and we began writing and hosting our own sketch comedy show on the school’s new FM station. 

I graduated SUNY Albany with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Marketing (areas for which I had little passion), but I chose to pursue a comedy writing career instead. Forty years later it seems I made the right choice, having written and produced several hit TV series – including an Emmy nomination writing for Saturday Night Live, a dream of its ownand building a very substantial nest egg in the process. Plus that roomie who shared my love of comedy is still my best friend. And it all happened at a school I wasn’t the least bit excited to go to.

I didn’t get into the colleges of my choice. But the journey I did take turned out great.

The same is true for my oldest son. He got into a great in-state public school, UC Santa Barbara, but he still pined to go to the University of Wisconsin where his best friend was attending. So my son applied to transfer to WISCO, but the required collateral paperwork didn’t arrive in time, and he had to stay on at SB. So my son dedicated himself to his newfound passion of sportscasting and is now the play-by-play announcer for several UCSB varsity teams. He plans on pursuing broadcasting as a career, and he knows that the opportunities he got to hone his talents at SB might not have been available to him on the Madison campus. 

Instead of getting into the school of his dreams, he turned his existing school into a dream experience.

I also know someone who eked their way into Harvard, was miserable, and quickly bombed out there, then “found” themself at a less-prestigious public university.

Let this be a lesson (albeit anecdotal) to the high school students who are sweating out the college acceptance wait right now, and to the parents who think their kids’ lives will be ruined if they don’t con an elite university into accepting them. It’s okay to have a dream college, but you don’t have to go to it to live a dream life.

Whatever college you attend will most likely turn out to be the right one for you. Because the one you get into and do attend is the one where you’ll make lifelong friendships, meet lovers you will never forget (and maybe one you’ll marry), find new interests that weren’t on your radar before, and have multiple adventures that will enrich you life forever.

Sadly, we have turned the college acceptance process into an end-all, be-all destination instead of what it should be: a single step on the wonderfully unpredictable journey of life.

So to the student running to the mailbox (or your email) every few hours waiting for that acceptance letter that will change your life, slow down and enjoy the excitement of the wait. Whatever school you attend will be the right school for you, I promise. In all likelihood, within months of arriving on campus, you’ll be living a great new life and rarely give those other schools another thought.

And to the parents of high school seniors, stop trying to micromanage the process. Your job is to protect them from harm, not from minor life disappointments. If your daughter or son doesn’t get into Yale or USC, it won’t be the end of their world. But if they think they’re somehow a failure at 18 because they didn’t live up to your unrealistically high standards, it might.

Let your kids try. Let them fall short. Let them learn to accept adversity and persevere. Those are the lessons that will propel them to success, whatever the name of the school on their diplomas. 

And once they graduate, let them pursue careers in comedy writing or sportscasting or ballet if that is their calling. Love them for who they are, not who you’ve always wanted them to be. Parenting is not about gaming the system to their advantage. It’s about teaching them to excel and be happy with who they are.

Chances are, they’ll turn out just fine. Even with a state school education.

Kevin Kelton is a cohost of The More Perfect Union podcast and runs the Facebook political group, Open Fire Politics.

 

Trump Train Wreck (Ep. 185)

This episode looks at the legal assault on Obamacare, the looming government shutdown, the continuing tragedy on the southern border, and the latest in the Robert Mueller Russia probe. Plus check out our Number 1 ranking on Podranker.com.

The Price Is Wrong (Ep. 120)

Episode 120 of “The More Perfect Union” podcast covers Trump’s various feuds with the Mayor of San Juan, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Price, Rex Tillerson, Kim “Little Rocket Man” Jong-un, Cuba, China, Canada, Boeing, the estate tax, John Kasich, Bob Corker, and even Alec Baldwin. And that was one of his good  weeks!

Like what you heard? Subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a podcast. 

And if you like talking politics, join us in our Facebook political debate group, OPEN FIRE, where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Greg, Rebekah, Cliff, Molly, Helena, and lots of other smart, fun people.

Find us on Twitter at @MPUpodcast

More Perfect, After Dark: Our Favorite Political Books

In this mid-week “after-dark” episode, we go behind the scenes to hear the gang discuss their favorite political books, learn about Kevin’s days as a writer for “Night Court,” share some laughs over the Kellyanne Conway sofa-gate scandal, and reminisce about infamous GOP sex scandals of years past.

Like what you heard? Subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a podcast! 

And if you like talking politics, join us in our Facebook political debate group, OPEN FIRE, where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Greg, Rebekah, Cliff, Molly, Helena, and lots of other smart, fun people.

What Trump Is Getting Right

 

Episode 78 of The More Perfect Union podcast attempts to talk about what the 45th president is getting right after three weeks. But when we exhaust that topic after a minute or two, the discussion moves to the Mitch McConnell–Elizabeth Warren senate flair-up and how Saturday Night Live is getting under the president’s skin. Then we take a look at the new administration’s most lovable geek and put our spin on Ivanka’s war with Nordstrom.

Like what you heard? Subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a podcast! 

And if you like talking politics, join us in our Facebook political debate group, OPEN FIRE, where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, Greg, D.J., Rebekah, Cliff, Helena, and lots of other smart, fun people.

The Big Ban Theory

Episode 75 of “The More Perfect Union” podcast covers Donald Trump’s executive order for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration and Lorne Michael’s indefinite ban of SNL writer Katie Rich.

Like what you heard? Subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a podcast! And don’t forget to Rate and Review us on iTunes.

And if you like talking politics, join us in our Facebook political debate group, OPEN FIRE, where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, Greg, D.J., Rebekah, Cliff, and lots of other smart, fun people.

Hollywood Nights

Episode 65 of The More Perfect Union podcast series covers President-elect Trump’s power meeting with Hollywood mega-agent Ari Emmanuel, the Jeff Sessions nomination for Attorney General, Mike Pence’s “Hamilton” kerfuffle, the Democratic party’s looming battles for the DNC Chair and House Minority Leader posts, and what our hosts are thankful for as Thanksgiving approaches.

Like what you heard? Subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a podcast! And don’t forget to Rate and Review us on iTunes.

If you like talking politics, join us on Facebook in OPEN FIRE, our political group where you can discuss news and politics with Kevin, D.J., Greg, Emily, Cliff, and lots of other smart, fun people.

Don’t Score the Debate Until SNL Does

Immediately after Monday night’s debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the cable networks will use pundits and flash polls to try to tell you who won. Don’t believe them. On Tuesday they will parade out campaign surrogates and online polls to tell you who won. Don’t believe them. On Wednesday and Thursday they will use newspaper editorials and major national polls to tell you who won. And you may think by then you know how it all played out.

But you still won’t.

Don’t score the first presidential debate until Saturday Night Live lampoons it when the show returns for its 42nd season on October 1, and the news media reacts to that event. Only then will you know who really came out on top.

Though it’s only a comedy show, SNL has set the national perception for presidential debates going back four decades. Political pundits can analyze and deconstruct the real matchup, but well-written satire almost always creates the more lasting – and damaging – impression. Read More

Donald’s Terrible, Awful, Not-So-Good Week

SEGMENTS:

Could Gary Kroeger be the next Al Franken?

Gary channels Walter Mondale and Alan Alda (and millennials go, “Whaaaat?)

Donald Trump’s terrible, awful, not-so-good week (and Republicans go, “Whaaaat?”)

Hillary Clinton gets caught in a lie about lying (and the media goes, “Whaaaat?”)

Gary Johnson does a Town Hall (and 90% of America goes, “Whaaaat?”)

State of the Race

The Politics of Presidential Impressions

As you know, I often pontificate about politics without any professional experience, inside expertise, or anyone listening. So today I thought I’d change things up a bit by writing about a subject I actually do know something about: political comedy. Or, as it’s known in the industry, political comedy.

In my distant past, I’ve written for dozens of TV series and major bombs, including election year stints at Saturday Night Live and Fridays, a truly unmemorable sketch comedy show that ran from 1980 to who cares. So my professional bona fides clearly qualify me to make stuff up on this topic.

Starting with SNL in 1976 AD, it’s been an American tradition for sketch comedy shows to mock and humiliate presidential candidates, much to the chagrin of everyone involved but Donald Trump. And what I’ve noticed is that you can predict a lot from the impression the actors do. For instance, I can predict with fair accuracy that these debate sketches will happen every four years, except February. And that Morning Joe will show clips without either host understanding them. Read More

Episode 8: Trump on SNL; Carson on the Ropes

Segments:

Election Day 2015 and the Kentucky governor’s race

Donald Trump on SNL

Ben Carson’s mendacity issues

George H. W. Bush’s new memoire

MSNBC Democratic Forum

Obama rejects the Keystone XL Pipeline 

State of the races