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SNL Draft - the morning after

This email was sent by Rob to the others the morning after the draft.

So, Good morning, bitches. (No offense intended; I use that term scientifically, as I will explain below.) I hope you've slept off your draft-induced hangovers and are now staring, groggily, at your poor excuse for a cast, wondering what in God's name you were thinking. Because your cast sucks. At least, from the scientific standpoint.

Science is that wonderful arbiter of objectivity. (Objectivity is that wonderful trait that helps us avoid, say, picking Chris Elliot when Bill Murray is still available.) Science is based on fact and observation. Using the SNL web site, I was able to download a series of facts about each of the cast members: number of seasons on the cast, number of guest appearances, number of repeating characters, and number of impressions performed. Using these stats, I devised a formula to generate each player's objective "power ranking."

The formula is weighted, so that some factors matter more (i.e. if you're on the cast for just one season, you're not getting ranked very high, no matter how many impressions you can do).

Based on this formula, the top ten cast members include: Phil Hartman (#1 power ranking), Will Ferrell, Darrell Hammond, Dana Carvey, Tim Meadows, Jon Lovitz, and Jan Hooks. Each of these had a power ranking of 78 or higher. (Galen -- your side bet was a sucker's bet.)

Now, although only a few of these are emotional fan favorites, please remember, science knows best. Many emotional favorites are near the top of the list, to be sure, so they get their due. But it's true that some founding cast members tend to trail some of the more recent cast members, perhaps because their lust for Hollywood, cocaine, or the grave led them to leave the show too early, and thus not develop the "power" of, say, a Horatio Sanz.

Some of the worst are: Peter Akroyd (1.5 power score), Chris Elliot (a 3.5 score) and Sarah Silverman (a 4.5 score) -- sorry, Jason. For reference, Gilbert Gottfried is scored at 4.5. So you can see, the rankings do work. But some of our favorites are these cellar dwellers. Drafting favorites, or hiring a cast member because you wish you could fuck her, can lead to very low power rankings, and herpes.

So, how did we do? Not so good. Galen's number-one overall pick, John Belushi, had a power ranking of 23. The number two pick overall, Charles' Eddie Murphy, had a power ranking of 40. My pick, number three overall, was Chevy Chase with a power ranking of 31. Clearly, Billy Beane we're not.

By this formula, each cast's combined power ranking is (in draft order):

Galen: 408.5

Galen's cast is, from the first pick, mid-level players. Not until he drafts Jan Hooks (his third selection) does he sniff the top ten. Don Novello (#63) was picked at least two rounds too early. Amazingly, Galen left plenty of firepower on the table with each pick. I'll admit it. He rattled me. I could not imagine what he was thinking. I suppose he was aiming for a funny, rather than powerful, cast. Weird. What saved his bacon were the late picks of Fred Amisen (power ranking of 26) and Maya Rudolph (power ranking of 18) in the late rounds. Tina Fey (#60 overall, #5 anchor) for news was a solid, although not spectacular, choice.

Charles: 472

Now, clearly, Charles knows this shit cold. He's obviously participated in many mock drafts before, and he was ready to intimidate. After Galen's pick of John Belushi for #1 overall, Charles lets Galen know: "YOU FUCKED UP!!!" Indeed, Galen did. But then so did Charles. His pick, for #2 overall, was Eddie Murphy -- a top 50 candidate, to be sure, but he ignored Phil Hartman (power ranking #1). Charles proceeds to load up from the top tier of the power rankings: Murray (#21), Lovitz (#8 power ranking), and later Hammond (#4) and Piscopo (#26). But he's picking with heart, not his brain. A man of science would have cherry-picked Hammond before Murray. And later he picks Stiller (#74), who apparently stored up his power-ranking for his own TV show. After the 4th round selection of Nora Dunn (#34), Charles thought Kristen Wiig (#82) was the best woman left -- forgetting that Tina Fey (#60) was still available as an actress. Or maybe he had the yips: Julia-Louis Dreyfus (#52), Ana Gasteyer (#12), Julia Sweeney (#49), Amy Poehler (#13), and Rachel Dratch (#11) were all available when he made his boneheaded Ben Stiller pick. But overall, Charles' cast is one of the strongest.

(I'll save myself for last.)

Alan: 257

From the very first -- Al Franken (#37) -- Alan dug himself into the cellar. It was yet another first-round selection that let #1 Phil Hartman slide. Luckily, Dan Ackroyd (#18) and Laraine Newman (#36) were huge finds lingering in the third and fourth rounds, but Alan followed those good discoveries with draft dodgers Harry Shearer (#58) and A. Whitney Brown (#71). Harry Shearer makes sense if you follow up with Christopher Guest and get some Spinal Tap skits out of it, but A. Whitney Brown in the sixth round? Hammond, Meadows, Crystal and Piscopo were all still available. (And Hammond and Meadows were still sitting at the presumed lottery picks' table, looking more and more forlorn, their mommas crying into their big hats, as minor role take their guaranteed salaries. A travesty.) Alan does show good sense in picking up Dennis Miller in the second round, #10 overall. A good choice, because aside from his low overall score (#71) as he's the #2 news anchor in the entire draft. I had planned on taking Miller with my first round pick, until I saw that Galen and Charles left Chevy Chase (#31 overall, #1 anchor) for the pickings. Alan mops up with Gross and Vance -- both going in garbage rounds as expected -- but Alan loses all sense by picking O'Donoghue (#105) in the final round, with a dozen more powerful players undrafted.

T. Mike: 534

The crazy-eye killa of this draft. He knew that, by his draft position, he'd get consecutive picks. Therefore, he could pick up any matched pair. And he got the #1 duo on the table: Myers (#15) and Carvey (#5). I'm sure he picked them in reverse power-ranking order just to fuck with our heads. Then, he picks up an all-star top-fifty supporting cast: Farley (#26), Sandler (#28), Schneider (#44), and somehow finds top-ten pick Horation Sanz (#10) in the sixth. Once the men are secured, he turns his steely-yet-crazy-eyed gaze upon the women: Jackson (#51), Gasteyer (#13), and Duke (#66). Please note that T. Mike did not make a selection below the top 66, while one of y'all bitches dipped below #66 four times -- twice below 100. Who might that be?

Jason: 337.5

Jason, who claimed at the start to be the most unprepared, proved true to his word. After a making us all look dumb with his first selection, Phil Hartman (#1), Jason stank up the joint with Chris Elliot (#108). Chris Rock (#45) was a poor third-round pick, given the talent left. Martin Short (#56), Christopher Guest (#79), and Sarah Silverman (#103) were all picked a round or two too early. What's going on? Have we found our Billy Beane? No, clearly not, as he picks the loathesome Brian Doyle-Murray (#75) and even worse Kevin Nealon (#7 anchor) for the news desk. Amy Poehler (#20) in the last round would have been an inspired selection, if it had in fact been inspired, rather than desperately picking the first remaining female cast member Galen could name.

Rob: 733

You see, you're all my bitches. Scientifically speaking, of course.

My plan was to lock in the best newscaster I could first, and then build a cast around that. I expected to settle happily for Dennis Miller, but as I said Galen rattled me, but I was able to recover and select Chevy Chase (#1 news anchor) in the first round. I took Will Ferrell (#2) in the second round, and Chris Kattan (#4) in the third -- a choice that everyone thought was mind-bogglingly dumb. (His nearly 100 power points, combined with Will Ferrell's and Tim Meadows' (#7), by themselves beats Jason's total cast score.) I was playing to win, bitches. I doubled up on Chase as actor -- a dumb move, considering who was left: Sanz, Farley, Hammond, et al. My heart was pounding with the excitement, and doubtless all that blood it sent into my brain was having some affect on my logic and reason. I knew that drafting Spade (#29) was like trading for Sprewell -- the fans will hate the move, but his 47 points were sorely needed. Then I added Cheri Oteri (#22) for the Spartan Cheerleader skit (I half expected Charles to block me on that). Then I saw Meadows (#6) was still available, so I got them too. Molly Shannon (#19) and Rachel Dratch (#11) and were also highly-ranked undrafted players, so I mopped up with them. In the garbage round, somehow Jimmy Fallon (#8 overall, 90 power points) was standing there, hat in hand, so I grabbed him. Again, my last four selections beat Alan's total combined cast score.

Now, secure in the knowledge of your bitchiness, you may be asking "These power rankings do, indeed, reveal heretofore unseen truths about the casts. But could they be improved?" Absolutely, but only in the context of the casts themselves. For instance, while my cast is entirely all-stars, what if they don't gel?

T. Mike's cast is, in fact, the cast whose parts fit together the best. This can be easily shown by listing all of the skits that his cast can perform -- i.e. Mike Myers + Dana Carvey = Wayne's World. And along these lines, Charles' cast could too be a contender for the best cast.

The next step for these rankings is for me to generate a list of all skits and all cast members, and determine the total number of known skits that can be performed by each cast. Popular or funny skits will be weighted more highly than unpopular or unfunny skits.

Then, we'll really see who's the bitch here. Scientifically speaking, that is.

-- Rob

RndDrafterDrafteeDraftee ScoreDraftee Rank
1GalenJohn Belushi5523
CharlesEddie Murphy3240
RobChevy Chase4531
AlanAl Franken3837
JasonPhil Hartman1131
T.MikeMike Myers72.515
2T.MikeDana Carvey99.55
jasonChris Elliott3.5107
AlanDennis Miller1369
RobWill Ferrell1112
CharlesBill Murray5721
GalenGilda Radner42.532
3GalenJan Hooks7810
CharlesJon Lovitz81.58
RobChris Kattan103.54
AlanDan Aykroyd71.517
JasonChris Rock2945
T.MikeChris Farley51.525
4T.MikeNorm MacDonald3241
jasonMartin Short2156
AlanLaraine Newman38.536
RobChevy Chase4531
CharlesNora Dunn39.534
GalenTina Fey1960
5GalenDon Novello16.563
CharlesJane Curtin39.533
RobCheri Oteri56.522
AlanHarry Shearer2058
JasonSarah Silverman4.5103
T.MikeVictoria Jackson2850
6T.MikeAdam Sandler48.527
jasonChristopher Guest10.579
AlanA. Whitney Brown12.571
RobDavid Spade4729
CharlesDarrell Hammond107.53
GalenBilly Crystal27.551
7GalenGarrett Morris3935
CharlesJoe Piscopo5424
RobTim Meadows966
AlanMary Gross2453
JasonBrian Doyle-Murray1275
T.MikeRob Schneider30.543
8T.MikeHoratio Sanz819
jasonKevin Nealon74.513
AlanTim Kazurinsky2947
RobMolly Shannon62.520
CharlesKristen Wiig9.581
GalenMaya Rudolph70.518
9GalenFred Armisen5126
CharlesBen Stiller1274
RobRachel Dratch76.511
AlanDanitra Vance6.593
JasonJulia Sweeney2849
T.MikeAna Gasteyer74.512
10T.MikeRobin Duke1666
jasonAmy Poehler62.519
AlanMichael O'Donoghue4106
RobJimmy Fallon907
CharlesJane Curtin39.533
GalenTerry Sweeney9.583

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