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Really, SNL? The Doogie Howser Digital Short’s Not Online? Really?

Guess what, Saturday Night Live?! Ever since taking this job, which by virtue of the fates makes watching you compulsory, I’ve become increasingly familiar with your ongoing gags. Which is why, for today’s post, I have decided to make use of Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler’s ongoing series, “Really!?!”

OK, SNL, you’re going to do a regular feature every week called an SNL Digital Short, and you’re not going to make sure that those digital shorts are available for online distribution every week? Really? I mean, really? You guys can’t get on top of this before airtime? Even though you have a full week to prep these things and in theory could enlist NBC’s massive staff of lawyers to take care of all the necessary clearances? And especially since the Digital Shorts, by definition, are not filmed live?

Because, really, last Saturday’s Digital Short, a flawless orchestral recreation of the Doogie Howser theme song, was great. Neil Patrick Harris playing a Casio keyboard before slowly being joined by a full orchestra, all rising to a majestic crescendo celebrating the classic ’80s TV tune? Really well done. And yet, in order to share it with others we have to embed a bootleg version of this ode to composer Mike Post’s brilliant scoring work. Really.

And this week isn’t the first time a digital short’s been kept offline — and, like last time, I’m guessing it was for music rights reasons. I’m just saying — if you have enough time to find blonde wigs and lab coats for every member of the SNL cast, you have enough time to figure out whether or not you’re going to be able to distribute this short in the nature to which we’ve become accustomed. Really.

Update 1/15: Thanks to those who have pointed out that the clip is now available.

10 Responses to “Really, SNL? The Doogie Howser Digital Short’s Not Online? Really?”

  1. Unfortunately, I cannot watch anything on hulu since I live in Canada. Even though I saw the best SNL digital short since “D— in a Box” live on NBC last week, I would love to enjoy it again online. Please, someone tell me how I can view this again somehow!!!

  2. I completely agree. I thought that was the funniest thing on last week’s episode. I wanted to “hulu” it to my friends, but now, like you, I had ask my old pal google where I might find a clip of it. NBC is missing out on some major advertising by forcing me to use a youtube clip instead of a thoughtfully, ad-laden hulu clip.

    Also, if they secured the rights to use the Doogie Howser theme on tv, please, next time, kill two birds with one stone and grab those internet rights while you’re at it. Really.

  3. I’m not sure I follow your reasoning.

    If they come up with a really funny idea for a video on Tuesday, shoot it on Wednesday and Thursday but then can’t get the digital rights secured by Saturday morning, they should just drop the video?

    Me, I’d prefer they put their best 90 minutes on television and then keep trying for as long as it takes to clear everything.

    Wigs and coats are easy. Not so for online rights, especially for music, even if you’re an institution like SNL. In my experience, sometimes the people who own the TV rights don’t even know if they have the digital rights themselves, especially for work that predates the online video age.

    While it frustrates me that the whole show, musical acts and all, isn’t immediately available, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re trying to clear it all as fast as they can. And whatever they can’t clear seems to get leaked to YouTube by the Lonely Island guys anyway.

  4. Perhaps I’m an old geezer – get off my lawn, by the way – but I’m more interested in seeing NBC open up the archives.

    Over the weekend I found the Clash’s performance of “Straight to Hell” at the US Festival, but it reminded me that my favorite live performance of that song was when they performed it on Saturday Night Live. I searched and searched, but couldn’t find that performance. It USED to be on YouTube, but was removed by NBC/Universal.

    Maybe Woz will buy NBC and make everything OK. One could dream…