When I wasn't taking pictures of toy trucks last night, I watched some television with my wife, including a retrospective of Saturday Night Live from the '90's.
I watched the show fairly religiously when it was the original cast, but I have been an infrequent watcher since then, partially due to my chosen vocation's tendency to have gigs about airtime and partially because when I'm not gigging at that time, I'm probably trying to sleep.
There are people who I know that can quote entire skits from SNL word-for-word at the drop of a hat. (Not until about three weeks ago had I ever seen the Christopher Walken 'more cowbell' episode, but I felt I had, having had it replayed for me dozens of times by lots of different people.)
I forget jokes or worse, punchlines, even as funny as I may think something is. My mind is a humor sieve.
I also am not very good at recognizing popular cultural icons of today, or even, apparently, of the Nineties. There were cast members on SNL that I cannot say I have any recollection of having seen ever.
So this retrospective is not a program that I'd probably watch, were it not for the fact that I can only watch so much CSI of an evening, and that there's a writers' strike going on. This show must have seemed nothing short of a small miracle to its network, as it involved no script, just interviews cobbled together. The only writing going on was done years before, and God knows if those writers get paid again in this context (one would hope they would).
After a parade of cast members singing along with Steve Martin, perennial guest host, they began talking about the early Nineties, those halcyon days of funniness.
Suddenly, there was R.E.M., or more specifically, me with R.E.M., performing "Shiny Happy People" with Kate Pierson from the B-52's. I was in the dead middle of the shot, playing Hammond.
What I remember about that show was that I'd never played that song before. I didn't even know it, really. I sure as hell didn't know it on organ.
But I was on my own tv for about fifteen seconds, another little meteorite come to life again.
(My wife said, "You were cute.")