'Saturday Night Live's' losing case of poor taste - and other issues; Wit is missing in 'Live' -- show to be replaced

Good riddance to ''Saturday Night Live.'' Maybe it is not proper protocol to kick a show when it is down, but amid rumors this NBC late-night variety show is about to expire - to be replaced by either a Steve Martin or David Letterman show - I would like to add my objection to the gross, subjuvenile nature of too much of its material.

Only a few weeks ago, for instance, I tuned in and saw a skit about hanging curtains in the dark which, under the guise of satire, depended upon vulgarity as a substitute for wit. Then there were satirical commercials so like the real commercials that one had to watch the real ones to make sure one wasn't missing an essential part of the show.

Maybe a program that aims at late-night teen-agers feels it has to be as callow as its audience. But it has been my experience that youngsters can be taught to appreciate much more sophisticated material than ''Saturday Night Live'' seems to think they can appreciate. Sure, they appreciate way-out humor -- but they like it best when it also includes genuine wit rather than coarse shock words and situations.

So if ''Saturday Night Live'' is to be dropped from the air, I congratulate the new NBC management for its good judgment -- and its true sense of humor. Two bad examples

Women's liberation should not mean men's degradation.

There is a growing tendency in both cinema and television to glamorize males as sex objects - and conversely, to portray women in the same stereotypical macho way in which men were often portrayed.

Two recent television shows are prime examples of this trend -- last month's ''For Ladies Only,'' with Greg Harrison on NBC, and last Saturday's ''Dream House,'' with John Schneider, on CBS. In the CBS show in particular, ''Dukes of Hazzard'' star John Schneider portrayed a man who almost never wore a shirt, seemingly preferring to bare his manly chest in just about every other scene.

While that was obviously a simple-minded ploy to gain female viewership, what was really objectionable was the way the heroine was portrayed -- a woman whose promiscuity was constantly flaunted and made to appear completely socially acceptable.

Promiscuity is not a symbol of freedom, be it male or female promiscuity. And it is misleading American audiences if such neurotic behavior is casually slipped into prime-time scripts as if it were the norm.

To a great extent American TV and cinema have finally purged themselves of a great deal of the sexism that turned women into mere sex objects. Let's not allow the TV image of liberated women to slip into the same sexist stereotypical mold that men too often occupy.

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