SNL: S11E09... HOST: RON REAGAN... DATE: FEBRUARY 8, 1986

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or...

... Nope, It Was Only The Son

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As far as quality goes this was the bare minimum an episode has to accomplish to keep me satisfied. Luckily, very few episodes from this season have hit this mark so I was rather delighted by this episode even though I went into the view expecting the worst because a magazine guy got to host because his father was president.

I know, there is more to Ronald Reagan Jr. than just being the president's son but from what I remember about him from that time was that he was a guy with a smile and a sense of humor that was good enough for an average citizen but felt more fitting for talk shows that really got a kick out over how much of a polar opposite he was from his father when it came to their political stance.

I remember that being cool at the time but now that it's over three decades later and the ex-President is dead, this information is nothing more than a fun fact which I wasn't expecting to pay off.

I turned out being right and this info didn't pay off, in fact, it led to my least favorite sketch of the night where this father/son disagreement was crowbarred into the plot of Back To The Future where other than the movie references that was absolutely zero payoff.

Other than that, this was a pretty decent episode where Ronald Reagan Jr. did have such a great positive energy you couldn't help but feel that he was genuinely having fun which is often enough to keep an episode from failing even if each and every sketch was a flop, which thank god, wasn't the case tonight.

 Alright, now that I've gotten that out of my system, it's time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with the Ron and Nancy Reagan calling Ronald Reagan Jr. from Camp David to tell him to keep an eye on the White House while they are gone. This leads to a Risky Business parody with Ronny Jr. sliding around the Capital Building in his underwear and sock to Old Time Rock And Roll, ending with the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Ron Reagan then officially opened the show with a monolog where he jokes about the doors that have opened for him since becoming the President's son. Then claims to be the second most powerful person in the world due to these nepotistic privileges, which might be true because he's nice but not great at delivering a joke yet here he is as the host. 
  3. We then got a repeat of the Where You're Going from a couple episodes ago.
  4. The Pat Stevens Show returned once again for the same half interesting setup where Nora Dunn starts by answering viewer mail, then moving on to her guest, who was Little Richard this week. The two had a somewhat funny interview but this sketch, in general, reminds me of The Joe Franklin Show parodies from last season where the subtleties of the host's personality that got the audience to chuckle at best were completely lost on me because I never saw any of the material that's being referenced.  
  5. Dalkon Shield Trout Lures was a fake ad for a new fishing lure built from recalled Dalkon Shield IUD after the parent company got sued out of business. 
  6. The Reagan family then replaced the McFly family in a Back To The Future reboot where Ronny Jr. played Marty who went back in time using a crazy blender to save his dad from an accident that took him out of acting which I thought would lead to the world being saved from a Ronald Sr. president but instead the sketch was hit by the convoluted curse from this season and Ron Reagan Jr. who even in the sketch is a liberal, talked his dad who was liberal as well into his uber conservative stance in order to facilitate the relationship between Sr. and his mom and ended up being how Sr. actually became President, which was also kind of funny considering the source material but the steps to get there did make all that much sense due to some shorthand logic jumps from taking for granted that people knew the original movie. 
  7. The Nelsons then took to the stage to perform Walk Away.
  8. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, The Weekend Update Dancers did a quick routine to celebrate a drop in oil prices due to a shady deal made with Saudi Arabia where they ignored an oil pricing pact. A. Whitney Brown also dropped in for his first news visit and the introduction of his Big Picture segment where he delves deeper into the news of the day.
  9. Penn and Teller then returned to the show for another magic trick. This week they did their classic bit where it looks like they've discovered anti-gravity but it turns out they are actually hanging upside-down and the image has simply been flipped.
  10. We then got another installment of The Limits Of The Imagination, at this point I'm tired of the super long introduction but I have yet to be disappointed by the meat of the actual sketch. This week, we witness a case of mistaken identity where no one recognizes Ronny Jr. even though he's in his own house. It finally turned out that all anyone needed was a glance at his ID to figure that he's actually telling the truth because he is just that unforgettable.
  11. Shakespeare in the Slums was a sketch that took place in the projects where the residents perform a section of Romeo And Juliet and Danitra Vance gives a ghetto Cliff's Notes breakdown of what we are about to see get acted out.
  12. The Nelsons then returned to the stage to perform Do You Know What I Mean?
  13. David's Woody Allen Obsession was a sketch where Jon Lovitz is out with Joan Cusack before watching the latest Woody Allen flick and he such a fan that he pretty much lives the life of a Woody Allen impersonator which Joan starts to realize that she cannot stand which only adds to the similarities as she leaves Lovitz alone to have a side conversation with the camera.
  14. Finally, Ron Reagan closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

This might not have been a great show but it was a fun show for sure with these as my favorite moments. First, I loved Penn And Teller's Upside-Down Magic because I fully remember this sketch as a kid and how it changed how I looked for trickery in television to where I started to guess how practical special fx were done. Next, really liked Risky Business in the White House because it's crazy how even to this day, that is such an iconic opening image to a scene. Finally, I was a fan of Shakespeare in the Slums because I was a fan of Danitra Vance's performance in her mini one-woman show.

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Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.