SNL: S11E12... HOST: GRIFFIN DUNNE... DATE: MARCH 15, 1986

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or...

Mr. Cuckoo And The Cuckoo Clock

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When I was a kid growing up in San Diego, there used to be a two dollar movie theater called The Century Twin that had two theaters each playing double features and once you got in they would allow you to mix and match or stay for all four if that's what you wanted to do. I'm not sure if this was policy but we did this all the time without even trying to sneak.

This theater was in a pretty rough area of town and though not politically correct, we deemed it The Black Theater because that was their main clientele. I never saw this as a negative thing until much later in life because my black friends called it that as well.

Back when the movie After Hours, starring our host Griffin Dunne was one of the featured films at this theater, I witnessed something that I will never forget and is probably only funny to me as a personal inside story because I think I was alone when it happened. I'm going to warn you here that the payoff might not be worth all of this build up but it's one of those dumb stand-out moments to me. 

While I was hanging out in the lobby for my movie to be seated an old European man with a strong accent enter and was very confused as he tried to pick his movie. It didn't help that the staff was all Asian with strong accents of their own, so when the guy kept asking for one ticket to Cuckoo And The Cuckoo Clock, which I pieced together was based on the image from the After Hours poster, the following confusion cracked me up especially since I was an insensitive ten-year-old at the time.

 That all there is to the story but it weird how often it crosses my mind.

Other than that, this may have been my favorite episode aside from the season premiere because there were sixteen segments instead of the baker's dozen count that has been the going trend for most of the other episode of this season. Though the writing wasn't all that much better, none of the sketches were long enough to where I got bored which is, for the most part, all that I need to get me to like an otherwise average season/episode.

I don't understand how this hasn't been obvious from the start because sketch length is almost always a factor in seasons/episodes that just don't work because sketches are supposed to be bite-sized bits of humor and not an attempt to drag out a premise into an epic tale.

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

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with A Message From Tommy Flanagan (AKA the Pathological Lair) where he lies about be the owner of NBC and how SNL is getting great ratings this season with "great" reviews but before going into any real evidence that things are going well because it's just not there, he cuts the scene off by announcing, "Live from New York..."
  2. Griffin Dunne then officially opened the show with a monolog about his nerves in the build up to a live show. He then claimed to be doing fine now that the actual day has come but every time he nervously ran his hand through his hair he would pull out a big ole clump. He then took off his jacket revealing huge sweat stains before performing the drum solo to wipe out using just one hand which was a pretty amazing stunt.   
  3. Double R & Son then returned this time the crazy family is selling the surplus from the Ferdinand Marcos estate that they somehow managed to acquire.  
  4. Mr. Monopoly was a sketch that took place in an interrogation room where a man busted for murder was waiting for his lawyer. Mr. Monopoly then arrives as said Lawyer who gets the man off with a Get Out Of Jail, Free card that actually works. It turns out Damon Wayans got fired from the show for it just for deciding to make his character gay at the last moment. Though the gay aspect didn't add to the scene it also didn't take anything away because other than the premise it wasn't that great to begin with.
  5. You Bet Your Finger was a game show sketch where contestants get the chance to risk their fingers in an attempt to win an around the world vacation. If this concept wasn't enough, this week's contestant, Griffin Dunne, keeps losing fingers due to the guillotine malfunctions.
  6. We then got a message from Nancy Reagan who is trying to discredit claim from her daughter's book even though it's supposed to be fictional. Nancy then goes on to promote a book of her own that's "pure fiction" entitled Bad Seed and is a rebuttal to the daughter's "fictional" claims making her out to be the bad guy.
  7. Buon Giorno, Ireland, Buon Giorno was a fake ad for Guido Sarducci who plays the most famous Italian singer in all of Ireland.
  8. Rosanne Cash then took to the stage to perform Hold On.
  9. The early version of the Mo' Money boys from In Living Color, Two Jones, returned, this time as cable installers who will hook you up with illegal cable by stealing it from your neighbors.
  10. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, they are not even trying to link The Weekend Dancers to the story in any way, they are just purely out there for the skin and A. Whitney Brown got another Big Picture segment where he discusses what later became the Iran Contra Scandal and America's meddling in the Middle East as well as Central America.
  11. You Can Pick Your Nose, You Can Pick Your Friends, But You Can't Pick Your Friends' Noses was a serious talk show sketch where professionals discuss the criminal justice system. The two attorney's being interviewed are close friends and one keeps trying to test the title of the show by attempting to pick his best buddies nose but the host just isn't having it.
  12. Penn and Teller then returned to the show for another one of their comedic magic acts. This week the two taught us as viewers how to rip off people with a common card trick then showed us the very convoluted techniques required to pull it off.
  13. Business Beat was a talk show sketch hosted by Danitra Vance who interviews people about their crazy ass business ventures.
  14. Rosanne Cash then returned to the stage to perform I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me.
  15. The Zombie was a sketch where Joan Cusack is making a midnight cup of tea when she has a run in with her daughter's ex who is now walking the world as a zombie who has the look but talks per-usual, doesn't have a craving for brains and only wants to go back to living his life with his girlfriend who doesn't want anything to do with him because of the whole living dead thing even though the mom is very supportive.
  16. Finally, Griffin Dunne closed out the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

This might not be my favorite episode from this season I think it's a close second place with these three favorite moments. First, I loved Buon Giorno, Ireland, Buon Giorno because I love Don Novello and the idea of the world's most famous Italian singer in Ireland is funny to me. Next, I really liked the Pathological Liar's introduction to the show claiming how this season is doing just fine because for the first time I actually found the self-deprecating humor toward the show to be accurate considering this season's content and because the show bashing came as a joke from an actual cast member and not from a host bashing the show while trying to get us excited about their upcoming half-assed performance. Finally, I was a fan of The Zombie sketch because it was another one of those cute, end of the night, sketches that is more charming than funny that I found to be pretty fun.

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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.