SNL: S11E15... HOST: TONY DANZA... DATE: APRIL 19, 1986

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or...

What???

No Mention Of ANGELA At All???

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Tony Danza always reminded me of just a regular guy who somehow landed in acting even though he's not really cut out for it at all. That's not to say that he didn't earn his success, or do what his parts called for, but there is such an air of averageness to his personality that you want to root for him no matter what.

There is also a sense of simplicity to Mr. Danza that may stem from the fact that Tony is the name of the character he plays in almost every one of his roles. I don't know about you but when I see an actor's resume and fifty percent of their characters share the actor's name, for the most part, you are seeing the actual person with not actual acting involved, which again, isn't always a bad thing but these actors are almost always average at best.

Speaking of average, this was an average performance, on an average episode, toward the end of a slightly below average season. In fact, it's so average that I started to type this review as soon as the viewing was over and now that I'm three paragraphs in, I've already almost completely forgotten what I just saw because of this, I don't really have much more to say.

So, now that my average review of this average episode is over, it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you... 

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started in the SNL locker room with Robert Downey Jr. and Anthony Michael Hall dressed in military garb ready to join the Navy in order to join the fight in Libya. Randy Quaid then steps in and tells them a tale from Vietnam as if he were a war hero with a warning but it turns out his tale is just part of a script that he's writing and the other two are just dressed up to get girls and not to actually fight. Once they all realize they are on the same team, the group of three then turned to the camera to announce, "Live from New York..." 
  2. Tony Danza then officially opened the show with a with a bit of a tap dance before joking about his big Italian family claiming that they are there and when he asks them to stand the entire audience gets feet and waves. He then goes on and attempts to joke about the news for a bit before rambling about his boxing career. It's not really that this monolog is bad but it is extremely scattered.
  3. We then went into the White House where Nancy Reagan was doing some redecorating, which involved smashing a vase that she couldn't find a place for. When the maid arrives to pick things up she informs Nancy that someone just got caught sneaking into the oval office and that someone turned out to be Nancy's secret Personal Trainer who she shares her crazy workout routine with in her efforts to get a few pointers. 
  4. Laurie Anderson then took to the stage to perform Baby Doll. 
  5. Lyndon LaRouche Theatre was a PBS type piece where we saw a performance play out between familiar names that are still being thrown around as the real underground world rulers as the Queen of England gives Henry Kissinger heroin to distribute to the US East Coast to keep the citizens addicted. Kissinger backs out due to another controversy and Prince Charles takes his place since he was heading to Florida with Princess Di for an American Vacation. 
  6. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, we got yet another pointless performance from the Weekend Update Dancers, Nora Dunn also returned as her French model character where she relates French politics to talking to a gorgeous woman, and Rock'em Sock'em Robots acted out the latest Spinks fight.
  7. We then went to a boxing match between Tony Danza and Anthony Michael Hall where we got to see the effects of the new 30-Second Count rule that allows Tony to do interviews while the referee is counting.
  8. Penn and Teller then returned to the show for another one of their comedic magic routines. This week the pair showed us the old cut the cord trick where you cut the cord in half then reveal that it's still intact, only for this trick the cord was a snake.
  9. Big-Time Professional Golf was a fake promotional spot for an upcoming golf tournament where Jon Lovitz interviews golfers who act as if they were professional wrestlers.  
  10. We then went to Tony Danza and Joan Cusack who play a couple lying in bed who are discussing how much they love each other and who loves the other one more. This leads to a "What if?" game where the two throughout scenarios to test just how unconditional their love actually is. At first, it starts out fun but then Joan throws out a cheating scenario that sounds like it could be real which freaks Tony out until he gets a call from his mom where he then has to play the "I love you more" game with her as the scene fades out.
  11. Master Thespian then returned with his PBS style show instead of in a random sketch. In tonight's sketch the Master Thespian gave us a Masterclass in his brand of mastered "ACTING!!!"
  12. Laurie Anderson then returned to the stage to perform Day The Devil
  13. Biff and Salena then returned for another adorable end of the night sketch showing these two quirky characters falling in love. This week, the two are hanging out in a country bar during open mic night where Biff what's to show Selena his special skill but needs a bit of encouragement from her before he can take the stage. He finally builds up the courage and sings her the Butt Dance song to the tune of a blend of honky-tonk style songs.
  14. Finally, Tony Danza closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Although this was an extremely average episode, these three moments still stood out to me as the best. First, I loved the Big-Time Professional Golf sketch because I love the idea of the most boring sport to watch being treated like professional wrestling. Next, I really liked the 30 Second-Count sketch because the idea is funny but I loved how it pointed out just how long thirty-seconds actually is. Finally, I was a fan of Biff and Salena's return because I love having this quirky couple to root for even though they don't really make me laugh.

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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.