SNL: S11E17... HOST: JIMMY BRESLIN AND MARVIN HAGLER... DATE: MAY 17, 1986

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or...

An Interesting Night With

A Grumpy Journalist And A Boxer

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Though the name Jimmy Breslin sounded familiar I wasn't sure why he was famous up until the opening monolog. Up until then, I figured he was some sort of sports caster being that he was co-hosting this episode with Marvelous Marvin Hagler who I've seen fight several times in my life.

It turns out, just like last week with the Catherine Oxenberg and Paul Simon the pairing seems to have nothing to do with logic but was instead an attempt to get ratings as the show was seriously almost canceled this year. Though I know the cancellation aspect of this theory is correct, the double host rating stunt as an attempt to get resigned is something I just pulled out of the air.

For this season, I actually like the duo hosts role because it keeps the sketches shorter plus it gives the writers from this season, who needed some help, more material to work with. I could totally see this episode going terribly wrong if either host were to host on their own, with Jimmy Breslin stuck in drawn out journalism scenes and Hagler would have been underused as the rest of the cast burnt through evergreen material that is meant to be used in emergencies.

However, with the two paired up and the duties split, this episode ended up being rather fun where both of the hosts were utilized correctly. Marvelous Marvin had some simple but funny scene, which was perfect for a man who made a living getting punch in the head, while Jimmy Breslin made me miss the old days of journalism where the writer's goal was not to be liked by their subject and that attitude carried over to his performance in a way that really worked for me.

It was good to see an episode that didn't annoy me because it makes a good start to a day that I'm not really looking forward to participating in, but that's for a different area of this site. So, now that my thoughts on this episode have been written, it's now time to share what I saw, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a weigh in for a fight between Anthony Michael Hall vs. Marvin Hagler where Anthony Michael Hall talks up the fight like a professional wrestler and we find out this fight was the idea of Hall's manager, The Pathological Liar who didn't realize that it was Marvelous Marvin Hagler who was the Marvin in this fight when they set it up. Hall does more trash talk revealing he shaved his head to look like the champ, to which Hagler responded with the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Jimmy Breslin then officially opened the show with a monolog about being old and how this is the first time that he has had to worry about pleasing an audience since back in his Catholic School days and how getting the SNL audience to like him is the opposite of his journalism career where the goal of his writing is to get the person being reported on to hate him for revealing hidden truths.  
  3. We then went to a Submarine where the crew discovers Muammar Gaddafi standing at the top of their periscope so they call the White House to see what to do, only to then have to deal with a bumbling Reagan who is too busy sharpening pencils to focus on the task at hand. Devil Reagan and Angel Reagan then appear on Reagan Reagan's shoulder and they too are just as indecisive and after hours of thinking, Gaddafi easily gets away.
  4. Tornadoville was a sketch that took place in a town that's been plagued by tornados where they are constantly in a state of rebuild. In the sketch, Randy Quaid and Anthony Michael Hall share tornado stories with the main joke being Anthony Michael Hall has hanger sticking out of his head from trying to unlock his car during the last horrific storm. 
  5. We then got a Public Service Announcement from Marvin Hagler with Tips For The Knocked Out for any of his potential future opponents.
  6. Midday With Jennifer Hicks was a talk show sketch hosted by Joan Cusack who interviewed three James Bond villains who teamed together to write a book about their common nemesis filled with tips on how to kill the cunning spy. The main advice is to just kill him with a gun the moment you see him because of how he seems to always escape if you attempt to drag things out.
  7. Level 42 then took to the stage to perform Something About You. 
  8. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week was all Dennis Miller and no special guest reporters.
  9. Lone Wolf McCord was a sketch that took place in a police department here Randy Quaid played McCord, who is a bad ass shoot first ask questions later brand of detective until he gets in trouble with the boss when he heads back to his locker and cries like a child who's been punished while the rest of the cops try to comfort him.
  10. Sam Kinison then returned to the show for another one of his stand-up performances about how great it is that Chernobyl happened in Russia and how great America is a being a bully and he truly seems proud of our horrible way and the audience is genuinely cheering him on which I'm willing to bet I was in the same frame of mind at the time. 
  11. The Pat Stevens Show returned for another installment of this sketch that I can't really stand mainly because I don't know the show being referenced but also because it never gets funny enough to feel like a parody of anything. This week Nora Dunn started with her usual viewer mail segment then goes on to do an interview with Jimmy Breslin that has a couple jokes but for the most part feels like it could be real, though I do like Jimmy Breslin's outrage for being booked on this type of show because that too felt legitimate and real.
  12. Cabrini Green then returned to the show as a guest speaker for a high school assembly where she discusses teen pregnancy and shares a song as an aid to help remind kids to avoid it until they're read.
  13. We then got another Public Service Announcement from "Jody Hagler," Marvin's "brother" who is Flight Attendant who has advice for passengers to not try to fight flight attendants because that's not their job and they just want to be left alone.
  14. E.G. Daily then took to the stage to perform Say It, Say It.
  15. Finally, Jimmy Breslin and Marvin Hagler closed the show by thanking the audience and saying their goodnights.

The only problem with this episode being at the top of the average pile was I had to leave a couple sketches I like off of the top three list that I am about to share. First, I loved the Lone Wolf McCord because as an introvert I often get mistaken for an angry tough guy when in the inside I'm just trying not to cry. Next, I really liked Marvelous Marvin Hagler's Tips For The Knocked Out because it was a fun contribution from the champ. Finally, I was a fan of Midday With Jennifer Hicks where she interviewed James Bond villains who recommend not dragging out 007's death because even though that joke is played out now you can tell that it was still fresh and funny back then.

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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.