SNL: S11E18... HOST: ANJELICA HUSTON AND BILLY MARTIN... DATE: MAY 24, 1986

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or...

The End Of An Interesting But Awful Season

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This episode was a fine finale as it was another top of the average episodes where the double host format led to shorter sketches with a high segment count where we bounced back and forth between the performers in a way that I didn't get bored. That said, I'm still glad this season is over and can't wait to get on to the next. 

Alright, although I wasn't a huge fan of this season, I wouldn't necessarily say that I hated it like I did with a couple seasons from the past where I actually felt annoyed during the viewing to where I didn't look forward to watching the next episode in my queue for the next day.

No, with this season, I stayed hopeful from episode one until this finale episode that I am writing about today. For one, I was and am a big fan of the most of the cast's careers, so I went into this season knowing that they had the potential to put on a perfect show.

Next, even though they rarely pulled it off, I liked the writer's attempts to pull off some very convoluted ideas, the only problem was that their methods of convolution were too frivolous to the point where it seemed the intention was to not make sense instead of being far reaching logic that's actually brilliant once you figure it out.

Though I see this season as a failure, I also see it not as the start to, but an early baby step toward the twisted sketch humor that led to shows that you might find on adult swim. I still also think that the biggest problem with this season is how they turned to established screen actors to save the rating of a show that needed sketch comedian's to bring the show new life.

Well, now that this season is over, I can't wait to see what season twelve is about to bring. So with that, 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 Hands Across America sketch where we meet a group of hand holders in Texas who get a warning about a pickpocket who's been stealing from participants in the event and are told that if they were to be robbed just keep holding hands and yell out for help to get one of the organizer's attention. Soon after this announcement a one legged man hops along and tries to get in the line only everyone refuses to let go of their neighbor's hand to open up a spot. I think this one legged man was famous at the time because there is a joke about the incident that wounded him and because if he wasn't an actual person from the news the sketch is pointless because there is no other reference to the pickpocket and the one legged man does nothing else but announce, "Live from New York..."
  2. Anjelica Huston then officially opened the show with a monolog about this being her first live performance unless you count her winning speech for her recent Oscar win. She then goes on an attempts to tell a few jokes while we go back stage to catch up with the second host, Billy Martin, while Anthony Michael Hall tries to get his autograph. After Hall leaves the devil arrives to taunt our second guest. Finally, Anjelica Huston finishes her routine and joins Billy Martin in the SNL locker room.
  3. The People's Second Choice Awards was a fake award show for the sidekicks, straight men, and backup singers. 
  4. Moments Of Doubt was a sketch where Randy Quaid and Anjelica Huston play empty nest parents having breakfast as the two think back to what life may have been if they never decided to get married. Joan Cusack then enters the scene and we get to hear her doubts as well. We then end the scene by hearing the doubts from the dog.  
  5. Lorne Michaels then took to the stage to set up the following sketch by saying that it was pulled from last season because the censors thought that it glamorized drinking but that was not the intent. The sketch then starts with people playing craps, each with drinks in their hands. Billy Martin has the biggest drink which makes him stand out from the rest as the most interesting man in the room. The rest of the sketch then goes on to promote drinking as if it were the best thing since sliced bread.
  6. National Council Of Liquor And Spirits was a sketch that came directly after the drinking sketch that was supposed to be a rebuttal to the booze promoting sketch but the lead council member also declares excess drinking to be fine up until the point where it isn't.
  7. Actors On Film then returned with Robert Downey Jr. and Nora Dunn rambling on as film fanatics while talking about the movie Top Gun.
  8. Hallmark Organized Crime Cards was a fake ad for a new line of Hallmark cards that are geared toward members of the mafia.
  9. George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic then took to the stage to perform Let's Take It To The Stage.
  10. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Al Franken made his return to the stage to reassure the audience that it's still the decade of Al Franken then goes on to promote a movie he wrote that was being tested in Sacramento before getting a wide release. A. Whitney Brown also get another one of his Big Picture moments to talk to the graduating class of 1986 where he bitches about the youth the same way modern adults bitch about Millennials and Guido Sarducci ended the news with a spoken word performance of God Bless America that got acted out by The Weekend Update Dancers in their first appearance to make any sense or at least seemed somewhat justified. 
  11. We then went to a Lesbian Bar where Nora Dunn tries to pick up on Joan Cusack who didn't realize the theme of the bar and has to think through why she prefers men over women and doesn't have an answer so she leaves with Dunn to give lesbianism a chance. Robert Downey Jr. then enters the scene as Joan's former fiance who gets hit on by Anjelica Huston who also plays a lesbian but is still interested in Downey Jr. for some unclear reason.
  12. Bocce Ball My Way was a fake a for an instructional Bocce video hosted by Father Guido Sarducci.
  13. We then went back to the SNL locker room where the devil returns to tempting Billy Martin in an effort to get him fired again as the devil's clause for selling his soul and also just to taunt him.
  14. Damon Wayans then got a chance to return to the show after being fired as a featured player to perform one of his stand-up routines about racism still being a thing even though it was 1986 and gives us several examples. He then goes on to talk about having a club foot as a child.
  15. Book Minute was a sketch where Danitra Vance played the host to talk about children's nursery rhymes then go on to promote a children's book of her own that's gear toward inner city children. 
  16. Terry Sweeny then played Patti LaBelle in the most offensive blackface makeup that this show has done since I started this challenge. In the sketch, Patti and her mother, played by Danitra Vance go to the movies where they portray the stereotype of black people being loud at movies. 
  17. We then went to a kitchen sketch where Danitra Vance talks out her personal issues with Joan Cusack and ask who Joan turns to for help. This leads Joan to describe her go to friend and it sounds like she's talking about God but she's actually talking about Colonel Sanders who she turns to when she's feeling down. Billy Martin then enters the scene only to break it almost instantly as the character of himself is drunk and wants to redo his performance.
  18. George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic then returned to the stage to perform Do Fries Go With That Shake.
  19. Finally, we went to the SNL locker room where the cast says their season goodbye while Billy Martin attempt to burn down the building. After seeing the fire Lorne enters the locker room to save Lovitz alone and then sends in the writers to celebrate with the rest of the cast knowing the fire will cause them to die.
  20. We then went to the main stage where Anjelica Houston and Billy Martin closed the show by thanking the audience and saying their goodnights.

This was another case of an average episode the I don't think would have been good if it wasn't for the fact that there were twenty segments with these three as my favorite moments. First, I loved Bocce Ball My Way because of my love for Guido Sarducci and Bocce is my favorite sport. Next, I really liked the sketch where Colonel Sanders ended up being Joan Cusack's emotional friend because I loved how he was set up to be Jesus only to end on a Kentucky Fried Twist. Finally, I was a fan of the final sketch where Lorne Michaels lets the all of cast and writers fry in a fire because I found it funny how Lovitz was the only one to get out alive. 

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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.