SNL: S12E01... HOST: SIGOURNEY WEAVER... DATE: OCTOBER 11, 1986

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or...

 My Wheelhouse Cast Has Arrived

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Even though I wouldn't claim this to be a wheelhouse season for me, since this episode originally air before I had my very own VCR, I would definitely say that this is the start of the wheelhouse cast when it comes to my experience with the show because this group of Not Ready For Prime Time Players seemed to have stayed with the show for years.

One of the reasons this entire cast seemed to run so long is because from, this point on, in show history they only replaced and introduced a couple cast members at a time instead of clearing out the house every couple years to where the moment you got comfortable with a collection of players the next season you would be starting from scratch.

This new stability that is about to come, not only allows for a bit of a mentor system for the few new cast members to get up to speed at a quicker pace than having a whole new batch of cast members trying to find their legs which would often take an entire year and also often led to at least half the cast to get axed right as they were figuring it out.

Being that a majority of the cast was new for this season all of the above-mentioned ramblings about the benefit of slowly cycling through new members is in reference to this point moving on.

Aside from that, this episode was definitely an average start to a year but unlike last season where I was excited and hopeful that the show traditionally panned season would contain some hidden gems that never were found, this round, I know for sure that things will improve so I'm excited to see how it plays out.

So now that I've gotten my hopes for this season 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 Madonna and since she was the host of last season's opening show, she was sent with a special message to explain away the said season by saying that "It Was All A Dream," before announcing, "Live from New York..." 
  2. Sigourney Weaver then officially opened the show with a monolog about her successful career and the doubts that she received from her acting teachers when she was coming up. She then brings out the one playwright that believed in her and hired for all of his work. The two then attempted to perform a piece from one of his plays only to have the production booth cut them off by throwing to commercial. 
  3. The commercial they threw to felt like the setup to a softcore porn with two young adults flirting with slightly suggestive shots but it turned out to be an ad for General Dynamics. This idea is always pretty funny but in this case, I didn't think there was enough connection for the misdirection to have the effect they were going for.
  4. We then went to a scene with Nora Dunn trying to convince a very rich looking Sigourney Weaver that her new boyfriend is cheating. Sigourney doesn't buy it one bit even though the evidence is there. Then, The Pathological Liar entered the scene as he turns out he is the man in question and he manages to lie his way out of the situation using his obvious lies. 
  5. Quiz Masters was game show sketch hosted by Phil Hartman where Dana Carvey plays a contestant that can see the future and can answer all of the questions before they are even asked, making his competitor very frustrated. Eventually, Dana keeps seeing the answer meteor only to keep getting it wrong, which not only causes him to lose points but makes him really confused because his visions are always right. It finally turns out that the meteor he was seeing was literal as one crashes through the ceiling killing the competition and giving Dana the default win
  6. The Amazing Alexander was a fake ad for a hypnotism show that's playing on Broadway where the audience members being interviewed for reviews all have the same exact hypnotized response saying that the show was even better than Cats.
  7. Hef-Tea Tea Bags was a fake ad for a new line of tea bags that are as durable as a garbage bag, at least that what I assume because I could only find a still picture of the scene while looking on the internet.
  8. Church Chat then made its debut where the Church Lady interviews Sigourney's playwright friend from the monolog, about his relationship with... "SATAN." She then goes on to interview a fictional actress again about her connection with... "SATAN." Guest number three is Ann Landers who gets the same Church Lady treatment. Finally, Sigourney entered the scene as her possessed character from the movie Ghostbusters and she too gets the Church Lady to rant about her "SATAN" concerns but she also too possessed to care.
  9. Buster Poindexter then took to the stage to perform Smack Dab In The Middle. 
  10. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Victoria Jackson got a segment where she shared a film clip from her trip to Iceland where she was going to meet with Ron Reagan only the film clips share her family moments from the trip and she never ended up talking about politics at all because it's not a high priority to her. Dennis Miller also introduced a character of his own named Coco the Clown as he mimes his way through eating a sandwich before through to A. Whitney Brown for another one of his Big Picture segments where he talks about the latest US/Russian peace talks. 
  11. Mr. Subliminal then made his debut to the show where Kevin Nealon talks people into seeing things his way by using his subliminal style of talk.
  12. Alienses was a parody follow-up to Aliens where Sigourney Weaver and the cast are stuck in space waiting for the next alien attack. Eventually, an alien does show up on their radar and when it gets near the door they shoot it unseen only to find out that they accidentally ended up killing E.T. because their ship landed on the wrong planet. 
  13. We then got an Anti-Crime Ad where Phil Hartman shares a new law where committing murder in New York City will land you ten whole weeks in jail.
  14. Buster Poindexter then returned to the stage with Sigourney Weaver and the two sang Baby It's Cold Outside in a performance/sketch.
  15. Dana Carvey then portrayed Derek Stevens to perform his classic rendition of the song Choppin' Broccoli AKA The Lady I Know.
  16. We then got a short film that was a satire of French Cinema as it followed three French Filmmakers discussing their pretentious ideas for a project.
  17. Sigourney Weaver and her playwright friend then sang a medley of show tunes and pop hits. 
  18. Finally, Sigourney Weaver closed the night by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

With eighteen segments to a solid opening night, it was easy for me to find these three favorite moments unless you count the struggle to weed out a few classic sketches that barely didn't make the cut. First, I loved the Choppin' Broccoli sketch because even though it's played out to me now I was excited to see the original. Next, I really liked the Alienses sketch because I'm a fan of the Alien movies and found it funny that they incorporated E.T. into this Aliens sequel scene. Finally, I was a fan of the fake ad for The Amazing Alexander because I have a secret obsession with hypnosis and found this to be a funny use. 

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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.