And The Cast Continues To Grow


This was a pretty solid second episode to a season, especially when you consider that about 75% of the cast is new. Sure it helps that this is the cast that I think of when remembering back to the days when I would watch the show as it aired. Yeah, I also remember some of the Eddie Murphy seasons but even with those viewing, it's unclear which episodes I actually got to stay up for versus the shows I watched as reruns.

Even if I did watch the earlier seasons as they aired, by the time this season aired I was old enough to develop solid memories so this is the cast I know the best and am excited to see them grow. Though, as I said, this was a solid episode, if the last season wasn't so bad, I might consider it just average but average in a way that shows potential as we continued to get introduced to classic characters that still need to find their voices.

Unlike last season where I just hoped it would grow to be better than its reputation, I know for sure this season will eventually live up to my expectation. The only thing that I fear is that I have seen SO MUCH from this cast that I might end up feeling burnt out from what used to be some of my favorite moments kind of like how I was surprised to find that I was disappointed by Billy Crystal and Martin Short back in season ten.

Oh well, we'll see what happens but until then, it's now time to share what I saw, as I give you... 

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a Bartles & Jaymes parody where Phil Hartman and A. Whitney Brown play the two pitchmen who have a special message where they warn the audience about the effects of crack cocaine. They end their cautionary ad with the announcement of, "Live from New York..."

  2. Malcolm-Jamal Warner then officially opened the show with a monolog about how even though he now has a luxurious life, deep down he is just a regular guy who is nervous about this live appearance. He then goes into a routine about how he had a dance prepared but was too nervous to give it a try. That is until Dana Carvey joined him on stage to do a dance of his own that is so stereotypically white, Malcolm-Jamal loses his fear and begins to share his moves.

  3. Team Xynex was a fake ad for an office system design company like Xerox that provides support for slacker industries for "People with time on their hand."

  4. We then got a Donahue parody where Phil Hartman played Phil Donahue to host a show about women trapped in exploitive relationships that now seems like an extremely tame parody when compared to the real life, Jerry Springer Show.

  5. This was followed by a parody of The Cosby Show where Malcolm-Jamal wishes he was part of a different family and ends up on The Crosby Show with Bing Crosby as the abusive father making Malcolm-Jamal second-guess his wish. The sketch then turned into a Wizard of Cos sketch when the great pudding pitchman informs Malcolm-Jamal he can get back home by clicking his heels together three times while saying, "I won't try, I will."

  6. Spike Lee then took to the stage as Mars Blackmon to introduce Run-DMC who then went on to perform Walk This Way.

  7. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Kevin Nealon made his news debut to ramble on about the Middle East bragging that he's not using cue cards which led to him to ramble about nothing at all as he just shares random stories. Dana Carvey also portrayed Casey Kasem to answer some viewer mail about a murder using that classic Casey Kasem tone before giving his top three music hit count down and moving on to the trivia question of the week.

  8. We then met Johnny O'Connor, played by Phil Hartman, who was a famed WWII actor that's on the verge of getting fired because of the changing times. Even though Jon Lovitz, who plays a producer, is blatantly saying it's over, Johnny O'Connor treats this news as if they were subtle signs of progress. He eventually talks Lovitz into keeping him on for one more film but it turns out he's just going to be an extra in a crappy Godzilla knock-off.

  9. Instant Coffee was a talk show sketch hosted by Kevin Nealon who interviews Nora Dunn and Jan Hooks as The Sweeney Sisters following their quick song and dance.

  10. Once again Malcolm-Jamal plays Theo with a message against drinking and driving that makes fun of "The Contract," craze that was going on at the time where teens would promise to call their parents if they ever get too drunk to drive, without the fear of trouble. Apparently, this was a time when drinking and driving was still okay to have fun with.

  11. Sam Kinison then returned to the show for another stand-up performance that doesn't age well with time.

  12. Run-DMC then returned to the stage to perform Hit It, Run.

  13. Dover Chalk Works is another sketch that was cut from reruns that I was unable to find on the internet.

  14. We then got a short film that seemed to have been directed by Spike Lee about a Jazz musician trying to make some money on the streets of New York to support his son only to be taunted by a group of hip-hop fans who end up stealing what little money that was donated in a story that was more sentimental than funny but was also pretty good.

  15. Buster Poindexter then took to the stage to perform Hit The Road Jack.

  16. Finally, Malcolm-Jamal Warner closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Again, this was a solid second episode of the season with these as my favorite three moments. First, I loved the very brief scene where Run-DMC beats up Lorne Michaels while Spike Lee is on stage ranting about how rap has a bad rad for being violent because it was a funny contradiction. Next, I really liked the Team Xynex sketch because I used to work for Xerox and it was fun to see the company get a hit decades before I was even hired. Finally, I was a fan of the Bartles & Jaymes say no to crack parody because they did such a good job duplicating these pitchmen that I remember well from when I was a kid.


Watch More From Malcolm-Jamal Warner:

Hear More From Run-DMC:

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.