SNL: S12E07... HOST: STEVE GUTTENBERG... DATE: DECEMBER 13, 1986

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or...

An Episode As Good As Mahoney's Career

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I am at just the right age to where Steve Guttenberg's popularity felt extremely justified because of his role in the Police Academy movies. Looking back, these movies were completely inappropriate for kids but I'm from a generation that had zero parental guidance so these low budget adult comedies were super popular to me and my peers.

Even now, when a Guttenberg movie will randomly come up there is a good chance that I'll give it a watch especially if it's a movie from the time of this episodes original airing. Though these movies might not make any of my favorites lists, I also don't think I would be disappointed because of the nostalgia to comedy blend. 

This is kind of how I feel about this episode of SNL that never stood a chance of being all that great especially when you consider the caliber of host that have been headlining the episodes leading up to this show, I mean just last week we had all Three Amigos which would be a tough show for anyone to follow.

With that in mind, I'd consider this a slip back to the show's equilibrium and would no way consider this the start of a second half slump because it did get my attention and even got me to laugh out loud more than once. That and I feel like the rest of the cast is continuing to show growth with makes me excited to watch the rest of the season.

So, now that I've gotten my childhood connection to Guttenberg out of the way, it's not time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started in Teheran to witness the Iranian governments' take on the Iran Contra Scandal where they are upset with their version of the guy who set up the trade with the US in a sketch that isn't all that culturally sensitive, ending with a bunch of Arabs swinging swords as Jon Lovitz announces, "Live from New York..."
  2. Steve Guttenberg then officially opened the show with a monolog about returning home for his high school reunion while also reflected on his days in the high school marching band and how even though he's now a big star he was still treated like the band nerd. He finished his bit with a performance of the song War (What Is It Good For) on tuba and does a pretty good job.
  3. McSooshi was a parody ad for a fast food Sushi chain with a McDonald's vibe. 
  4. We then got another visit from Derek Stevens, the Choppin' Broccoli man, who attempts to put out a follow-up hit while his manager and PR specialist try to convince him that he will make more money if he were to be dead and then try to talk him into killing himself. Derek thinks this is a bad idea and claims to have another hit only when he sits down to play it's the same exact tune as Choppin' Broccoli only this time the course is My Tiny Little Lady which isn't good in either the sketch or real life so his manager wants to stick to plan A and gives Derek the keys to a car that I'm sure has been tampered with in order to facilitate Derek's early demise.
  5. Steve Guttenberg then played a guy who tries to seduce Jon Lovitz who is playing a blind guy by talking with a woman's voice. When Lovitz finds out what is going on he kicks Guttenberg out of his room but again, with Lovitz being blind, Guttenberg keeps sneaking back into bed in efforts to get Lovitz to sleep with him.
  6. The Pretenders then took to the stage to perform Don't Get Me Wrong. 
  7. Sideshow Of The Stars was a parody of The Circus Of The Stars where Penn plays a Carnival Barker who introduces a group of celebrity freaks who have been pulled together to put on this special event.
  8. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, we went to the National Spelling Bee where we learned how low American standards have dropped by the words used for the competition and Nora Dunn returned as her French model character for a segment on how America can better their relationship with her homeland.
  9. We then went to a sketch where Steve Guttenberg and Victoria Jackson visit her family for an introduction where we learn that the entire family has Limited Movie Knowledge and get all mixed up when it comes to discussing Guttenberg's acting career as they are way off in remembering who was in what or even how they even felt about the movies that they've actually seen.
  10. Penn and Teller then returned to the show for another one of their comedic magic acts. During this visit, the two magicians used technology to pull off their magic trick with Penn in Time Square and Teller back in the studio where he is operating the big screen TV/billboard to pull off this special trick claiming that computers are actually doing all the work. 
  11. The Back Page was a sketch that shares the tale of a group of old-timey news writers from the black and white days who write the stories that aren't good enough for the prime real estate on the front page as we see the group fight over the scraps of mundane content to work on.
  12. The Pretenders then returned to the stage to perform How Much Did You Get For Your Soul?
  13. Kevin Nealon then played a talent agency who is able to direct and gauge Victoria Jackson's audition while talking on the phone. That is until she starts to misread Kevin Nealon's talking hand gestures as cues and ends up falling out of the high rise window without Nealon even noticing.
  14. We then got to see the short film/mockumentary starring Tim Robbins that went on to become a feature film with the same title and that film is called Bob Roberts that follows the life of a fictional poet/folk singer with more of an aggravated/conservative voice than you'd expect from anyone performing in this genre.
  15. This was followed by a sketch called Alcoholic Christmas Spirit where Phil Hartman plays a drunk father who is super excited about the holiday even though it two weeks away. His drunken enthusiasm is great for the kids but the wife seems to be wanting an intervention in order to mellow her drunk husband out.
  16. Chrissie Hynde and Buster Poindexter then took to the stage to perform Rockin' Good Way.
  17. Finally, Steven Guttenberg closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Even though this episode was a slight slip back to average, it was still pretty easy to find these three favorite moments from the night. First, I loved the sketch where Steve Guttenberg keeps trying to trick a blind Jon Lovitz into sleeping with him because even though it was a bit offensive the fact that Guttenberg was so persistent actually got me to laugh out loud. Next, I really liked seeing Phil Hartman in Alcoholic Christmas Spirit because of how they keep him as an enthusiastic drunk without a hint that he was abusive to his kids which is how my real dad actually is. Finally, I was a fan of the fake McSooshi ad because the second I saw that Sochi = Sushi, I instantly wished this was an actual chain even though I know that if it were to become true the sushi would be absolutely terrible.

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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.