A Homecoming Host
Who Floated Through The Entire Show
I know that I have mentioned this before in one or two of my past reviews, probably first when I saw Paul Shaffer as part of the original SNL band, which I was fully aware of, and then possibly again when he joined the show as an official Not Ready For Prime Time Player, which almost blew my mind as a piece of trivia that I didn't know, but with Paul Shaffer as host, I'm going to say it again, I'm a fan of this little bald man because of his connection to David Letterman and the fact that he wrote It's Raining Men.
I just find that second fact funny but the first is genuinely true. I loved Letterman going way back to elementary school because the fact that I was allowed to stay up to watch it on Fridays which made me feel like my sense of humor was far more adult than the rest of the kids who even on the weekends had a bed time of 9:30 in the PM.
Since I was such a big fan of Late Nite with David Letterman at such an early age, I couldn't help also being a fan of my childhood hero's one and only sidekick. The fact that even at an early age, I also knew Paul's connection with Saturday Night Live led me to double down on the idea that this little man could do no wrong even as a bit of a weirdo.
All of that said, I felt this episode was a little flat and I think that's because he brought over that uber laid back mood that he developed over the years as David Letterman's band leader. Where, back when Paul Shaffer was an actual Not Ready For Prime Time Player he seemed to be exploring acting because he actually played multiple characters, but tonight he was just his laid back self throughout the entire episode.
That's not saying that the episode was bad but with every scene acted out with the same exact emotions I felt a little extra bored during the sketches that didn't demand my attention due to the funny content. Luckily, that only took place a couple of times throughout this otherwise average episode that I still didn't mind to watch.
Alright now that I've share my history with a completely different show, it's now time to move on and share what I saw on this one, as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started in Paul Shaffer's Dressing Room with Paul on the phone to David Letterman admitting that thanks to Late Nite he is now too hip for Saturday Night Live. Dana Carvey, Nora Dunn, and Jon Lovitz then enter the room dressed as babies who are bummed out by the fact that Paul back out of the sketch for being too hip to participate but then goes on to explain that the hippest phrase is still, "Live from New York..."
Paul Shaffer then officially opened the show with a monolog about his history with the original cast and how crazy the show used to be back then due to the ego clashes and how he was just as proud to be a member of the Saturday Night Live Band as he was to be part of the cast. In the process of talking about the band, he manages to offend G.E. Smith but this aspect of the bit doesn't last long as the two quickly make up to collaborate on a song about the show.
What's My Addiction? was a game show sketch with as the hostess Jan Hooks as Betty Ford and "Johnny Cash", "Liza Minnelli", and "David Crosby" as a panel of celebrity guests who have to ask questions of the show's contestants before guessing what they are addicted to and the contestants earn money for each of the celebrities wrong guesses.
We then went to Paul Shaffer's apartment where he is playing his keytar when Jan Hooks shows up as an Unexpected Guest. It turns out that Paul double booked himself for the evening with two different dates and throughout the entire sketch Shaffer creates a real time sound track with his trusty keytar that he seems so preoccupied with that he doesn't seem to mind when both of the women leave as he instantly bursts into song.
This was followed by a fake as for the latest book in the Time Life series called The Grenada Experience which is made up of 48 books, one for each hour of the war.
Bruce Hornsby & The Range then took to the stage to perform The Way It Is.
The Pat Stevens Show then returned for another installment even though it has yet to be more than just a tad bit funny at best. As always she starts by answering viewer mail before interviewing her two guests with interviews that are almost too real to be that entertaining but for some reason, they keep coming back to this well.
Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Kevin Nealon dropped in for another segment on sports where he discusses the Winter Olympics but then ends up meandering through a bunch of his crazy ideas while randomly jumping through topics.
We then went to a Chinese restaurant for what in modern days would be an extremely offensive sketch where Dana Carvey's Ching Chang character wins a live chicken before The Sweeney Sisters take to the dining stage to perform a Chinese themed medley of tunes.
David Sees Radio Days was a sketch with Jon Lovitz Woody Allen obsessed fan character who acts just like the famed director stands in a long line, Woody Allening it up as he shares his fears that he might not get good seats for the opening night showing as well as a few more neurotic fear by making Woody Allen style asides to the camera. He then runs into a similar Woody Allen fan who doesn't have a ticket so Lovitz offers up his date's ticket because he feels the fellow fan should see the movie first.
Bruce Hornsby & The Range then returned to the stage to perform Mandolin Rain
Asociacion Mexicana Del Rinon was a fake Spanish ad with no subtitles that is kind of like a modern Cash For Gold ad but from what I can put together between the clues and my limited understanding of Spanish this ad offers money for human organs.
Paul then took to the stage to sing a parody of Frank Sinatra's It Was A Very Good Year only replacing the real words with information about the history of Saturday Night Live.
Finally, Paul Shaffer closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Even though I felt this episode was a bit of a slip it still had these three moments that stood out to me as the best. First, I loved Paul Shaffer's parody version of It Was A Very Good Year because it's very good at sharing the history of the show. Next, I really liked the What Am I Addicted Too? sketch, not only because of the celebrities being stereotyped but because how they all guessed that the investment banker was on cocaine before getting a single clue. Finally, I was a fan of the Asociacion Mexicana Del Rinon ad because it allowed me to use the limited Spanish that I remember from high school.