SNL: S12E13... HOST: VALERIE BERTINELLI... DATE: FEBRUARY 28, 1987

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or...

My Birthday Episode: Year 11

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I used to watch a lot of One Day At A Time back when this episode originally aired, as it had already hit syndication and was on every night sometime between 5:00 in the PM and the prime time line up of shows. That said, I feel that Valerie Bertinelli deserves credit for her acting chomps but I felt a little disappointed by this visit to SNL because it felt like she missed the mark when attempting to revive her career by focusing too much on promoting that she just got married to a rock star.

This sucks because when I saw that Valerie Bertinelli was next in the lineup I was interested in how the show would go because not only did she have the sit-com past, I knew that she also had a bunch of Lifetime style TV movies that have plenty of material to make fun of.

Unfortunately, this visit didn't really take advantage of Valerie's acting career as a reference and this felt more like the episode hosted by Jerry Hall where they treated her more like a trophy wife who was married to a rock star making it seem like she was more famous for being the wife of Eddie Van Halen than the credit she deserved for her own career, making this a second half slump of a show and it doesn't help this her appearance also followed a couple of the weaker written shows of the season.

 So, now that I've shared my disappointment. It's time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started at the White House with Ron Regan meeting with his Chief Of Staff (COS) for a briefing about The Tower Commissions findings about the Iran Contra Scandal only Ronald doesn't have the time or ability to read and comprehend the full report leading the COS to offer a dumbed down summary that the President is still too out of it to understand. Nancy then enters the room and the office goes silent as she and the COS have an ongoing feud that turns out to stem from an implied affair. Ronald then catches the two making out and thinks it a sign that they have solved their differences, leading to a happy president who announces, "Live from New York..."
  2. Valerie Bertinelli then officially opened the show with a monolog about how crazy live TV is versus the nine seasons she spent on One Day At A Time and then goes on to explain how she's now trying to change the innocent image that she developed while on the show, especially since she was then married to Eddie Van Halen and how she feels hosting SNL would actually do the job after a few failed attempts back acting in horror movies.
  3. We then got a repeat of the McSooshi sketch from a couple episodes ago where they parody a McDonald's brand of sushi. 
  4. We then went to The Hard News Cafe which makes fun of the restaurant chain The Hard Rock Cafe only instead of being music theme the restaurant features collectible items from the news with the top news anchors from the time being the VIP clientele. 
  5. Discover was a sketch that seemed to parody the influence of the Discovery Channel because the logo looked the same and it made fun of a science themed show but it was definitely Discover and not Discovery and I'm not sure if this was part of the parody because I am unfamiliar with the show being referenced. Anyways, in the sketch, Phil Hartman plays the host who doesn't seem to know a thing about science as he interviews Jon Lovitz about the basic element and cannot grasp the information being shared even though it's dumbed down for the average home viewer.
  6. Dinner with the Van Halens was a sketch that shows Valerie Bertinelli's first dinner at home following the latest Van Halen tour where the roadies and crew member act as servants who sneak around as if they were providing the same stage crew services that they would provide to the band during a concert. 
  7. Robert Cray Band then took to the stage to perform Smoking Gun.
  8. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, we met the winner/hostage of a win an evening with David Lee Roth contest, and Kevin Nealon also dropped in to talk sports only to end up rambling through a myriad of funny but unrelated topics like this news character of his always does.
  9. Ching Chang then returned for another extremely offensive sketch, especially through modern eyes. In the sketch, we are back at the Chicken Pet Shop where Chang refuses to sell chicken for food, which is cute but the accents are atrocious.  
  10. Eddie Van Halen then took to the stage where he and the SNL Band performed Stompin' 8H.
  11. We then got a fake ad for Washington Center Cosmetic Surgery that seemed like a legitimate ad to the point where if I didn't see that there was a part two I would have no idea there was a joke.
  12. Let's Go To The Movies was a cable access show where Valerie Bertinelli and Jan Hooks talk about The Color Of Money mainly focusing on the infatuation with Tom Cruise, leading the two to get into a compliment battle over each other's looks in two very annoying valley girl voices.
  13. We then got a follow-up ad to the Washington Center but this Washington Center is a collection of attorneys who specialize in cases over botched face lifts from the Washington Center surgeons. Both ads feature Nora Dunn as the before and after example/host of the commercial.
  14. On Broadway was a talk show sketch hosted by Jan Hooks who interviews Phil Hartman as the new King from the King And I, following the death of Uell Brenner. In the sketch, Phil Hartman is super defensive from having to answer the same questions that come with following such a legend, instead of acting humble and pretending the constant comparisons are understandable and don't actually get to him.
  15. Robert Cray Band then returned to the stage to perform Right Next Door. 
  16. Incompetent Doctor
  17. Finally, Valerie Bertinelli closed the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights. 

I hate it when this happens but this was such a second half slump of a show that I found it kind of hard to commit to these three favorite moments. First I actually did love the Discover sketch because I am a fan of science show and Phil Hartman played a great host who was also an idiot. Next, I really liked the Incompetent Doctor sketch because it was a funny concept and Lovitz is always good for a laugh. Finally, I was a fan of The Hard News Cafe sketch because I need a third favorite moment but also because I liked seeing Edwin Newman who I became a big fan of after he hosted the show.  

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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.