SNL: S12E15... HOST: CHARLTON HESTON... DATE: MARCH 28, 1987

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or...

Who Knew Heston Would

Step In To Save The Day?

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Yesterday's episode hosted by Bill Murray was not only a major let down, it actually left me feeling depressed which was especially rough because its position in this season's lineup had me thinking it was the end of the second half slump that started a few episodes ago. If you would have told me this wouldn't be the case and that it was actually Charlton Heston who would save the day, I'd probably laugh it off before punching you in the mouth.

Alright, maybe I wouldn't do the mouth punching because I'm far from a violent man but I would be surprised, like I actually was, to find out this was true. I wouldn't say that this was the best episode of the season, I wouldn't even say that it was all that great but it was good enough to drag this season out of its slump as the rest of the lineup looks great.

Now, I'm not that surprised that this Heston episode is as good as it is because I do find the man to be to be both talented and funny despite his conservative views. In fact, I'm never really all that bothered by anyone's personal politics as long as they are not making a hard push to make me share their views as I, just like everyone else, have had a few unpopular views of my own that I keep to myself, or people who ask, without it affecting my professional life even though I'm now home based and prefer to work alone.

Then again, even if he were to attempt to share his view through humor, I wouldn't mind because I personally feel that it's damaging to completely silence a point of view that I disagree with because that silence doesn't mean that it's gone.

Alright, enough with my ramblings about politics that weren't even involved with this episode as it is now time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with Charlton Heston as God visiting Oral Roberts at his University to collect on the eight million dollars that he bamboozled from his flock. Oral is so scared by this visit due to the scandalous way he obtained the wealth to pay off the great creator as this was not the deal that was made and he fears eternal punishment. Before the sketch got too deep into either blasphemy or the bashing of TV evangelists, Heston stepped out of his Godly lighting set up to announce, "Live from New York..."
  2. Charlton Heston then officially opened the show with a monolog about how excited he is to finally show off his comedic side before sharing a few examples about a few of his films that failed to get laughs before share how truly mundane the week leading up to the show actually was when he was expecting much more excitement from this young, comedic cast.
  3. The Fruiting started out looking like it was a parody ad for cereal where fruit falls out of the sky randomly into people's meals like you will often see in a breakfast of candy ad but then more fruit starts to pop up in more ominous situations as the ad's tone changes to be more like an ad for an upcoming horror film about a house that haunted by fruit.
  4. The New Paper Chase was a sketch that took place at The University Of Las Vegas. In the sketch, Charlton Heston teaches, what appears to be Ivy League students, the art of dealing blackjack. The rest of the sketch plays out as almost a Good Will Hunting of Casino Management, more in that it parodies that style of school movie being that this originally aired almost a decade before Good Will Hunting came out.
  5. Church Chat then returned where as always, the Church Lady badgers her guests about their relationship with... "SATAN." This week's guests are Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, following their recent scandal
  6. Wynton Marsalis then took to the stage to perform J Mood.
  7. The President Has Mustard On His Chin was a fake ad for a new TV miniseries parodying several other Presidential Crisis style TV specials from around that time.
  8. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Victoria Jackson has a segment where she has nothing to say so she lays on the desk and rambles on as if it were a therapy session where she just vomits out her thoughts ending on a poem called The Life Of A Rug.
  9. We then got another visit from The Sweeney Sisters only this time they perform their medley of monkey-themed lounge songs at a banquet for the Brookfield Zoo that is about to play Planet Of The Apes to celebrate the opening of a new monkey exhibit where Charlton Heston got hijacked by his driver to become the event's surprise guest which is also a surprise to him. 
  10. We then got a parody ad featuring the Stiller family for a fake movie called The Hustler Of Money that makes fun of The Color Of Money only it takes place in a bowling alley instead of in a pool hall.
  11. The Slave Drivers started with a school documentary of an intro before showing use a slave driver meeting from back in the pyramid building days as if it was a management meeting from modern days.
  12. Wynton Marsalis then returned to the stage to perform One Mustaad. 
  13. Kevin Nealon then took to the stage to clarify the intentions of the UNLV sketch from early claiming that people have already called in to complain. Those intentions being to highlight that UNLV is a very bad school with a horrible basketball team but he says all of this in a super nice voice as if he were really trying to apologize for any misunderstanding.
  14. Finally, Charlton Heston closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Again, though I did find this episode to be average, I also thought it was good enough to end this season's second half slump with the help of these three of my favorite moments. First, I loved The New Paper Chase sketch, not that I have a problem with UNLV but when you include the follow-up sketch it was pretty funny how they totally bashed the school.  Next, I really liked The Hustle Of Money fake movie ad because it was a nice surprise to see Ben Stiller who I didn't realize was making content at this time. Finally, I was a fan of this week's Church Chat sketch because with "Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker" as the guest this installment made a lot of sense and didn't feel like it was the beating of a dead horse (again, I thought the Church Lady was once very funny but it's been done to death over time and up until this sketch it has yet to win me back.)

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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.