SNL: S13E03... HOST: DABNEY COLEMAN... DATE: OCTOBER 31, 1987

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or...

Jack Flack On A Saturday Night!!!

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Cloak and Dagger was one of my favorite films as a child, between that and the movie 9 to 5 which was an early interest thanks to the cast of girls, I'm very familiar with Dabney Coleman. In fact, one of my 365 Days Of Resolutions challenges was to work on a Dabney impersonation with the idea being he is such an obscure celebrity to impersonate it would be unlikely for anyone who witnessed my Busker sound alike act to be able to tell whether I got it right or wrong.

Though I am a fan of this man, I don't really see him as a sought out sketch comedy star so I had mixed feelings going into this episode. It didn't take long into the viewing that I started to sense that just like last week's show with Sean Penn the writers now seem to know how to put out a quality show even when the host isn't known for being all that extrovertedly funny.

That's not to say that Dabney Coleman is not a funny guy but he does usually play the straight man which doesn't always translate well when it comes to hosting Saturday Night Live. That was not the case with this episode because just like the Sean Penn visit, this might not have been the funniest of shows but I never felt like it was dragging on which gets two thumbs up when it comes to my rule book.

Now that I've shared how I feel, it's now time to share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with the parody Lifestyles Of The Rich, Famous, & Scary where "Robin Leach" interviews the real Elvira to start off this Halloween episode and the real Ric Ocasek gets confused for Keith Richards when he comes in to deliver a plate of holiday themed snacks which eventually leads to "Leach's" announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Dabney Coleman then officially opened the show with a monolog about being scared to host a live show on such a frightening night while highlighting that this is the Halloween episode, he goes on to joke about his kids but he genuinely seems unconfident as the story seems to go nowhere.
  3. We then got a fake ad for Fiber AKA "Nature's Broom" with Nora Dunn singing a fiber themed version of the song Fever by Peggy Lee. 
  4. The Winning Spirit was a talk show sketch where Jan Hooks interviewed a blind Dabney Coleman about the accident that caused him to lose his sight but this wasn't a from birth disability so he extra pissed off about sharing his story as he bitterly answers all of Jan's questions about his other senses.
  5. Don't Go Down To The Basement was a horror film of a sketch with a Jason type character who is hanging out in the basement while Dana Carvey and Victoria Jackson are upstairs making out. The moment Victoria senses something strange is going on, the two run off to the neighbors opting to not put on any clothes which shifts the focus of the rest of the sketch to be these two teens in their underwear with the psycho killer being more of an afterthought.
  6. Scoutmaster was a sketch that started at a Boy Scout camp fire with Lovitz telling a scary story. After he finishes, Dana Carvey is next at bat to share his scary tale only Lovitz ruins the vibe by spoiling the end of the story. Dabney Coleman played the Scout Leader who tells the last horror story of the night but the deeper and deeper he goes it becomes clear that he's talking about his wife.
  7. The Cars then took to the stage to perform Strap Me In.
  8. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, all we got was Dennis Miller giving us the news without any special guests.
  9. Dr. Dick Mauser: Marriage Counselor was a sketch where Dabney plays a counselor to help Kevin Nealon and Nora Dunn work through their issues without having to resort to divorce. It starts out the usual complaining but then as Nora's ranting goes on Dabney and Kevin find that their best friend soulmates.
  10. Jan Hooks and Dana Carvey then got stuck in a dying car out in the middle of nowhere as if they were grown ass adults who still hang out at make out point. After several failed attempts to start the car, Dana spots Count Dracula, Self-Taught Auto Mechanic, who helps them get it to start.
  11. The Pat Stevens Show returned for another installment of more of the same. This week, Pat opens the show with a session of self-hypnosis before interviewing Dabney who plays the owner of a fur coat factory. This is one of the first installments that actually is a little funny because this was the first time that the interview didn't seem real being that it used to seem to focus on the accuracy of the impersonation over focusing on the funny.
  12. We then went to a Student Council Meeting with the matter at hand being options for the school's new mascot which mainly just makes fun of the young adult generation who are now older than me who now act like they weren't looked at a stupid the say way they look at millennials. At the end of the sketch, they finally agree that the new team name was to be The Sex Machines.
  13. The Cars then returned to the stage to perform Double Trouble.
  14. Black Monday was a sketch where Dabney Coleman played an investment banker who gets involved in a confrontation with one of his clients following the recent stock market crash and Dabney ends up tricking the angry investor into investing more after guilt tripping him into thinking that he didn't lose enough which would be a sign of a successful career and though there is a bit of a back and forth he eventually ends up getting more money.
  15. Finally, Dabney Coleman closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

It's nice to get back to back to back to back good episodes, especially when this one was good enough to make it easy to find these three favorite moments. First, I loved The Winning Spirit sketch because I love when comedy explores the angrier side of people who have to deal with their disabilities. Next, I really liked the student council sketch because it's another example of people who now bitch about millennials being called dumb for the exact same things when really it's just because they are young. Finally, I was a fan of the opening sketch because it's always nice to see Elvira.

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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.