SNL: S13E04... HOST: ROBERT MITCHUM... DATE: NOVEMBER 14, 1987

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or...

A Fun Appearance From A Grumpy Old Man

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Robert Mitchum is a name that I am very familiar with even though I'm not sure whether or not I have seen any of the films on his resume. I think I always just knew him as a legendary actor from an era before my birth that I know has plenty of amazing content but for whenever I go to watch something from this time, there is too much accepted bigotry and weird outlooks when it comes to women that keep me from mentally staying tuned in until the end of the flick.

I get it, it was a different time but unlike the movies from my childhood that are now way off base when watched through modern eyes, I wasn't alive when these classics were made so I don't have that, "Yeah, that's just how we thought at the time," reasoning to justify the actions of the hero's that I am supposed to be cheering on.

This only explains why I haven't seen this week's host's old work due to the fake that, for the most part, I avoid the time period altogether and not that he or any of his films created this frame of mind. As far as his hosting duties went, I started out a little nervous because he had a grumpy tone and I kept going back and forth as to whether I found it funny or serious, concerned that we might have another hostile host like back when Robert Blake hosted the show with a palatable tension between him and the rest of the Not Ready For Prime Time Players.

That wasn't the case this week. No, Mitchum's line of grumpy was a fictional one, that I'm sure can stem from the truth but as far as the show goes he seemed to have fun and the entire cast did a great job at playing along as I continue to be impressed by this season when I came in with doubts due to the strike that made it a short one.

So now that I've got my views on old films and Robert Mitchum's appearance 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 with a parody of the movie The Paper Chaser which is a movie that I have never heard of yet this is the second sketch about this '70s film. Last time a summarized the sketch as the fake sequel to a Good Will Hunting type of movie from the past, so this sketch has the same tone only the fake title is The Rolling Paper Chase and is about a stoner professor who introduces marijuana to one of his students in an effort to open his mind and by the way Lovitz as the professor prepares for the smoke session it's obvious this isn't his first time. He and his class then get super baked and share their stoner ideas that sound stupid in tone but if you think about what they are actually saying it is rather wise, especially when Phil Hartman, the first to get stoned, announces, "Live from New York..."
  2. Robert Mitchum then officially opened the show with a monolog about live TV and how he is not intimidated because he's toward the end of his career and is more excited about the after party in a way that borders on being too serious to where I'm not sure if he is going put in the effort or just cost through the show while also being funny because his tone does sound like he genuinely doesn't care.
  3. Compulsion was a fake ad for what looks to be a new perfume that made fun of the artsy style trend in perfume marketing from the time, only we find out in the end that it's not actually a perfume but Compulsion is a new brand of disinfectant for those who have OCD. 
  4. Death Be Not Deadly was the parody of an old noir film with Robert Mitchum as an aging detective who gets a visit from Kevin Nealon who wants to high him for a job. We soon find that what seems to be voice-over work sticking with the noir style is actually Robert Mitchum saying what is on his mind and doesn't care that he can be heard by his potential client.
  5. The Mountain Man was a sketch that introduced us to Dana Carvey as the titular character who gets a visit from Jon Lovitz and Victoria Jackson who want to hire him for a tour. This leads to a battle of alpha male dominance with the grizzly old man even though Lovitz has no interest in taking the lead. This eventually devolves to just bullying as Carvey continually attacks Lovitz's masculinity because of his blue collar life.
  6. Simply Red then took to the stage to perform The Right Thing.
  7. Once about, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Victoria Jackson dropped in with advice for the parents out in the world, telling parents of girls to focus on their bodies because of the power that woman have as long as they look good then goes on to show her diapered daughter's baby workout. A. Whitney Brown also dropped in for another Big Picture installment talking about the Conservative's failure to deal with the issue of pot.
  8. We then got another Sweeney Sisters sketch only this one didn't take place in a club but instead took place in Robert Mitchum's apartment where he, as Jan Hooks' Sweeney Sister's husband wants to break up the band to spend his retirement years together without having to deal with this showbiz nonsense. Nora Dunn then showed up as the second Sweeney and the two have a medley sing-off.
  9. Out Of Gas was a noir of a short film that took place at a gas station where Robert Mitchum plays the owner of the gas station but still acts like a noir detective as he helps a loyal customer deal with her gas cap issue ending on a twist that would take too much explaining because it's rather convoluted even though it makes perfect sense in the world of the story and it wasn't that bad of a film.
  10. Macho Hairstylists is another sketch where the title says it all, with Mitchum and Hartman working in a women's hair salon without being the typical gay stylist that was usually portrayed at the time.
  11. BeautyBath was a fake ad for a bubble bath that took place in Imelda Marcos's mansion with her needing to relax while the place is taking on gunfire due to the recent attempt at a coup.
  12. Simply Red returned to the stage to perform Suffer.
  13. Story Of The Jewel where Dana Carvey plays a member of the upper class who gets a visit from his filthy father who shares the tale of how he ended up with this homeless appearance all within the first half of the day because he decided to take one of the families many fine cars because he couldn't find his driver and things got wackier and wackier as the story continued to grow. Like earlier, this gets too convoluted to delve to deep into but it's funny in the world of the story.
  14. Finally, Robert Mitchum closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

So far this has been a very good season with this episode making four good shows in a row with these three sketches containing my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Death Be Not Deadly sketch because as someone who has lived alone for so long I sometimes slip up allowing my inner thoughts to be said at loud so it was funny to see this keep happening with Mitchum in this noir themed sketch. Next, I really liked the Story Of The Jewel sketch because I loved the reveal that Mitchum's change in appearance all happened in one day and found the convoluted tale of how he got there to be pretty funny as well. Finally, I was a fan of the Compulsion sketch thanks to nostalgia because I don't find it all that funny now but it is a sketch that clearly staying in my mind after multiple decades have passed by.

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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.