SNL: S13E12... HOST: TOM HANKS... DATE: FEBRUARY 20, 1988

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or...

Hanks For The Save

With One More Show To Go

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For some reason, I thought that this was already Tom Hanks third or fourth appearance only to find out it's just his second time as host. I think this might be due to the fact that I am currently about to finish the process of laying out the pages for all future reviews and have seen this week's host multiple times in that process.

Being that Mr. Hanks' first visit took place during Season 11, which was the worst season so far, my review was more about how disappointed I was with both the episode and season without really going into my history as a Hanks fan.  

As always, my fandom started back when as the youngest of my cluster of cousins who hung out, I was introduced to the movie Bachelor Party way before I should have. Keep in mind, I was somewhere between 8 and 10 and one of the highlights of this film is a woman who is supposed to have sex with a donkey only it overdoses on a bowl full of drugs before getting to see any action.

Typing this out it sounds horrible, but I loved that movie as a kid and because of it, I was fully on board with Tom Hanks career, from him being in drag on TV in an effort to pay less rent, to him and his wife's failed attempt to flip a house while keeping their relationship together, to the Gump in the woods, I even liked the crazy foreign guy who lived in an airport after his country dissolved, comedy or drama, I liked them all.

Unlike his last visit, I was very pleased with this hosting job, especially since the last three episode where a bit of a slump for this already shortened season. Even though I never blamed Hanks for the failure of his last visit, since that entire season was a mess, I did see an improvement in his ability to act in a sketch and now really look forward to his future visits.

So, now that I've got a few thoughts on Hanks and this appearance off my chest, it's now time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with coverage of the Calgary '88 Winter Olympics where Tom Hanks plays a figure skater who does a terrible Bonanza themed routine while dressed like a flamboyant Woody from Toy Story even though this is way before that time. Of course, he gets a horrible score for his terrible routine and when interviews to see what happened he announces, "Live from New York..."
  2. Tom Hanks then officially opened the show with a monolog about how this being live television, he has total control of the show and no one can stop him from saying whatever he wants with this segment of the show. With it being an election year, he uses this time to joke about the candidates while pretty much saying that it's not all that important to vote being that this was yet another year of worthless candidates that landed Bush Sr. as our president.
  3. Giant Businessman was a sketch where Phil Hartman plays a four story tall businessman who attempts to go about a normal life despite sticking out like a sore thumb. In this week's installment, which I hope is not the last, he tries to get the neighbor's band to keep it down only they hang up on him whenever he calls which leads him to call the police rather than use his size to intimidate the band into stopping as it turns out, he may be giant but he's also a bit of a coward.
  4. The Bean Cafe was a sketch that took place in a cafe that only serves beans. This leads to a lot of set-ups to fart jokes that all end with a Shyamalan twist where they are not talking about farts at all.
  5. The Pat Stevens Show then returned after a long absence only to give us more of the same of this sketch that I've never been a fan of because I'm unfamiliar with the reference material and don't find the character or her fake interviews to be all that funny because of this lack of knowledge. This installment was at least a little funny but only because Phil Hartman makes a hilarious Barbara Bush. 
  6. Randy Travis then took to the stage to perform Forever & Ever, Amen.
  7. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, Kevin Nealon dropped in to talk about the Winter Olympics but as usually he ended up rambling off topic in a pretty funny way. Victoria Jackson also dropped in for another segment where she starts to do another poem, this one about a tea cup, but then takes off her blonde wig to reveal that she is actually a brunette and is not ditsy at all, only to end the bit by taking off the brunette wig as well and go back to her ditsy self. Keep in mind, when I say ditsy, I mean the persona that she is shooting for because, despite the fact that I don't agree with her on many of her political views, I know that she's actually smart. Jon Lovitz also got a Get To Know Me segment where he read letters from the audience with clues as to the author's identity with the reveal being the actual joke. 
  8. Tom Hanks and Jon Lovitz then team up as their classic Girl-Watchers A Go-Go characters who are so confident in the fact that they are losers that they almost seem proud of the constant rejection they experience from every woman who walks by. 
  9. Apple Support Systems was a sketch that makes fun of the early days of IT where Tom Hanks has to call in for support because he landed a job by claiming to be a computer expert when he actually never seen a computer at all.
  10. This was followed by a fake ad for a new album called Casey Kasem Sings The Beatles, which is just that, "Casey Kasem" singing Beatles songs. 
  11. We then went to Delivery Room where Dana Carvey is waiting outside the door and keeps misinterpreting the sounds that are coming through the door to be the sign that his baby has been born. This sketch was funny but quick as Tom Hanks even admits that they never came up with an end to the sketch as he tells Dana Carvey he better to just ignore the entire event and just move on to the next sketch of the night.
  12. This was followed by another installment of Observational Stand-ups where Tom Hanks and Jon Lovitz pretty much do an impersonation of Jerry Seinfeld while carrying out a casual conversation only to be joined by more members of the cast doing the same impersonation while trying to keep up with the observational small talk. 
  13. Randy Travis then returned to the stage to perform What'll You Do.
  14. Sentimental Pawn Shop was a sketch about a pawn shop that pays the sentimental value of an item which often pays more than the actual cash values as long as the story is good.
  15. Finally, Tom Hanks closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

I'm very happy that this ended up being a slump busting episode with these three sketches containing my favorite moments of the night. First, I loved the Girl-Watchers A Go-Go sketch because I feel like these characters are loveable losers and though they technically do make cat calls, they are not letches like the "Two Wild And Crazy Guys," and back off the unseen woman before they even have time to respond. Next, I really liked the Beans Cafe bit because I was a fan of the fart joke build ups that never paid off in the end. Finally, I was a fan of Phil Hartman as The Giant Businessman because at 6'4" I really relate to the giant coward that just wants an average life.

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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.