Another Solid Start To What I Hope Is
Another Solid Season
It seems like just the other day that I was writing about Tom Hanks as host... oh wait... that's because it actually was. With the star of Big hosting the second to the last episode of last season, this almost seems too close for another visit. Sure, at the time these two visits were actually a half year apart but you'd think that they'd space out the appearance to avoid any potential host burnout from the fans.
Luckily we're talking about Tom Hanks during one of the many peaks in his career to where I'm sure the audience wouldn't mind having him host weekly throughout the year. It also helps that this appearance was better than the last and that was my favorite episode of season thirteen.
Not only did I feel that Tom Hanks did a great job but I'm also still impressed with the cast. Up until this point in the challenge every single batch of Not Ready For Prime Time Players that has lasted at least four seasons, including the original cast, have all seemed to stick to a similar cycle where they start out doing just okay as they learn the ropes then put out a super strong second season only to let the success go to their heads making for a terrible season three and then get back on the ball for year number four as the big names start to leave and the weaker players get fired.
I know that this is only the first episode of this group's third season together but from what I've seen so far these Not Ready For Prime Time Players have been the most consistent from year to year than any other group so I'm super excited about this season.
So, now that I've gotten my thoughts and hopes for this upcoming season out of my head, it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
This week's show started with yet another installment of Pumping Up With Hans And Franz and as always, I find these two to be funny characters but their sketches are extremely repetitive. Where the last visit they were talking about the Winter Olympics, this time they are talking about the Summer Olympics, being that this was back in the day where both events were held in the same four-year pattern as Leap Year. Also, as always, this opening segment eventually ended on the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
Tom Hanks then officially opened the show with a monolog about his recent spike in popularity and how the media is promoting him as the nicest guy in Hollywood before quickly throwing to the first sketch. This is actually a false start as we then watch Tom head backstage to be super nice to the cast and the crew, including Conan O'Brien who was a writer at the time.
First Citiwide Change Bank was a fake commercial making fun of a CitiBank campaign from the time only this bank only makes change for its customers whether it's big bills for smaller bills, smaller bills for coins or any other combination.
We then got a reminder of how our options for president has always sucked with a parody of the Bush-Dukakis Debate '88 and as always with these political pieces, there are a lot of familiar names and issues that continue to haunt American politics to this day.
Keith Richards then took to the stage to perform Take It So Hard.
Mr. Short-Term Memory was a classic sketch where Tom Hanks plays a character who was hit in the head and loses his short-term memory. In this installment, he is on a blind date where he struggles to keep track of what is going on, being that he forgets any facts moments after receiving them. His memory is so bad that he even forgets what is in his mouth while in the process of eating.
This was followed by a second installment of the First Citiwide Change Bank with more examples of people who needed very specific change.
Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, we got the classic segment where Kevin Nealon covers the All Drug Olympics with Phil Hartman playing a Russian who is so hopped up on steroids that he ends up ripping his own arms off while attempting to break the powerlifting record.
Tom Hanks and Jon Lovitz then revisited their Girl-Watchers A Go-Go character from last time Hanks was on a couple episodes ago. This time the pair of losers fail to meet girls while at their ten-year high school reunion.
Jew, Not A Jew was a game show sketch where, obviously, the title says it all. Tom Hanks plays the host who shows the contestants images of famous people along with a brief description of their work before asking, "Jew or not a Jew."
Tom Hanks then parodied his own work by sharing a couple "Big Outtakes" based on the "original idea for the movie" where Tom Hanks' wish comes true but rather than join the adult workforce he remains in Jr. High and uses his size advantage to bully all the children.
Keith Richards then returned to the stage to perform Struggle.
The Pat Stevens Show then returned for another segment of more of the same this time Nora Dunn as Pat interviews the two potential first ladies and again, Phil Hartman as Barbara Bush is the funniest part of the bit.
Finally, Tom Hanks closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
Even though Tom Hanks was just on two episodes ago, he still put on a good show complete with these three of my favorite moments from the night. First I loved the news segment where Phil Hartman plays a steroid junky who is participating in the All Drug Olympics because I clearly remember losing my mind with laughter as a child when I was totally surprised by his arms ripping off while trying to set the powerlifting record. Next, I really liked Mr. Short-Term Memory simply because I am such a fan of this classic character and I'm sure he will end up in position one in later visits. Finally, I was a fan of the Big Outtakes because I'm a fan of the actual movie and I loved this hilarious twist.